Routed Ports and Access Ports on a Switch

A routed port is a physical port that acts similarly to an interface on a router. Unlike an access port, a routed port is not associated with a particular VLAN. A routed port behaves like a regular router interface. Also, because Layer 2 functionality has been removed, Layer 2 protocols, such as STP, do not function on a routed interface. However, some protocols, such as LACP and EtherChannel, do function at Layer 3.

Unlike Cisco IOS routers, routed ports on a Cisco IOS switch do not support subinterfaces.

Routed ports are used for point-to-point links. Connecting WAN routers and security devices are examples of the use of routed ports. In a switched network, routed ports are mostly configured between switches in the core and distribution layer. The figure illustrates an example of routed ports in a campus switched network.

To configure routed ports, use the no switchport interface configuration mode command on the appropriate ports. For example, the default configuration of the interfaces on Catalyst 3560 switches are Layer 2 interfaces, so they must be manually configured as routed ports. In addition, assign an IP address and other Layer 3 parameters as necessary. After assigning the IP address, verify that IP routing is globally enabled and that applicable routing protocols are configured.

Following are some of the advantages of routed ports:

Note: Routed ports are not supported on Catalyst 2960 Series switches.