layer 4 switch

layer 4 switch

A network device that integrates routing and switching by forwarding traffic at layer 2 speed using layer 4 and layer 3 information. When packets are inspected at layer 4, the sockets can be analyzed and decisions can be made based on the type of application being serviced. See layer 4-7, layer 3 switch and Web switch.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Now, imagine you are a Layer 4 switch sitting in the middle of the network and you must make forwarding decisions based exclusively on Layer 4 information.
Layer 4 switches were an important first step in allowing IT managers to exert more control over the network by using higher levels of information contained in network-traversing packets.
So-called Layer 4 switches actually examine, not just the Layer 2 network address and the Layer 3 IP address, but they may also look at the TCP or UDP port associated with each packet so that different streams of packets can be treated differently.