The following are the three layers and their typical functions:
The core layer: backbone
The distribution layer: routing
The access layer: switching
The Core Layer
The core layer is responsible for transporting large amounts of traffic both reliably and quickly. The only purpose of the network’s core layer is to switch traffic as fast as possible.
The Distribution Layer
The distribution layer is referred to as the work-group layer and is the communication point between the access layer and the core. The primary functions of the distribution layer are to provide routing, filtering, and WAN access and to determine how packets can access the core.
The Access Layer
The access layer controls user and work-group access to internetwork resources. The access layer is referred to as the desktop layer. The network resources most users need will be available locally. The distribution layer handles any traffic for remote services.
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