Cisco Hierarchical Model


The following are the three layers and their typical functions:

  1. The core layer: backbone
  2. The distribution layer: routing
  3. 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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