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For a university project we are designing a network across 3 buildings for a small business. I've decided to implement a microwave point-to-point to connect each building.

A lot of microwave point-to-points I've been viewing online come with a layer 2 switch. However, I was wondering if I could just plug it into the router?

If each Microwave dish was connected just from a switch, wouldn't broadcasts from one machine go to all the buildings?

More Information

it was going to be a fully meshed in terms of the Microwave links (2 on each building to point at the other 2 buildings), for the network inside each building, has a router connected to DHCP server which has fibreoptics to switch, then the switch distributes cat6 to aprox 20 machines plus 3 wireless access points and a printer

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    This is dependent on the radio hardware and your actual design. Without knowing more about each of those, any answer is going to be overly generic.
    – YLearn
    May 28 '13 at 18:30
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I'd say "probably" ... depending on the size of the radio, the switch may be doing power injection, which will be something you need to consider before going straight to a router.

If you're primarily concerned about broadcasts rather than additional equipment, another answer is using VLANs to limit broadcast domains, allowing you to use the provided switch for more than just the radio when combined with the router.

At the end of the day a sure answer to this question is going to depend on the radio hardware itself.

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  • Awesome answer thankyou. When I get 15 reputation points I will vote your answer up :) May 28 '13 at 18:24
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    Yes i think your right, i think the layer 2 switch supplied also has facility to configure options for the radio. It is quite a high spec radio transmitter Ceragon FibeAir-IP10 May 28 '13 at 18:42
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    Yeah, in the case of that product I'd say that the switch is integral to the function of the radio. Conversely there are products out there (a Motorola line comes to mind, don't remember the model off the top of my head) that are basically bridges and all they need are power and ethernet, usually condensed to a single cable with PoE.
    – Mark
    May 28 '13 at 18:50
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I think you would have all the machines in one building on a LAN, with the LAN connected to an interface of the building's router. (If your buildings, work groups, machine count, etc are high, then you need more network design within the building.)

Each needs to know about the other networks beyond the other routers. (Either statically configured routers, or some sort of routing protocol -- here again, you need to do more network design.)

In the broadcast domain containing all the microwave links, the routers' interfaces would be exchanging broadcasts and traffic (eg for routing protocols) across microwave. But the LAN-side broadcasts, etc would not be routed to the microwave links (this is exactly what routers are all about.)

You probably also need to do more network design regarding how many microwave links and how you're hooking them to router WAN interfaces. Are you making a fully meshed (every router has a microwave link to every other router) topology? ...or a star-design. (Which is very simple in a 3-node WAN, where the center node just has two links.)

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    thanks very much for adding points, I have updated my question to say about the infrastructure of each bulding plus the mesh topology of the microwave links May 28 '13 at 18:48
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You can plug Ceragon radios directly into a router. We are doing exactly that in a few places. Whether a router is more useful than a switch depends on the topology of your network, of course.

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