I'm thinking about minimizing network hardware while optimizing network topology for company.

If a company has unlimited(or very high) budget to build an ideal network for internal use(traditional network infrastructure, not the datacenter virtualized network).

then, can the network be designed to link all the clients or servers to routers directly without using any L2 switches?(example is shown in figure below) enter image description here

I've tried to configure IP settings on devices and they could communicated with each other so I suppose this kind of topology is acceptable, and the only problems are budget and the complexity of routing.

An additional question is, what would happen if broadcast domains are completely minimized from a network? I could only imagine that the need of intra-IP subnet communication will theoretically disappear and the demand of IP subnets will increase greatly.

  • size of your company... number of users?? – infra May 21 '19 at 6:05
  • What are you trying to achieve? Connecting edge clients to micro segments is certainly do-able with L3 switches, but what's the point? – Zac67 May 21 '19 at 6:15
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    "I'm thinking about minimizing network hardware..." That would actually increase the hardware required because routers (except very, very expensive routers) have relatively few interfaces, while switches have many interfaces. Router interfaces are generally more expensive than switch interfaces. – Ron Maupin May 21 '19 at 13:04
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    This would be "L3 to the desktop" type of setup. I remember this being talked about for a few years and anecdotal stories of one or two organizations actually doing it, but it just isn't practical in general. There may be a very niche market for this type of design, but I personally have yet to hear of one that isn't better served by a proper three-tier network design (or collapsed core). – YLearn May 21 '19 at 19:32

can the network be designed to link all the clients or servers to routers directly without using any L2 switches?

I'd use routers with many more ports - there are L3 switches with hundreds of ports - but yes, that's possible. Not necessarily what is broadly considered a good design though...

what would happen if broadcast domains are completely minimized from a network?

With /31 micro subnets, there's no broadcast domain, just point-to-point-traffic. Even if you used /30 client subnets there'd be only one other node in each broadcast domain.

is it ideal for a network that abandon the use of L2 switch?

No, I don't think so. L2 switches are very efficient - both in budget and in handling - in their place.

Micro-subnetting your network means you need to provide and configure a router port for each end node - instead of just plugging it into a switch port. Also, you'd need to find a method providing DHCP to the end nodes (you wouldn't want static configs, would you?). With a router in front you'd need to handle dozens/hundreds of DHCP relays and scopes.


It is not an good idea. Because It will generate more additional issues for you and your network.

  • Generally Router has limited number of ports. If you want to large number of ports you have to use many routers or ISP Routers(cisco 12000 series....etc)
  • Difficult to expand your network.
  • Redundancy also be a problem, it will double your cost.
  • You have to Manage Lot of routing
  • Your router can have lot of routing details and it will reduce efficiency of routers
  • If you have many devices(Routers) it will be very difficult to manage and reduce visibility
  • New technologies are available in market.
  • L3 Switches has ability to work as routers.
  • Your cost will be increased very high. Although you have unlimited budget it useless to implementing technically low quality system in your environment.
  • Currently we have lot of solution in the market to reduce complexity of network. But you going to increase complexity of your network.

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