My network has 3 VLANs: 10, 11, 12, and their address spaces are 10.0.X.0/24 where X is the VLAN ID. Their default gateway is a virtualized pfSense (even though it's virtual, I will use terminology as if it's physical). Each VLAN has its own physical interface on the pfSense, and the pfSense is filtering and routing traffic between the VLANs. The interfaces on the pfSense are:

X0: VLAN 10
X1: VLAN 11
X2: VLAN 12

My "core" switch is a Dell S5224F-ON. I say "core" because it is currently configured as a Layer 2 switch, which is a waste of its power. I want to use it as a Layer 3 switch to handle the inter-VLAN routing. However, I still want the pfSense to filter the traffic.

For example: Client A ( will attempt to RDP to Client B (, which is not allowed. I want the core switch to route Client A's RDP traffic to X1 on the pfSense so that it can filter/drop the traffic.

Of course, when I enable IP routing on the S5224F, it handles the routing (yay!) but the pfSense is completely bypassed (boo!). I want to forward all the traffic to the corresponding interfaces on the pfSense.

Can that be accomplished? In my ignorance, I researched vsrf-lite, and it seems like it could be the answer. But at the same time, I'm ignorant.

  • 1
    The point of routing on the switch is so that the traffic does not need to go anywhere else. If you want the traffic to be sent elsewhere, then use it as a layer-2 switch.
    – Ron Maupin
    Jun 7, 2022 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


Your current topology is exactly as it should be. You don’t need layer 3 switch functions. You don’t add complexity just because it’s a waste of it’s power.

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