What is a layer 3 network and why do I need one?
While layer 2 networks (point-to-point networks) have their use and are generally fine for data transfers between a few nodes, they’re not built to scale and can become a nightmare for IT teams to manage as your business operation grows. Layer 3 networking enables an easily scalable, full mesh network that reduces operating costs while simplifying IT infrastructure and improving resource management. Plus, layer 3 networks are inherently more efficient at data transmission due to automatic routing.
Reduce operating costs
If your business operates multiple nodes (data centers, clouds, offices, retail stores, or other locations with internet connectivity) that are spaced out geographically, trying to connect them using layer 2 networks can get very costly, very quickly.
For instance, say your business is headquartered in California and you have four offices located in four other states (see Layer 2 network above). Connecting the four out-of-state offices to your headquarters in California requires four point-to-point connections at a minimum. Even then, transferring data from one out-of-state office to another requires routing traffic from the origin office to your headquarters, then from the headquarters to the destination office. Not efficient.
In contrast, a single layer 3 network can cover all five nodes (see Layer 3 network above) and provides the best paths for traffic between your connected nodes, reducing your operating costs and improving data transmission efficiency.
Simplify IT infrastructure
The full mesh structure provided by a layer 3 network also makes fixes, updates, and general maintenance to your infrastructure easier to perform. Rather than updating each of your nodes separately like you would on layer 2 networks, you can roll out updates to all your connected layer 3 nodes at once.
Improve resource management
Similarly, because a single layer 3 network connects all your available resources together, you’ll be able to instantly access them anywhere within your network, from any one of your connected nodes.
How do I get started?
If you choose to provision your Zenlayer Cloud Router using zenConsole and want to interconnect your data centers, follow the steps detailed in this data center connection guide. To interconnect a combination of your data centers and clouds, follow the steps detailed in this cloud connection guide.
New to Zenlayer Cloud Networking? Check it out now!
Instantly provision a private full mesh layer 3 network with Zenlayer Cloud Router or use Zenlayer Private Connect to establish a secure layer 2 point-to-point network that interconnects your data centers and clouds. Either way, you’ll experience ultra-low latency and enhanced reliability across 30 countries worldwide.
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