VLAN access control lists are a function of the Catalyst 6000 series switch that enable network professionals to add functionality and speed to network designs. These lists work in hardware and have the look and feel of traditional router ACLs. The VACL is applied to the VLAN and can filter traffic based on Layer 3 and above information in the packet for any traffic that passes through the given VLAN on the switch that's configured with the list. The lists are easy to manage and offer some significant editing functions that are superior to traditional router ACLs.
The addition of VACLs to the architecture of the switch has given us pause for contemplation on just how to implement security policies in the switched environment. As more and more functions move to hardware, the switch is rapidly becoming the workhorse of the campus environment. Security is just one of many functions that switching is beginning to take a more active role in for campus networks. Switches are also beginning to take on other functions, such as QoS classification, scheduling, policing, and packet rewrites. As switches continue to become more robust, many traditional concepts of campus internetworking will be challenged and, overall, the performance of the campus network will greatly improve.
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