MLS has proven to be very useful over the years. It minimized the latency problem that was associated with the router by essentially taking over the switching function from the router. MLS was ideal in the enterprise network, where traffic is deterministic and less volatility is involved as compared to the Internet arena. Despite CEF taking over the reigns, MLS continues to play an important role. This chapter attempted to address the details of MLS on issues regarding designs, and the life of a packet as it traversed through various Catalyst platforms.

CEF switching is becoming more popular for both router as well as switching platforms. It has been widely deployed in the enterprise environment the past few years. The newer Cisco Catalyst 6500 switches only do CEF switching. Details on CEF components and implementation were cited in this chapter. CEF provides greater stability and scalability than MLS.