The functional layers for swiching environments in the Data Center are often architected around three layers, commonly referred to as The Cisco Three-Layered Hierarchical Model:
- The Core Layer connects the Aggregation Layers. Typically, the Core Layer utilizes high performance low latency Layer 3 switches (often 10 gig Ethernet and/or 10 gig fiber).
- The Aggregation Layer provides services, such as Load Balancing and SSL Optimization. Access Layer switches typically use the Aggregation Layer for connecting to the Core Layer.
- The Access Layer includes the hubs and switches that connect client systems.