This question arose after some some Snort efficiency issues we were having. In this scenario, say we have three Catalyst switches, each connected to a single layer 3 switch, and each configured to switch traffic from any VLAN configured. The "core" layer 3 switch will route each packet based on its VLAN tag and ID. This core switch acts as the default gateway for every switch and VLAN.
The question is: If we have two workstations, each on the same switch and VLAN, will their traffic be routed by the layer 3 "core" switch if they attempt to communicate with one another? Both workstations are in the same subnet, VLAN, and broadcast domain. ARP broadcasts would hit the core and be routed, and workstation two would respond. Will the following IP traffic also be managed by the core switch, or will they communicate without the core switch?
Under usual circumstances, the switch would handle this and there wouldn't be any involvement from the layer 3 core...however with our VLAN setup, things can get a bit removed.