Speed through the network is influenced by the capability of the devices on the network to process the traffic on the network. Cisco is continually striving to enhance features while at the same time reducing the resources and thus the time it takes to provide those features.
Cisco achieved this goal in 11.2F of the IOS. In this version of the IOS, IP policy routing is fast-switched. Previous versions process switch policy-routed traffic, allowing for an output of approximately 1000 to 10,000 packets per second. This resulted in application timeouts.
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