Switch virtual interface

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A switch virtual interface (SVI) is a VLAN of switch ports represented by one interface to a routing or bridging system. There is no physical interface for the VLAN and the SVI provides the Layer 3 processing for packets from all switch ports associated with the VLAN.

There is one-to-one mapping between a VLAN and SVI, thus only a single SVI can be mapped to a VLAN. By default, an SVI is created for the default VLAN (VLAN1) to permit remote switch administration. An SVI cannot be activated unless associated with a physical port.

SVIs are generally configured for a VLAN for the following reasons:

  • Allow traffic to be routed between VLANs by providing a default gateway for the VLAN.
  • Provide fallback bridging (if required for non-routable protocols).
  • Provide Layer 3 IP connectivity to the switch.
  • Support bridging configurations and routing protocol.

An SVI can also be known as a Routed VLAN Interface (RVI) by some vendors.[1]