The ASA 5505 adaptive security appliance supports a built-in switch. There are two kinds of ports and interfaces that you need to configure:
•Physical switch ports—The adaptive security appliance has eight Fast Ethernet switch ports that forward traffic at Layer 2, using the switching function in hardware. Two of these ports are PoE ports. See the "Power Over Ethernet" section for more information. You can connect these interfaces directly to user equipment such as PCs, IP phones, or a DSL modem. Or you can connect to another switch.
•Logical VLAN interfaces—In routed mode, these interfaces forward traffic between VLAN networks at Layer 3, using the configured security policy to apply firewall and VPN services. In transparent mode, these interfaces forward traffic between the VLANs on the same network at Layer 2, using the configured security policy to apply firewall services. See the "Maximum Active VLAN Interfaces for Your License" section for more information about the maximum VLAN interfaces. VLAN interfaces let you divide your equipment into separate VLANs, for example, home, business, and Internet VLANs.
To segregate the switch ports into separate VLANs, you assign each switch port to a VLAN interface. Switch ports on the same VLAN can communicate with each other using hardware switching. But when a switch port on VLAN 1 wants to communicate with a switch port on VLAN 2, then the adaptive security appliance applies the security policy to the traffic and routes or bridges between the two VLANs.