|I suspect you could use the lightstream as a core switch, but wouldn't unless they can be connected with an IST (inter switch trunk). I didn't check to see if they're capable of IST, so you'll definitely want to do that before deciding on whether or not it's the right equipment for you. An IST is important because that's what gives you redundancy.|
As I said, we're phasing out Cisco productions in my environment. We never did use Cisco core switches though but did have 2900 and 2950's in our closets and datacenter.
The core switches were replaced about 6 months before I started working here (6.5 yr's ago) and the present ones are Nortel Passport 8600's. I don't know what they had in place before I came along but I do know they weren't Cisco products. We recently upgraded our cores to a 10 Gb backplane. We have two in a dual redundant configuration which requires them to have an IST.
We do all the routing for our client VLAN's and their associated subnets on the core switches. All other routing is done on routers (DMZ, server subnets etc).
If you hit Cisco's website and search "core switches" you can see what they have. Just remember, Cisco isn't the only game in town any more and one big reason we're moving away from them is because they gouge so badly on every single aspect of their equipment including training and support and even software updates.
You might want to google "core switches" and see what else is available. When you go to spend the kind of money one has to for core switches, it's best to price out the equipment and support before making a purchase.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.