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How to Stack Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches?

March 20 2018 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking, #Cisco & Cisco Network, #Technology, #Cisco Modules - Cisco Cables - Cisco Memory

Stacking Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches is often asked by Cisco users. When we talk about the Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR stacking, we need to know Cisco FlexStack-Extended and FlexStack-Plus technology. What’s the FlexStack-Extended and FlexStack-Plus technology? What benefits can we get from this tech? And how to stack Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR? We will share the typical example of Stacking Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches in this article.

  1. Cisco FlexStack-Extended and FlexStack-Plus technology allows stacked installation of Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches within the same wiring closet, across wiring closets on different floors of a building, or across different buildings in a campus, with a single point of management that reduces IT management overhead.
  2. The Cisco Catalyst 2960-X FlexStack-Plus Stack Module provides high-bandwidth stacking capability over short distances to simplify management and improve resiliency.
  3. The Cisco Catalyst 2960-X FlexStack-Extended Stack Module–Hybrid provides investment protection for Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series Switches that are already stacked and installed with FlexStack-Plus modules.

These modules act as interconnects between FlexStack-Plus and FlexStack-Extended stacked switches.

The FlexStack-Extended and FlexStack-Plus modules enable stacking within and across wiring closets. Up to eight Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches can be stacked, with a single management and control plane. All management tasks, such as configuration, Cisco IOS Software upgrades, and troubleshooting, can be performed for all stacked switches from a single point of management through a command line or a simple graphical interface with Cisco Catalyst Configuration Professional.

The FlexStack-Plus and FlexStack-Extended modules are simple-to-install plug-and-play modules, with no preset configuration requirements. They simplify troubleshooting of multiple switches spread over large areas of the campus.

The FlexStack-Extended module uses the same rules for stack master election as FlexStack-Plus switches. These modules can be inserted into the stack module slot at the rear of the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series Switches. Up to eight switches can be stacked in a ring topology using the FlexStack-Plus or FlexStack-Extended modules.

Learn more: FlexStack vs. FlexStack-Plus


Stack Module Slot Location

How to Stack Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches?

●   Stack modules are plug and play; no configuration is required to bring up the stack.

Command: “show inventory” to see the modules inserted:

switch#show inventory

NAME: "3", DESCR: "WS-C2960XR-48TD-I"

PID: WS-C2960XR-48TD-I , VID: V01  , SN: FOC1720Y3WK

-----Output omitted-----------------------

NAME: "Switch 1 - FlexStackPlus Module", DESCR: "Stacking Module"

PID: C2960X-HYBRID-STK , VID: V01  , SN: FDO211827QG

The ports of the modules are in a stack port configuration by default.

Command:  “show switch hstack-ports” to ensure that the ports are stack ports.

Example: On the FlexStack-Extended fiber module:

The ports of the modules are in a stack port configuration by default.

Command:  “show switch hstack-ports” to ensure that the ports are stack ports.

Example: On the FlexStack-Extended fiber module:

Example: On the FlexStack-Extended hybrid module:

Note: The fiber port of the module does not show up with this command.

● When connecting the FlexStack-Extended hybrid module to FlexStack-Plus modules, the stack bandwidth of the switch with the FlexStack-Plus module should be manually configured to 10 Gbps

Command: “switch stack port-speed 10G” to set the stacking bandwidth to 40 Gbps:

Example: switch(config)#switch stack port-speed 10

Command: ‘show switch stack-ring  speed’

Example: switch#show switch stack-ring  speed

Stack Ring Speed        : 10G

Stack Ring Configuration: Half

Stack Ring Protocol     : FlexStack

● Once the stack cables (fiber or FlexStack-Plus cables) are connected to the switches to stack them:

Command: “show switch” to see all switches in the stack. The master is indicated with an asterisk (*).

switch#show switch

Switch/Stack Mac Address : d0c7.896b.9480

                                H/W   Current

Role   Mac Address     Priority Version  State


 2       Member d0c7.aaaa.xxxx     1      4       Ready

*3       Master d0c7.bbbb.yyyy     1      4       Ready

Command: “show switch stack-ports” to see the status of the stack ports.

Example: switch#show switch stack-ports

 Switch #    Port 1       Port 2

  --------    ------       ------

    2          Down          Ok

    3          Down          Ok

Ok: Port status up

Down: Port status down

Note: When adding a switch to an existing stack, power off the new switch, connect the stack cables, and then power on the new switch. This will prevent any downtime in the existing stack.

How to Pick a Stack Module

● If the switches in the stack are less than 3 m (10 ft) apart or high stacking bandwidth is a requirement, the C2960X STACK module would be best suited for stacking

● If the stack switches are spread across wiring closets on different floors of a building or across multiple buildings in a campus (switches are more than 3 m [10 ft] apart), the C2960X-FIBER-STK module would be best suited

● If the stack is a mix of switches in the same wiring closet and switches spread across wiring closets, the stack modules will be a mix of C2960X STACK, C2960X-FIBER-STK, and C2960X-HYBRID-STK

Points to Remember

● Fast convergence is not supported on stack switches with FlexStack-Extended ports

● The fiber stack ports will support 10-Gbps transceivers only. Refer to the list of supported 10-Gbps transceivers mentioned earlier

● The FlexStack-Extended modules support up to 40-Gbps stack bandwidth over longer distances

● The FlexStack-Plus module supports up to 80-Gbps stack bandwidth over short distances

● When adding a new switch to an existing stack, power off the new switch and then connect the stack cables. This is to prevent reload of the existing stack and stack master reelection

● To use FlexStack-Extended modules, all switches in the stack require upgrade to Cisco IOS Software Release 15.2(6)E or later

Reference from https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/switches/catalyst-2960-x-series-switches/white-paper-c11-739615.html

More Related

Why SELECT Cisco 2960-X Series?

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Switches: Enterprise Ready

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X vs. 2960-XR Series Switches

Cisco 2960S and 2960-X Series’ Problems from Users

How to Install or Replace an AC Power Supply in a Cisco 2960-X Switch?

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Comparison & Features

The Latest Updated: SFP Modules for Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series Switches

WS-C2960X-48TD-L & WS-C2960XR-48TD-I Tested, from Miercom

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