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Wireless Networks Thread, Stackable switches in Technical; This is probably a silly question but anyway... When a manufacturer says a switch is stackable, does this mean that ...
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    Norphy's Avatar
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    Stackable switches

    This is probably a silly question but anyway...

    When a manufacturer says a switch is stackable, does this mean that they have special cases which allow them to be placed on top of one another? Does this mean that you can connect them together to give them a shared backplane?

    Or have I got completely the wrong end of the stick?

    Cheers,

    Norphy

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Stackable switches

    Stackable means there's a special connection plate on the switch that allows you to daisy chain them together and form bigger switches from smaller ones. So for example you could 'stack' two 32 port switches and end up with one big 64 port switch.

    This is primarly done in the interests of network performance.

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    Re: Stackable switches

    There will be a special port on the back of the switch to connect to other switches - stackable devices appear as one device from an admin pov

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    Re: Stackable switches

    You are correct with your second idea. The switches are connected together via some form of stacking cabling (usually proprietory in nature) to gain a high speed backplane.

    Although, the old 3com officestack system also stacked on top of each other rather well :P

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    Re: Stackable switches

    There will be some form of stacking connector unless it is a virtual stack.

    A lot of switches now enable you to have a virtual stack of switches that can even be in different buildings/cabinets. The idea being that you manage one big stack from a single command prompt or web browser instead of each one individually.

    Some switches have a proprietary connector built into them others it is an addon like the HP 2524 series you put a module in the front and connect them with a short cable.

    Ben

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    Re: Stackable switches

    is it worth paying the extra for a stackable switch. Theres a big difference in price. What are its recommended uses?

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    Re: Stackable switches

    Well, the reason I ask is because we are building a large computer area with 80+ workstations and I want to build capacity for at least another network points on top of that. If I were to do this with standard switches I would either have to daisy chain them or run a seperate line back to the central switch for each one, neither of which is an especially desirable option imo. I was hoping that stacking them meant being able to expand their backplanes so you can run a single (or perhaps two cables trunked together) cable back to the central switch and have everything run from a single backplane.

    I've also been looking into modular switches which are my preferred solution but I can see the school baulking at the cost :|

    Thanks for the replies everyone

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    Re: Stackable switches

    Just remember you can't have more that five 'layers' of switches.

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    Re: Stackable switches

    I use Netgear Stackable Switches, they are very good, give them a look out for, they are not that badly priced, for some L2 ones which are 10/100 for 48 ports with 4 1000 ports for stacking & links (think its 4 or it may be 2) they are about £170 each which is not that bad really.

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