How to stack and cascade connections of switches?

With the rapid development of the network, high density will be the trend of network networking, through port integration to increase port density and increase bandwidth. The question is, should we buy more switches on the port or buy ports with stack cascading to achieve port density and bandwidth? The answer is obvious. The latter is often more powerful. This article will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of switch stacking and switch cascading to help you choose between the two.

Stacking of switches

In plain language, it is to stack several switches together, then plug the dedicated cables and modules into the ports with stacking functions, connect the switches together, and configure the entire stacking unit switch by controlling the configuration of the main switch. The purpose is to manage multiple stack switches with only one IP address, which can improve network efficiency and simplify management.

As mentioned above, its drawback is that it must use dedicated cables and modules, which will be slightly higher in cost. However, some switches that support stacking embed the uplink ports for stacking, which is greatly reduced in cost. For example, the fast (FS) stackable management switch S3800-24T4S and the stackable SFP manageable switch S3800-24F4S.

Switch cascading

The cascading of switches is to send and receive reversed ports for connection to standard straight-through cable internal switches. For example, plug one switch uplink port into the standard port of another switch to help expand the network. When connecting two devices, use only the uplink port of one of the devices. If you use a straight-through cable to connect two The uplink port has the same result as using two regular ports and cannot communicate properly.

How to stack and cascade connections of switches?

· Switch stacking: suitable for users who need physical network flexibility and large traffic

Switch stacking can be deployed in a limited space, providing higher density ports and space savings, and powerful management features have proven to be the most cost-effective alternative to the underlying high-end switches.

However, stacking is only applicable to switches that can be stacked in the same series of the same vendor, and the link distance is limited by the length of the stack cable.

· Switch cascading: suitable for small network networking environments

Switch cascading eliminates the need for crossover cables between two standard Ethernet ports, and it seamlessly connects switches from different product families or even different vendors, providing more flexibility to the infrastructure. With the standard cat5e and cat6 cable, the extension length of 100 meters can be achieved. If your switch is located 100 meters away, you can use another switch as a bridge.

But switch cascading only offers very limited bandwidth increases, just taking advantage of flexibility.


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