Stand-alone switches are commonly used to build small business networks. However, when handling burgeoning networks, you may find that managing individual switches and adding new switches is a complex process. In this case, you may consider implementing the stackable switch to simplify and increase the capacity of the network. Then what is a stackable switch and how to stack multiple switches together? Here will take FS S5900-24S stackable 10GB switch as an example to discuss these topics.
The stackable switch or stacking switch is a type of switch designed to be stacked on top of one another. Stacking allows you to manage multiple switches as a single entity and provides increased bandwidth between the switches. The stackable switch can be placed in networking closets and stand alone as a whole unit. This feature sets of stackable switches vary depending on vendor and platform. Most stackable switches support advanced functions like QoS, multicasting, and VLAN management.
Stacking a group of network switches can not only simplify management but also enhance switching capacity. The switching capacity or the port density of a stack is the sum of the combined switches. For example, when you stack four 24-port switches, you will get one large 96-port switch when it comes to configuration. All these switches in the stack share a single IP address for remote administration instead of each stack unit having its own IP address.
As a 10GE security routing Ethernet switch, FS S5900-24S stackable managed switch offers edge to core stacking to easily expand network. It provides true stacking capability, allowing you to configure, manage and troubleshoot multiple physical switches as a single device. The advanced non-blocking array exchange and huge packet cache support smooth operation at the extreme circumstance. With L2/L3 switch class, the FS S5900-24S stackable switch is suitable for IP MAN convergence layer and large-scale enterprise zone as well as the core of the network layer.
FS S5900-24S with 2 hot-swappable redundant power supplies offers high availability redundancy across the stack. It has up to 480Gbps switching capacity and backplane capacity. Hot-swap fans are built in to provide cooling to the whole stacking system and ensures seamless continuity. Besides, the IPV4/IPV6/MPLS line speed forwarding capacity of this switch can provide the unique and numerical IP addresses necessary for Internet-enabled devices when stacking multiple switches.
There are two methods to stack multiple network switches into a group. For stackable switches with dedicated stacking ports, we can use a stack cable to realize stacking among them. But only approved cable can be used as stack cable, or else it would cause damage to the switches. The other way to achieve switch stacking is to use the uplink ports on the switch. Today’s stackable switches in the market can be stacked using several types of Ethernet ports including 10GBASE-T copper port, 10G SFP+ fiber port and 40G QSFP+ port as an uplink. Taking FS S5900-24S stackable managed switch as an example, it comes with 24 10GbE SFP+ ports, 1 console port and 1 Aux port. As shown in the figure below, S5900-24S supports true stack of up to 4 switches of the same model in a stack. Each 10G SFP+ port on one switch is used as an uplink port to connected to the SFP+ port on the other switch in this stacking system. This process is repeated until four models are linked together. And the first stackable switch is connected with the last one to complete the stacking topology. Every time you stack a switch in this process, certain configuration changes are applied across the whole stack. You can manage all these switches that are connected to the main switch from the console port, or make some changes to any of the switches in the stack.
Here we list some frequently asked questions about FS S5900-24S stackable switch in order to get a better idea about stacking multiple network switches and its advantages.
FS S5900-24S supports stacking but it doesn't support multi-link aggreation (MLAG). MLAG and stacking are two different concepts. MLAG is the ability of switches to appear as a single switch at layer 2, so that bundles of links in the form of MLAG can be diversely connected to each switch and appear as one. While in stacking, independent keep alive link between the switches.
Usually, there is a master switch controlling the operation of the entire stack. This master switch is called stack master which is either nominated by the user or selected automatically by the stack system. All configuration is generally done in the master switch, and are automatically propagated to other switches (which is called stack members). If the stack master fails, the stack members in the stack group usually take over as the master.
There is a single IP address for all the switches managed by the stack. This reduces the total number of IP addresses required and simply the management. Any configuration changes can be done by the stack master and those configuration changes are applied to individual stack member, automatically.
The stackable switch play as a pay-as-you-grow solution to achieve super high availability and increased capacity for network expansion. FS S5900-24S stackable managed switch is fully functional. It can not only operate as standalone but can also be used together in a stack. As the core of network that serves business-critical data and applications, the FS S5900-24S provides the performance and resilience your business needs while reducing cost and complexity. With high performance business forwarding capacity and rich L2/L3/MPLS features, it is absolutely a perfect and affordable option for your network expansion.Related Articles: User Guide for FS S3800-24T4S 24-Port Stackable Managed Switch Switch Stacking vs. Trunking vs. Uplink: Which Is Best to Connect Switches? MLAG vs. Stacking: What Is Your Option?