What Is Switch Stacking? How to Stack Switches Using Stackable Switch?
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How to Stack FS 3800 Series Ethernet Switches?

Posted on by FS.COM

Serving as the building block of network expansion, Gigabit Ethernet switches are usually adopted at the edge of data center or as leaf switches in the simplified “leaf-spine” fabric. Stackable gigabit switch is now well established as a stable, standards-based connectivity technology to efficiently handle and manage bandwidth-hungry applications. With huge cost-per-port reduction, performance gains and energy efficiencies, stackable Ethernet switch is gaining in much popularity. So what is switch stacking and how to stack Ethernet switches properly and unleash their full potential? We will explain it in details.

Ethernet switch stacking

What Is Switch Stacking and How to Stack Ethernet Switches?

Switch stacking allows you to manage multiple switches as a single entity to enhance port capacity. It only happens between switches in the same product family of the same vendor. By stacking, once connecting to the main switch, you can make changes to any of the switches in the stack. Generally, a stackable Gigabit switch has a dedicated uplink ports at the front or a stacking port in the backplane. Staking switch makes it very convenient and easy to configure multiple switches from a single console – function as a single entity, you manage one device rather than each stack member, and with only one IP address. Switch stacking greatly simplifies network management, which fits perfectly for limited space deployment where flexibility trumps availability. Here is a step-by-step guide for FS 3800 series switch stacking.

FS S3800 Stackable Managed Switches Unraveling

Stackable switch can be used either in networking closets or as standalone switch, presenting an attractive option for those who need flexibility in their physical network. Being a pay-as-you-grow solution, stackable switch gives you the resilience to operate them as a part of a stack group today, or to operate them as individual switches tomorrow, providing a less expensive to chassis based higher-end switches. As shown in the video, FS offers two options for Gigabit stackable managed switch: S3800-24T4S and S3800-24F4S. With some advanced feature sets, these stackable switches give you greater control over network traffic.

S3800-24T4S Stackable Managed Switch

S3800-24T4S stackable managed switch is equipped with 24 x 10/100/1000BASE-T ports and 4 x 10GbE SFP+ uplink ports. The flexible port combination allows it to be connected directly to a storage server or to a 10G SFP+ switch with the uplink port. Or you can opt to use these 10G SFP+ ports for stacking four S3800-24T4S together via SFP+ transceivers (with fiber patch cable ) or DAC cables. Equipped with two build-in cooling fan and single/dual power option, this stackable switch greatly relieves cooling issues in compact environment. Network monitor is also made easier with network management via CLI command and web user interface.

S3800-24T4S stackable managed switch

S3800-24F4S Stackable Managed Switch

S3800-24F4S managed stackable switch is designed with 20 x 10/100/1000BASE SFP ports, 4 x 1G RJ45/SFP combo ports and 4 x 10G SFP+ uplink ports. These 4 SFP+ ports are used as stacking ports, supporting four S3800-24F4S switches to be stacked together via SFP+ transceivers (with fiber patch cable) and DAC cables. The three built-in fans and reserved vents facilitate air flow and system cooling. This stackable Gigabit switch has both single and dual power option that can be selected according to your need. As a fully managed switch, it boosts some advanced functions like VLAN, DDoS, DHCP, QoS, etc, and can be managed via both CLI command and web user interface.

S3800-24F4S stackable managed switch

S3800-24T4S vs. S3800-24F4S: Which Stackable Ethernet Switch to Choose?

These are very similar switches if only judge by their functions: both are enterprise-level Layer2+ stackable managed switches, and delivers switching capacity up to 128Gbps. And both shares some advanced feature sets for network management. However, they are slightly different in port configuration: 24T4S is a copper Ethernet switch that operating on network cables like cat5e/6/6a patch cables, which is capable of transferring data to 100m. 24F4S has extra copper/fiber combo ports, supporting a mix of copper and fiber cabling. While working with fiber patch cable, the transmission distance can reach up to 80km.

As you can tell, the S3800-24T4S and 24F4S stackable switches both have two variations: single power supply and dual power supply. Dual power feeds help prevent unexpected downtime/power outage. It provides redundant power supplies that increase availability as it can continue to operate when a single power supply stops working. Dual power Ethernet switch is ideal for mission-critical application and gets you an extra protection against power block-out.

Q&A of S3800 Stackable Managed Ethernet Switches

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the S3800 series stackable managed switches, which will help to get a more comprehensive understanding of their applications and functions.

For S3800-24T4S Stackable Managed Switch

1. Does the S3800-24T4S managed switch support IPv6?

IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) is ready to replace IPv4 to become the backbone of the Internet, with more network efficiency and security. S3800-24T4S stackable switch supports IPv6 address configuration and file downloading. IPv6 addressing brings an exponentially more address to be assigned to your devices, providing necessary support for network upgrade and growth.

2. Is it possible to have also dual power with 1 AC e 1 DC (48V) power supply in?

In direct current (DC), the electric charge (current) only flows in one direction. Electric charge in alternating current (AC) changes direction periodically. The voltage in AC circuits also periodically reverses because the current changes direction. We can provide one AC and one DC dual power supply. Kindly contact our sales rep to get a quote if you happen to need it.

For S3800-24F4S Stackable Managed Switch

1. Does the switch support DHCP Option 82 and DHCP snoofing?

S3800-24F4S Gigabit Ethernet switch do support DHCP snoofing but not DHCP option 82. With DHCP snooping, the devices that receive and redirect DHCP packets are able to analyze and change these data packets, and to filter them by certain criteria. DHCP snoofing performs two main tasks: 1) keeping a record of which IP addresses are currently allocated to hosts downstream of the ports on the switch; 2) deciding which packets are candidates for inserting DHCP Option 82 information and filtering out packets that are deemed to be invalid DHCP packets.

2. On the S3800-24F4S switch, can the 4 SFP+ ports be used to connect directly to a storage server with SFP+ NIC?

Yes, the 4 SFP+ ports on S3800-24F4S can be used to connect directly to a storage server with SFP+NIC. As long as your server supports standard SFP+ ports, it’ll work just fine. Only to make sure that the transceivers on the switch side and NIC side are of the same type.

3. What are the initial commands to set an IP address for the switch? The table is missing from the getting started document.

The command to set the IP address is ‘interface vlan 1’ and ‘ip address x.x.x.x x.x.x.x’. This managed Ethernet switch has a command line interface (CLI) that can be accessed via Telnet. As you’ve known the hostname or IP address of the switch, you can make a Telnet connection to remotely manage your switch: use the command telnet then login with the password to initiate authentication, and to exist the session when finished. You’re also offered with a Web interface for management through a Web browser.

Conclusion

Stackable Ethernet switch has made a great leap forward to satisfy the demand for increased network performance, reliability and scalability. And the need for which spans all markets and business types. A little knowledge of switch stacking would help to better unleash your network potential. Equipped with higher level of hardware and software reliability design, FS.COM S3800 series stackable switches are unique in delivering the scalability, reliability, and performance in an affordable and easy-to-manage package. For more information, contact us via sales@fs.com.

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