Switch stacking is a technology that connects multiple physical switches into a single logical switch. Network administrators can add or remove switches to increase or decrease port count without getting a multi-card chassis switch and dealing with the configuration of multiple switches. The network can evolve over a period with a pay as you grow model and therefore benefit from both the switch vendors and their customers.
Stacking allows switches to be deployed initially with lower port density and with increasing demand for services allows more switches to be added to the network element without disturbing the existing network. The flexible growth model combined with resiliency, simpler management model and scalability has led to stacking becoming the de-facto standard in access and aggregation switches. Therefore, all silicon vendors and software vendors support stacking in the frameworks. In summary, stacking reduces the cost of ownership, supports an agile model for switch deployment, making it an ideal option for the ever growing enterprise and campus networks.
In this white paper, we will discuss the objectives, topologies, operations and maintenance of stacked switches, and also look at some specific vendor implementations to compare them.