A Cisco FlexStack is a stacking solution for multipe physical switches that will act as a single unit, as in a logical switch. FlexStack is a specialized technology for the Cisco Catalyst 2960-S series of fixed Ethernet switches. These Cisco switches can use the FlexStack hardware and protocol. Each FlexStack member supports two connections. Using this switch stacking method, as many as four Catalyst 2960 switches can be stacked together to create one logical switch. The Cisco switches transfer Ethernet packets to their destinations across the FlexStack links. Two 2960-S members on one connection create a full duplex 10Gbps Ethernet connecton. This means each member can simultaneously send and receive transmissions over each of their two stack links. So one member of this FlexStack essentially has 20Gbps of available bandwidth.

Stack of Switches Create A Logical Switch

A logical switch is a term used to describe a stack of switches. Stacking Ethernet switches means there is network redundancy and fewer device management demands. The FlexStack hardware consists of a module and cables. A module will support two FlexStack ports after insertion into the Catalyst switch. The cables are connected to the module to deliver data path redundancy for each FlexStack member. The protocol ensures single switch behavior of the physical switch stack, and a master switch manages member switches.

FlexStack Switch-Stacking Benefits

Within enterprise and branch office networks, FlexStack switch-stacking benefits include management ease. FlexStack’s logical switch, consisting of multiple physical switches, is managed through one IP address. Any VLAN or Ethernet interface that’s connected to one of the FlexStack switch members can be managed via the logical switch. FlexStack members are connected through stacking cables. Switch member removals and additions are simplified. Comms Express stocks the hardware for this switch-stacking solution.

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