C . I . E

A stackable switch is a network switch that is fully functional operating standalone but which can also be set up to operate together with one or more other network switches , with this group of switches showing the characteristics of a single switch but having the port capacity of the sum of the combined switches. From there it comes the term “stack”.
With stacking technology you can create one logical device by combining several devices with increased number of ports.

When the switches are united in a stack, they won’t have a IP address for the administration of each units, but the devices will share a single IP address for the remote administration of the stack as a whole.

Stacking brings to the network some interesting advantages:

  • First of all, a stack simplify network administration; as we’ve already said, all the switches which are in stack are sharing the same IP address, with single management interface for the administrator and this scenario simplifies the setup and operation of the network.
  • Staking increases the scalability of the network, that can grow with the addition of units when needed.
  • Flexibility is ensured, because the network infrastructure could be re-designed; units that in the past were combined in stack in a single site, in the future can be run in different locations as independent switches.
  • In some architecture, stack ensures a resilient connections because, even if  one unit in the stack will fail, active connection will be spread across multiple units and data will continue to flow through other devices that remain functional.

Features associated with stackable switches can include:

  • Single IP address for multiple units
  • Single management view for multiple interfaces
  • Stacking resiliency, which means that multiple switches can have ways to bypass a “down” switch, allowing the stack to be functional even with a failed or removed unit.
  • Dedicated stacking bandwidth; some switches have built-in ports dedicated for stacking, which can preserve other ports for data network connections and can avoid the possible expense an additional module to add stacking functionality.

Stacking could have  linear or ring framework.
Linear stacking can combine several devices in a series with an uplink to PE by link aggregation. The number of ports increases, uplinks are redundancy protected, and the administrator can manage all the device by master of the stacking group.
The disadvantage of this architecture is that when the stacking line is disconnected, the stacking group will split.

The second framework options, the ring staking, it combines several devices in a ring with an uplink to PE by link aggregation, bringing benefits similar to linear stacking but, differently from the first scenario, ring stacking group will continue to work even if the line is broken.

Raisecom ISCOM3000G series, Layer 3 Gigabit Ethernet switches with intelligent stacking capabilities, has been developed for clients who are looking for L3 solutions for project with high development rate.
Stackable switches offer higher usable port counts, easier configuration growth and better inter-switch bandwidth and manageability.

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