Cisco Catalyst 2960-X vs. 2960-XR Series Switches

In the last article, we showed that why choose Cisco 2960-X series. Yes, there are enough reasons to persuade you to buy Cisco 2960-X series.

The Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR is the best replacement for the 2960-S series (end-of-life and end-of-sale now). 2960-X Series Switches are the greenest Cisco Catalyst access switches ever. 

They are scalable, smart, simple, and secure and at the same time provide investment protection. These switches also provide Layer 3 routing capability, application-aware intelligence, and double the scale.

The Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series Switches, like the 2960-S Series, are line-rate nonblocking switches with the following added features:

  • Dual-core CPU at 600 MHz
  • Cisco FlexStack-Plus stacking
  • ◦  80 Gbps bandwidth
  • ◦  8-member stack
  • Dual-FRU power supply with integrated fan (2960-XR only)
  • NetFlow-Lite on all downlink and uplink ports
  • Switch Hibernation mode integrated with Cisco EnergyWise
  • Energy-Efficient Ethernet (EEE) downlink ports
  • Signed Cisco IOS Software images
  • Layer 3 features with IP Lite feature set (2960-XR only)
  • 24 port fan less model with 2 SFP and 210/100/1000BT uplinks

The Cisco Catalyst 2960-XR switch models have the following additional capabilities in addition to the features in the 2960-X models:

  1. Dual-FRU power supply with integrated fan
  2. Layer 3 features with IP Lite feature set
  3. Configurable 8 queues per port (standalone)
  4. 48 Ether channel groups

The Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series come with a common universal image and supports LAN Lite, LAN Base, and IP Lite feature sets.

Feature Sets Supported in 2960-X Series

Platform IP Lite

(Layer 3)

LAN Base

(Layer 2)

LAN Lite

(Basic Layer 2)

2960-XR Yes No No
2960-X No Yes Yes

The differences between the three Cisco IOS Software feature sets are:

  • LAN Lite feature set has entry-level Layer 2 features and is targeted at midmarket deployments.
  • LAN Base feature set comes with advanced Layer 2 features and is typically targeted at enterprise customers.
  • IP Lite feature set comes with enterprise access Layer 3 features and is typically targeted at enterprise customers.

The Difference between IP Lite, LAN Base, and LAN Lite Switches for the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series front panel sticker has the feature set name. From the rear of the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series Switch, the LAN Lite models do not support stacking. The left side will not have a location for the FlexStack-Plus module to be inserted.

From the Cisco IOS Software command line, there are two ways to tell which software image the switch has.

● The last letter in the product ID. If the last letter is “-L,” it’s LAN Base. If it’s “-LL,” it’s LAN Lite. If it’s “-I,” it’s IP Lite.

For example:

● The output from the “show license” Cisco IOS Software command-line interface (CLI) command. If LAN Base is being used, that will be the active license. If it’s LAN Lite, that will be the active license.

In the following example output, LAN Base is the active license.

C2960-X_Switch# show license

Index 1 Feature: lanlite

Period left: 0 minute 0 second

Index 2 Feature: lanbase

Period left: Lifetime

License Type: Permanent

License State: Active, In Use

License Priority: Medium

License Count: Non-Counted

The Cisco Catalyst 2960-X switches support LAN Base and LAN Lite software feature sets.

Following are the notable hardware components present only in LAN Base switches:

  • Ease of management with Cisco FlexStack-Plus
  • Power over Ethernet/Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE/PoE+) capabilities
  • Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus (SFP+) support

Q. Do I need a software license for the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series Switches?

A. No. Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series Switches use the Universal image, but no license is required. The feature set is bound to the hardware model type and cannot be changed. For convenience, a single software image is used for all Cisco Catalyst 2960-X switches, regardless of whether they are IP Lite, LAN Base, or LAN Lite models.

Q. Can a Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series Switch feature set license be upgraded?

A. No. The feature set is bound to the hardware model. To get the features and capabilities of IP Lite, you must purchase an IP Lite switch.

 

Comparison of Cisco Catalyst 2960 Switches

Feature 2960-XR 2960-X 2960-S 2960
CPU Dual core at 600 MHz Dual core at 600 MHz Single core Single core
Stacking FlexStack-Plus FlexStack-Plus FlexStack No
Stack bandwidth 80 Gbps 80 Gbps 40 Gbps
Stack members 8 8 4
Power supply Dual FRU Fixed Fixed Fixed
Redundant power supply (RPS) Yes No No No
PoE+ 30W/port Yes Yes Yes No
Max PoE budget 740W 740W 740W
External RPS No*** Yes Yes No
SFP+ uplinks Yes Yes Yes No
Uplinks 2 SFP+/4 SFP 2 SFP+/4 SFP 2 SFP+/4 SFP 2 SFP
Management options Console RJ45, USB console, and out of band Ethernet Console RJ45, USB console, and out of band Ethernet Console RJ45, USB console, and out of band Ethernet Console RJ45
Flash 256 MB 128 MB 64 MB 32 MB
DRAM 512 MB 512 MB 256 MB 64 MB
Active VLANs 1K 1K 255 64
EtherChannel groups 48 24 6 6
Egress buffers 4 MB 4 MB 2 MB 2 MB
Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN) sessions 4 4 2 2
Max MAC addresses 32K* 16K 8K 8K
IPv4 unicast routes 24K** 16 static 16 static 16 static
NetFlow-Lite Yes Yes No No
Hibernation Mode Yes Yes No No
EEE Yes Yes No No

* vlan sdm template

** ipv4 sdm template 

*** redundancy is provided by second power supply

 Comparison Between FlexStack and FlexStack-Plus

Platform Members Bandwidth Convergence
FlexStack 4 40 Gbps 1–2 sec
FlexStack-Plus 8 80 Gbps 100 msec

Cisco FlexStack-Plus is supported by the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series and allows the stacking of up to eight switches, with a throughput of 80 gigabits per second.

What is the Cisco FlexStack-Plus? Cisco FlexStack-Plus is a hot-swappable, modular stacking solution that provides a true stacking capability, with all switches acting as a single switching unit with a unified data plane, using a single IP address.

 

Q. What are the stackable models of the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series?

A. The LAN Base and IP Lite feature set models are stackable models in the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series. The LAN Lite feature set model is a standalone model.

Note: The fanless SKU (WS-C2960S-PSQ-L with Lan Base) does not support stacking

Q. Can LAN Base and IP Lite feature set models stack together in the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series?

A. No, LAN Base and IP Lite feature set models cannot be stacked together. LAN Base feature set models can stack with LAN Base feature set models only. Similarly, IP Lite feature set models can stack with IP Lite feature set models only.

Q. Can Cisco Catalyst 2960-X switches stack with Cisco Catalyst 2960-XR switches?

A. No. Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches can’t stack together since they don’t share common feature set model.

Q. What are the FlexStack-Plus high-availability features?

A. The following features enhance high availability and manageability across a stack:

● Cross-stack EtherChannel

● SPAN

● FlexLink technology

● Hitless voice calls

 

The FlexStack-Plus stacking is backward compatible with FlexStack to preserve customer investment. This allows mixed stacking of Cisco Catalyst 2960-S and Cisco Catalyst 2960-SF LAN Base series with 2960-X LAN Base series for investment protection.

FlexStack Combinations

Stack Combination Max Stack Bandwidth Stack Limit IOS License
2960-XR 80G 8 IP Lite
2960-X 80G 8 LAN Base
2960-S/SF 40G 4 LAN Base
Mixed Stack: 2960-X and 2960-S/SF 40G 4 LAN Base

Note: The stack is called a mixed stack if it has both the Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch and Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series Switches. The mixed stack features are limited to Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series features.

 

Q. Does mix stack require any configuration on Cisco Catalyst 2960-X switches?

A. Yes. The switch stack speed should be set to 40 using configure mode command “switch stack-speed 40” on Cisco Catalyst 2960-X switches to stack with Cisco Catalyst 2960-S switches. While forming a homogenous stack of Cisco Catalyst 2960-X revert back the stack speed to 80 using “no switch stack-speed 40”.

Q. Can Cisco Catalyst 2960-X switches and 2960-XR switches stack together?

A. No. Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches can’t be stacked together; even though they belong to the same 2960-X series they do not share same IOS License models.

Possible Mixed-Stack Combinations

Mixed-Stack Combination 2960-XR

IP Lite

2960-X

LAN Base

2960-S/SF LAN Base
2960-XR IP Lite Yes No No
2960-X LAN Base No Yes Yes
2960-S/SF LAN Base No Yes Yes

The LAN Base models can only form mixed stacks.

If Cisco Catalyst 2960-S is running the “default” SDM template, then Cisco Catalyst 2960-X must use the “default” template. If Cisco Catalyst 2960-S is running the “lanbase-routing” template, then Cisco Catalyst 2960-X must use the same.

 

Q. Can Cisco Catalyst 2960-S be the stack master in a mixed stack of 2960-S and 2960-X switches?

A. Yes. Cisco Catalyst 2960-S can be stack master in a mixed stack.

Q. In a mixed stack of Cisco Catalyst 2960-S and 2960-X, must all the switches be on the same Cisco IOS Software release?

A. Yes. All the switches in the stack, regardless of model, must be on the same Cisco IOS Software release. This includes the rebuild number. The minimum Cisco IOS Software release that will support both 2960-S and 2960-X is 15.0(2)EX.

Q. Can we use FlexStack stacking modules with Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series?

A. No. The form factors of FlexStack-Plus and FlexStack modules are different. The FlexStack stacking module cannot be used with the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series. Similarly, the FlexStack-Plus module cannot be used with the Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series.

More Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series FAQ you can read here http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/switches/catalyst-2960-x-series-switches/qa_c67-728348.html

Benefits of Migrating to Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Switches

Benefits of Migrating to Cisco 2960-X,2960-XR Series

Recently, some people have a topic of Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Switches, discussing their main features, Configuration, and Troubleshooting. If you want to attend this, you can read this page:

Webcast: Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Switches Overview, Configuration, and Troubleshooting

 

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series Configurations

Model 10/100/1000
Ethernet Ports
Uplinks Feature Set PoE+ Power FlexStack-Plus
Stacking
WS-C2960X-48FPD-L 48 2 SFP+ LAN Base 740W Optional
WS-C2960X-48LPD-L 48 2 SFP+ LAN Base 370W Optional
WS-C2960X-24PD-L 24 2 SFP+ LAN Base 370W Optional
WS-C2960X-48TD-L

48 2 SFP+ LAN Base Optional
WS-C2960X-24TD-L

24 2 SFP+ LAN Base Optional
WS-C2960X-48FPS-L 48 4 SFP LAN Base 740W Optional
WS-C2960X-48LPS-L 48 4 SFP LAN Base 370W Optional
WS-C2960X-24PS-L 24 4 SFP LAN Base 370W Optional
WS-C2960X-48TS-L 48 4 SFP LAN Base Optional
WS-C2960X-24TS-L 24 4 SFP LAN Base Optional
WS-C2960X-24PSQ-L

24 2 SFP and 2
1000BASE-T
LAN Base 92W
(8 ports)
No
WS-C2960X-48TS-LL 48 2 SFP LAN Lite No
WS-C2960X-24TS-LL 24 2 SFP LAN Lite No

Cisco Catalyst 2960-XR Switch Configurations

Model 10/100/1000
Ethernet Ports
Uplinks Feature Set PoE Power FlexStack-Plus
Stacking
WS-C2960XR-48FPD-I 48 2 SFP+ IP Lite 740W Optional
WS-C2960XR-48LPD-I 48 2 SFP+ IP Lite 370W Optional
WS-C2960XR-24PD-I 24 2 SFP+ IP Lite 370W Optional
WS-C2960XR-48TD-I 48 2 SFP+ IP Lite Optional
WS-C2960XR-24TD-I 24 2 SFP+ IP Lite Optional
WS-C2960XR-48FPS-I 48 4 SFP IP Lite 740W Optional
WS-C2960XR-48LPS-I 48 4 SFP IP Lite 370W Optional
WS-C2960XR-24PS-I 24 4 SFP IP Lite 370W Optional
WS-C2960XR-48TS-I

48 4 SFP IP Lite Optional
WS-C2960XR-24TS-I 24 4 SFP IP Lite Optional

Read the updates: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/switches/catalyst-2960-x-series-switches/models-comparison.html

 

More Related Cisco 2960-X/XR Topics

How to Install or Replace an AC Power Supply in a Cisco 2960-X Switch?

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR vs. Catalyst 3650 vs. Cisco 3850 Series

WS-C2960X-48TD-L & WS-C2960XR-48TD-I Tested, from Miercom

How to Upgrade the License from IP Base to IP Services on 3750-X Stack?

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