C2960X-STACK vs. C2960X-FIBER-STK vs. C2960X-HYBRID-STK

Catalyst 2960X Stacking is a so popular issue for Cisco users. How much do you know the key stacking modules for Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series? How many types of stacking modules can be used on 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR? In the following part we will share the main comparison and features of three 2960-X/Catalyst 2960-XR stacking modules.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series Switches offer three types of stacking modules:

  1. C2960X-STACK: Cisco Catalyst 2960-X FlexStack-Plus Stack Module
  2. C2960X-FIBER-STK (NEW): Catalyst 2960-X FlexStack-Extended Stack Module
  3. C2960X-HYBRID-STK (NEW): FlexStack-Extended Hybrid Module

Read the detailed features of stacking modules: C2960X-STACK, C2960X-FIBER-STK and C2960X-HYBRID-STK

Stack Module Slot Location

  1. FlexStack-Plus Module (C2960X-STACK):

The FlexStack-Plus module allows stacking over copper and provides high bandwidth of up to 80 Gbps over short distances (up to 3 m [10 ft]). The module supports stacking cable of 0.5 m, 1 m, or 3 m in length (1.5 ft, 3 ft, or 10 ft).

  • CAB-STK-E-0.5M= (0.5-m [1.5-ft] cable)
  • CAB-STK-E-1M= (1-m [3-ft] cable)
  • CAB-STK-E-3M= (3-m [10-ft] cable)

FlexStack-Plus Module

1.1 Stacking Topologies with FlexStack-Plus Modules

Up to eight Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches in a single wiring closet can be stacked in a ring topology with FlexStack-Plus modules and cables. The ring topology helps ensure redundancy for stacking.

Short Range High Bandwidth Stacking

Get the Best Price for C2960X-STACK

  1. Cisco FlexStack-Extended Fiber Module (C2960X-FIBER-STK):

The module allows stacking over SFP+ ports and provides stacking bandwidth of up to 40 Gpbs over longer distance. It can be used to stack switches across wiring closets on different floors of a building or across different buildings in a campus.

The FlexStack-Extended Fiber module has two SFP+ ports. The SFP+ transceivers supported on these ports are listed in the compatibility matrix. Chooses appropriate SFP+ transreceivers based on the distance required between switches.

Learn more: The Latest Updated: SFP Modules for Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series

FlexStack-Extended Fiber Module

2.1 Stacking Topologies with FlexStack-Extended Fiber Modules

Individual Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches spread across multiple wiring closets on different floors of a building or in different buildings of a campus can be stacked with the FlexStack-Extended fiber modules. Up to eight switches can be stacked together. Stacking bandwidth is 40 Gbps.

Stacking across Multiple Floors of a Building

Stacking across Multiple Floors and Multiple Buildings in a Campus

  1. FlexStack-Extended Hybrid Module (C2960X-HYBRID-STK):

The FlexStack-Extended hybrid module has one SFP+ port and one copper FlexStack-Plus port.

The fiber port allows you to extend stacking over long distances. The SFP+ transceivers supported on these ports are listed in the compatibility matrix. Choose appropriate SFP+ transceivers based on the distance between switches.

The copper FlexStack-Plus port allows the switch to stack with FlexStack-Plus stacks. This port supports the copper FlexStack-Plus cable:

  • CAB-STK-E-0.5M= (0.5-m [1.5-ft] cable)
  • CAB-STK-E-1M= (1-m [3-ft] cable)
  • CAB-STK-E-3M= (3-m [10-ft] cable)

FlexStack-Extended Hybrid Module

3.1 Stacking Topologies with Flexstack-Extended Hybrid Modules

The FlexStack-Extended hybrid module allows you to combine an existing stack of switches and new switches spread across multiple wiring closets on different floors of a building or across multiple buildings of a campus.

The copper FlexStack-Plus port on the FlexStack-Extended hybrid module should be connected to the FlexStack-Plus port on the C2960X STACK module.

The fiber port on the FlexStack-Extended hybrid module can then be used to connect to switches over long distances.

Hybrid Stack of FlexStack-Plus and FlexStack-Extended Modules

Learn more: FlexStack vs. FlexStack-Plus
Comparison of FlexStack-Plus and FlexStack-Extended Modules

Table1 presents a comparison of the FlexStack-Plus and FlexStack-Extended modules.

Table1. Comparison of FlexStack-Plus and FlexStack-Extended modules

 
FlexStack-Plus module
FlexStack-Extended fiber module
FlexStack-Extended hybrid module
Model C2960X‑STACK C2960X-FIBER-STK (NEW) C2960X-HYBRID-STK (NEW)
Stack cables CAB-STK-E-0.5M /

CAB-STK-E-1M /

CAB-STK-E-3M

More Cisco Serial Cables Options
Fiber cable based on SFP+ transceiver chosen Fiber cable based on SFP+ transceiver chosen

and

CAB-STK-E-0.5M /

CAB-STK-E-1M /

CAB-STK-E-3M

Distance between stack switches Short range limited to
3 m (10 ft)
Fiber port ensures long-range connectivity (distance limit based on SFP+ transceiver and fiber used) 1 fiber port ensures long-range connectivity (distance limit based on SFP+ transceiver and fiber used)

and

short range limited to
3 m (10 ft)

Stack ports 2x 40 Gbps 2x 10 Gbps fiber 1x 40 Gbps and
1x 10 Gbps
Number of switches in stack 8 8 8
Stacking bandwidth 80 Gbps 40 Gbps 40 Gbps
Cisco IOS Software release required 15.2(6)E or later 15.2(6)E or later
Compatible with 2960-S or 2960-S LAN Base Yes No No
  • If there is an existing stack of Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches, the hybrid FlexStack-Extended module allows you to add new switches across the wiring closet to the same stack.
  • FlexStack-Extended modules (fiber and hybrid) are supported beginning with Cisco IOS Software Release 15.2(6)E. Refer to Tables 25 and 26 below.
Table25. Cisco Catalyst 2960-X product IDs for Cisco DNA Essentials licenses
Ports Product ID Description
24 C2960X-DNA-E-24= C2960X DNA Essentials, 24-port term licenses
C2960X-DNA-E-24-3Y C2960X DNA Essentials, 24-port, 3-year term licenses
C2960X-DNA-E-24-5Y C2960X DNA Essentials, 24-port, 5-year term licenses
48 C2960X-DNA-E-48= C2960X DNA Essentials, 48-port term licenses
C2960X-DNA-E-48-3Y C2960X DNA Essentials, 48-port, 3-year term licenses
C2960X-DNA-E-48-5Y C2960X DNA Essentials, 48-port, 5-year term licenses
Table26. Cisco Catalyst 2960-XR product IDs for Cisco DNA Essentials licenses
Ports Product ID Description
24 C2960XR-DNA-E-24= C2960XR DNA Essentials, 24-port term licenses
C2960XR-DNA-E-24-3 C2960XR DNA Essentials, 24-port, 3-year term licenses
C2960XR-DNA-E-24-5 C2960XR DNA Essentials, 24-port, 5-year term licenses
48 C2960XR-DNA-E-48= C2960XR DNA Essentials, 48-port term licenses
C2960XR-DNA-E-48-3 C2960XR DNA Essentials, 48-port, 3-year term licenses
C2960XR-DNA-E-48-5 C2960XR DNA Essentials, 48-port, 5-year term licenses

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