FlexStack vs. Virtual Stacking

Differences between FlexStack and virtual stacking

Cisco Catalyst 2960 users may be familiar with FlexStack tech on Cisco Catalyst 2960-X/XR Series and the virtual stacking tech on the 2960-L. (The Cisco Catalyst 2960 family of switches, namely, the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X, 2960-XR, and 2960-L Series Switches, provides flexible options to tackle the challenge of managing multiple devices spread over a large campus.)

Cisco FlexStack extended and FlexStack plus technology allows stacked installation of Cisco Catalyst 2960-X or 2960-XR Series Switches in the same wiring closet, across wiring closets on different floors of a building, or across different buildings in a campus, with a single point of management that reduces IT management overhead.

The virtual stacking technology on the Cisco Catalyst 2960-L aims at addressing this issue without having to invest in any additional networking gear by converging management and configuration of up to eight Cisco Catalyst 2960-L switches into a single entity.

Note: For more details about different stacking modules, behavior, and configuration. Refer to the configuration guide.

It is important to know how virtual stacking on Cisco Catalyst 2960-L switches differs from that on FlexStack. With virtual stacking, all members share a unified management plane, which can be used to configure and manage the switch. However, each member retains its own control and data plane and has its own CPU and configuration file associated with the switch.

With FlexStack, the switches share not only a unified management plane, but also a control plane and data plane with each other, and the CPU and configuration file of the stack master is used by the stack. Figure1 outlines the primary differences between virtual stacking on the Cisco Catalyst 2960-L and FlexStack on the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series.

Figure1. Primary differences between FlexStack and virtual stack
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