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To stackwise or not to stackwise...that is the question!

Answered Question
Nov 10th, 2011
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Hi yall!


I just finished configuring two 3750 switches that will be living in our server rack. These switches will be housing about 10 VLANs propagating via VTP v3. I have two trunks between these two switches that are setup in a port-channel and everything and routing great. Also, all of my VLAN interfaces are running HSRP for redundancy between the switches.


With this configuration, would I gain anything by hooking up the stackwise cables? From my reading, it sounds like it helps with configuring a stack as one switch but since I am configuring them individually does this even matter?


The last time I had worked on Cisco gear, there were no stackwise cables so I don't want to hook them up and break my configurations. Conversely though, I don't want to miss out on any functionality if there is some cool stuff I am unaware of.


Thanks in advance for the helpful responses.

Correct Answer by Reza Sharifi about 5 years 9 months ago

James,


When switches are stacked (maximum 9) they are logically one switch, you only configure the master and the master sync the config to all the members. The other benefit of stacking in the server farm would be, if you are connecting your server using 2 NICs to two different switches that are stacked.  So, if one switch fails the second switch will take over without any down time.  In your case, since everything is working and you have HSRP running, I don't see a whole a lot of benefits in changing your config.


HTH

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Correct Answer
Reza Sharifi Thu, 11/10/2011 - 14:07
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James,


When switches are stacked (maximum 9) they are logically one switch, you only configure the master and the master sync the config to all the members. The other benefit of stacking in the server farm would be, if you are connecting your server using 2 NICs to two different switches that are stacked.  So, if one switch fails the second switch will take over without any down time.  In your case, since everything is working and you have HSRP running, I don't see a whole a lot of benefits in changing your config.


HTH

Joseph W. Doherty Thu, 11/10/2011 - 17:25
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Additional benefits of using Stackwise (or Stackwise+), besides what Reza already described: more bandwidth between your switches (either dual 8 or 16 Gbps duplex links), frees normal ports, don't have to concern yourself with port channeling load imbalance, optimal link usage (vs. HSRP) and supports multiple chassis ethernetchannels.

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