I'm quite new in Cisco and I need to understand fundamentals differences between Gigastack and Uplink when making L2 access stack on a hierachical network. I'm aware of duplex consideration in Gigastack daisy-chained solutions, but what's more ?
If you're using a larger stack, the gigastack will permit connectivity without giving up ports.
One of the new wrinkles to gigastack is that it can determine the shortest path to the right switch/port.
To accomplish the same thing using switch ports , you'd need multiple connections from/to each switch in the stack ... which could eat a lot of ports.
I believe it also is designed such that using the gigastack, you manage the stack through a master switch (as if it were a chassis-based switch instead of a stack), where using ports keeps each switch switch as a discreet unit.
the GigaStack technology is actually somewhat outdated, it is/was used on Catalyst 3550/2950G/3500XL/2912MF XL/2924M XL switches that had only 100MB ports, in order to provide Gigabit links between the stack members. If you work with newer switches, SFP uplinks are commonly used.
As you said, GigaStack only works in half-duplex in a daisy-chain solution; there is not really another difference with (SFP) uplinks.
So, the solution you can implement depends on the hardware you have deployed. The e.g. 3560 series switches does not support GigaStack.
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