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Physical position of backup Cisco 3560 switch in relation to other produciton switches

We currently have three 3560 switches connected to each other using SPF interconnect cables. I have a backup switch ready in the event one of the three switches fails. I'd like to keep the backup switch configured and in the rack connected to the three switches. If a switch fails, do the interconnect cables have to be routed in the same way they're currently setup or can they be connected in any order. In other words, if I have the replacement switch in the rack at the bottom with the other three switches and the top switch fails, after loading the config of the top switch onto the replacement switch, can I keep the cables from the second switch connected to the third switch and run the interconnect cables from the failed switch, now switch 1, to the third switch, which is situated in the rack just above the replacement switch? 

Thanks in advance. 

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The stacking cables don't

The stacking cables don't need to be the same on the replacement switch.

However, I don't recommend cabling the replacement into the stack before it is needed: The replacement should have the same software version as the stack members and should be assigned the same switch number as the failed switch prior to booting in the stack.  That way you won't have to boot multiple times, wait for sw to auto-upgrade, and renumber the switch anyway. You can also rack the replacement as close as possible to the failed switch to make moving all the Ethernet cables easier.


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For 3560s, what SPF ports you use doesn't really matter.


If the backup will be a cold spare, you may need to worry about port configurations, before you connect it.


If the backup will be warm spare, again, you can interconnect the SPF ports however you like.  If, though, you create any L2 loops, you need something to break the loop, e.g. STP, FlexLink.


If you want intentional redundancy, the simplest configuration would be a ring, and assuming the backup is just a warm spare, a root switch defined with the other two non-backup switches connected to it (on the ring).  (The backup would connect to the two non-root switches.)


Besides a ring topology for redundancy, you might setup a dual star topology, or as you only have four switches, even a full mesh.

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