While it’s easier to manage one switch than many switches, a single switch may not give you all the ports you need. To solve this problem, stackable switches allow you to combine the individual switches into a single stack, which operates like a single switch. This provides an easy way to manage a large number of ports. InterVLAN routing and spanning tree protocol work with a switch stack in the same way they’d work with just one switch. Another big advantage to stacking switches is the failover capability they provide. For example, you can connect servers with multiple NICs to multiple switches in the stack. In that way, the server is still accessible even if one switch goes down.
Cisco’s technology for stacking switches is called StackWise (and StackWise Plus). You can read more about these technologies at www.cisco.com/go/stackwise.
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