Some network switches have the ability to be connected to other switches and operate
together as a single unit. These configurations are called "stacks", and are useful for quickly increasing the
capacity of a network.
The objective of this document is to explain the basics of stacking and the benefits it
can bring to a network.
Applicable Devices | Firmware Version
SG350X | 184.108.40.206
SG350XG | 220.127.116.11
SG550X | 18.104.22.168
SF550X | 22.214.171.124
SX550X | 126.96.36.199
CBS350-2X | 10.0.1.0
CBS350-4X | 10.0.1.0
A stack is a network solution composed of two or more stackable switches.
Switches that are part of a stack behave as one single device. As a result, a stacking solution shows the
characteristics and functionality of a single switch, while having an increased number of ports.
For a full length explanation of stacking, please view the video below:
Stacking allows users to expand their network capacity without the hassle of managing
Stackable switches can be added or removed from a stack as needed without affecting the
overall performance of the stack. Depending on its topology, a stack can continue to transfer data even if a
link or unit within the stack fails. This makes stacking an effective, flexible, and scalable solution to expand
All Cisco Business stacks have a primary, or commander. The primary is a
switch in the stack that handles the configuration for the entire stack. When you want to manage your stack, the
primary unit is the device that you connect to in order to make changes. The primary also handles other important
stack functions, such as detecting when switches enter or leave the stack, and upgrading outdated switches.
A backup is a switch that will become the new primary if the original primary goes
offline. In this way, a backup helps maintain the resiliency of the stack.
A subordinate is a stackable switch that operates as an additional unit
within the stack.
A stack port is a port on the switch that is used to communicate with other
switches in the stack. Depending on the model, a switch can have either preconfigured or user-defined stack
After reading this document, you've hopefully gained a better understanding of what
stacking is and how it can benefit your network. If you would like a walkthrough of the stacking process, view
the related video below.