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Cisco Stacking Switches

What's the Cisco stacking switches, here you will have a good understand.


Flexstack on the Catalyst 2960-S



New Stacking Mechanism

  • Stack Bandwidth –20 Gbps
  • Up to 4 members in a stack
  • Not a ring Architecture –Hop by Hop
  • Local switching support for unicast packets
  • All members of the stack see the unknown Unicast, Broadcast, and Multicast packets

FlexStack Vs StackWise Plus


Stack Functions and Operations

Stack master election criteria

1)      The stack (or switch) whose master has the higher user configurable mastership priority 1-15

2)      The stack (or switch) whose master is not using the default configuration

3)      The stack (or switch) whose master has the higher software priority

Cryptographic IP Services

Cryptographic IP Base

Cryptographic LAN Base

4)      The stack (or switch) whose master has the longest uptime

5)      The switch or stack whose master has the lowest MAC address


Switch Priority for Master Role

Default is 1, don’t participate is 0switch-priority


When does the Stack Master Change

A stack master can change if:

  • The stack master fails or reboots
  • The stack master is removed from the switch stack
  • The stack master is power cycled or powered off
  • There is a Stack Merge

--Stack merge occurs when a new switch is powered up before being connected to the stack cables, or when two cables are disconnected from the stack


Functions of the Stack Master

The stack master:


  • Controls all centralized functions
  • Builds and propagates the L3 FIB
  • Manages and propagates the configuration file to the stack
  • Controls the console
  • Controls the CDP neighbor table
  • Controls the VLAN database
  • Upgrades the stack


Centralized and Distributed Functions

  • Centralized functions

Those that are reside on the master node

Those that are forwarded to the master node

Those that are controlled or synchronized by the master node

Ex: CDP, VLAN Database mgmt, Routing



  • Distributed functions

Those that are performed locally by each node

These functions are synchronized or updated between the nodes

Ex: MAC address management, STP


Stack Configuration Management




-Copies of the startup and running config files are kept on all members in the stack

-The current running-config is synched from the master to all members

-On a switchover, the new master re-applies the running-config so that all switches are in sync


‒Keeps a copy of startup and running config at all times

‒On bootup waits for config file from master and parses it


It refers from


 More related:

How to upgrade a Cisco stack for 2960

Stacking – WS-C3750G-24TS and X-series

How to Resolve Stack Mismatch of Cisco Switch

Cisco Stacking Switches—StackWise and StackWise Plus

The command line operation modes and functions of Cisco switches

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