Stacking Terms

List of Stacking Terms describes common terms used when stacking 220 series switches. The terms are listed in the recommended reading sequence.

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List of Stacking Terms

Term Description
Stackable switch or Unit A switch that is part of a stack or that can be added to a stack.
Stacking link A cable that connects a stacking port of one stackable switch to a stacking port of another stackable switch, plus the stacking ports themselves.
Stack A set of up to four 220 series switches connected by stacking links through their 10 GbE SPF+ ports. One of the switches controls the operation of the stack and is called the stack manager. All of the switches in the stack use stacking technology to behave and work together as a unified system. Layer 2 and Layer 3 protocols present the entire switch stack as a single entity to the network.
Stack topology A contiguously connected set of switches, or units, in a stack that are currently communicating with one another. The switches are arranged in a ring, with the last unit in the stack linking back to the first unit.
Role The function that each unit plays in the stack – either manager, standby, or stack member.
Stack manager The unit that is elected as the primary node in the stack. You can manage the entire stack through the stack manager. The stack manager runs all of the configured control protocols, for example RIP (Routing Information Protocol) and Spanning Tree.
Standby The unit that takes over the role of manager if the stack manager fails. When a failure occurs, all units in the stack detect the failure and the standby automatically takes over as manager. During the takeover, the stack continues to forward network traffic with minimal disruption.
Data ports The set of ports on a stackable switch that are available for connection to your data networks. Such ports can be members of a user-configured VLAN or trunk group. They can be used for Layer 2 and 3 forwarding of user data traffic, for mirroring, or other features you can configure. Data ports are different from stacking ports.
Failover A process for changing a standby unit to the stack manager.

Failover occurs automatically, when the stack manager fails, or it can be initiated manually (warm failover), using the initiate failover command. The other stack members continue to operate without interruption.

Warm failover A failover that is initiated manually, using the initiate failover command.