Introduction to Stacking

When stacking switches, the stack operates as if it were a single switch with a single IP address and a single point of authentication. One switch – called the primary switch – is responsible for running network protocols and managing the stack. The primary runs Switch Engine software and maintains all the software tables for all the switches in the stack.

All switches in the stack, including the primary switch, are called nodes. Switches Connected to Form a Stack shows four nodes in a stack, connected to each other by SummitStack cables.

All connections between stack ports must be directly between switches. A stacking connection cannot pass through a third device, for example a Virtual Port Extender or an LRM/MACsec Adapter.

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Switches Connected to Form a Stack

Using the SummitStack feature—part of the Switch Engine Edge license—a stack can combine switches from different series, provided that every switch in the stack:

See for information about which switch series can be combined to form a stack.

The following topics introduce you to the basic principles of stacking and provide recommendations for creating stacks.

More information to answer your questions about stacking and help you plan your configuration is available on the Extreme Networks GTAC Knowledge Base.