For which two reasons might you choose chassis aggregation instead of stacking switches?

A. to allow hot-swapping modules
B. to increase the number of devices in use
C. to avoid the use of a centralized configuration manager
D. to avoid relying solely on Ethemet interfaces
E. to increase the maximum port count
Which 2 options could we choose?

Best Answer

  • kbogartkbogart mod
    Accepted Answer

    Unfortunately this is a poorly-worded question because most of those answers could apply to both technologies. Chassis aggregation and Switch Stacking essentially mean the same thing...taking two or more switches and (by using special cabling or protocols) have them managed and appear to the outside world as a single device.

    The term "Chassis Aggregation" typically refers to protocols that bundle two, higher-end switches together into a single, virtual switch. Using this term, we typically think of the intelligence of a single switch (i.e. the Supervisor engine) controlling most-if-not-all of the functionality of both, physical switches. For example, when thinking about Spanning-Tree...when using Chassis Aggregation...a single Supervisor module would control all of the Spanning-Tree protocol running in both switches that were bundled together.

    Switch stacking typically refers to bundling multiple lower-end switches into appearing a single, virtual switch to the outside world. In this technology, while one Master switch will control the configuration and administration of the stack, each individual switch will still retain some autonomy when it comes to things like Spanning-Tree and the building of MAC tables.

    All that taken into consideration, I suppose I would have to select answers, "A" and "D" above because:

    Answer-A: Chassis aggregation refers to a technology implemented on modular switches (like Catalyst 6500 and 4500s). The modules can be hot-swapped on these switches. Switch Stacking refers to a virtualization technology done on fixed-configuration switches so "hot swapping" wouldn't apply because there are no modules/linecards to swap.

    Answer-D: Higher-end switches like the Cat6500s and Cat4500s support many types of linecards/modules other than Ethernet. So technically when one is using Chassis Aggregation it is assumed you are doing so on a chassis that can support WiFi controllers, IPS/IDS cards, Firewall cards, etc. Fixed-configuration switches (that support Switch Stacking) only support Ethernet interfaces.

    Hope that helped!

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