tec Tip Videos

Cisco 2960-X Features and Capabilities

Jim explains some features and capabilities of the Cisco 2960-X Series switch line, including port counts, PoE standards, software sets, stacking considerations, and more.


Hi folks, I'm Jim. I'm one of the engineers at CXtec and today I want to go over with you the 2960 switch line from Cisco.

Here you can see a picture of the front and the back of the switches. You'll notice that on the front there are 24-port and 48-port versions. On the back, I gave you that picture just so you can see what the stacking module looks like. Over to the right, the white connector there is for an external RPS. That's an option if necessary.

2960-X is a lot like the rest of the 2960 family. It's layer 2. It's managed so you can use SNMP to deal with it. One of the things that's good about it is that all the copper ports on it are gigabits, so no more 10/100 on them. They're all 10/100/1000 and basically only two flavors: 24-ports and 48-ports. Some of the models have the ability to do Power over Ethernet (PoE). The two standards that they support are 802.3af and 802.3at. That's good for most anything that you would need these days. Also, when you look at some of the models in the line, some of them give you a choice of having either four 1-gig SFP ports or two 10-gig SFP ports. Those 10-gig SFP ports are backwards compatible to 1 gig, all you got to do is just choose the right SFP for it.

Two different software feature sets too, just like their older brothers. LAN Base is the most normal one. When you look at the part number it will start with WS-C2960X and end with -L. That's the LAN Base. The LAN Lite is a dumbed-down feature set that has less capability. This is one thing you'll notice is different: If you're familiar with the older 2960s, the LAN Lite part number used to end in -S. Cisco has fixed that, thank you very much. Now they end in a much more logical -LL for LAN Lite.

The other thing that is similar to the 2960-S, which is the older brother of the 2960-X, is that they are stackable. The feature is optional. There's a module that has to plug in the back. That picture I showed you in the beginning shows where the module goes on the left-hand side of the switch. One of the things that is a big differentiator between the S series and the X series that I'm talking about today is the maximum stack. The older -S Series can only stack 4 tall. This newer X series can stack 8 tall.

Other things you need to know, which are pretty similar from the rest of the 2960 line, is that the software feature sets are not upgradeable. You can't change it. It's locked to the hardware. Another thing that's a bit of a bummer is that the LAN Lite feature set, if you decide that you want to save a couple of bucks to get that, you'll lose the stacking feature. If you've got to have stacking, then you have to deal with the LAN Base. Another thing that's interesting that shows how close the 2960-S and -X Series are, is that you can actually mix and match them in a single stack. If you do, everything's that lowest common denominator thing where it will revert back to the older maximum stack of 4 switches like the -S Series can do.

I just wanted to show you here, there's a table of all the different models in the -X Series. You can see their port compliment, both copper ports and uplinks, their software feature sets. The column second from the right is the amount of Power over Ethernet that they can supply, which is kind of interesting. Some people don't understand it, but it's nice to know so you don't get caught. Again, the stacking is optional. If you're going to mix and match them, you have to use the right stacking module and the right switch. If you have -S Series switches, you use the C2960-S stack part number. The -X Series switches, you use the C2960-X stack part number.

I hope you found this useful. If you have more questions, please give us a call. Have a good day.