When considering a Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch, an often missed fact is that the Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch is a less expensive option, and it offers the same performance and features – minus the stacking capabilities.
Yes, it’s true! For those who may not need stacking capabilities, you don’t need to spend the extra money on a Cisco 3750 switch for its Cisco StackWise technology. Both Cisco 3560s and 3750s are enterprise class switches that include 10/100 and 10/100/1000 access and aggregation, as well as Cisco pre-standard Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) configurations. Both the switches offer newer E and X variants that support 10GbE functionality.
Both Cisco Catalyst switches also include advanced features such as IP telephony, wireless access, advanced quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and high-performance IP routing.
One additional feature that the Cisco 3560 offers is a “cluster” feature, which allows the network administrator to control multiple switches from a single switch. This feature is not at all a replacement for the stacking capabilities, but a nice feature to have nonetheless.
So the next time you are on the market for some enterprise-class switches, be sure to remember that you may not need to spend quite as much as you thought. In fact, you might just be overpaying for a feature that you may never actually use.
P.S. A MUCH more effective way for someone to stack multiple switches versus the StackWise technology would be to go with a chassis-based solution.