Can I Connect an Ethernet Switch to Another Ethernet Switch?

can i connect an ethernet switch to another ethernet switch?

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Introduction

Ethernet switches are not a new technology. We have been using Ethernet networks for data and communication for a long time.

An Ethernet switch is a network switch connecting a device to the computer network. It connects wired devices such as computers, servers, and printers to a local network.

Besides, it uses multiple ports to communicate between devices in the LAN. Multiple Ethernet switch ports provide reliable connectivity and smoother access across different devices.

These switches differ from the router because the router connects networks and uses only a single LAN and WAN port. So, you might be wondering if you can connect two different Ethernet switches. Of course, one can do so without any doubt, but it takes some experience and technical knowledge to do so.

Today in this article, I explain how to connect multiple Ethernet switches.

Can You Connect Multiple Ethernet Switches?

Yes, you can easily connect multiple Ethernet switches. Combining multiple Ethernet switches creates a web of devices that helps transfer the data to specific devices. I have already discussed the differences between an Ethernet hub and an Ethernet switch.

There are three methods of interconnecting Ethernet switches. If you are experiencing the complexity of data transfer and communication applications, you need to connect multiple Ethernet switches to ease your task. Depending on the application requirements, you can choose Switch Cascade, Switch Stack, and Switch Cluster.

These three techniques aim to form a topology of the Ethernet switches. In addition, Daisy Chain Topology and Star Topology are two topologies that connect multiple network switches.

5 Ways to Connect an Ethernet Switch to Another Ethernet Switch

By now, you know what an Ethernet switch is. But do you want to know how to interconnect multiple Ethernet switches? If yes, here are five ways to connect one Ethernet switch to another.

You may already have a 16-port or 8-port Ethernet switch that you want to connect to another switch. In that case, you can follow the below methods to interconnect them.

Switch Cascade Method

It is a traditional way of connecting multiple Ethernet switches. However, the switch Cascade technique has various methods that involve diverse network topologies. Cascading is the process of connecting switches in a successive layout.

The data is passed on from one switch to another until it reaches the desired destination. Switch Cascade is the most common way to connect switches through the cascaded interface.

You can get multiple ports that interconnect each of the switches. You can also easily configure and manage those ports independently in the group.

Daisy Chain Topology Method

Daisy Chain Topology connects the Ethernet switches in a series to each other. However, the switches on both extreme ends are not interconnected.

All the intermediate switches have to be passed on one after another. But in a ring topology, the same chain can be looped. Thus, ring topology enables a direct connection between the first and last switches in the network.

You can select linear topology if there are only three Ethernet switches because there is no loop. But, ring topology is suitable for over three Ethernet switches because it allows two-way transmissions and sends the data in both directions.

Star Topology Method

In the star topology method, there is a core switch that helps to connect other switches. The core switch is a common mediator for transmission between any two switches.

The Star Topology method helps transmit the information from the central switch to the destination node with any communication between the switches in a star network. If you want to connect several gigabit switches, you can choose the star topology method.

The Star Topology method connects all the nodes individually to central points. This method takes more cable but benefits you by bringing down only one node when the line fails.

Switch Stack Method

Switch Stack helps combine multiple switches, which allows provide as many ports as possible. It is an advanced technique for connecting Ethernet switches.

Using this technique, you can connect multiple Ethernet switches to interconnect many Ethernet switches. For example, this method allows you to connect up to 24 Ethernet switches.

When you stack different Ethernet switches, the port density of the stack unit is the sum of the combined ports. Hence, it helps to increase network connectivity.

This method offers higher scalability and comfortable maintenance of the Ethernet switches as it does not involve any loop of the bottleneck connections.

Switch Cluster Method

Switch clustering is a method that helps to connect and manage up to 16 switches over a single IP address. For example, many Ethernet switches can interconnect, and an administrative switch controls them.

The administrative switch supplies commands and triggers data transmission from one switch to another in a clustered network. In addition, it offers a standby command switch, which helps prevent data transmission from being interrupted.

Switch clusters can help you manage different Ethernet switches. In addition, these switches need only one IP address for the command switch, which allows you to save valuable IP address resources.

Which Method Should You Choose to Connect Two Ethernet Switches?

There are different methods for connecting two Ethernet switches. We can combine multiple switches when one switch doesn’t meet our needs. However, I suggest you choose the methods based on application requirements.

To help you choose the best method, I will explain the features of three techniques.

Switch Cascading Technique

1. The Switch Cascading technique has no limitation in principle.

2. One can manage the member switches separately.

3. Each switch has its IP address.

4. The Switch Cascading technique may not increase the bandwidth.

Switch Stacking Technique

1. The Switch Stacking technique connects a limited number of switches.

2. Member switches can be managed as a whole by the master switch.

3. All the interconnected switches share a single IP address.

4. This technique will increase the bandwidth.

Switch Clustering Technique

1. The Switch Clustering technique has limitations in principle.

2. In this technique, a command switch manages member switches as a whole.

3. Interconnected switches require one IP address for the command switch.

4. The bandwidth depends on whether you adopt switch cascading or switch stacking for clustering.

Thus, these three methods are suitable for connecting multiple Ethernet switches. However, you must study the application requirements to select the best approach.

You can choose a cascading technique for simple Ethernet networks. For the complex networks, you can use the clustering or stacking method.

Final Thoughts!

Hence, an Ethernet switch is a typical network switch that helps to connect various Ethernet devices. It connects your devices by using packet switching to receive, process, and forward data from one source device to another destination device.

Using any of the above methods, you can easily connect one Ethernet switch to another. Connecting multiple Ethernet switches helps reduce the complexity of data transfer and communication applications.

However, selecting the wrong methods may cause data transfer to be interrupted. Therefore, you need to know the differences to choose the best method that fits your requirements.

Remember, your network can still fail if you have low-quality Ethernet switches. Thus, for smooth switch connections, buy quality switches from prominent suppliers.

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Mr.Hua

Hi, I'm Mr. Hua, The funder of HoweVision technology, I'v been woking industrial communication equipment for 8 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to industrial communication from a China supplier's perspective.

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