The Catalyst 2960 is a very common switch in any environment that has
Cisco devices. A couple of years ago the 2960 got stacking via the
2960-S model. It also got the ability to do static routes which
was a nice feature. I used it in some deployments to do routing
locally in 2960 and then add a default route towards WAN provider.
That way I didn’t have to go through a slow CPE to route my local

The 2960-X and -XR are available in 24 or 48 port configurations.
Uplinks are either 2x 10 Gbit SPF+ or 4x 1 Gbit SFP. The PoE models
can support 370W or 740W of power.

The 2960-X provides up to 80 Gbps of stack bandwidth which is 2x more
compared to the 2960-S. It is now also possible to stack up to 8 switches
compared to the earlier maximum of 4. The 2960-S model uses FlexStack while
the newer -X and -XR models uses FlexStack-Plus. FlexStack-Plus supports
detecting stack port operational state in hardware and change the forwarding
according to it. This takes 100 ms or less. The older model does it in CPU
which can take 1 or 2 seconds.

Here are some notable differences between 2960-X and -XR compared to 2960-S.

  • Dual core CPU @ 600 MHz. 2960-S has single core
  • 2960-XR has support for dual power supplies
  • 256 MB of flash for -XR, 128 MB for -X. The S model has 64 MB
  • 512 MB of DRAM compared to 256 for 2960-S
  • 1k active VLANs compared to 255 for 2960-S
  • 48 Etherchannel groups for -XR, 24 for -X and 6 for -S
  • 4 MB of egress buffers instead of 2 MB
  • 4 SPAN sessions instead of 2
  • 32k MACs for -XR, 16k for -X and 8k for -S
  • 24k unicast routes for -XR, 16 static routes for -X and -S

The newer models also support Netflow lite, hibernation mode and EEE.

The 2960-XR does support dynamic routing. It has support for RIP, OSPF stub,
OSPFv3 stub, EIGRP stub, HSRP, VRRP and PIM.

Here are some performance numbers:

2960-X Lan Lite has 100 Gbps of switching bandwidth and 64 active VLANS.
2960-X Lan Base has 216 Gbps of switching bandwidth and 1023 active VLANs.
The same holds true for 2960-XR with IP Lite feature set. The 2960-S had
a maximum of 255 VLANs and 176 Gbps switching bandwidth. Depending on
model the 2960-X tops out at 130.9 Mpps compared to 101.2 for 2960-S.

The switches also have added support for IPv6. Notable features are:

  • IPv6 MLDv1 and v2 snooping
  • IPv6 First Hop Security (RA guard, source guard, and binding integrity guard
  • IPv6 ACLs
  • IPv6 QoS
  • HTTP/HTTPs over IPv6
  • SNMP over IPv6
  • Syslog over IPv6

I’m expecting more information to come out as it gets presented during Cisco Live
in Orlando.

Cisco updates the Catalyst 2960 – Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR
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One thought on “Cisco updates the Catalyst 2960 – Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR

  • June 28, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Daniel, please drop me an email so I can have your email.
    Just need to ask you a favor. thanks


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