HPE Community read-only access December 15, 2018
This is a maintenance upgrade. You will be able to read articles and posts, but not post or reply.
Dec 15, 4:00 am to 10:00 am UTC
Dec 14, 10:00 pm CST to Dec 15, 4:00 am CST
Dec 14, 8:00 pm PST to Dec 15, 2:00 am PST
BladeSystem Network Blades
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

CISCO VSS vs Stacking clarification

Trusted Contributor

CISCO VSS vs Stacking clarification

Yee had a question regarding the Cisco Virtual Switching System vs standard switch stacking :




Can I know what is the difference between Stacking vs VSS?

  • Do both achieve the same objective of a single logical switch making issues like spanning tree immaterial?
  • Are there any limitations to the number of Stacks or VSS one can create??
  • What is the typical connection topology? Cascade, Ring or Mesh??
  • I understand HP networking has something similar called IRF
    • Is Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) from HP Networking equivalent to CISCO’s Stacking or VSS?
    • Similarly, any limitations to number of switches that can be “IRFed” together?
    • Connection topology?


Many thanks guys.




Vincent checked in on the subject:




Not sure if you’re referring to something specific but “stacking” is a generic term used by different vendors (with sometimes somewhat different meanings) for technologies allowing to make several switches look like one. VSS is an implementation of stacking for the Catalyst 6500. As far as I know VSS can only stack 2 6500. And yes, IRF would be the “stacking” of HP Networking. You can have up to 8 physical switches in an IRF.




Here is a link I found to the Cisco VSS product: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps9336/


It looks like it needs a separate controller to manage the 2, 6500 switches that are used a VSS configuration.


Here is info on the HP Networking Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) technology: http://h10152.www1.hp.com/en_US/producttechnology.page?technology=TCH_IRF