We are going to deploy customer access switches. We can chose between two switch solutions: 1) CISCO 2960S 2) line card WS-X4648 in CISCO 4507R+E (Sup7L-E). Our customers will work with video software and will upload/download media files through the network.

I found information about 2960S that ports have 4 queues with 2Mb buffers, but I can't find information about those capabilities for WS-X4648.

2960s is cheaper than line card to chassis and we don't realy want insert such card in our chassis, but we worry about possible future problems. 2960s is rather weak switch.

  • We planed to use these switchws to create L2 domain, so we don't see differences between 2960S and WS-X4648 in such point of view. But we thought about ports capabilities - buffer size, queues and, maybe, qos technologies on ports. Sep 29, 2013 at 14:07
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2 Answers 2


The selection criteria between the two choices needs to be refined further in your question. If all you care about the throughput on the switch and ignore all other things, you can go with the device that provides more throughput. 4500 switch is a layer 3 switch used for access or distribution (even core for small networks) with huge capabilities and flexibility. It is a modular switch meaning that you add modules based on your needs. For sure it will be more expensive and might be an over kill for your needs if all you need is to add a few servers to your network.

Buying the 2960S stackable switch on the other hand will be cheaper as it is a layer 2 switch used only for access layer. You can always always buy more switches add stack them together if you need to add more servers.

Please keep in mind that your server performance is not only governed by the access layer switch you will buying. It will depend on the complete path your user data traverses before reaching your servers.

  • I would also consider the throughput. If I'm not wrong the 2960 has just 10/10/1000 ports while the WS-X4648 has also gigabit. If you are looking for the next generation cisco switches (with gigabit) have a look at Nexus 5000 Sep 29, 2013 at 8:53
  • @radicetrentasei, the c2960S in the OP has GE ports just like WS-X4648 Sep 29, 2013 at 9:24
  • 2960S does support Gigabit links for end user machines and 10Gig uplinks as well.
    – AdnanG
    Sep 29, 2013 at 9:52

The 2960S has very small buffers. For loss tolerant protocols like TCP, this isn't a problem. However, iSCSI and FCoE absolutely will not like that. (esp. FCoE) I don't know what the buffers are for the line-card, but I suspect it'll be in the same range.

I like the 2960S as they're cheap (ish) and have lifetime support. But they're desktop class switches. I use them in a vmware lab with jumbo-frame iSCSI, hundreds of vlans, etc. and they've not made a mess, yet. (but iSCSI is going to be a problem)

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