I have 2 brand new Dell 5448 1 Gbps switches and an older 3448P. The newer switches stack with each other via an HDMI cable and have the ports for fiber optic, but the older 3448P switch has no HDMI ports, the ports for fiber (G1 & G2) and 2 1Gbps ports (G3 & G4) labeled 'Stacking'.

I would like to keep the 3448P in use for PoE devices and as a backup switch, can I add this unit to the stack? How would I do that? Link the 2 new switches with HDMI then run fiber from switch 2 to the 3448P then out of the 3448P back up to switch 1?

I could always just forget about the 3448P and do PoE injectors, but I like having the 3rd there for more ports and as a backup.

  • 1
    You can always continue using it as an independent ("cascaded") switch. The only reason to stack here appears to be for a single configuration interface.
    – Ricky
    Nov 6, 2013 at 23:00
  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 8, 2017 at 15:25

2 Answers 2


Went trough the Dell documents and it doesn't explicitly say anything either way about stacking different platforms together. However the complete lack of documentation regarding stacking different devices together sends a pretty clear message that they are only intended to stack with devices of the same model/line.

More generally, most stacking solutions require that the the stacking technologies and the software versions be the same for switches to participate in a stack. I am not sure if you can run the same version of code for the two platforms, but clearly the stacking technologies are different. While there appear to be other differences in the stacking technologies as well, I will simply state that there is no way to connect the 10Gig HDMI stacking ports to the 1Gig RJ45 stacking ports.

You can keep the older 3448P switch and use it, but it will have to be configured and managed separately. The "stacking" ports on the 3448P should be usable 1Gig ports and can t hen be used to connect to your new switches as noted in the Dell documentation for the 34xx switches ("two Copper ports which can be used to forward traffic in a stand-alone device, or as stacking ports when the device is stacked"). Exact configuration of the devices would be entirely dependent on your environment (do you need tagged/trunk links, etc).

Btw, I can't find documentation of stacking for the 5448 (aside from the occasional use of the word "stack" and most of those had to do with dual stack IPv4/IPv6), so I am guessing that you meant to type 5548 which matches your description.


If you look at https://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/how10356/how-to-stack-n2000-or-n3000-switches?lang=en you'll see that although you can stack different n2000 series switches together, or different n3000 series switches together, you can't stack them with each other, even though they use the same stacking cable.

At a glance, the 5448 (5548?) and the 3448P are even more different to each other than the N2000/N3000, so I'd say that you're out of luck.

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