Say I connected two 24x port Cisco switches together, to make 1 big 48 port layer 2 plane... all on the same network

Say I wanted to get off this to another network, via a router.

If that router is connected to Switch1, with the default gateway etc... programed in through the CLI.

Would Switch2 need to be programed with the default gateway also, or would it not necessarily have to know the default gateway, but traffic would go via the necessary port to Switch1, which would then send it to the default gateway?

  • Clarify please - are you using these 24 port switches as normal layer 2 ethernet switches, or layer 3 switches doing IP routing ? I'd guess at simple layer 2.
    – Criggie
    Oct 31, 2018 at 23:49
  • 1
    simple layer two.... switches would be out of the box Nov 1, 2018 at 8:43

2 Answers 2


If you want to manage both switches remotely, then yes, each needs an IP address and the default gateway pointing to the router interface.

But for simply forwarding traffic, neither one needs a default gateway. that is only used for switch management.

  • The host device will have the default gateway programmed in... the switches will just act like switches then, like you said. Nov 1, 2018 at 8:44

That depends...

If these are separate, stand-alone switches that are connected, then each must be configured independently.

Cisco does sell stackable switches that are connected in a way that one switch acts as the supervisor for all the other switches in a stack, and you configure the stack, not the individual switches.

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