Let's say I've got a 2960x stack like the one shown below - as you can see one cable is missing as it was too short, so I ordered a longer one and am awaiting delivery. One thing I wonder about though is whether I'll have to reload the stack (or at least members 4 & 5) or will just shutting down the individual affected stack-ports alone prior to physically connecting the cables and then re-enabling them again do the trick just fine?

2960xstack#sh sw stack-ports

Switch # Port 1 Port 2

-------- ------ ------

1           Ok           Ok

2           Ok           Ok

3           Ok           Ok

4           Down         Ok

5           Ok           Down

6           Ok           Ok

7           Ok           Ok

8           Ok           Ok
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    I extended a stack while all switches were online once. Just make sure to set the priority of the new switch low, so it wont become the active one. But as you already have the switch in the stack, this is no issue. It was a C3850 in my case, but i am guessing it works with the 2960 as well. Dont take my word for it though.I would announce a maintenance window off hours just to be sure, as you suggested shut the stack ports, insert the stacking cable and take the ports up. As this affects redundancy only, there should be no downtime / rebooting required. – Mario Jost Apr 29 '20 at 14:24

Since the switches are all already members of the same stack, it is nearly foolproof.

If you were adding a new member to the stack you'd want to make sure the new member didn't become master.

Since you're just adding a new connection between existing members, you're quite safe.

  • Thank you for your comment. I certainly do hope so that it'll all go alright. I'll give my feedback once I have a chance to finally test it. – Martin Ledermann Apr 30 '20 at 16:42
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    Sorry for the late answer but that action was ultimately cancelled by the end customer and only now I've had a chance to test it with an onsite technician and indeed it wasn't necessary to reload the stack. Thank you all guys for your tips. – Martin Ledermann Nov 25 '20 at 20:50

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