Clarifying the Role of Member Device in VSS Domain Configuration

I am trying to understand the role of a device in a VSS domain as a "member."

What does it mean for a device to be a member?

lan-dsw show switch

Switch/Stack Mac Address : 94d4.69e7.7f00 - Local Mac Address

Mac persistency wait time: Indefinite

Switch   Role    Mac Address     Priority Version  State


 1       Member   94d4.69e7.7f00     15     V02     Ready

 2       Standby  0059.dc07.1c80     14     V02     Ready

*3       Active   0087.31fe.8780     1      V02     Ready

The Cisco website says that a stack can consist of 9 devices, but basically these are two participants, the main one and the standby i.e. as I understand it, the 3rd participant is added here simply for redundancy and increasing the capacity of the ports?

How many devices are included in a Cisco 3850 VSS stack?

How does a member device in a VSS stack contribute to the performance of the network?

  • 1
    VSS is different than stacking.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 13:33
  • member: one of the individuals composing a group. Additional switches always add capacity. Redundancy is only possible if a node is connected to more than one stack member. (and often not even then. see also: the "split brain" problem)
    – Ricky
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


You are correct. Switch number one is neither the active or the standby.

If switch 3 were to fail, switch 1 would become the new standby.

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