I've read a myriad of docs/articles, and heard many varied opinions on what "non-blocking" operation really is, but still haven't settled on a solid answer. Specifically, I'd like to compare two current Cisco switches, and get feedback on how they compare - the Cisco 2960-S - http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps5718/ps6406/product_data_sheet0900aecd80322c0c.html
and the 2360 - http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps5718/ps10920/datasheet_c78-599610.html
Cisco positions the 2960-S as an edge/access switch (and clearly it has such features as PoE, etc. that the 2360 doesn't), while the 2360 is positioned as a data center switch. The data sheets indicate that the 2360 is non-blocking (the 2960-S does NOT indicate this), but yet their forwarding rates are identical at 88-Gbps. I have two real questions here:
1) what indicates if a switch is truly non-blocking? Use these two switches in comparison to explain.
2) I can't really see much difference between these two products from a throughput, traffic forwarding perspective, and yet the 2960-S 48-port w/ 10-GE uplinks lists for $6500, while the 2360 48-port lists for $8700. I see that the 2360 supports something called "dynamic buffer allocation", but the datasheet hardly spends any time on this. From a data center performance perspective, why is the 2360 a much better solution than the 2960-S?
Thank you, and reference links/docs are always appreciated.