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Daisy-chain, cascade or stack - two switches?

yaminz66 asked
Last Modified: 2012-07-21

I am having some issues connecting two netgear switches (FSM726 FS524), the servers do not work properly unless they are both on one switch. It suggests that the switches have not been connected properly. All I have done is used a standard port to connect the two switches.

And scanning google, I see the people are using the term daisy-chain, cascade or stacking. Are they all synonumous. Netgear says cascading only applies to HUBS not switches.

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John EastonDirector

Generally speaking two servers (or other computers) should not be effected by the way switches are connected - as long as the switches are communicating with each other.

Firstly therefore we should check both switches are 'talking' to each other.  Therefore when the two servers are both connected to one switch can you Ping one server from the other.  If so, move then to the other switch and try again.

I expect the second Ping test will fail and this simply confirms the servers cannot see each other when on seperate switches.

The next thing I would check is the cable.  Normally you should need a crossover cable if connecting two hubs or switches.  While many switches and hubs can sense a switch to switch connection and adapt, some cannot.  For those that cannot you must use a crossover cable.

Hope that helps.
David AtkinTechnical Director
Top Expert 2015

Can you give us the make and model of the switches?

If they are managed then it's possible that VLAN's have been created which would stop the communication.

As per JEaston's suggestion, check the cable but most modern switches are auto-sensing.

There is also the possibility of a bad port on the switch.  Check the switches LED indicators (If applicable).


They are netgear switches FSM726, FS524 - no VLAN - just the old fashion straight connection.

No I check the cables and ports etc. All seems fine.
John EastonDirector

I believe the FSM726 is a managed switch.  I would check carefully all the settings on this switch.  I believe for example you can setup access control lists - is the other switch on the list (assuming it has a MAC address) if one is setup.  Have any ports been disabled or restricted.

If you have not customised any settings, but the switch has been used previously, if may be worth reseting the switch to factory defaults just in case some was changed in the past.
David AtkinTechnical Director
Top Expert 2015

The FSM726 is managed - Check the switch configuration.

The manual for the FSM726 can be found here:

I don't think the FS524 is managed.

If you're going to reset the switch back to factory settings then take a backup of the configuration - Just in case.



Yes the FSM726 is managed switch - I got another FS524 switch, I am gone use that one - which has port24 with an uplink button next to it. That should work.

I am gone replace these old switches with some new megabit switches. Anyone know of a good solution, ideally I would like to have two, one as a failover to the first one.

Technical Director
Top Expert 2015
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SCORPEO - Thanks for the tip! :)

But will it do what I want. Have two switches in failover mode. So that if one fails the other one takes over?

David AtkinTechnical Director
Top Expert 2015

No, it wont.

It would be cheaper to just have another 24-Port switch to hand.  If ever one fails then you can replace.

Bare in mind that devices will be physically connected to the switch so if it failed then they would have no where to go, even if you do have another switch connected to it.
John EastonDirector

In theory it should be possible to have an automatic failover from one switch to another.  However, I do not know if current hardware can support this or not.

Firstly, each server would need two Netwrok Cards both set to use the same IP Address.  Each network card would then connect to a different switch.  So both servers would be connected to both switches.

However, one switch would be set as the master switch, the other a redundant spare.  The redundant switch would need to be configured to monitor the master and only activate if the master failed.

Clearly these switches would need to be managed switches, but I do not know whether any switches have this functionality or not.  I expect those that do will be expensive.

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