Suitable budget friendly replacement for Cisco 4500e chassis?

In our data center I currently have Dell Force 10 core switches and a Cisco 4506e chassis with 4 48 port modules in it.  I am using 161 ports in the 4506 chassis.  While no EOL has been determined on the 4506 chassis I am looking to replace it since it is approaching ten years old.  This used to be a core switch until the Force 10 switches were installed two years ago.  The core switch is also the VTP server for the environment.   If it helps, I am considering the 4506e to be a hybrid switch (distribution and access) since it has trunk ports to other smaller access switches in the building plus regular ports on various VLANs for hosts.   Looking for some suggestions for a Cisco switch setup that can handle 192 connections (leaves me wiggle room) and possibly budget friendly.  All of our other access switches in the building are Cisco 2960 48 port with a couple of locations being a stacked pair.
Steve BantzIT ManagerAsked:
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Andy BartkiewiczNetwork AnalystCommented:
Well I know you said a cisco switch, but we just replaced our 6509s with a Juniper product and saved 100k versus what Cisco was proposing. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but the Juniper is a good product.
atlas_shudderedSr. Network EngineerCommented:
Nexus 93108s - package @ around 30K/2switches

Access from 2960X, Cat 9x or 3850.  2960x if you just want to connect at gig with no significant need for throughput.   9k if you want cheap with some meat.  3850 if you want the meat and the extensible feature set, etc.   low end around 1500 per device.  high end around 8500 per.

93108 at the core with the access switches uplinked via 1 or 10G.
Steve BantzIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
@atlas_shuddered So if I went with stacked 2960 switches (total of four) with copper trunk ports to the core switches in the same rack, would that work well or does it seem cobbled together?  Seems to be economical.  I'm not opposed to 3850 but they seem to be a LOT more.
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atlas_shudderedSr. Network EngineerCommented:
I've got several sites that are in a similar configuration.  

I place the 93108s at the core.  They have 48 qsfp ports (1/10 and I think newest goes 25 or 40), with 6 qsfp expansion ports (10/40/100 with each port capable of a module breakout to 4 or 6 x 1g).

I then build my stacks on one of the 3 access switches noted above based on need and trunk them up to the 93108's using 10G fiber or twnx.

I use the build for data rooms where there is a high 1G need with lower parallel 10G need.  10G comes back to the core, 1G goes top of rack.  I also drop the stacks into closets for access with 1 or 10G hauls back (copper or fiber - I use what is available as I haven't had a true greenfield install or 100% brownfield conversion).

Specific to the 2960's I wouldn't go over 5 in any given single access stack unless you are going to pull 10G between them and the core.  If you are going trying to go ToR with them, I would say better to go with the Cat9Ks in two switch stacks at the top of each rack, with 10G pull back to the core.

In either case, make sure that you order the correct expansion sled and dual home the stacks back to the cores.  If you haven't worked with nexus, do some reading - lots of cool things there but one of the gotchas is that if you are used to running a VSS core, you will lose that in the nexus platform but, you gain VPC (which in my opinion is far more flexible and higher utility).

That all make sense?

On the 3850's, I agree.  Cisco has been bleeding my company dry on the 3750 and 3850 line for years, the 9Ks make a huge difference.

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Steve BantzIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the insight and fantastic explanations.  I have some quotes coming for both the 2960 and 9k solutions so I can decide which makes the most sense.  I am leaning toward 9k for the redundant power capabilities and other features but I will see what the cost comparison looks like.
atlas_shudderedSr. Network EngineerCommented:
No worries Steve.  Good luck.  I think you'll find plenty to geek out on.
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