Switches “stacking” is an easy way to increase capacity and flexibility by operating all the stacked switches as a single unit. In Many cases, switches able to be stacked have dedicated ports to be plugged with “Vendor stacking cables”. In some cases, DAC cables can be used.

Illustration of stacked switches
Illustration of stacked switches

What is a stacking cable?

Stacking cables are only used with stackable switches to be physically connected to create a single equipment. The stacking cables are coming in different variants according to the vendor, the type, and the capacity of the swicth as well as other elements.

The dedicated Stacking cable will have proprietary design and form factor and will then be purchasable only for the vendor. It makes the dedicated stacking cable irreplaceable and more expensive than standard DAC cables.

Can I use DAC Cable for stacking?

The Direct Attached Cable (DAC) are mainly used to transmit data over 10G, 40G, 100G ports and over by connecting networks switches to switches, routers or servers. For Some of these equipment, DACs can also be used as stacking cables offering this way simple and very cost effective stacking solution.

How and when using DACs for stacking?

When the stackable swicth or router allows front-panel stacking, meaning stacking using an Ethernet port of the front-panel of the equipment. Un port of each swicth or router being stacked is then used for stacking instead of data transmission, but the same DAC can be used for both Stacking and data transmission.

How can we summarize this?

Dedicated stacking cables are used:

  • when the stackable switches support backplane stacking (BPS)
  • for dedicated stacking cable is needed
  • It not possible to use standard DAC to stack your switches and routers


DAC cables are used:

  • For data transmission
  • when the stackable switches support front panel stacking (FPS)
  • When stacking can be performed using Ethernet ports


While not able to provide proprietary stacking cables, Skylane Optics offers a wide range of DAC cables coming in different lengths and compatible with all the major brands of equipment.


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