ERS Series Stacking Limitations - Older Stacks with Newer ERS models

I have been running into situations were partners that have existing ERS series switch stacks are looking to add additional ERS switches. The normal caveats with stacking are confirming the firmware revisions are similar and if it is a supported switch to stack. Is there a recommendation for when a partner needs to add an additional ERS switch that is currently available that is backwards compatible to older ERS series switches? Is there a specific combination of firmware versions that would be required to make this capability work?

If there is another more creative way to resolve this, like a promotion or migration discount for partners to move to the next version of the ERS series that is available?

3 replies

Wondering if there is any additional thoughts or updates on this question. Still having partners looking for way to stack ERS together and the limitations are causing people to move away from ERS into Summit or other manufacturer's switching products.
Hi Ryan,
As a partner we are currently moving away from the ERS products when renewing with a customer. In my mind EXOS is the way to go for the edge.
In regards to the stacking. The problem with the newer models of ERS switches and the older models is that they have different stacking cables and modules. Because ERS does not support something like summitstackV where you can specify your stacking ports you physically cannot put them in a stack. The only hybrid stacks that we have running with customers is with ERS 4500/4800 and ERS 5500 / 5600. Both of these are old combinations and should be avoided in my mind.
Hope this helps.

what specific ERS switches are you referring to in this case?

But to Answer your question. When introducing an ERS switch to an existing stack the best way is to ensure the switch is running the same FW/SW.

As mentioned above, ERS4500/4800 and ERS 5500/5600 supported mixed stacks within their family. However, those products are EoSale. Anyone looking to build out their current install base should be looking at the ERS4900/5900 and migrate away from 4500/4800/5500/5600. The new 4900 and 5900 do not support mix-stacks, but there are ways to introduce new switches with a migration strategy and transition period.