Overview: 2950 Series Switches

This model series was introduced as a wiring closet switch in the early 2000’s. The 2950 series was intended for the access layer in a campus LAN design, sitting in wiring closets to connect to end users. As has been the case with switch technology over time, Cisco has regularly introduced new series of lower end switches, with each new series having a big increase in performance – both for simple forwarding as well as forwarding the presence of having many features enabled.

The number of switch ports seldom matters for certification preparation because of the topologies needed to experiment with each feature. For example, following the Switch Square topology, a single switch would need at most 6 ports for switch-to-switch links, and a few for connections to other devices. Most Cisco Enterprise-class switches come with at least 12 ports. And while in some cases it may be useful to have a Gigabit or 10 Gigabit interface, the majority of features work the same regardless of interface type.

Feature Fact
Popularly sold as new in years:
2002 – 2006
Common Replacement:
Main Software Options:
Standard Image, Enhanced Image

* EOS announcements at:


All Features and Versions

Cisco Feature Navigator:
Find IOS files by Version, feature set, and platform

2950 Feature Sets Mentioned Here

  • IP
  • IP Plus
  • Enterprise Plus
  • IP/FW Plus IPSec 56

2950 Series Software

Original state: 2950’s can use either an IOS called a standard image (SI) or enhanced image (EI). A particular 2950 model runs either SI or EI. An SI switch cannot be field upgraded to an EI switch. In other words, you need to choose the software before buying the switch. The intent of the original SI and EI images was to have a less expensive and less functional option (SI) and a slightly more expensive but more functional option (EI). The following links list the various models that run SI and EI images, respectively.

Current state: When researching 2950 IOS features in the past, I have personally seen cases in which the Cisco feature navigator claimed the SI image didn’t support a feature, but SI image switches actually did support the feature. In 2010, my latest search of the Feature Navigator implies that the SI and EI feature support has merged. I can imagine why Cisco might want to do that as the product matured. The graphic shows the images listed by the Cisco Feature Navigator for 2950s.

As such, it is ambiguous to me as to what features truly exist when the most recent versions of 2950 software are loaded into a switch originally intended as an SI switch versus an EI switch.

2950 Series Hardware

2950’s include a number of 10/100 ports, and possibly a few uplink ports on many different varieties. The first table lists popular models that support SI software, and the second table lists popular models that support EI software.

Popular 2950 Switches with SI software

Model Product Number 10/100 ports GBIC ports 10/100/1000 Tx ports
2950-12 WS-C2950-12 12 0 0
2950-24 WS-C2950-24 24 0 0

Popular 2950 Switches with EI software

Model Product Number 10/100 ports 1000 BaseX 1000 BaseT ports
2950T-24 WS-C2950T-24 24 0 2

Notes and Advice

  • None

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