Overview: 2960 Series Switches

The 2960 series serves as a commonly-used wiring closet access layer switch, much like the 2950. Cisco continues to sell the 2960 series as of the last update of this web page (March, 2010). As such, this switch series has not yet seen used switch prices fall to any reasonable level for use in a home certification lab.

The main reason to consider this model series is for the support of some CCNP features that are not supported on the older LAN switches available in the used market. In particular, the 2960s support Dynamic ARP Inspection (DAI), IP Source Guard (IPSG), and DHCP Snooping.

Feature Fact
Popularly sold as new in years: 2006 – today
EOS Not yet
Common Replacement: Not yet
Main Software Options: LAN Base, LAN Lite

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

2960 Series Software

The model of 2960 series switch determines which of two software branches can run on the switch. The software branches, like feature sets on routers, are:

  • LAN Base Software for Enhanced Function
  • LAN Lite Software for Base-Line Function

The first of these is used with higher-end switches, and includes more functions, whereas the second is used on lower end switches. Given the current price point, I have not closely examined the LAN Base versus LAN Lite features, and how that might affect the choice of which to use for a Cisco certification lab.

2960 Series Hardware

Normally, this table would list the models most useful for lab practice, in part chosen based on the price in the used market. In this case, the table lists four models that have the lowest price, and use the LAN Base software. These may be the first 2960 models to reach a reasonable used price at some point in the future.

Potentially Popular 2960 Switches with LAN Base software

Product Number 10/100 ports 10/100/1000 ports SFP ports 1000 BaseT ports
WS-C2960-8TC-L 8 0 1* 1*
WS-C2960PD-8TT-L 1 0 0 1
WS-C2960-24TT-L 24 0 0 2
WS-C2960G-8TC-L 0 7 1* 1*

* Either an SFP port or a 10/100/1000 port.

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