I'm looking for Cisco switches that provide 48 Gigabit ports. I've been through this list : CISCO PRODUCT REFERENCE and this one: DETAIL 3750 SWITCHES

But there's something I don't understand:


• 48 Ethernet 10/100/1000 ports

• 4 SFP-based Gigabit Ethernet ports

If there are 48 Gigabit ports, what is the use for 4 SFP-based ports ?

Also, does Cisco sells these 3750 switches in different versions like 10M / 100M / 1G ?



SFP's are described here in more detail, but essentially, this is what a lot of network admins call "GBICs" or Gigabit NIC's on the switches. These are removable / swappable and different types from different vendors even work (I've used Cisco SFP's on Juniper kit for example). See cisco.com article on GBIC / SFP's

Typically, if you're using this switch like an access switch, you'll plug all of your devices into the 48-ports and then use the 4 SFP based ports as uplinks. You need to purchase the SFP's separately and the options can be confusing here as well (single mode fibre versus multimode, LX vs SX etc.). You can ignore all of that and simply use two of the ports from the 48 as uplinks, but it depends completely on your needs.

If you don't need the higher speed (& lower latency) uplinks and simply require a layer2 switch, the 2960 is a decent switch.


SFP stands for Small Form Pluggable transceiver, the SFP ports give you the flexibility of plugging in a range of trancievers depending on your application and medium.

You could use SX fiber optic SFPs if you need longer range than the copper ports will allow, or LX modules to do (really) long range transmission over single mode fiber.


SFPs are for fiber optics and copper, both which allows a much longer cable. If you do not need the L3 functionality, I recommend you to check out their Layer2 switches called 2960S.

There's a 3750's, 3650's and 3550's with 100Mbit ports.

  • 2
    The 3750 is a 100Mb switch. The 3750G is a 1Gb switch.
    – Chris S
    Jul 11 '11 at 13:27

The SFP ports are for fibre transceivers and other eye-wateringly expensive add-ons. If you don't know what they are, you don't need 'em.

The 10/100/1000 ports merely mean that if you plug in an old 100baseT card, the switch port will pretend to autonegotiate the port speed, before randomly dropping packets on the floor.


Also 3750 includes the ability to stack switches, the 3650 is a bit cheaper if you wont need stacking.

  • 1
    3560 is for nonstack layer 3. 3750 is for stacking, layer 3. 2960S is stackable, layer 2 only, a lot cheaper, and stackable. (if you are planning on loading every port to max speed you may not want the 2960S though). the E (or even nexus) series will futureproof you a bit more, with 10gig options for uplinks. if a 3750 or 2960S is good enough, I would check if there are any Cisco Certified refurb out there available, same warranty, lower price.
    – Stokkeland
    Jul 11 '11 at 14:21

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