Difference between CSS and stack on S series switches

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For S series switches, both stack and cluster indicate that combine multiple switches are virtualized into a logical switch.
In V200R001C00 and earlier versions, there is only one name called stack in Chinese. In later versions, fixed switches use stack and modular switches use the cluster. Each cluster allows only two member devices, whereas a stack can contain a maximum of nine member devices.

Other related questions:
What are the differences between CSS and iStack for CE switches
Cluster Switch System (CSS) technology is used to set up a stack of modular switches. iStack technology is used to set up a stack of fixed switches. CSS and iStack have different implementation methods but have the same functions.

Differences between stack cards and extended rear channel cards of S series switches
The stack card and extended rear channel card of a switch use the same slot, and they cannot be installed simultaneously. Stack cards are used when switches set up a stack in stack card connection mode. The extended channel card of a switch must be used together with the front four-interface card. To enable a front card of a switch, an extended rear channel card must be installed. If not, only two front interfaces are available.

Clusters or stacks of S series switches
A stack or cluster of S series switches is a logical switch consisting of multiple stacking-capable or clustering-capable S series switches. In V200R001C00 and earlier versions, S series switches only set up stacks. In later versions, S series fixed switches set up stacks, and S series modular switches set up clusters. Please ask questions about specific switch models. The following information is possibly related to your question:

Difference between the S series switch and router
The S series switch and router are different in the following aspects: 1. Functions �?data switching or routing Although both Layer 3 switches and routers provide the routing function, they are not the same. For example, many broadband routers provide not only the routing function, but also switch and firewall functions. However, these routers are equated with switches or firewalls. because routing is their main function while others are additional functions. This rule also applies to Layer 3 switches. They are switching products that mainly provide the data switching function, as well as additional routing function. 2. Applicable environment �?LAN or WAN The routing function of a Layer 3 switch is simple for connection of LANs. Therefore, the routes of a Layer 3 switch are simple and less complex than those of a router. The Layer 3 switch provides quick data switching to allow frequent exchange of data traffic in the LAN. The router is designed to connect different types of networks. Although a router can be applied to the connection of LANs, the routing function is mainly provided for connection of different types of networks, such as connection between the LAN and WAN, and between networks with different protocols. The main purpose of a router is to connect multiple networks with complex routes. With powerful routing function, the router is applied to not only LANs with same protocols, but also LAN and WAN with different protocols. To connect different types of networks, the router provides various interface types. However, the Layer 3 switch only provides LAN interfaces of the same type. 3. Performance �?data packet exchange Technically, the major difference between a router and a Layer 3 switch is to forward data packets. The router uses the software engine with a micro-processor to forward data packets, while the Layer 3 switch uses hardware. After a Layer 3 switch forwards the first packet of a data flow, it generates a mapping between MAC addresses and IP addresses. When the same data flow passes, the Layer 3 switch forwards the packets without searching in the routing table. This prevents the delay caused by route selection and improves the efficiency of forwarding data packets. Therefore, in terms of performance, the Layer 3 switch is better than the router and is applied to the LAN with frequent data exchange. With a powerful routing function and low forwarding efficiency of data packets, the router is applied to the connection of different types of networks without frequent data exchange, such as the connection between the LAN and Internet. If the router is used on a LAN, its powerful routing function is wasted and it cannot meet the communication requirements of the LAN and influences subnet communication.

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