At times network administrators working on switching infrastructure may get confused over usage of terms Port Channel and Etherchannel especially in Cisco Catalyst and Nexus Switches.While both terms refer to bundling of Interfaces for higher throughout and redundancy , lets discuss them in more detail.


port-channel-vs-etherchannelEtherchannel is a Cisco trademarked term – it’s the technology used to group multiple physical interfaces together while other vendors use Link Aggregation more frequently. Etherchannel is what Cisco called Ethernet link bond initially. We can create Etherchannel using PAgP, LACP, or static on. PAgP being Cisco’s proprietary protocol and LACP being the open standard

Term “Port-channel” is the name of this virtual interface in cisco IOS platforms. In the Nexus switches, port channel term is used for technology and the individual interface.Once we have configured an Etherchannel we make all you changes on the Port Channel interface and these will be automatically applied to all the individual interfaces within the Etherchannel.

Still we can also say in layman terms  that  “Port-Channel” = “Etherchannel” = “Link Aggregation”

Below table enumerates the difference between Port channel and Etherchannel –


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