I'm replacing my layer 3 WS-C3750V2-48PS switch with a full gigabit switch.
I was looking at the C3750E switch.
Ideally, I'd like to have a switch that runs on IOS 15 if I can in case I want to use it for CCIE training.
Do you need to activate PAK files to run the "IP services software feature set" instead of the standard "IP base software" on IOS 15 Cisco 3750E switches, or can I just download a different image to enable the IP services feature set?
The datasheet lists these possible replacements:
There is no license for 3750E series. So, you can download the software that support IP services directly.
Ok, I'll look into it. How does the 3750X licensing work? Do I need PAK activation for certain features?
You are replacing a ~10 year old switch and in my opinion you should not replace it with a ~9 (3750X) or even ~6 (3650) year old switch. IOS 15 is basically obsolete for campus LAN catalyst switches, with the last date of security fixes being Oct 30 2019 for the X series.
You should look into the Catalyst 9200 and 9300 series, depending on what you need for performance and features. They have no end of life notices published at the moment. One of those should last you at least 8 years, and you can probably stretch the lifetime for several more if you have to.
You are replacing a ~10 year old switch and in my opinion you should not replace it with a ~9 (3750X) or even ~6 (3650) year old switch.
Because those "old" switches are STABLE: There are three IOS trains that are well-known for their stability.
A lot of businesses don't have a full time staff to manage their LAN/WAN. Stability is a must.
Getting the latest IOS-XE switches translates to regularly (open) beta testing firmwares and upgrading. From time to time, one may even resort to rebooting the switches regularly.