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IBM Storage Networking SAN128B-6 Switchs
Accelerate performance, simplify management and leverage industry-leading switch density

IBM Storage Networking SAN128B-6 Switch

IBM Products
IBM Storage Networking b-type Switches
IBM Storage Networking SAN128B-6 Switch (Front/Port-Side Exhaust)
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IBM Storage Networking SAN128B-6 Switch (Rear/Non-Port Side Exhaust)
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A next-generation high-speed switch, IBM Storage Networking SAN128B-6 is designed for flexible integration in large-scale storage networks. NVMe-ready SAN128B-6 enables efficient use of today’s flash storage, and provides advanced security, automation and orchestration capabilities that can simplify operations-from instantiating virtual machines and workload balancing to monitoring traffic. SAN128B-6 offers an expandable set of available b-type Gen 6 Fibre Channel ports for extreme scalability and advanced control features to simplify management.

  • High-density, 128-port 32 Gbps b-type Gen 6 Fibre Channel switch
  • Optimizes performance with advanced monitoring for NVMe
  • Integrates NVMe-ready solutions without a rip-andreplace
  • Simplifies end-to-end management of large-scale environments
  • Accelerates operations by automating repetitive tasks
  • Provides real-time monitoring and alerting of storage IO and health
  • Provides real time performance monitoring with integrated network sensors
  • Enables virtual machine (VM) visibility in a storage fabric
  • Monitors and optimizes performance and identify anomalies

Accelerate performance, simplify management and leverage industryleading switch density

Data centers are under pressure to deliver maximum performance, business intelligence, and operational efficiency to address exponential data growth and dynamic business demands. To gain the performance required, organizations are transitioning to the all-flash data center, which requires a modern storage network that can keep pace with innovations in compute and storage resources. By modernizing the storage area network (SAN), organizations will be able to maximize productivity and increase the efficiency of their storage investments, even as they rapidly scale their environments. Moreover, the addition of automation technology to Gen 6 Fibre Channel will transform SAN management by simplifying operations and freeing up resources to focus on business optimization and revenue opportunities.

The IBM Storage Networking SAN128B-6 Fibre Channel switch provides the tools to optimize NVMe storage and automate SAN management tasks. It is a high port density building block with a management platform designed to support application, data and storage growth. As an NVMeready switch, SAN128B-6 allows organizations to seamlessly integrate b-type Gen 6 Fibre Channel networks with the next generation of flash storage, without a disruptive rip-andreplace. In addition, SAN128B-6 features integrated network sensors for advanced monitoring of NVMe workloads, helping to ensure optimal performance. SAN128B-6 also delivers new automation capabilities that enable DevOps resources to automate and orchestrate SAN resources through open application programming interfaces (APIs) and the Ansible automation engine.

With IBM b-type Storage Networking automation, organizations can quickly and reliably perform resource-intensive tasks, such as provisioning, and operationalize the continuous monitoring of the network so that tasks can be completed in a fraction of the time. By combining b-type robust set of data-collecting capabilities with automation, organizations can automate repetitive daily tasks and deliver consistent performance by eliminating human error.

With SAN128B-6, organizations can seamlessly transition to an all-flash data center and build a foundation to support future innovation and operational efficiency.


Simple and elegant scalability with industry-leading port density

The SAN128B-6 enterprise-class switch delivers industry-leading port density with 128 Fibre Channel ports in an elegant 2U form factor. Organizations can both increase scalability and optimize space utilization. With 96 32 Gbps enhanced small form-factor pluggable (SFP+) ports and 8 4x32 Gbps Q-Flex ports, the compact design of the switch enables data centers to scale efficiently and deliver more connectivity with fewer switches. Built to support maximum flexibility and dense Fibre Channel fabrics, the SAN128B-6 switch offers cost-effective, pay-asyou-grow scalability, expanding from 48 to 128 ports with Ports on Demand (PoD).

In addition to offering 128 32 Gbps ports, SAN128B-6 delivers Gen 6 Fibre Channel performance to support growing and dynamic workloads. It achieves this level of performance through a combination of market-leading low latency and up to 566 million frames switched per second-shattering application performance barriers with up to 200 million I/O operations per second (IOPS).

To support higher data volumes over long distance, SAN128B-6 delivers up to 384 Gbps of combined in-flight encryption and 192 Gbps of in-flight data compression to optimize bandwidth and minimize the risk of unauthorised access.

Increase productivity with simple and open automation

IT organizations spend nearly half of their time performing repetitive daily management tasks such as zoning, inventory reporting and operational validation checks. By automating these repetitive tasks, IT organizations can significantly improve their efficiency and dramatically decrease the risk of operational mistakes. Automation in large-scale IT environments integrates diverse infrastructure components with consistency and predictability to deliver greater operational efficiency and agility. With more than 20 years of b-type storage networking, IBM understands the nuances that go into infrastructure management and what tasks can benefit from automation. By integrating Representational State Transfer (RESTful) APIs directly into its b-type Storage Networking switch and management product portfolio, IBM provides a broad range of choices to enable any SAN management solution. IT organizations that couple robust IBM data-collection capabilities with automation and orchestration tools gain the ability to automate configuration tasks and the visibility to monitor and detect any performance or health changes.

Enhanced operational stability for always-on business operations

SAN128B-6 with Fabric Vision technology delivers a breakthrough hardware and software solution that helps simplify monitoring, increase operational stability, and dramatically reduce costs. Fabric Vision technology includes IO Insight and VM Insight, which provide organizations with deeper visibility into both SCSI and NVMe traffic. This enhanced visibility enables administrators to quickly identify the problem and accelerate root-cause analysis for faster time to resolution. SAN128B-6 also optimizes the performance of NVMe over Fibre Channel by leveraging integrated, non-intrusive, real-time network monitoring and alerts. This proactive monitoring of NVMe traffic provides administrators with key insights for maintaining optimal network health and performance.

IO Insight proactively monitors I/O performance and behavior through integrated network sensors, providing deep insight into problems and helping to ensure service levels. This capability nondisruptively and non-intrusively gathers I/O statistics from any device port, then feeds them to a monitoring policy that sets thresholds and generates alerts. VM Insight applies IO Insight visibility for each VM. Integrated VM, application- and device-level I/O latency and IOPS monitoring enable administrators to set the baseline for application performance and identify the VM or physical layer responsible for the degraded performance.

Innovative Fabric Vision monitoring, management, and diagnostic capabilities enable administrators to avoid problems before they impact operations.

IBM Network Advisor

IBM Network Advisor simplifies b-type Gen 6 Fibre Channel management and helps organizations proactively diagnose and resolve issues to maximize uptime, increase operational efficiency and reduce costs. The wizard-driven interface dramatically reduces deployment and configuration times by allowing fabrics, switches and ports to be managed as groups. Customizable dashboards graphically display performance and health indicators out of the box, including all data captured using Fabric Vision technology. To accelerate troubleshooting, administrators can use dashboard playback to quickly review past events and identify problems in the fabric. Dashboards and reports also can be configured to show only the most relevant data, enabling administrators to more efficiently prioritize their actions and maintain network performance.


Adapt to demanding workloads

Adapt to storage growth and demanding workloads with a high-density, 128-port 32 Gbps b-type Gen 6 Fibre Channel switch.

Optimize performance

Optimize performance and enhance reliability with advanced monitoring for NVM Express (NVMe).

Simplify integration

Integrate NVMe-ready solutions without a rip-and-replace.

Automate repetitive tasks

Simplify end-to-end management of large-scale environments and accelerate operations by automating repetitive tasks.

Provide real-time alerts

Provide proactive, real-time monitoring and alerting of storage input/output (I/O) health and performance with integrated network sensors.

Monitor performance

Enable virtual machine (VM) visibility in a storage fabric to monitor and optimize performance and identify anomalies.


SAN128B-6 Switch Specifications
System Architecture
Fibre Channel ports 96 SFP+ ports capable of operating at 4/8/10/16/32 Gbps Fibre Channel auto-sensing speeds; 8 QSFP ports capable of operating at 4x32 / 4x16 / 4x8 / 4x4 Gbps Fibre Channel speeds.

Offers a base configuration of 48 ports, two 24-port SFP+ Ports on Demand (PoD), and one 32-port QSFP PoD. The switch has a total of eight 32 Gbps QSPF ports. This allows users to grow from 48 ports to 128 ports. Supports F/E/EX_Port and D_Port types on the SFP+ ports and only F/E/EX_Port and D_Port types on the QSFP ports with Fabric OS (FOS) v8.2.0.
Scalability Full-fabric architecture with a maximum of 239 switches
Certified Maximum Single fabric: 56 domains, 7 hops
MPR fabric: 19 hops
Performance Fibre Channel: 4.25 Gbps line speed, full duplex; 8.5 Gbps line speed, full duplex; 10.53 Gbps line speed, full duplex; 14.025 Gbps line speed, full duplex; 28.05 Gbps, full duplex; 112.2 Gbps, full duplex; auto-sensing of 4/8/10/16/32 Gbps port speeds and capable of supporting 128 Gbps speeds; 10 Gbps optionally programmable to fixed port speed. Auto-sensing of 4x32 / 4x16 / 4x8 / 4x4 Gbps speeds on the QSFP ports with FOS v8.2.0.
ISL Trunking Frame-based trunking with up to eight 32 Gbps connections between a pair of switches combined to form a single logical ISL with a speed of up to 256 Gbps (512 Gbps full duplex) per ISL trunk. Exchange-based load balancing across ISLs with DPS included in FOS. On the QSFP ports 256 Gbps trunks are supported by trunking 2x (4x32 Gbps) QSFP ports.
Aggregate bandwidth 4 Tbps
Maximum fabric Latency Latency for locally switched ports is < 780 ns (including FEC); compression is 1 μs per node
Maximum frame size 2,112-byte payload
Frame buffers 15K frame buffers with dynamic buffer sharing capability across ports
Classes of service Class 2, Class 3, Class F (inter-switch frames)
Port types D_Port (ClearLink Diagnostic Port), E_Port, EX_Port, F_Port, AE_Port, optional port-type control
Data traffic types Fabric switches supporting unicast
Media types Hot-pluggable, industry-standard Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus (SFP+), LC connector; Short-Wave Laser (SWL), Long-Wave Laser (LWL); Extended Long-Wave Laser (ELWL); distance depends on fiber optic cable and port speed. Supports SFP+ (32/16/8 Gbps), SFP+ (16/8/4 Gbps), SFP+ 10 Gbps optical transceivers, 4x32 Gbps QSFP SWL and 4x16 Gbps QSFP SWL optical transceivers.
USB One USB port for system log file downloads or firmware upgrades
Fabric services
  • Monitoring and Alerting Policy Suite (MAPS)
  • Flow Vision
  • Adaptive Networking (Ingress Rate Limiting, Traffic Isolation, QoS)
  • Fabric Performance Impact (FPI) Monitoring
  • Slow Drain Device Quarantine (SDDQ)
  • Advanced Zoning (default zoning, port/WWN zoning, broadcast zoning, peer zoning, target-driven zoning)
  • Dynamic Path Selection (DPS)
  • Extended Fabrics
  • Enhanced BB Credit Recovery
  • FDMI
  • Frame Redirection
  • Framebased Trunking
  • Fibre Channel shortest path first (FSPF)
  • Integrated Routing
  • Internet Protocol over Fibre Channel (IPFC)
  • ISL Trunking
  • Management Server
  • NPIV
  • Time Server
  • Registered State Change Notification (RSCN)
  • Reliable Commit Service (RCS)
  • Simple Name Server (SNS)
  • Virtual Fabrics (Logical Switch, Logical Fabric)
  • Read Diagnostics Parameter (RDP)
  • Fibre Channel, in-flight compression (b-type LZO) and encryption (AES-GCM-256); integrated optional
  • 10 Gbps Fibre Channel for DWDM MAN connectivity
Supported Management software
  • HTTP, SNMP v1/v3 (FE MIB, FC Management MIB), SSH; Auditing, Syslog; NTP v3
  • Advanced Web Tools
  • IBM Network Advisor SAN Enterprise or IBM Network Advisor SAN Professional/Professional Plus
  • Command Line Interface (CLI)
  • SMI-S compliant
  • Trial licenses for add-on capabilities
  • DH-CHAP (between switches and end devices)
  • FCAP switch authentication
  • IPSec
  • IP filtering
  • LDAP with IPv6
  • OpenLDAP
  • Port Binding
  • User-defined Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
  • Secure Copy (SCP)
  • Secure RPC
  • Secure Syslog
  • SFTP
  • SSH V2
  • SSL
  • Switch binding
  • Trusted switch

The IBM Storage Networking SAN128B-6 switch provides up to 12 in-flight encryption and compression ports.

Management access 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet (RJ-45), serial port (RJ-45), and one USB port
  • ClearLink optics and cable diagnostics, including electrical/optical loopback, link traffic/latency/distance
  • Flow mirroring
  • Built-in flow generator
  • POST and embedded online/offline diagnostics, including environmental monitoring, FCping, and Pathinfo (FC traceroute), frame viewer, non-disruptive daemon restart, optics health monitoring, power monitoring, RAStrace logging, and Rolling Reboot Detection (RRD)
Enclosure Front-to-back airflow; non-port-side exhaust; port-side intake; 2U
Back-to-front airflow; non-port-side intake; port-side exhaust; 2U
Size Width: 44.0 cm (17.32 in.)
Height: 8.67 cm (3.41 in.)
Depth: 60.96 cm (24 in.)
System Weight 21.31 kg (47.00 lb) with two power supply FRUs, and three fan FRUs without transceivers
Operating environment Temperature: 0°C to 40°C/32°F to 104°F
Humidity: 10% to 85% (non-condensing)
Non-operating environment Temperature: -25°C to 70°C/-13°F to 158°F
Humidity: 10% to 90% (non-condensing)
Operating altitude Up to 3,000 m (9,842 ft)
Storage altitude Up to 12 km (39,370 ft)
Shock Operating: Up to 20 G, 6 ms half-sine
Non-operating: Half sine, 33 G 11 ms, 3G axis
Vibration Operating: 0.5 g sine, 0.4 grms random, 5 Hz to 500 Hz
Non-operating: 2.0 g sine, 1.1 grms random, 5 Hz to 500 Hz
Heat dissipation 128 ports at 3,512 BTU/hr
Power supply Two power supply FRUs with integrated power module, voltage range of 90 V to 264 V AC (for AC units)
Fans Three fan FRUs with two fans each
AC input (PSU) 100 V to 240 V nominal, 90 V to 264 V range, 12 A
AC input line frequency (PSU) 50 Hz to 60 Hz nominal, 47 Hz to 63 Hz range
Power consumption (system) Maximum 942 W with all 128 ports operating at 32 Gbps (96 ports populated with 32 Gbps SWL optics and 8 QSFP ports populated with 4x32 Gbps SWL optics) Maximum of 495 W for empty chassis with no optics in idle configuration


Download the IBM Storage Networking SAN128B-6 Switch Datasheet (.PDF)

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Pricing Notes:

IBM Products
IBM Storage Networking b-type Switches
IBM Storage Networking SAN128B-6 Switch (Front/Port-Side Exhaust)
Our Price: Request a Quote
IBM Storage Networking SAN128B-6 Switch (Rear/Non-Port Side Exhaust)
Our Price: Request a Quote