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IBM System Networking SAN96B-5 Switch
Scalable enterprise-class SAN switch for highly virtualized cloud environments

IBM System Networking SAN96B-5 Switch

IBM Products
IBM Storage Networking b-type Switches
IBM System Networking SAN96B-5 Switch (Front/Port-Side Exhaust)
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IBM System Networking SAN96B-5 Switch (Rear/Non-Port Side Exhaust)
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The IBM System Networking SAN96B-5 switch is a high-density, purpose-built, foundational building block for large and growing storage area network (SAN) infrastructures. It is designed to provide a highly resilient, scalable and simplified network infrastructure for storage. By delivering market-leading Gen 5 Fibre Channel technology and capabilities with 16 Gbps performance, SAN96B-5 meets the demands of growing, dynamic workloads; evolving, virtualized data-centers; and highly virtualized private and hybrid cloud storage environments.

  • Support virtualized private and hybrid cloud storage environments and data center consolidation with high scalability in an ultra-dense, Gen 5 Fibre Channel 96-port switch
  • Enable “pay-as-you-grow” flexibility using the Ports on Demand feature with speeds up to 16 Gbps
  • Simplify management with Fabric Vision technology, which helps reduce operational costs and optimize application performance
  • Provide data center-to-data center security and bandwidth savings with up to eight in-flight encryption and compression ports

Outstanding scalability for demanding workloads and data center consolidation

SAN96B-5 features 96 Fibre Channel ports in a 2U form factor, delivering industry-leading scalability, reliability and performance in a flexible, easy-to- deploy enterprise-class switch that enables greater data center consolidation, operational efficiency and business continuity. SAN96B-5 delivers notable performance for growing and dynamic workloads through a combination of market-leading throughput and bandwidth utilization. With the unpredictability of virtualized workloads and cloud services, throughput becomes critical to ensuring that the network does not become a bottleneck.

Designed for maximum flexibility, this enterprise-class switch offers “pay-as-you-grow” scalability with the Ports on Demand (PoD) feature. Organizations can quickly, easily and cost-effectively scale from 48 to 96 ports in 24-port increments, each supporting 2, 4, 8, 10 or 16 Gbps.

In addition, flexible, high-speed 16 Gbps and 8 Gbps optics allow organizations to deploy bandwidth on demand to meet growing data center needs. Along with increased throughput, SAN96B-5 helps improve bandwidth utilization, security, and network visibility and management through in-flight data compression, encryption and advanced diagnostics. This is an ideal switch for bandwidth-intensive workloads that require a large number of ports.


Fabric operating system and management software

Faced with unpredictable virtualized workloads and growing flash storage environments, organizations need to ensure that the network does not become a bottleneck. SAN64B-6 delivers increased performance for dynamic workloads through a combination of market-leading throughput and low latency across 32 Gbps and 128 Gbps links. SAN64B-6 shatters application performance barriers with up to 100 million IOPS and 700-nanosecond latency to meet the demands of flash-based storage workloads. At the same time, port-to-port latency is minimized through the use of cut-through switching at 32 Gbps. The 48 SFP+ ports provide 32 Gbps connections, and each Q-Flex port is capable of either 128 Gbps parallel Fibre Channel using QSFP-to-QSFP Inter-Switch Link (ISL) connectivity or 128 Gbps QSFP to four 32 Gbps SFP+ device connectivity using breakout cables, both methods simplifying cabling infrastructure.

Administrators can achieve optimal bandwidth utilization, high availability and load balancing by combining up to eight ISL connections in a 256 Gbps framed-based trunk. This can be achieved through eight individual 32 Gbps SFP+ ports or two 128 Gbps QSFP ports. Moreover, exchange-based Dynamic Path Selection (DPS) optimizes fabric-wide performance and load balancing by automatically routing data to the most efficient, available path in the fabric.

Enterprise-class reliability, availability and serviceability

SAN96B-5 leverages proven enterprise-class Gen 5 Fibre Channel technology to deliver outstanding reliability to support nonstop operations for mission-critical workloads. SAN96B-5 utilizes Fabric Vision technology,1 which leverages hardware, FOS and IBM Network Advisor integration to provide advanced functions. It features advanced monitoring, diagnostics, and reliability, availability, and serviceability capabilities to minimize downtime, optimize performance and simplify administration. Moreover, the enterprise-class capabilities of this switch yield a higher performance when compared to 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) storage networking alternatives at a similar cost.

Simplified management and robust network analytics

SAN96B-5 with Fabric Vision technology, an extension of Gen 5 Fibre Channel, provides a breakthrough hardware and software solution that helps simplify monitoring, maximize network availability and dramatically reduce costs. Featuring innovative monitoring, management and diagnostic capabilities, Fabric Vision technology enables administrators to avoid problems before they impact operations, helping organizations meet service level agreements (SLAs). Some key advantages of SAN96B-5 with Fabric Vision include:

  • Dramatically reduced costs
    • Helps eliminate the need for expensive third-party monitoring, diagnostics and test equipment through built-in f low monitoring, flow mirroring and trafficgenerator tools
    • Pre-tests and validates the SAN infrastructure to accelerate deployments and simplify ongoing support
    • Automates the deployment of threshold-based rules and policies for proactive monitoring and management, reducing operational costs
  • Maximum infrastructure uptime
    • Provides a customizable dashboard that displays the overall health of the SAN, helping to pinpoint problems faster and enabling trend analysis
    • Features critical diagnostic and monitoring capabilities, helping to ensure early problem detection and recovery
    • Validates the health, reliability and performance of the network prior to deployment and for ongoing support, helping to reduce the risk of downtime
  • Optimized application performance
    • Provides comprehensive visibility into flows in the fabric, including the ability to automatically learn (discover) flows and nondisruptively monitor flow performance
    • Instantly identifies congestion or abnormal levels of latency in the fabric and identifies exactly which devices and hosts are impacted by the bottleneck

A building block for virtualized, private cloud storage

SAN96B-5 provides a critical building block for today’s highly virtualized, private cloud storage environments. It simplifies server virtualization and virtual desktop infrastructure management while meeting the high-throughput demands of solidstate disks. SAN96B-5 also supports multi-tenancy in cloud environments through Virtual Fabrics, quality of service (QoS) and fabric-based zoning features.

In addition, SAN96B-5 enables secure metro extension to virtual private or hybrid clouds with 10 Gbps dense wavelength division multiplexing link support, as well as in-f light encryption and data compression to optimize bandwidth and minimize the risk of unauthorised access. With four times more in-f light encryption and compression ports than the IBM System Storage SAN48B-5 switch, SAN96B-5 supports higher data volumes over long distances. This switch also features onboard data security and acceleration, minimizing the need for separate acceleration appliances to support distance extension. Internal fault-tolerant and enterprise-class reliability, availability and serviceability features help minimize downtime to support mission-critical cloud environments.


Gain storage flexibility

Support virtualized private and hybrid cloud storage environments and data center consolidation with high scalability in an ultra-dense, Gen 5 Fibre Channel 96-port switch.

Scale easily

Enable “pay-as-you-grow” flexibility using the Ports on Demand feature with speeds up to 16 Gbps.

Simplify management

Fabric Vision technology provides enhanced capabilities for managing your storage network to reduce operational costs and optimize application performance.

Enhance security

Provide data center-to-data center security and bandwidth savings with up to eight in-flight encryption and compression ports.


SAN96B-5 Switch Specifications
System Architecture
Base fabric switch Components: Two power distribution unit (PDU) jumpers, fixed rack-mount rail kit, install guide hard copy, EZSwitchSetup, CD-ROM (with manuals), service tools, RJ-45 wrap tools, wrist strap and small form-factor pluggable (SFP) extraction tool (no SFPs included in base switch), two integrated power supplies, and three redundant fan modules with reversible airflow options: non-port-side to port-side (2498-F96) and port-side to non-port-side exhaust (2498-N96)***
Functions: Advanced Web Tools, Advanced Zoning, Enhanced Group Management, Full Fabric, Virtual Fabrics, Adaptive Networking and Server Application Optimization
Operating system: Fabric OS (v7.1 or later)
Fibre Channel interfaces Auto-sensing of 2, 4, 8, or 16 Gbps port speeds; 10 Gbps and optionally programmable to fixed port speed diagnostic port (D_Port), E_Port, EX_Port, fabric port (F_Port), mirror port (M_Port); optional port type control
  • 16 Gbps: hot-pluggable SFP+, LC connector; 16 Gbps short-wavelength laser (SWL); 16 Gbps long-wavelength laser (LWL): 16 Gbps extended distance longwave (ELW)
  • 10 Gbps: hot-pluggable, 10 Gbps SFP, LC; 10 Gbps SWL; 10 Gbps LWL
  • 8 Gbps: hot-pluggable SFP+, LC; 8 Gbps SWL; 8 Gbps LWL; 8 Gbps ELW
Hot-swap components Power supplies, fan modules, SFPs
Non-rack support Non-rack installation is supported; country-specific power cords are required and must be ordered separately
Management software HTTP, SNMP v1/v3 (FE MIB, Fibre Channel Management MIB), Secure Shell (SSH) v2; Auditing, Syslog; Advanced Web Tools, Advanced Performance Monitoring, Fabric Watch; IBM Network Advisor v12.0 or later; CLI; SMI-S compliant
Servers supported*
  • IBM Power Systems™, IBM System p
  • IBM System i
  • Other Intel processor-based servers with Linux, Microsoft Windows 2008 and Windows 2012
  • Select Sun and HP servers
Operating systems supported*
  • Windows 2008, Windows 2012
  • Red Hat Linux, Red Hat Linux Advanced Server
  • SUSE Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
  • Other select operating systems
Storage products supported*
  • IBM XIV Storage System
  • IBM FlashSystem™
  • IBM System Storage DS8000 storage servers
  • IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC)
  • IBM Storwize V3700, V5000, and V7000
  • Select IBM Tape Systems
  • Other select storage systems
Fibre Channel switches supported System Storage and IBM TotalStorage b-type and m-type SAN directors, switches and routers; other directors, switches and routers manufactured by Brocade
Fibre optic cable Fibre optic cables with LCs are required and available in various lengths in single- and multi-mode formats
Power cords Jumper cables are included for installation; country-specific power cords must be ordered for desktop/standalone installation
Warranty One year; customer-replaceable unit (CRU) and onsite; next-business-day response, warranty service upgrades are available
Optional features SFPs; fiber optic cables; upgraded power supplies; 24-port Activation, Advanced Performance Monitor, Fabric Watch, Enterprise Bundle**, Extended Fabrics, Integrated Routing, Trunking Activation, Integrated 10 Gbps Fibre Channel Activation, Fabric Vision
Size Width: 42.93 cm (16.90 in.)
Height: 8.67 cm (3.42 in.)
Depth: 60.98 cm (24.01 in.)
System Weight 16.92 kg (37.3 lb) with two power supply field-replaceable units (FRUs), without transceivers
Temperature (operating) 0°C - 40°C (32°F -104°F)
Humidity (operating) 10% - 85% (non-condensing)
Altitude (operating) Up to 3,000 m (9,842 ft)
Electrical Requirements
Input voltage 85 - 264 V ac, single phase
Frequency 47 - 63 Hz
Power consumption 464 Watts with all 96 ports populated with 16 Gbps SWL optics

* For the most current and complete details, see product details at the IBM System Storage Interoperation Center (SSIC):
** The Enterprise Bundle includes one license for each of the following: Fabric Watch, Extended Fabric, Advanced Performance Monitor, Trunking Activation, and Fabric Vision.
*** The 2498-F96 model has the standard airflow (airflow from non-port side to the port side), while the 2498-N96 model has a reversed airflow (airflow from port side to the non-port side). There is no model conversion available to change a model F96 to a model N96.


Download the IBM System Networking SAN96B-5 Switch Datasheet (.PDF)

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Pricing Notes:

IBM Products
IBM Storage Networking b-type Switches
IBM System Networking SAN96B-5 Switch (Front/Port-Side Exhaust)
Our Price: Request a Quote
IBM System Networking SAN96B-5 Switch (Rear/Non-Port Side Exhaust)
Our Price: Request a Quote