IBM System Storage SAN768B and SAN384B

Designed for highest performance and scalability for the most demanding enterprise SAN environments


The IBM System Storage SAN768B and IBM System Storage SAN384B fabric backbones are highly robust network switching platforms designed for evolving enterprise data centres. Each machine combines breakthrough performance, scalability and energy efficiency with long-term investment protection. Supporting open systems and System z environments, they address data growth and server virtualisation challenges; enable server, SAN and data centre consolidation; minimise disruption and risk; and reduce infrastructure and administrative costs.

Built for large enterprise networks, the SAN768B has eight vertical blade slots to provide up to 512 8-Gbps FC ports. The SAN384B is ideal for midsize core or edge deployments, providing four horizontal blade slots and up to 256 8-Gbps FC ports. The flexible blade architecture also supports FC over Ethernet (FCoE), fabric-based encryption for data-at-rest and SAN extension advanced functionality for high-performance server input/output (I/O) consolidation, data protection and disaster recovery (DR) solutions.

The SAN768B and SAN384B are extremely efficient at reducing power consumption, cooling and the carbon footprint in data centres. While providing exceptional performance and scale, these networking backbones use less than one watt per Gbps – significantly more efficient than alternate offerings.

The SAN768B and SAN384B build on years of innovation, using the core technology of systems designed to perform at greater than 99.999 percent uptime in the world’s most demanding data centres. With its intelligent sixth-generation application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and advanced hardware and software capabilities, the SAN768B and SAN384B provide a reliable foundation for fully connected multiprotocol SAN fabrics capable of supporting thousands of servers, storage and networking devices.

As members of the IBM System Storage family of b-type SAN products, the SAN768B and the SAN384B are designed to participate in fabrics containing other b-type and m-type devices manufactured by Brocade. This versatile hardware can serve as the backbone in a complex fabric and provide connections to other b-type and m-type directors, switches and routers.

Fabric optimisation services

The IBM System Storage SAN768B and IBM System Storage SAN384B can be expandable platforms for intelligent, policy-driven services that can help manage and protect your enterprise data in virtualised environments. The SAN768B and SAN384B backbones utilise Brocade Fabric Operating System (FOS), which provides several characteristic features, including Bottleneck Detection, Top Talkers (part of Advanced Performance Monitoring) and Adaptive Networking, a suite of tools that includes Ingress Rate Limiting, Traffic Isolation and quality of service (QoS). Managed through IBM System Storage Data Centre Fabric Manager (DCFM) or the command line interface (CLI), these advanced capabilities help optimise fabric behaviour and application performance.

QoS and traffic management applications help ensure that application workloads meet service levels if congestion occurs anywhere in the data path. Resource recovery applications can detect stranded resources or inefficiently used resources and reclaim or reallocate them to optimise data flow according to predefined policies. For example:

Virtual Fabrics (VF)

The IBM System Storage SAN768B and the IBM System Storage SAN384B support the ANSI standard-based implementation of VF. VF adds the capability for physical switches to be partitioned into independently managed logical switches, each with its own data, control and management paths. Logical switches can be used to allocate fabric resources on a per-port basis rather than on a per-switch basis. Additionally, logical switches can simplify resource allocation by customer, department, application or storage tier and consolidate resources across multiple fabrics.

Each logical switch belongs to one logical fabric. A logical fabric can include both logical and physical switches. Physical switches joining a logical fabric are not required to support the VF feature, making it compatible with existing fabrics. All fabric services, such as Zoning, QoS and Access Control List (ACL) policies are managed separately in each logical fabric. VFs enable improved ISL bandwidth utilisation, per-port resource allocation and flexible management partitioning, which can result in reduced power and cooling costs, more ports for connectivity to end devices and a simplified management scheme.

Common features

Hardware summary

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