The IBM System Storage® SAN24B-4 Express fabric switch is designed specifically to address the needs of small to medium-sized SAN environments. It can be used to create a wide range of high-performance SAN solutions, from simple, single-switch configurations to larger, multi-switch configurations which support fabric connectivity and advanced business continuity capabilities. Infrastructure simplification solutions for IBM System x®, BladeCenter® and IBM Power Systems™ servers include storage consolidation and high-availability server clustering with IBM System Storage disk storage arrays. Business continuity solutions include data protection with IBM System Storage tape libraries and devices and IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager data protection software.
A single SAN24B-4 Express switch can serve as the cornerstone of a storage area network (SAN) for those that want to obtain the benefits of storage consolidation and are just beginning to implement FC storage systems. Such an entry-level configuration can consist of one or two FC links to a disk storage array or to a Linear Tape-Open® (LTO®) tape drive. An entry-level eight-port storage consolidation solution can support up to seven servers with a single path to either disk or tape. The Ports on Demand feature is designed to enable a base switch to grow to 16 and 24 ports to support more servers and more storage devices without taking the switch offline. A high-availability solution can be created with redundant switches. This capability is ideal for server clustering environments. Such a configuration can support from 6 to 22 servers, each with dual FC adapters cross-connected to redundant SAN24B-4 Express switches, which are cross connected to a dual-controller storage system. While the focus of the SAN24B-4 Express is as the foundation of small to medium-sized SANs, it can be configured to participate as a full member in an extended fabric configuration with other members of the IBM System Storage and TotalStorage® SAN b-type and m-type families. This capability helps provide investment protection as SAN requirements evolve and grow over time.