System Storage SAN768B and SAN384B

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

Feature Benefits
Hot-swappable and redundant control processors, core routing, modules, power supplies and fans
Non-disruptive control processor failover and concurrent firmware activation
Multiprotocol support for FC, FICON, FCoE, FCIP, CEE, IPFC
Advanced ICLs – Connects multiple chassis through high-performance, load-balanced links
SAN768B: Scalable from 16 to 512 ports in a single domain; up to 1536 ports in three domains with ICLs

SAN384B: Scalable from 16 to 256 ports in a single domain; up to 768 ports in three domains with ICLs
ISL Trunking – Combine as many as eight links into a single 64 Gbps logical ISL
Adaptive Networking – Uses QoS, Ingress Rate Limiting and Traffic Isolation to manage performance
Advanced Performance Monitoring – Provides end-to-end (E2E) visibility into fabric performance
Fabric Watch – Monitors and creates alerts based on the health of switch and fabric elements
FICON with CUP Activation – Enables in-band management of the SAN768B and SAN384B by System Automation for z/OS
Server Application Optimisation (SAO)- isolates and prioritises individual Virtual Machine (VM) data flow for E2E QoS, preserving individual SLAs from each VM through the SAN
VFs – Partitions a physical switch into independently managed logical switches
Product characteristics
Product numbers IBM System Storage SAN768B (2499-384)

IBM System Storage SAN384B (2499-192)
Base machine Base chassis includes the following components:
FC interfaces
Converged Ethernet interfaces 10 Gbps
FICON interfaces 8/4/2/1 Gbps
FCIP interfaces 1 GbE and 10 GbE
Hot-swap components Control processors (CPs), core routing modules, power supplies, fan modules, FC port blades, FCoE 10 GbE 24-port blade, 8 Gbps Extension Blade, 8 Gbps Encryption blade, SFPs and XFPs
Rack support IBM TotalStorage SAN Cabinet (2109-C36) only
Management software Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), SNMP v1/v3 (FE MIB, FC Management MIB), Telnet; Auditing, Syslog; Web Tools, Fabric Watch; IBM System Storage DCFM; CLI
Servers supported IBM System z9 EC, z9 BC and zSeries 990 and 900; IBM Power Systems, IBM System i, System p; IBM System x and selected Netfinity servers; other Intel®-based servers with Linux®, Microsoft® Windows® 2003 and Windows 2008; IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC);
Storage products supported* IBM XIV Storage System; IBM System Storage DS8000; IBM System Storage DS6000; IBM System Storage DS5000; IBM System Storage DS4000; IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (ESS); IBM TotalStorage 3580, 3588, 3590 and 3592 Tape Drives; IBM TotalStorage 3494, 3582, 3583 and 3584 Tape Libraries; IBM TotalStorage 3581 Tape Autoloader; IBM TotalStorage 3584 High Availability Frame Model HA1; TKLM; other selected storage systems.

(For most current and complete details, refer to
Fibre Channel switches supported IBM 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 LC connectors are required and are available in various lengths in single-mode and multi-mode formats
Warranty One year; around-the-clock; same-day maintenance service options are available after warranty expiration
Optional features SAN768B: 16-port, 32-port, 48-port and 64-port 8 Gbps FC switch blade (FC #3816, 3832, 3848 and 3864); 10 Gbps FC switch blade (FC #3870); FCoE 10 GbE 24-port blade (FC #3880); 8 Gbps Extension blade (FC #3890); 8 Gbps 16-port FC encryption blade (FC #3895); SFPs and XFPs; fibre optic cables; Inter-Chassis Cable Kit; Inter-Chassis Licence; Upgrade Power Supplies; FICON w/CUP activation; 8 Gbps Advanced Extension; 8 Gbps Extension Blade 10 GbE Activation; 8 Gbps Advanced FICON Accelerator; Encryption 96 Gbps Disk Performance Upgrade Activation; and Integrated Routing

SAN384B: 16-port, 32-port, 48-port, and 64-port 8 Gbps FC switch blade (FC #3816, 3832, 3848 and 3864); 10 Gbps FC switch blade (FC #3870); FCoE 10 GbE 24-port blade (FC #3880); 8 Gbps Extension blade (FC #3890); 8 Gbps 16-port FC encryption blade (FC #3895); SFPs and XFPs; fibre optic cables; Inter-Chassis Cable Kit; Inter-Chassis Licence; FICON w/CUP activation; 8 Gbps Advanced Extension; 8 Gbps Extension Blade 10 GbE activation; 8 Gbps Advanced FICON Accelerator; Extended Fabric; Encryption 96 Gbps Disk Performance Upgrade Activation; and Integrated Routing
Physical characteristics
Height (rack mount) SAN768B: 61.24 cm/24.11" (14U)

SAN384B: 35.0 cm/13.78" (8U) plus 4.37 cm/1.72" exhaust shelf (1U)
Width 43.74 cm/17.22"
Depth (with door) 73.20 cm/28.82"
Depth (without door) 61.19 cm/24.09"
Weight (maximum ports fully populated) SAN768B: 103.50 kg/228.20 lbs

SAN384B: 68.04 kg/150.0 lbs
Operating environment
Temperature (operating) SAN768B: 10 to 40 degrees C (50 to 104 degrees F)

SAN384B: 0 to 40 degrees C (32 to 104 degrees F)
Humidity (operating) SAN768B: 20 to 85 percent relative humidity (RH) non-condensing at 40 degrees C (104 degrees F), with a maximum gradient of 10 percent per hour.

SAN384B: 10 to 85 percent relative humidity (RH) non-condensing at 40 degrees C (104 degrees F), with a maximum gradient of 10 percent per hour
Altitude (operating) Up to 3 kilometres/10,000 feet
Airflow 00059 cu m/hr/350 cu ft/min
Electrical requirement
Nominal input voltage 200 - 240 V ac, Universal
Input line frequency 47 - 63 Hz
Heat dissipation 1440 watts or 4914 British thermal units (Btu)
Inrush current Maximum of 20 amps

Contact IBM

I'm here to help

David Greene Hi! I am David Greene and I specialise in B2B Server & Storage Solutions. If you have any questions, I am happy to assist you.

Browse IBM Systems


IBM offers a broad systems and storage portfolio combined with decades of experience solving real business problems. With x86, POWER and mainframe systems, disk, tape and network storage systems, IBM can offer the right combination of systems to meet the challenges of your business.


Storage efficiency is more vital than ever. Your disk utilisation rate may be as low as 20% — while the amount of data you are required to store is exploding. IBM Storage can help.


The smarter data centre with improved economics of IT can be achieved by connecting servers and storage with a high-speed and intelligent network fabric that is smarter, faster, greener, open and easy to manage. IBM takes an open, standards-based approach to implement the latest advances in today’s flat, converged data centre network designs.


IBM's comprehensive Systems Software solutions help to centralise, streamline and automate your physical and virtual infrastructure, allowing you to optimise workloads and increase your ability to deliver IT services that align with business goals. Let us show you how IBM Systems Software helps you realise the value of IBM smarter computing, by allowing a more effective use of the advanced features in IBM hardware and operating systems.

Integrated solutions

The reality is that you need an IT infrastructure designed for data, tuned to the task and managed in the cloud. If your IT staff spends all of their time managing IT, they won’t be working with you to drive innovation. You need your infrastructure to help you in the marketplace, to help you innovate, to help you be more competitive, to help you succeed.

Systems-related services

IBM Systems-related services offers a full range of services to help design, develop, integrate, optimise, validate and deploy comprehensive solutions that support On Demand Business.