IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8000

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IBM® System Networking RackSwitch G8000 for IBM System x® is a top-of-rack (TOR) switch that delivers unmatched line-rate Layer 2/3 performance at a very attractive price. The G8000 is prepared for network virtualization, airflow to match server racks, and low power consumption, making it an ideal choice for the next-generation data centers.


IBM® System Networking RackSwitch™ G8000 (Figure 1) is a top-of-rack (TOR) switch that delivers unmatched line-rate Layer 2/3 performance at a very attractive price. The G8000 is prepared for network virtualization, airflow to match server racks, and low power consumption, making it an ideal choice for the next-generation data centers. It has forty-four 1GbE RJ45 ports, four 1G SFP ports, and standard redundant power supplies along with up to four optional 10GbE SFP+ or CX4 ports. Unlike most rack equipment that cools from side to side, the IBM RackSwitch G8000 has rear-to-front airflow or front-to-rear that matches server airflow.

IBM BNT RackSwitch G8000
Figure 1. IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8000

Did you know?
  • The IBM RackSwitch G8000 comes standard with redundant power supplies and 2-post rail kits.
  • The IBM RackSwitch G8000 is designed specifically for the data center environment: airflow, high-availability hardware and software features, rich layer 2/3 functionality, and ease of management.
  • IBM VMready® switch-resident software reduces the complexity of configuring and managing virtual machines throughout the network.
  • IBM Networking Operating System (Networking OS) software features deliver seamless, standards-based integration into existing upstream switches.
  • The IBM RackSwitch G8000 supports stacking for up to six switches using a single switch image and configuration file that shares one IP address and one management interface.

Part number information

Table 1 lists the part numbers for ordering switches and additional options.

Table 1. IBM part numbers and feature codes for ordering (part 1)
DescriptionIBM System x® part number
IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8000 (rear to front cooling) 0446013
IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8000 (front to rear cooling)7309CFC
1 Gb options
IBM SFP RJ45 Transceiver (Withdrawn)81Y1618
IBM SFP RJ45 Transceiver00FE333
IBM SFP SX Transceiver 81Y1622
IBM SFP LX Transceiver 90Y9424
0.6 m Blue Cat5e Cable40K5679
1.5 m Blue Cat5e Cable40K8785
3 m Blue Cat5e Cable40K5581
10 m Blue Cat5e Cable40K8927
25 m Blue Cat5e Cable40K8930
10 Gb options
IBM RackSwitch 10Gb Dual-Port SFP+ Uplink Module46C3417
IBM RackSwitch 10Gb Dual-Port CX4 Uplink Module46C3421
IBM SFP+ SR Transceiver46C3447
IBM SFP+ LR Transceiver90Y9412
IBM SFP+ ER Transceiver 90Y9415
0.5 m IBM Passive DAC SFP+ Cable00D6288
1 m IBM Passive DAC SFP+ Cable 90Y9427
1.5 m IBM Passive DAC SFP+ Cable00AY764
2 m IBM Passive DAC SFP+ Cable00AY765
3 m IBM Passive DAC SFP+ Cable90Y9430
5 m IBM Passive DAC SFP+ Cable90Y9433
7 m IBM Passive DAC SFP+ Cable00D6151
Miscellaneous options
IBM System Networking Adjustable 19" 4 Post Rail Kit00D6185
IBM System Networking Recessed 19" 4 Post Rail Kit00CG089
Air Inlet Duct for 382 mm RackSwitch (Requires IBM System Networking Adjustable 19" 4 Post Rail Kit)00D6062
1 m LC-LC Fiber Cable (networking) - Optical88Y6851
5 m LC-LC Fiber Cable (networking)- Optical88Y6854
25 m LC-LC Fiber Cable (networking) - Optical88Y6857

Table 1. IBM part numbers and feature codes for ordering (part 2)
DescriptionIBM System x part number
ServicePacs (available in select countries)
3-year on-site repair 24x7 two-hour response67567MN
3-year on-site repair 24x7 four-hour response67567MM
3-year on-site repair 9x5 four-hour response67567MK
4-year on-site repair 24x7 two-hour response67567MS
4-year on-site repair 24x7 four-hour response67567MR
4-year on-site repair 9x5 four-hour response67567MQ
4-year on-site repair next business day67567MP
5-year on-site repair 24x7 two-hour response67567MW
5-year on-site repair 24x7 four-hour response67567MV
5-year on-site repair 9x5 four-hour response67567MU
5-year on-site repair next business day67567MT

Note: Small form-factor pluggable plus (SFP+) and SFP transceivers are not included.

The module part numbers include (Table 2):
  • One IBM RackSwitch G8000
  • Generic Rail Mount Kit (2-post)
  • Mini-USB to DB9 serial cable (3 m)
  • Publication Group
  • An IBM limited 3-year hardware warranty

Models shipped after April 5, 2011 include a 3-year software upgrade license, providing entitlement to upgrades over that period.

Note: Make sure that you add two power cords to your configuration, based on the country in which you plan to use the switches (Table 2).

Table 2. Module part numbers
Part numberDescription
39Y7917Power Cord Europe AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT
39Y7918Power Cord Europe (Denmark) AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT
39Y7919Power Cord Europe (Switzerland) AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT
39Y7920Power Cord Europe (Israel) AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT
39Y7922Power Cord Europe (South Africa) AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT
39Y7923Power Cord UK AC plug 13A/250 V; OPT
39Y7924Power Cord Australia AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT
39Y7925Power Cord Korea AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT
39Y7926Power Cord Japan AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT
46M2593 (all 7309-XXX models)2.8 m, 100 V, C13 to JIS C-8303 (Japan)
39Y7927Power Cord India AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT
39Y7928Power Cord China AC plug 16A/250 V; OPT
39Y7929Power Cord Brazil AC plug 16A/250 V; OPT
39Y7930Power Cord Uruguay/Argentina AC plug 16A/250 V; OPT
39Y7931Power Cord US/Canada AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT
46M2592 (all 7309-XXX models)2.8 m, 10A/250 V, C13 to NEMA 6-15P (US)

Summary: IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8000

The IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8000 offers the following benefits:
  • High performance: The G8000 provides up to 176 Gbps throughput and supports up to four 10 G uplink ports for a very low oversubscription ratio.
  • Lower power and better cooling: The G8000 uses approximately 120 W, which is a fraction of the power consumption of most competitive offerings. Unlike side-cooled switches, which can cause heat recirculation and reliability concerns, the G8000 rear-to-front/front-to-rear cooling design reduces data center air conditioning costs by matching airflow to the server’s configuration in the rack. Variable speed fans assist in automatically reducing power consumption.
  • VM-Aware network virtualization: VMready software on the switch reduces configuration complexity while significantly improving security levels in virtualized environments. VMready automatically detects virtual machine movement from one physical server to another, and instantly reconfigures each VM’s network policies across VLANs to keep the network up and running without interrupting traffic or impacting performance. VMready works with all leading hypervisors, such as VMware, Citrix Xen, RedHat KVM, Microsoft Hyper V, and IBM PowerVM® hypervisor.
  • Layer 3 functionality: The switch includes Layer 3 functionality, which provides security and performance benefits, plus static and dynamic routing protocols including Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) and Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) for enterprise customers.
  • Fault tolerance: These switches learn alternate routes automatically and perform faster convergence in the unlikely case of a link, switch, or power failure. The switch uses proven technologies such as L2 trunk failover, advanced VLAN-based failover, VRRP, HotLink™, Uplink Failure Detection (UFD)™, IGMP V3 snooping, and OSPF.
  • Seamless interoperability: Switches interoperate seamlessly with other vendors' upstream switches. See the following resources:
  • Stacking: Cluster virtualization, single IP, and stacking of up to six virtual switches allow configuration of multiple switches as one, saving valuable time, IP addresses, and resources.

Features and specifications

This section lists the features and specifications.


The performance features are:
  • Full Line rate performance
  • 176 Gbps (full duplex) switching architecture
  • 132 million packets per second (mpps)

Hardware features

Figure 2 shows the front of the switch; Figure 3 shows the rear of the switch.

Front of switch
Figure 2. Front of switch

Rear of switch
Figure 3. Rear of switch

The hardware features are as follows:
  • Models
    • IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8000 Rear-toFront : For ports located in the rear of the rack to match System x and IBM BladeCenter® designs
    • IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8000 Front to Rear: For ports located in the front of the rack to match airflow of IBM iDataPlex® and NeXtScale systems
  • Interface options: Forty-four 10/100/1000 + four 1G SFP ports
    • Two port expansion slots for uplink modules
      • Dual-port 10GbE SFP+ module
      • Dual-port 10GbE CX-4 module
    • One fixed mini USB console port for serial access
  • Dimensions: 17.3” wide, 15” deep, 1 RU high
  • Weight: 5.45 kg (11.99 lb)
  • Airflow: Front-to-rear or rear-to-front cooling and redundant variable speed fans to reduce power draw
  • Power
    • The AC-Powered G8000 has dual load-sharing internal power modules, operating at 120 W, 50 - 60 Hz, 100-240 VAC auto switching per module.
  • Rack installation kit
    • Generic Rack Mount Kit (2-post), which comes as standard
    • Optional IBM System Networking Adjustable or Recessed 19" 4 Post Rail Kit
    • G8000 switches, which can be mounted vertically or horizontally
  • LEDs
    • System LEDs to indicate status
    • Stacking LEDs to indicate master/member

Environmental specifications

The environmental specifications are:
  • Temperature: ambient operating: 0º C to +40º C
  • Relative humidity: non-condensing, operating 10 - 90%
  • Altitude: operating 3,050 m (10,000 feet)
  • Acoustic noise: less than 65 dB
  • Heat dissipation: 520 BTU/hour
  • Cable management
    • Intuitive LEDs for port identification and cable management
    • Server-like port orientations enable short and simple cabling
  • Mean time between failure (MTBF): 195,000 hours with ambient operating temperature of 40º C MTBF is calculated using the Telcordia Technologies Reliability Prediction Procedure for Electronic Equipment (SR-332 issue 2), Parts Count (method 1 case 1) failure rate data.

Software features

See the IBM Networking Operating System data sheet for the most current updates:

The software features are:
  • Security
    • 802.1x with VLAN assignment
    • Private VLAN edge
    • RADIUS
    • TACACS+
    • LDAP
    • Wire Speed Filtering
    • Flexible ACL combinations - L2-L4 criteria: Source and Destination MAC, IP, TCP/UDP Ports
    • IPv6 IPSEC/IKEv2
    • Telnet
    • SSH v1, v2
    • HTTPS Secure BBI
    • MAC address move notification
    • SCP
    • Secure Interface Login and Password
    • Shift B Boot menu (Password Recovery/Factory Default)
  • VLANs
    • Port-based VLAN
    • 4096 VLAN IDs supported
    • 1024 Active VLANs (802.1Q)
    • 802.1x with Dynamic VLAN assignment
    • Private VLAN Edge
  • Trunking
    • LACP (802.3ad)
    • Static Trunks (EtherChannel)
    • Configurable Trunk Hash algorithm
    • Cross Stack Trunks
    • Trunk Hashing support (RTAG 7)
  • Spanning Tree
    • Multiple Spanning Tree (802.1s)
    • Rapid Spanning Tree (802.1w)
    • Fast Uplink Convergence
    • PVRST+
    • BPDU guard
  • Quality of service (QoS)
    • QoS 802.1p (Priority Queues)
    • DSCP remarking
    • DiffServ IPv4 and IPv6
    • Weighted round-robin
    • Metering
    • 4 MB buffers
  • Routing protocols
    • IPv4, IPv6
    • 128 static routes
    • Layer 2/3 static routes
    • RIP v1/v2
    • OSPF v2
    • OSPF v3 (IPv6)
    • DHCP Relay
    • BGP
    • VRRP
  • High availability
    • Uplink failure detection
    • Hot links™
    • Virtual Router Redundancy support (VRRP)
    • Layer 2 failover
  • Multicast
    • IGMP v1, v2, v3 Snooping with 2 K IGMP groups
    • IPv6 MLDv2
  • Monitoring
    • Port mirroring
    • ACL-based mirroring
    • sFlow Version 5
  • Virtualization
    • VMready VI API support
    • Virtual switch stacking with up to six switches

Management features

  • System Networking Switch Center (SNSC) (optional)
  • isCLI (Cisco-like)
  • Browser-based client, SSH, or Telnet
  • Netboot

Standard protocols

The standard protocols are:
  • SNMP v1, v2c, v3
  • RMON
  • Secondary NTP support
  • Accept DHCP IP address assignment
  • LLDP
  • IPv6 Base RFCs
  • 16 K MAC table
  • 9 K jumbo frames
  • 802.3X flow control


The upgrades are:
  • Upgrade firmware via serial or TFTP
  • Dual software images

Popular configurations

Popular configurations are:
  • Rack-optimized server aggregation 1 GbE attached rack servers (Figure 4)
    • High-concentration of rack-optimized servers, for example:
      • System x 1U or 2U servers with a 1G adapter installed
      • System x 4U servers with multiple 1G connections per server
      • IBM BladeCenter® using any of the following modules in the chassis:
        • Layer 2/3 Copper and Fiber Gigabit Ethernet Switch Modules for IBM BladeCenter
        • 1/10Gb Uplink Ethernet Switch Module for IBM BladeCenter
        • Intelligent Copper Pass-Thru Module for IBM BladeCenter
        • Server Connectivity Module for IBM BladeCenter
    • Low-profile, high-performance, 48-port GbE switch needed to perform aggregation function per rack
Figure 4 shows rack optimized server aggregation 1GbE attached rack servers.

Rack optimized server aggregation 1GbE attached rack servers
Figure 4. Rack optimized server aggregation 1GbE attached rack servers

Table 4 lists the features and benefits.

Table 4. Features and benefits
Line-rate, non-blocking, all 48 portsSupports massive compute and virtualization workloads.
Less than 4 micro-seconds latencyFaster application response times.
Four 10GbE uplink ports (40 Gb bandwidth to the core or upstream switch)Minimal oversubscription: 1:08 (~1 to 1).
Standards-based Layer 2/3 protocols, industry standard CLIInteroperates with existing network. No learning curve.
  • Rack-optimized server aggregation logical design (Figure 5); the design goal is to interoperate with an existing Layer 2/3 switch and deploy G8000s at the Data Center Edge:
    • Logical configuration: Configure G8000s for Layer 2. Apply VLAN domains (1 and 2) at Core switches.
    • Full Layer 2/3 feature set: STP, MSTP, RSTP, PVRST+; RIP v1/2, static routes, and OSPF.
    • Security: 802.1X; RADIUS/TACACS+; Wire Speed ACLs, SSH v1, v2; HTTPS Secure BBI.
    • QoS: Up to eight queues/port, IEEE 802.1p and DiffServ prioritization.

Rack optimized server aggregation logical design
Figure 5. Rack optimized server aggregation logical design

Server 1Gb aggregation and connection to IBM Storage has the following benefits:
  • An excellent entry-level price point for a data center environment
    • For those requiring low latency, consider the G8052.
  • Good for connectivity to Network Attach Storage
    • IBM Real-Time Compression Appliance™ (Figure 6)
    • IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage
    • IBM System Storage® N Series Gateway for SAN Storage Environments
  • Ideal for connectivity to iSCSI
    • IBM Storwize® V7000 Midrange Disk System
    • IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller
    • IBM System Storage DS3500 and 5000 (Figure 7)

IBM BNT RackSwitch G8000 with IBM Real-Time Compression Appliance
Figure 6. IBM RackSwitch G8000 with IBM Real-Time Compression Appliance

IBM BNT RackSwitch G8000 with DS3500
Figure 7. IBM RackSwitch G8000 with DS3500

Related publications

For more information see the following publications:

Special Notices

This material has not been submitted to any formal IBM test and is published AS IS. It has not been the subject of rigorous review. IBM assumes no responsibility for its accuracy or completeness. The use of this information or the implementation of any of these techniques is a client responsibility and depends upon the client's ability to evaluate and integrate them into the client's operational environment.


Publish Date
09 September 2010

Last Update
15 July 2014

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