RackSwitch G8124E

Product Guide

This document is being moved!
In September 2015, this document will be moved to lenovopress.com and will no longer be available on the IBM Redbooks site. Please bookmark the URL http://lenovopress.com/TIPS0787 to access this specific document both today and after the migration in September.

Learn more


The RackSwitch™ G8124E delivers exceptional performance that is both lossless and low latency. In addition, the G8124E delivers excellent cost savings as you consider acquisition costs, energy costs, plus its feature-rich design with when it comes to virtualization, CEE/FCoE, high availability, and its enterprise class Layer 2 and Layer 3 functionality.

Note: This Product Guide describes the models of the RackSwitch G8124E that support Networking OS up to version 7.x. For Lenovo RackSwitch G8124E models that support Networking OS version 8.x onwards, see the Lenovo Press Product Guide Lenovo RackSwitch G8124E.

Changes in the June 8 update:
* Added new Lenovo LC-LC cables
* Added new Lenovo Active DAC cables
* Updated transceiver descriptions
* Updated cabling requirements
* Updated warranty upgrade offerings


Table of contents


The RackSwitch G8124E (shown in Figure 1) delivers exceptional performance that is both lossless and low latency. In addition, the G8124E delivers excellent cost savings as you consider acquisition costs, energy costs, plus its feature-rich design with when it comes to virtualization, CEE/FCoE, high availability, and its enterprise class Layer 2 and Layer 3 functionality.

With support for 1 Gb Ethernet or 10 Gb Ethernet, the G8124E switch is designed for those clients that are leveraging 10 GbE today or have plans to in the future. This is the first top of rack (TOR) 10 GbE switch designed to support Virtual Fabric, which helps clients significantly reduce cost and complexity when it comes to the I/O requirements of most virtualization deployments today. Virtual Fabric can help clients reduce the number of multiple I/O adapters down to a single dual-port 10 GbE adapter, in addition to reducing the number of cables and upstream switch ports required. Virtual Fabric allows clients to carve up a dual-port 10 GbE adapter into eight virtual NICs (vNICs) and create dedicated virtual pipes between the adapter and the switch for optimal performance, plus higher availability and better security. This functionality provides the ability to dynamically allocate bandwidth per vNIC in increments of 100 Mb, while being able to adjust over time without downtime.

RackSwitch G8124E
Figure 1. RackSwitch G8124E

Did you know?

The G8124E switch is designed to support a number of separate types of configurations from a server or downstream switches: 1 Gb, 10 Gb, virtual NIC, Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE/FCoE), and iSCSI. This single switch can handle all these workloads and can connect to an upstream 1 Gb or 10 Gb infrastructure, or both.

The G8124E is designed to support data center bridging (DCB), which is the IEEE’s group of protocols that provide Lossless Ethernet and allows for clients to reduce the costs of implementing FCoE by leveraging port aggregation before connecting to more costly upstream gateway devices.

The G8124E can be configured in "easy connect" mode to allow for transparent and simple connectivity to the upstream network, enabling easy connectivity to upstream Cisco, Juniper or other networks without having to change those networks.

Virtual Fabric helps clients reduce costs and complexity in environments where they need four or more NICs per server. A perfect example is virtualization, where clients often need as many as eight NICs per server.

The G8124E can help clients reduce the complexity of managing VMs and VM migration with VMready® feature that makes the network VM-aware.

Part number information

The part numbers to order the switch and additional options are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Part numbers and feature codes for ordering

DescriptionPart numberFeature code for MTM 7309-HC6Feature code for MTM 7309-HC7
RackSwitch G8124E (Rear to Front)7309BR6A1PFNone
RackSwitch G8124E (Front to Rear)7309BF7NoneA1PG
Miscellaneous options
Console Cable Kit Spare90Y9462A2MGA2MG
Adjustable 19" 4 Post Rail Kit00D6185A3KPA3KP
Recessed 19" 4 Post Rail Kit00CG089NoneA51M
iDataPlex Rail Kit90Y3535NoneA1SZ
Air Inlet Duct for 382 mm RackSwitch00D6062A3HGNone

The part numbers for the G8124E switches include the following items:
  • One RackSwitch G8124E switch
  • Generic Rack Mount Kit (2-post)
  • Console Cable Kit that includes:
    • RJ-45 (plug) to RJ-45 (plug) serial cable (1 m)
    • Mini-USB to RJ-45 (jack) adapter cable (0.2 m) with retention clip
    • DB-9 to RJ-45 (jack) adapter
  • Warranty Flyer
  • Important Notices Flyer
  • Documentation CD-ROM

The G8124E switch has two redundant 275 W AC power supplies. Each internal power supply has an individual IEC 320-C14 power connector on the rear panel. Power cables are not included and must be ordered separately (see Table 2 for details).

The G8124E switch comes standard with the Console Cable Kit for management through a serial interface. Spare serial management cables can be ordered, if required. The Console Cable Kit Spare option contains the following items:
  • RJ-45 (plug) to RJ-45 (plug) serial cable (1 m)
  • Mini-USB to RJ-45 (jack) adapter cable (0.2 m) with retention clip
  • DB-9 to RJ-45 (jack) adapter

The G8124E switch supports optional adjustable 19-inch, 4-post rack installation kit, part number 00D6185. Optionally, Air Inlet Duct, part number 00D6062, can be ordered for the G8124E (rear-to-front airflow) switch for 4-post rack installations.

The G8124E (front-to-rear airflow) switch optionally supports Recessed 19-inch 4-Post Rail Kit (00CG089) which is used when the switch is installed in the Intelligent Cluster Rack (MT 1410), Enterprise Rack (MT 9363), or PureFlex System Rack (MT 9363) with NeXtScale System. The G8124E (front-to-rear airflow) switch also supports 4-post iDataPlex rack kit (90Y3535) which is used when the switch is installed in the iDataPlex Rack.

The G8124E switch ships standard without any AC power cables. Table 2 lists the part numbers and feature codes to order the power cables (two power cables are required per switch).

Table 2. Power cables
DescriptionPart numberFeature code for MTM 7309-HC6 and 7309-HC7
Rack power cables
1.5m, 10A/100-250V, C13 to IEC 320-C14 Rack Power Cable39Y79376201
2.8m, 10A/100-250V, C13 to IEC 320-C20 Rack Power Cable39Y79386204
4.3m, 10A/100-250V, C13 to IEC 320-C14 Rack Power Cable39Y79326263
Country-specific power cords
European 10A line C13 to CEE 7/7 (2.8M)39Y79176212
Denmark 10A line C13 to DK2-5A (2.8M)39Y79186213
Switzerland 10A line C13 to SEV 1011 (2.8M)39Y79196216
Israel 10A line C13 to SI 32 (2.8M)39Y79206218
South Africa 10A line C13 to SABS 164/1 (2.8M)39Y79226214
United Kingdom 10A line C13 to BS 1363 (2.8M)39Y79236215
Australia/NZ 10A line C13 to SAA-AS C112 (2.8M)39Y79246211
Korea 7A line C13 to KETI 15A/250V (2.8M)39Y79256219
India 6A line C13 to Fig 68 (2.8M)39Y79276269
China 6A line C13 to GB 2099.1 (2.8M)39Y79286210
Brazil 10A line C13 to NBR 6147 (2.8M)39Y79296223
Argentina 10A line C13 to IRAM 2063 (2.8M)39Y79306222
10A/250V C13 to NEMA 6-15P 2.8m power cord46M2592A1RF
Japan 10A/100V C13 to JIS C-8303 2.8m power cord46M2593A1RE

Supported cables and transceivers

With the flexibility of the G8124E switch, clients can take advantage of the technologies that they require for multiple environments:

  • For 1 GbE links, clients can use RJ-45 SFP transceivers with UTP cables up to 100 m. Clients that need longer distances can use a 1000BASE-SX transceiver, which can drive distances up to 220 meters by using 62.5 µ multi-mode fiber and up to 550 meters with 50 µ multi-mode fiber, or the 1000BASE-LX transceivers that support distances up to 10 kilometers using single-mode fiber (1310 nm).
  • For 10 GbE links, clients can use direct-attached copper (DAC) SFP+ cables for in-rack cabling for distances up to 7 m. These DAC cables have SFP+ connectors on each end, and they do not need separate transceivers. For longer distances, the 10GBASE-SR transceiver can support distances up to 300 meters over OM3 multimode fiber or up to 400 meters over OM4 multimode fiber with LC connectors. The 10GBASE-LR transceivers can support distances up to 10 kilometers on single mode fiber with LC connectors. For extended distances, the 10GBASE-ER transceivers can support distances up to 40 kilometers on single mode fiber with LC connectors.

Table 3 lists the supported cables and transceivers.

Table 3. Supported transceivers and direct-attach cables
DescriptionPart numberFeature code (MTM 7309-HC6 / 7309-HC7)Maximum quantity supported
SFP transceivers - 1 GbE
Lenovo 1000BASE-T SFP Transceiver (does not support 10/100 Mbps)00FE333A5DL24
Lenovo 1000BASE-SX SFP Transceiver81Y1622326924
Lenovo 1000BASE-LX SFP Transceiver90Y9424A1PN24
SFP+ transceivers - 10 GbE
Lenovo 10GBASE-SR SFP+ Transceiver46C3447505324
Lenovo 10GBASE-LR SFP+ Transceiver90Y9412A1PM24
Lenovo 10GBASE-ER SFP+ Transceiver90Y9415A1PP24
Optical cables for 1 GbE SFP SX and 10 GbE SFP+ SR transceivers
Lenovo 0.5m LC-LC OM3 MMF Cable00MN499ASR524
Lenovo 1m LC-LC OM3 MMF Cable00MN502ASR624
Lenovo 3m LC-LC OM3 MMF Cable00MN505ASR724
Lenovo 5m LC-LC OM3 MMF Cable00MN508ASR824
Lenovo 10m LC-LC OM3 MMF Cable00MN511ASR924
Lenovo 15m LC-LC OM3 MMF Cable00MN514ASRA24
Lenovo 25m LC-LC OM3 MMF Cable00MN517ASRB24
Lenovo 30m LC-LC OM3 MMF Cable00MN520ASRC24
SFP+ passive direct-attach cables - 10 GbE
Lenovo 0.5m Passive DAC SFP+ Cable00D6288A3RG24
Lenovo 1m Passive DAC SFP+ Cable90Y9427A1PH24
Lenovo 1.5m Passive DAC SFP+ Cable00AY764A51N24
Lenovo 2m Passive DAC SFP+ Cable00AY765A51P24
Lenovo 3m Passive DAC SFP+ Cable90Y9430A1PJ24
Lenovo 5m Passive DAC SFP+ Cable90Y9433A1PK24
Lenovo 7m Passive DAC SFP+ Cable00D6151A3RH24
SFP+ active direct-attach cables - 10 GbE
Lenovo 1m Active DAC SFP+ Cable95Y0323A25A24
Lenovo 3m Active DAC SFP+ Cable95Y0326A25B24
Lenovo 5m Active DAC SFP+ Cable95Y0329A25C24
Lenovo 1m Active DAC SFP+ Cable (replaces 95Y0323)00VX111AT2R24
Lenovo 3m Active DAC SFP+ Cable (replaces 95Y0326)00VX114AT2S24
Lenovo 5m Active DAC SFP+ Cable (replaces 95Y0329)00VX117AT2T24


The RackSwitch G8124E switch is considered particularly suited for these clients:

  • Clients who are looking for ultra low latency 10 GbE networking
  • Clients who are looking to converge their SAN and LAN and needing a FCoE transit switch
  • Clients who are looking for ways to reduce cost (CAPEX)
    • Converge LAN and SAN traffic
    • Purchase fewer adapters, transceivers and cables per server
    • Reduce upstream switching costs – fewer ports
  • Clients who are looking to reduce complexity (OPEX)
    • Fewer adapters to manage
    • Manage fewer cables helping reduce potential points of failure
    • Ability to standardize on Ethernet from all servers, Ethernet for all connectivity in a rack
    • Ability to push out FC split to the end of the row

The RackSwitch G8124E offers the following benefits:
  • High performance: The 10 GbE low latency (as low as 570 nanoseconds) switch provides the best combination of extremely low latency, non-blocking line-rate switching and ease of management.
  • Lower power and better cooling: The G8124E uses as little power as two 60 W light bulbs, 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 G8124E rear-to-front cooling design reduces data center air conditioning costs by having airflow match the servers in the rack. In addition, variable speed fans assist in automatically reducing power consumption.
  • Virtual Fabric can help customers address I/O requirements for multiple NICs while also helping reduce cost and complexity. Virtual Fabric allows for the carving up of a physical NIC into multiple virtual NICs (2 - 8 vNICs) and creates a virtual pipe between the adapter and the switch for improved performance, availability, and security while reducing cost and complexity.
  • VM-aware networking: VMready software on the switch helps reduce 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 VM providers such as VMware, Citrix, Xen, IBM PowerVM, and Microsoft Hyper-V.
  • Layer 3 functionality: The switch includes Layer 3 functionality, which provides security and performance benefits as inter-VLAN traffic stays within the chassis. This switch also provides the full range of Layer 3 protocols from static routes for technologies such as Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) and Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) for enterprise customers.
  • Seamless interoperability: RackSwitch switches interoperate seamlessly with other vendors' upstream switches. For more information, see Tolly Reports: Tolly Functionality and Certification: RackSwitch G8000 and G8124 and Cisco Catalyst Interoperability Evaluation, found at the following website:


  • 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, Hot Links, IGMP V3 snooping, and OSPF.
  • Converged fabric: The switch is designed to support CEE/DCB and connectivity to FCoE gateways. CEE helps enable clients to combine storage, messaging traffic, VoIP, video, and other data on a common data center Ethernet infrastructure. FCoE helps enable highly efficient block storage over Ethernet for consolidating server network connectivity. As a result, clients can deploy a single server interface for multiple data types, which can simplify both deployment and management of server network connectivity, while maintaining the high availability and robustness required for storage transactions.
  • Transparent networking capability: With a simple configuration change to Easy Connect mode, the RackSwitch G8124E becomes a transparent network device, invisible to the core, eliminating network administration concerns of Spanning Tree Protocol configuration/interoperability, VLAN assignments and avoids any possible loops. By emulating a host NIC to the data center core, it accelerates the provisioning of VMs by eliminating the need to configure the typical access switch parameters.

Features and specifications

Note: Features and specifications listed in this section are based on Networking OS 7.9.

The RackSwitch G8124E has the following features and specifications:

  • Form factor: 1U rack mount switch
    • RackSwitch G8124E Rear-to-Front version for ports located in the rear of the rack matching System x®, BladeCenter® and Flex System® designs
    • RackSwitch G8124E Front-to-Rear version for ports located in the front of the rack matching airflow of iDataPlex® and NeXtScale™ System designs
  • Ports
    • 24 ports for 1 Gb or 10 Gb Ethernet SFP/SFP+ transceivers (support for 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX, 1000BASE-T, 10GBASE-SR, 10GBASE-LR, and 10GBASE-ER) or SFP+ direct-attach copper cables. SFP+ modules and DAC cables are not included and must be purchased separately.
    • Two 10/100/1000 Ethernet port (RJ-45 connector) for out of band (OOB) management
    • One RS-232 serial port (Mini-USB connector) that provides an additional means to configure the switch
  • Scalability and performance
    • 1 Gb and 10 Gb Ethernet ports for bandwidth optimization and performance
    • Non-blocking architecture with wire-speed forwarding of traffic and aggregated throughput of 480 Gbps
    • 100% line-rate performance with 570 nanoseconds switching latency
    • Media access control (MAC) address learning: automatic update, support for up to 16,000 MAC addresses
    • Up to 128 IP interfaces per switch (interfaces 127 and 128 are reserved for switch management)
    • Static and LACP (IEEE 802.3ad) link aggregation, up to 16 trunk groups with up to 12 ports per trunk group
    • Support for jumbo frames (up to 9,216 bytes)
    • Broadcast/multicast storm control
    • IGMP snooping to limit flooding of IP multicast traffic
    • IGMP filtering to control multicast traffic for hosts participating in multicast groups
    • Configurable traffic distribution schemes over trunk links based on source/destination IP or MAC addresses, or both
    • Fast port forwarding and fast uplink convergence for rapid STP convergence
  • Availability and redundancy
    • Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) for Layer 3 router redundancy
    • IEEE 802.1D STP for providing L2 redundancy
    • IEEE 802.1s Multiple STP (MSTP) for topology optimization, up to 32 STP instances are supported by a single switch
    • IEEE 802.1w Rapid STP (RSTP) provides rapid STP convergence for critical delay-sensitive traffic like voice or video
    • Per-VLAN Rapid STP (PVRST) enhancements
    • Layer 2 Trunk Failover to support active/standby configurations of network adapter teaming on compute nodes
    • Hot Links provides basic link redundancy with fast recovery for network topologies that require Spanning Tree to be turned off
  • VLAN support
    • Up to 4095 VLANs supported per switch, with VLAN numbers ranging from 1 to 4095 (VLAN 4095 is used by the management network.)
    • Port-based VLANs
    • 802.1Q VLAN tagging support
    • Private VLANs support
  • Security
    • VLAN-based, MAC-based, and IP-based access control lists (ACLs)
    • 802.1x port-based authentication
    • Multiple user IDs and passwords
    • User access control
    • Radius, TACACS+ and LDAP authentication and authorization
    • NIST 800-131A Encryption
    • Selectable encryption protocol
  • Quality of Service (QoS)
    • Support for IEEE 802.1p, IP ToS/DSCP, and ACL-based (MAC/IP source and destination addresses, VLANs) traffic classification and processing
    • Traffic shaping and re-marking based on defined policies
    • Eight output Class of Service (COS) queues per port for processing qualified traffic
    • IPv4/IPv6 ACL metering
  • IP v4 Layer 3 functions
    • Host management
    • IP forwarding
    • IP filtering with ACLs, up to 127 IPv4 ACLs supported
    • VRRP for router redundancy
    • Support for up to 128 static routes
    • Routing protocol support (RIP v1, RIP v2, OSPF v2, BGP)
    • Support for DHCP Relay
    • Support for IGMP snooping
    • Support for Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) in Sparse Mode (PIM-SM) and Dense Mode (PIM-DM).
  • IPv6 Layer 3 functions
    • IPv6 host management
    • IPv6 forwarding
    • Support for OSPF v3 routing protocol
    • IPv6 filtering with ACLs, up to 128 IPv6 ACLs supported
  • Virtualization
    • Virtual NICs (vNICs) with Ethernet, iSCSI, or FCoE traffic on vNICs
    • Virtual link aggregation groups (vLAGs)
    • VMready support
      • Up to 2,048 virtual entities (VEs)
      • Automatic VE discovery
      • Up to 1,024 local or distributed VM groups for VEs
      • NMotion™ feature for automatic network configuration migration
  • Converged Enhanced Ethernet
    • Priority-Based Flow Control (PFC) (IEEE 802.1Qbb) extends 802.3x standard flow control to allow the switch to pause traffic based on the 802.1p priority value in each packet’s VLAN tag.
    • Enhanced Transmission Selection (ETS) (IEEE 802.1Qaz) provides a method for allocating link bandwidth based on the 802.1p priority value in each packet’s VLAN tag.
    • Data Center Bridging Capability Exchange Protocol (DCBX) (IEEE 802.1AB) allows neighboring network devices to exchange information about their capabilities.
  • Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)
    • FC-BB5 FCoE specification compliant
    • FCoE transit switch operations
    • FCoE Initialization Protocol (FIP) support for automatic ACL configuration
    • Link Aggregation Group (LAG) support for FCoE traffic
    • Supports 2,048 FCoE sessions with FIP Snooping by using Class ID ACLs
  • Manageability
    • Industry-standard command line interface (isCLI)
    • Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP V1, V2 and V3)
    • HTTP/HTTPS browser GUI
    • Telnet interface for CLI
    • Secure Shell (SSH) v1 and v2 for CLI
    • Secure Copy (SCP) for uploading and downloading the switch configuration via secure channels
    • Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) for discovering network devices
    • Serial interface for CLI
    • Scriptable CLI
    • Dual software images
    • Firmware image update via TFTP, FTP, and Secure FTP (sFTP)
    • Network Time Protocol (NTP) for switch clock synchronization
    • Netconf (XML)
    • Switch Center management application
  • Monitoring
    • Switch LEDs for port status and switch status indication
    • Remote Monitoring (RMON) agent to collect statistics and proactively monitor switch performance
    • Port mirroring for analyzing network traffic passing through switch
    • Change tracking and remote logging with syslog feature
    • Support for sFLOW agent for monitoring traffic in data networks (separate sFLOW analyzer required elsewhere)

The following features are not supported with IPv6:
  • Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) and DHCP
  • VMware Virtual Center (vCenter) for VMready
  • Routing Information Protocol (RIP)
  • Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)
  • Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM)
  • Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP)
  • sFLOW

Standards supported

The switch supports the following standards:

  • IEEE 802.1AB Data Center Bridging Capability Exchange Protocol (DCBX)
  • IEEE 802.1D Spanning Tree Protocol (STP)
  • IEEE 802.1p Class of Service (CoS) prioritization
  • IEEE 802.1s Multiple STP (MSTP)
  • IEEE 802.1Q Tagged VLAN
  • IEEE 802.1Qbb Priority-Based Flow Control (PFC)
  • IEEE 802.1Qaz Enhanced Transmission Selection (ETS)
  • IEEE 802.1x port-based authentication
  • IEEE 802.1w Rapid STP (RSTP)
  • IEEE 802.3 10BASE-T Ethernet
  • IEEE 802.3ab 1000BASE-T copper twisted pair Gigabit Ethernet
  • IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation Control Protocol
  • IEEE 802.3ae 10GBASE-SR short range fiber optics 10 Gb Ethernet
  • IEEE 802.3ae 10GBASE-LR long range fiber optics 10 Gb Ethernet
  • IEEE 802.3ae 10GBASE-ER extended range fiber optics 10 Gb Ethernet
  • IEEE 802.3u 100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet
  • IEEE 802.3x Full-duplex Flow Control
  • IEEE 802.3z 1000BASE-SX short range fiber optics Gigabit Ethernet
  • IEEE 802.3z 1000BASE-LX long range fiber optics Gigabit Ethernet

Connectors and LEDs

Figure 2 shows the front panel of the RackSwitch G8124E.

Front panel of the RackSwitch G8124E
Figure 2. Front panel of the RackSwitch G8124E

The front panel of the G8124E contains the following components:

  • LEDs that display the status of the switch and the network.
  • One Mini-USB RS-232 console port that provides an additional means to configure the switch.
  • 24x SFP/SFP+ port connectors to attach SFP/SFP+ transceivers for 1 Gb or 10 Gb Ethernet connections or DAC cables for 10 Gb Ethernet connections.
  • An Ethernet link OK LED and an Ethernet Tx/Rx LED for each Ethernet port on the switch.

Figure 3 shows the rear panel of the RackSwitch G8124E.

Rear panel of the RackSwitch G8124E
Figure 3. Rear panel of the RackSwitch G8124E

The rear panel of the G8124E contains the following components:
  • Two redundant fixed AC power supplies (IEC 320-C14 power connector)
  • Six redundant fixed fans

Network cabling requirements

The network cables that can be used with the switch are listed in Table 4.

Table 4. G8124E network cabling requirements

10 Gb Ethernet
10GBASE-SR SFP+ Transceiver (46C3447)10GBASE-SRUp to 30 m with fiber optic cables supplied by Lenovo (see Table 3); 850 nm OM3 multimode fiber cable up to 300 m or up to 400 m with OM4 multimode fiberLC
10GBASE-LR SFP+ Transceiver (90Y9412)10GBASE-LR1310 nm single-mode fiber cable up to 10 kmLC
10GBASE-ER SFP+ Transceiver (90Y9415)10GBASE-ER1310 nm single-mode fiber cable up to 40 kmLC
Direct attach cable10GSFP+CuSFP+ DAC cables up to 7 m (see Table 3)SFP+
1 Gb Ethernet
1000BASE-T SFP Transceiver (00FE333)1000BASE-TUTP Category 5, 5E, and 6 up to 100 metersRJ-45
1000BASE-SX SFP Transceiver (81Y1622)1000BASE-SXUp to 30 m with fiber optic cables supplied by Lenovo (see Table 3); 850 nm multimode fiber cable up to 550 m (50 µ) or up to 220 m (62.5 µ)LC
1000BASE-LX SFP Transceiver (90Y9424)1000BASE-LX1310 nm single-mode fiber cable up to 10 kmLC
Management ports
1 GbE management ports1000BASE-TUTP Category 5, 5E, and 6 up to 100 metersRJ-45
RS-232 management portRS-232DB-9-to-mini-USB or RJ-45-to-mini-USB console cable (comes standard with the switch)Mini-USB


The RackSwitch G8124E comes with a standard 3-year hardware warranty with Next Business Day (NBD), 9x5, Customer Replaceable Unit (CRU) warranty service from Lenovo. Software Upgrade Entitlement is based on the switch’s warranty or post warranty extension and service contracts. Optional warranty and maintenance upgrades are available for the G8124E switch through Lenovo Services:

  • Warranty service upgrades (3, 4, or 5 years)
    • 24x7 onsite repair with 2-hour target response time
    • 24x7 onsite repair with 4-hour target response time
    • 9x5 onsite repair with 4-hour target response time
  • Maintenance (post-warranty) service offerings (1 or 2 years)
    • 24x7 onsite repair with 2-hour target response time
    • 24x7 onsite repair with 4-hour target response time
    • 9x5 onsite repair with 4-hour target response time
    • 9x5 onsite repair with next business day target response time

Lenovo service upgrade offerings are country-specific, that is, each country might have its own service types, service levels, response times, and terms and conditions. Not all covered types of Lenovo service upgrade offerings might be available in a particular country.

For more information about the Lenovo warranty service upgrade offerings that are available in your country, visit the Product Selector at the following website:

Physical specifications

The approximate dimensions and weight of the G8124E switch are as follows:

  • Height: 44 mm (1.7 in.)
  • Width: 440 mm (17.3 in.)
  • Depth: 381 mm (15.0 in.)
  • Weight: 6.4 kg (14.1 lb)

Operating environment

The G8124E switch is supported in the following operating environment:

  • Temperature: 0 to 45 ºC (32 to 113 ºF).
  • Relative humidity: Non-condensing, 10 - 85%
  • Altitude: up to 3,049 m (10,000 feet)
  • Acoustic noise: Less than 65 dB
  • Airflow: Front-to-rear or rear-to-front cooling with redundant variable speed fans for reduced power draw
  • Electrical input: 50-60 Hz, 100-240 V AC auto-switching
  • Typical power: 116 - 170 W

Agency approvals

The switch conforms to the following regulations:
  • Safety certifications
    • UL60950-1
    • CAN/CSA 22.2 No.60950-1
    • EN 60950-1
    • IEC60950-1
    • NOM NYCE 019
    • GOST R MEK 60950-1
    • GB4943-2001
  • Electromagnetic compatibility certifications
    • FCC 47CFR Part 15 Class A
    • EN 55022 Class A
    • ICES-003 Class A
    • VCCI Class A
    • AS/NZS CISPR 22 Class A
    • CISPR 22 Class A
    • EN 55024
    • EN 300386
    • CE
  • Environmental
    • Reduction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS) 6

Typical configurations

The following sections describe popular configurations.

Virtual Fabric configuration

Virtual Fabric is built using industry standards and is an ideal solution for customers that require more than two NICs per server. Over the past couple of years many clients have seen their I/O requirements per server increase anywhere from four to six to eight, or even more, NICs per server, especially with the adoption of virtualization. Virtual Fabric allows clients the ability to use a virtual NIC approach using 10 Gb Ethernet technology to help reduce cost and complexity, and achieve better performance and more flexibility. For example:

  • Reduce costs (acquisition and operating) by using fewer adapters, cables, and upstream switch ports.
  • Reduce complexity: Fewer items to manage based on industry standards making thing easier to manage with the addition of high availability and better security.
  • Better performance: Significantly more I/O bandwidth per server and lower latency than traditional 1 Gb Ethernet.
  • Flexibility: The ability to carve up a dual-port 10 GbE adapter into 4 - 8 virtual NICs and create virtual pipes between the adapter and switch for higher availability and security. Not only can customers dynamically allocate I/O bandwidth to each virtual NIC, Virtual Fabric also provides the ability to change those allocations as needed. For example, a customer may have one configuration for workload during the day and another during the evenings. Virtual Fabric has the ability to make those changes on the fly without downtime.

Virtual Fabric (Figure 4) is designed in partnership with Emulex. The components needed for this solution are as follows:
  • Emulex 10 Gb Virtual Fabric Adapters for System x

    For more details, see Emulex 10Gb Virtual Fabric Adapter II and III Family for System x, TIPS0844 at:

  • RackSwitch G8124E

Virtual Fabric topology
Figure 4. Virtual Fabric topology

Rack-optimized server aggregation: 10 GbE attached rack servers

Aggregation and servers are as follows:
  • Concentration of rack-optimized servers, for example:
    • System x or ThinkServer 1U or 2U servers with a 10 GbE adapter installed
    • BladeCenter using any of the following modules in the chassis:
      • BladeCenter 1/10Gb Uplink Ethernet Switch Module
      • BladeCenter Virtual Fabric 10Gb Switch Module
      • 10Gb Ethernet Pass-Thru Module for BladeCenter
    • Flex System using any of the following Ethernet modules in the chassis:
      • Flex System EN2092
      • Flex System Fabric EN4093/EN4093R
  • Low-profile, high-performance, 24-port 10-GbE switch needed to perform aggregation function per rack

Figure 5 shows a G8124E top-of-rack switch.

G8124E top-of-rack switch
Figure 5. G8124E top-of-rack switch

Table 5 lists the features and benefits of the server aggregation.

Table 5. Features and benefits
Line-rate, non-blocking, all 24-portsSupports massive compute and virtualization workloads.
Less than 600 nano-second latencyFaster application response times.
Support for IGMP Snooping and L3 forwardingEnables high-bandwidth, low-latency multicast applications.
Standards-based Layer 2/3 protocols, industry standard CLIInteroperates with existing network. No learning curve.

Rack-optimized server aggregation: 1 GbE attached rack servers

The design goal is a G8124E (10 GbE) switch at Distribution Layer and G8052 (1 GbE) at Edge/Access (Figure 6):
  • Logical configuration: Configure G8052s for Layer 2 and apply static routes for L3 forwarding.
  • Full Layer 2/3 feature set: STP, MSTP, RSTP, PVRST+;RIP v1/2, static routes, 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: 1 GbE attached rack servers
Figure 6. Rack-optimized server aggregation: 1 GbE attached rack servers

IP storage over 10-GbE: Changing the economics of storage

G8124E benefits for IP storage applications (Figure 7):
  • Lossless Ethernet Fabric
  • Ultra-low latency for time-sensitive disk reads/writes
  • Line-rate, high-bandwidth performance
  • Low power consumption with fewer components
  • Low-cost, pay-as-you-grow 10G storage network

G8124E benefits for IP storage over 10 GbE
Figure 7. G8124E benefits for IP storage over 10 GbE

Related publications and links

For more information, visit http://www-947.ibm.com/support/entry/portal/Documentation to see the following RackSwitch G8124E product resources:

  • RackSwitch G8124E Installation Guide:
  • RackSwitch G8124E isCLI Command Reference
  • RackSwitch G8124E Application Guide
  • RackSwitch G8124E Browser-Based Interface Quick Guide
  • RackSwitch G8124E Menu-Based Command Reference

For more information, see the following resources:

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
08 June 2015

(based on 4 reviews)


IBM Form Number