IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8316

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The IBM® System Networking RackSwitch™ G8316 is a 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switch that is designed for the data center, providing speed, intelligence, and interoperability on a proven platform. Most clients look at it as an ideal aggregation class switch for connecting multiple RackSwitch G8264 class switches, and others leverage it for high-performance computing (HPC) of other applications running on servers that are using 40Gb Ethernet adapters, which have started to hit the market. Designed with top performance in mind, the RackSwitch G8316 provides line-rate, high-bandwidth switching, filtering, and traffic queuing without delaying data. Large data center grade buffers keep traffic moving. Hot-swappable, redundant power and fans, along with numerous high-availability features, enable the RackSwitch G8316 to be available for business-sensitive traffic.


The IBM® System Networking RackSwitch™ G8316 provides low latency, lossless performance, and a feature-rich design with key virtualization features, such as Converged Enhance Ethernet (CEE)/Data Center Bridging (DCB), high availability, and enterprise class Layer 2 and Layer 3 functions. In addition, the G8316 also delivers excellent cost savings as you consider acquisition costs, energy costs, operational expense, and ease of use and management for a 40 Gb class switch. The IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8316 is suitable for clients using 10 Gb or 40 Gb connectivity (or both).

The G8316 Ethernet aggregation switch enables customers to own an end-to-end flat 2-tier network that is based on industry standards using IBM switches and servers. For example, the G8316 is an ideal tier two switch to use when connecting a number of RackSwitch G8264 40Gb uplink ports at the access layer. Other clients like the G8316 as an investment protection switch, as they can use it with their 10Gb Ethernet environments today, but can also leverage it in the future as they move to 40Gb Ethernet.

With latency below 1 microsecond, the G8316 is an industry leader. This and the 1.28 Tbps throughput makes the G8316 an ideal offering for latency-sensitive applications, such as high-performance computing, financial applications, hosting environments, and cloud designs. In addition, IBM VMready® with Virtual Vision enables the network to be Virtual Machine (VM) aware, and provides the capability to have a virtualization environment that is simpler, less expensive, and provides exceptional performance. Figure 1 shows the IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8316.

IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8316
Figure 1. IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8316

Did you know?

Here are the key features of the RackSwitch G8316:
  • Supports several types of configurations: 10 Gb, and 40 Gb, Virtual NIC, Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE/DCB), and iSCSI.
  • Supports 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 either NAS or iSCSI convergence and priority-based flow control.
  • Uses VMready on-switch software that helps reduce the complexity of managing virtual machines (VMs) in the network (the license for this capability comes standard with the purchase of the switch and is part of the IBM Networking Operating System).
  • The RackSwitch G8316 is OpenFlow enabled. With OpenFlow, you can easily create user-controlled virtual networks, optimize performance dynamically, and minimize complexity when you use the switch used with IBM Programmable Network Controller.

The RackSwitch G8316 includes a standard IBM 1-year hardware warranty, with Next Business Day (NBD), 9x5, Customer Replaceable Unit (CRU) warranty service. IBM also include one year of software upgrades. IBM ServicePac solutions are available (in select countries) for hardware warranty upgrade options.

Table 1 lists the part numbers (IBM System x®) for ordering modules and additional options for them, including ServicePac solutions.

Table 1. IBM System Networking part numbers and feature codes (part 1)
DescriptionSystem x part numbersIBM Power Systems™ MTM/FC
IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8316 (Rear-to-Front) 8036-ARX (HVEC) / 8036-HC2 (XCC)1611-16E
IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8316 (Front-to-Rear)8036-AFX (HVEC) / 8036-HC1 (XCC)
10 Gb options (Break-out using 40Gb port)
1 m IBM QSFP+ DAC Break Out Cable*49Y7886 EB24
3 m IBM QSFP+ DAC Break Out Cable*49Y7887EB25
5 m IBM QSFP+ DAC Break Out Cable*49Y7888 EB26
40 Gb options
IBM QSFP+ SR4 Transceiver49Y7884 EB27
10 m IBM QSFP+ MTP Optical Cable90Y3519EB2J
30 m IBM QSPF+ MTP Optical Cable 90Y3521EC2K
IBM QSFP+ 40GBase – eSR4 Transceiver 00FE325
  • 1m IBM MTP-4LC OM3 MMF Break Out Cable
  • 3m IBM MTP-4LC OM3 MMF Break Out Cable
  • 5m IBM MTP-4LC OM3 MMF Break Out Cable
IBM QSFP+ LR4 Transceiver 00D6222
1 m IBM QSFP+-to-QSFP+ Cable*49Y7890EB2B
3 m IBM QSFP+-to-QSFP+ Cable*49Y7891EB2H
5 m IBM QSFP+-to-QSFP+ Cable*00D5810ECBN
7 m IBM QSFP+-to-QSFP+ Cable*00D5813ECBP
Mellanox QSFP to SFP+ adapter for IBM System x (allows for use of SSFP+ transceivers: 46C3447 (SR), 90Y9412 (LR), 90Y9415 (ER) 00D9676
Miscellaneous options
IBM System Networking Adjustable 19" 4 Post Rail Kit 00D6185EU27
IBM System Networking Recessed 19" 4 Post Rail Kit (NeXtScale) 00CG089
Air Inlet Duct for 483 mm RackSwitch** 00D6060
Hot-swappable, Rear-to-Front Fan Assembly Spare88Y6026
Hot-swappable, Front-to-Rear Fan Assembly Spare49Y7939
Hot-swappable, Rear-to-Front Power Supply Spare49Y7938
Hot-swappable, Front-to-Rear Power Supply Spare49Y7937
Console Cable Kit Spare90Y9462
ServicePacs (available in select countries)System x part numbersPower Systems MTM/FC
3-year on-site repair 24x7 two-hour response67567P1
3-year on-site repair 24x7 four-hour response67567P0
3-year on-site repair 9x5 four-hour response67567NZ
4-year on-site repair 24x7 two-hour response67567P5
4-year on-site repair 24x7 four-hour response67567P4
4-year on-site repair 9x5 four-hour response67567P3
4-year on-site repair 9x5 next business day67567P2
5-year on-site repair 24x7 two-hour response67567P9
5-year on-site repair 24x7 four-hour response67567P8
5-year on-site repair 9x5 four-hour response67567P7
5-year on-site repair 9x5 next business day67567P6
* QSFP+ DAC Break Out cables and QSFP+ to QSFP+ cables are not supported for Power Systems 10Gb NICs. They are used for switch to switch connectivity only.
** Requires IBM System Networking Adjustable 19" 4 Post Rail Kit

With the flexibility of IBM RackSwitch, clients can take advantage of the technologies that they require for multiple environments:
  • For 10 Gb, you can use DAC break-out cables, which converts 40 Gb ports into four 10 Gb ports and allows connection for distances up to 5 m. Another option is to leverage the Mellanox QSFP to SFP+ adapter for IBM System x which allows for use of SFP+ transceivers in the adapters: 46C3447 (SR), 90Y9412 (LR), 90Y9415 (ER).
  • For 40G to 40G connectivity, clients can use IBM QSFP+ to QSFP+ cables up to 7 meters, or combine 40 G transceivers and optical cables for longer distances. For distances of up to 100 meters, clients can use QSFP+ SR4 transceivers, which use optical cables with MTP connectors using OM4 grade fiber. For distances up to 10K, clients can use QSFP+ LR4 transceiver which uses optical cables with LC connectors using single mode fiber (SMF).

Figure 2 shows the QSFP+ 40G connectivity options.

40G connectivity options
Figure 2. 40G connectivity options

The module part numbers include the following items:
  • One IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8316R/ G8316F
  • Generic Rail Mount Kit (2-post)
  • Mini-USB Console port for serial access

Figure 3 shows a 2-post Rack Mount Kit.

2-post Rack Mount Kit
Figure 3. 2-post Rack Mount Kit

Make sure that you include power cords in your configuration. Table 2 lists the appropriate power cord, depending on country of purchase for System x, and Table 3 lists line cords available through IBM Power Systems and IBM System Storage® AAS ordering systems.

Table 2. Power cord description and IBM System x part numbers
DescriptionIBM part number
Power Cord Europe AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT39Y7917
Power Cord Europe (Denmark) AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT39Y7918
Power Cord Europe (Switzerland) AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT39Y7919
Power Cord Europe AC (Israel) plug 10A/250 V; OPT39Y7920
Power Cord Europe (South Africa) AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT39Y7922
Power Cord UK AC plug 13A/250 V; OPT39Y7923
Power Cord Australia AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT39Y7924
Power Cord Korea AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT39Y7925
Power Cord Japan AC plug 10A/125 V; OPT46M2593
Power Cord India AC plug 10A/250 V; OPT39Y7927
Power Cord China AC plug 16A/250 V; OPT39Y7928
Power Cord Brazil AC plug 16A/250 V; OPT39Y7929
Power Cord Uruguay/Argentina AC plug 16A/250 V; OPT39Y7930
Power Cord US/Canada AC plug 10A/125 V; OPT 46M2592
4.3 m, 10A/100 - 250 V, C13 to IEC 320-C14 Rack Power Cable39Y7932
1.5 m, 10A/100 - 250 V, C13 to IEC 320-C14 Rack Power Cable39Y7937
2.8m, 10A/100-250V, C13 to IEC 320-C20 Rack Power Cable 39Y7938

Table 3. Power cords description and IBM Power System and IBM System Storage Feature Codes
DescriptionFeature Code
Power Cord 4.3m (14-ft), Drawer to Wall/IBM PDU (250V/10A)6458
Power Cord 4.3m (14-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU (250V/15A) U. S.6469
Power Cord 1.8m (6-ft), Drawer to Wall (125V/15A)6470
Power Cord 2.7m (9-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU (125V/15A)6471
Power Cord 2.7m (9-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU (250V/16A)6472
Power Cord 2.7m (9-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU (250V/10A)6473
Power Cord 2.7m (9-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU, (250V/13A)6474
Power Cord 2.7m (9-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU, (250V/16A)6475
Power Cord 2.7m (9-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU, (250V/10A)6476
Power Cord 2.7m (9-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU, (250V/16A)6477
Power Cord 2.7m (9-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU, (125V/15A or 250V/10A)6488
Power Cord 2.7m (9-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU, (250V/10A)6493
Power Cord 2.7m (9-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU, (250V/10A)6494
Power Cord 4.3m (14-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU (125V/15A)6660
Power Cord 2.8m (9.2-ft), Drawer to Wall/IBM PDU, (250V/ 10A)6665
Power Cord 2.7m (9-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU, (250V/10A)6680
Power Cord 2.7m (9-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU, (250V/10A)6671
Power Cord 1.5m (5-ft), Drawer to Wall/OEM PDU, (250V/10A)6672


The IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8316 offers the following benefits:
  • High performance: This 10/40Gb Low Latency (880 nanoseconds) Switch with 1.28 Tbps throughput provides the best combination of low latency, non-blocking line-rate switching, and ease of management. The G8316 is also a single ASIC design, which promises consistent lower port-to-port latency compared with other vendors with multiple chip designs, which causes port-to-port latency to be inconsistent and unpredictable.
  • Lower power and better cooling: The RackSwitch G8316 uses as little as 330 W of power, which is a fraction of the power consumption of many competitive offerings. The front-to-rear or 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.
  • High Availability: The G8316 also comes standard with hot-swap redundant power supplies and fans, making the switch highly reliable, ready to use, and easy to service in the unlikely event of a failure.
  • VM-Aware Networking: VMready software on the switch simplifies configuration and improves security in virtualized environments. VMready automatically detects virtual machine movement between physical servers 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, Microsoft Hyper V, Red Hat KVM, and IBM PowerVM®.
  • Layer 3 functionality: The IBM switch includes Layer 3 functionality, which provides security and performance benefits, as inter-VLAN traffic stays within the switch. 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: IBM switches interoperate seamlessly with other vendors' upstream switches.
  • Fault tolerance: These IBM 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 like L2 trunk failover, advanced VLAN-based failover, VRRP, and HotLink™.
  • OpenFlow enabled: The RackSwitch G8316 offers benefits of OpenFlow. OpenFlow is the new open application programming interface (API) that enables the network administrator to easily configure and manage virtual networks that control traffic on a “per-flow” basis. It creates multiple independent virtual networks and related policies without dealing with the complexities of the underlying physical network and protocols. The G8316 can also be used with the IBM Programmable Network Controller, which is the IBM network controller that is compliant with OpenFlow.
  • Multicast: This supports IGMP Snooping v1, v2, and v3 with 2 K IGMP groups, as well as Protocol Independent Multicast, such as PIM Sparse Mode or PIM Dense Mode.
  • Converged fabric: The IBM switch supports CEE and Data Center Bridging, which is ideal for storage connectivity (NAS and iSCSI). CEE enables clients to combine storage, messaging traffic, VoIP, video, and other data on a common data center Ethernet infrastructure. Data Center Bridging helps with iSCSI and FCoE with features such as Priority-based Flow Control, Enhanced Transmission Selection, and Congestion Notifications. FCoE enables 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.

Features and specifications

This section lists the key features and specifications of the G8316.


The performance features are as follows:
  • Single-switch ASIC design
  • 100% line rate performance
  • 1.28 Tbps non-blocking switching throughput (full duplex)
  • Sub microseconds latency
  • 960 million packets per second (mpps)

Hardware features

The hardware features are as follows:
  • Models
    • IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8316 Rear-to-Front. For ports in the rear of the rack to match System x and IBM BladeCenter® designs.
    • IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8316 Front-to-Rear. For ports in the front of the rack to match airflow of IBM iDataPlex® and NeXtScale systems.
  • Interface options
    • Sixteen QSFP+ ports (40 GbE), support for optional break-out cable for sixty-four 10 Gb connections.
    • One 10/100/1000 Ethernet RJ45 port for out-of-band management.
    • One USB port for mass storage device connection.
    • One fixed mini-USB Console port for configuration and code changes by thumb drive, or boot from USB drive with new code.
    • Server-like port orientations, enabling short and simple cabling.
  • Dimensions: 17.3” wide, 19” deep, 1 RU high
  • Weight: 9.98 kg (22 lb)
  • Rack Installation Kit
    • Generic Rack Mount Kit (2-post).
    • Optional versatile 4-post mounting options for 19-inch server rack or datacom rack.
    • Can be mounted vertically or horizontally
  • LEDs
    • System LEDs to indicate link status, fan, and power.
    • Stacking LEDs to indicate master/member (future support).
  • Airflow
    • Front-to-rear or rear-to-front cooling.
    • Redundant variable hot-swap speed fans for reduced power draw.

Figure 4 shows the adjustable 4-post rail kit.

Flexible 4-post rail kit
Figure 4. Adjustable 4-post rail kit

Figure 5 shows the rear.

Figure 5. Rear
  • Power
    • Dual load-sharing hot-swap internal power modules, 50 - 60 Hz, 100 - 240 V ac auto-switching per module
    • Typical power consumption of 330 watts
  • Environmental specifications
    • Temperature: Ambient operating: 0 - 40º C
    • Relative humidity: Non-condensing, operating 10 - 90%
    • Altitude: Operating 3,050 m (10,000 feet)
    • Heat dissipation: 1127 BTU/hour (typical)
    • Mean time between failures (MTBF): 165,990 hours @ 40° C

Software features

For the most current updates, see the IBM Networking Operating System data sheet, found at:

Here are the software features:
  • Security
    • SCP
    • Wire Speed Filtering: Allow and Deny
    • SSH v1, v2
    • HTTPS Secure BBI
    • Secure interface login and password
  • Management
    • MAC address move notification
    • SNMP v1, v2c, and v3
    • RMON
    • Dual NTP Support
    • Accept DHCP IP address assignment
    • DHCP Snooping, DHCP Option 82
    • Dual software images
    • Netconf (XML Config)
    • Syslog Configuration tracking
    • Shift B Boot Menu (Password Recovery/Factory Default)
    • Management ACLs
    • IP Loopback
    • IPv6 Base RFCs
    • Ipsec
    • IKE
    • IPv6 RFC support acceptable for NIST certification
    • Netboot
  • VLANs
    • Port-based VLANs
    • 2048 VLAN IDs supported
    • 1 K Port-based VLANs (802.1Q)
    • Private VLAN Edge
  • Lossless Ethernet
    • 802.1 Data Center Bridging
    • Priority Based Flow Control (PFC)
    • Enhanced Transmission Selection (ETS)
    • Data Center Bridge Exchange protocol (DCBX)
    • FIP Snooping
    • Converged Enhanced Ethernet
  • Link Aggregation
    • Static Trunks (EtherChannel) and LACP (802.3ad)
    • Configurable Trunk Hash algorithm
    • Enhanced reporting of statistics
  • Spanning Tree
    • Multiple Spanning Tree (802.1 s)
    • Rapid Spanning Tree (802.1 w)
    • PVRST+
    • Auto assignment of VLANs to STG
    • BPDU Guard
    • Root guard
    • Loop guard
  • Quality of service
    • QoS 802.1p (priority queues)
    • DiffServ IPV4 and IPv6
    • ACL, IGMP Profiles
    • DSCP remarking
    • Metering
    • 9 MB shared packet buffer
    • Weighted random early detection with explicit congestion notification (WRED/ECN)
    • CPU priority policies (CoPP)
    • User configurable buffers
  • Routing protocols
    • RIP /v2
    • OSPF v2, v3
    • BGP
    • BGP enhancements for MD5 hash, ECMP, and Passive mode support
    • Dynamic BGP peers
    • Dynamic Policy Based Routing (PBR)
  • High availability
    • Layer 2 failover
    • HotLinks™
    • Virtual Router Redundancy support (VRRP)
  • Multicast
    • OpenFlow: 1.0 and 1.3.1 support
    • MLDv2
    • IGMP Snooping v2 and v3
    • IGMP Querier
    • Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM Sparse Mode/Dense Mode)
  • Monitoring
    • Port mirroring
    • ACL-based mirroring
    • ACL logging
    • CPU logging
    • Version 5
    • UDLD
  • Virtualization
    • VMready
  • Clients
    • System Networking Switch Center (SNSC)
    • isCLI (Cisco-like)
    • Scriptable ASCII Based CLI
    • Browser-based client or Telnet
  • Standard protocols
    • DHCP Client
    • DHCP Relay
    • LLDP
    • 128 K MAC Table
    • 9 K Jumbo Frames
    • 802.3X Flow Control

Popular configurations

This section describes two popular configurations.

40G aggregation switch for east-west traffic

As more clients look to flatten their networking to exploit more of an east-west traffic flow that is required by a number of today’s applications and especially virtualized environments, the RackSwitch G8316 is an ideal tier-two switch for connecting multiple RackSwitch G8264 switches, which are likely being used at the edge to connect to multiple 10 Gb ports on servers, as shown in Figure 6.

Aggregation switch for east-west traffic
Figure 6. Aggregation switch for east-west traffic

Using the RackSwitch G8316 as an edge switch for servers using 40G Ethernet adapters

For environments such as HPC and others where I/O performance is important, 40 Gb is increasing in popularity. As more 40 Gb Ethernet adapters appear and costs fall in line, and applications start looking for the next step beyond 10 Gb, the RackSwitch G8316 is the ideal solution for connecting multiple servers per rack, as shown in Figure 7.

Aggregation switch for east-west traffic
Figure 7. Aggregation switch for east-west traffic

Related publications and links

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
12 October 2011

Last Update
15 July 2014

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