IBM System Networking SAN24B-5 Switch

IBM Redbooks Product Guide


This IBM® Redbooks® Product Guide describes the IBM System Networking SAN24B-5 switch. The SAN24B-5 is designed to provide outstanding price and performance value, combining flexibility, simplicity, Gen 5 Fibre Channel technology, and enterprise-class functionality in an entry-level switch. The SAN24B-5 is configurable in 12 or 24 ports and supports 2, 4, 8, or 16 Gbps speeds in an efficiently designed 1U form factor. The base unit includes one (249824G/2498-X24) or two (2498-F24) integrated power supplies and fans. A second power supply provides extra redundancy for increased resiliency.


This IBM® Redbooks® Product Guide describes the IBM System Networking SAN24B-5 switch. The SAN24B-5 is designed to provide outstanding price and performance value, combining flexibility, simplicity, Gen 5 Fibre Channel technology, and enterprise-class functionality in an entry-level switch. The SAN24B-5 is configurable in 12 or 24 ports and supports 2, 4, 8 or 16 Gbps speeds in an efficiently designed 1U form factor. The base unit includes one (249824G/2498-X24) or two (2498-F24) integrated power supplies and fans. A second power supply provides additional redundancy for increased resiliency.

SAN24B-5 provides a critical building block for today’s highly virtualized, private cloud storage environments. It simplifies server virtualization and virtual desktop infrastructure management while meeting the high-throughput demands of solid state disks. It can address demanding reliability, availability and serviceability requirements to help minimize downtime to support mission-critical environments.

Figure 1 shows SAN24B-5.

Figure 1. IBM System Networking SAN24B-5 switch
Figure 1. IBM System Networking SAN24B-5 switch

Did you know?
  • SAN24B-5 helps maximize resiliency with nondisruptive software upgrades and a redundant power supply.
  • Dynamic fabric provisioning, critical monitoring and advanced diagnostic features help streamline development and troubleshooting.
  • Ports-on-demand (PoD) capability allows you to scale from 12 to 24 ports.

Key features

The SAN24B-5 features advanced monitoring, diagnostics, reliability, availability, serviceability and redundancy capabilities in an entry-level switch to maximize availability, optimize performance, and simplify administration. Enterprise-class features include the following items:
  • Critical diagnostic and monitoring capabilities to help ensure early problem detection and recovery
  • Non-intrusive and nondisruptive monitoring on every port to provide a comprehensive end-to-end view of the entire fabric
  • Forward error correction to recover from bit errors in inter-switch links (ISLs), enhancing transmission reliability and performance
  • Additional buffers to overcome performance degradation and congestion due to buffer credit loss
  • Real-time bandwidth consumption by hosts and applications on ISLs to easily identify hot spots and potential network congestion
  • A second power supply to enable dual power redundancy and enhance availability

Architecture and key components

The SAN24B-5 delivers industry-leading Gen 5 Fibre Channel technology within a flexible, simple, and easy-to-use solution. The base configuration includes 12 activated ports, with up to 24 ports on demand. In addition to providing best-in-class scalability, the SAN24B-5 is easy to deploy with the EZSwitchSetup wizard and the ClearLink diagnostic ports (D_Ports) feature, which simplifies setup.

The 24 ports produce an aggregate 384 Gbps full-duplex throughput; any eight ports can be trunked for 128 Gbps ISLs. Exchange-based dynamic path selection optimizes fabric-wide performance and load balancing by automatically routing data to the most efficient and available path in the fabric, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Exchange-based dynamic path selection
Figure 2. Exchange-based dynamic path selection

SAN24B-5 augments ISL Trunking to provide more effective load balancing in certain configurations. It provides a low total cost of ownership (TCO) because of its 12-port base configuration, easy administration, 1U footprint and low-energy consumption, which is 0.22 watts per Gbps and 3.3 watts per port.

The SAN24B-5 can be deployed as a full-fabric switch or as an access gateway, which simplifies fabric topologies and heterogeneous fabric connectivity (the default mode setting is a switch). Access Gateway Mode uses NPIV switch standards to present physical and virtual servers directly to the core of SAN fabrics. This makes access gateway transparent to the SAN fabric, greatly reducing management of the network edge. In Access Gateway Mode, the SAN24B-5 can connect servers to NPIV-enabled b-type, m-type, and other SAN fabrics. Access Gateway Mode for the SAN24B-5 is supported only in 24-port configurations.

Organizations can easily enable Access Gateway Mode through IBM Network Advisor v11, or later, or a command-line interface. Key benefits of Access Gateway Mode are as follows:
  • Improved scalability for large or rapidly growing server and virtual server environments
  • Reduced management of the network edge, since access gateway does not have a domain identity and appears transparent to the core fabric
  • Support for heterogeneous SAN configurations without reduced functionality for server connectivity

Accelerating fabric deployment with diagnostic ports

ClearLink diagnostic ports (D_Ports) enable administrators to quickly identify and isolate optics and cable problems, reducing fabric deployment and diagnostic times. Organizations can also use D_Ports to run a variety of tests through the IBM Network Advisor or command-line interface (CLI) to test ports, small form-factor pluggables and cables for faults, latency, and distance.

Simplifying server deployment with dynamic fabric provisioning

Dynamic fabric provisioning enables organizations to eliminate fabric reconfiguration when adding or replacing servers through the virtualization of host worldwide names (WWNs). It also reduces or eliminates the need to modify zoning or logical unit number masking, and also enabling preprovisioning of virtual WWNs, helping organizations eliminate time-consuming steps when deploying new equipment or moving devices within a switch.

Fabric operating system and management software

Fabric operating system (FOS), which is included with each SAN24B-5, contains all the functions necessary to operate a base system. The SAN24B-5 Gen 5 Fibre Channel base systems require FOS v7.0.1 or later to take advantage of the advanced functions delivered through Fabric Vision technology. The ClearLink diagnostic port (D-port) supported in FOS v7.0 or later is designed to debug the components associated with the link, such as transceivers and cables. This feature is supported only on the 16 Gbps ports.

The Advanced Web Tools, Advanced Zoning, Full Fabric, and Enhanced Group Management are part of the base FOS and do not require a license. When using FOS v7.2 or later you will have access to additional base functions such as Server Application Optimization (SAO) and Adaptive Networking.
  • Advanced Web Tools software enables graphical user interface (GUI) based administration, configuration, and maintenance of fabric switches and SANs.
  • Advanced Zoning software segments a fabric into virtual private SANs to restrict device communication and apply certain policies only to members within the same zone.
  • Full Fabric software allows switches to be connected, and is required to enable E_Ports.
  • Enhanced Group Management enables additional device-level management functionality for IBM b-type SAN products when added to the element management, and allows large consolidated operations to groups of devices (such as firmware downloads and configuration uploads and downloads).

Advanced capabilities can be enabled with the following optional license activation features:
  • Adaptive networking service is a set of features that provide users with tools and capabilities for incorporating network policies to ensure optimal behavior of a large SAN. The FOS v7.0 release supports two types of quality-of-service features with the 16 Gbps fabric backbones: ingress rate limiting and SID/DID-based prioritization.
  • Advanced Performance Monitor helps identify end-to-end bandwidth used by host/target pairs and is designed to provide for capacity planning.
  • Fabric Watch is designed to constantly monitor mission-critical switch operations for potential faults and automatically alert administrators to problems before they become costly failures. Fabric Watch includes the port fencing capability.
  • Inter-Switch Link (ISL) Trunking enables efficient Fibre Channel packet distribution across multiple ISLs between two IBM b-type SAN fabric switches and directors while preserving in-order delivery. Both b-type SAN devices must have trunking activated. The SAN24B-5 adds enhanced ISL trunking support, uses 16 Gbps ports, and enables Fibre Channel packets to be distributed across up to eight ISLs capable of 16 Gbps for a combined bandwidth of up to 128 Gbps.
  • Extended Fabrics extend SAN fabrics beyond the Fibre Channel standard of 10 km by optimizing internal switch buffers to maintain performance on ISLs connected at extended distances.
  • Server Application Optimization optimizes overall application performance for physical servers and virtual machines by extending virtual channels to the server infrastructure. Application-specific traffic flows can be configured, prioritized and optimized throughout the entire data center infrastructure.
  • 12-port Activation enables the SAN24B-5 switch with one additional increment of 12 ports that can be enabled on demand. The SAN24B-5 switch ships with the first 12 ports activated in the base product.
  • Enterprise Bundle offers a convenient method for ordering a set of optional features bundled into one feature number. It includes one license for each of the following items: Trunking Activation, Fabric Watch, Advanced Performance Monitor, Adaptive Networking, Server Application Optimization, and Fabric Vision. Requires FOS 7.2 or later to activate all Fabric Vision license features.
  • Fabric Vision license offers a collection of breakthrough features and tools bundled into an optional licensed feature. It includes Flow Vision and Monitoring and Alerting Policy Suite (MAPS) advanced technologies and capabilities. Requires FOS 7.2 or later.

Note: Some features do not apply or are unavailable when using the switch in Access Gateway mode.

IBM Network Advisor software supports SAN24B-5 Gen 5 Fibre Channel technology by providing end-to-end management of data center fabrics from storage ports on networked storage systems to host bus adapters attached to physical or virtualized servers. IBM Network Advisor v12.0 or later is necessary for supporting transitions to cloud environments. IBM Network Advisor v12.1 or later is required to support Fabric Vision license capabilities.

Fabric vision technology

Fabric Vision technology, an extension of Gen 5 Fibre Channel, introduces a breakthrough hardware and software solution that maximizes uptime, simplifies SAN management, and provides increased visibility and insight across the storage network. Offering innovative diagnostic, monitoring, and management capabilities, SAN24B-5 with Fabric Vision technology helps administrators avoid problems, maximizes application performance, and reduces operational costs.

Fabric Vision technology includes the following items:
  • Flow Vision enables administrators to identify, monitor, and analyze specific application and data flows to maximize performance, avoid congestion, and optimize resources. Flow Vision includes these items:
    • Flow Monitor to provide comprehensive visibility into flows in the fabric, including the ability to automatically learn (discover) flows and nondisruptively monitor flow performance. Organizations can monitor all flows from a specific host to multiple targets/LUNs, from multiple hosts to a specific target/LUN, or across a specific ISL. They also can perform LUN-level monitoring of specific frame types to identify resource contention or congestion that is impacting application performance.
    • Flow Mirror to provide the ability to nondisruptively create copies of specific application and data flows or frame types that can be captured for deeper analysis.
    • Flow Generator to provide a built-in test traffic generator for pretesting and validating the SAN infrastructure—including verification of routes and integrity of optics, cables, ports, and ISLs—for robustness before deploying applications.
  • Monitoring and Alerting Policy Suite (MAPS) simplifies fabric-wide threshold configuration and monitoring. MAPS allows organizations to leverage pre-built rule/policy-based templates. The result is a simple, two-step process for applying thresholds and alerts to ports and switches. Organizations can configure the entire fabric (or multiple fabrics) at one time using common rules and policies, or customize policies for specific ports or switch elements—all through a single dialog. The integrated dashboard displays an overall switch health report, along with details on out-of-policy conditions, to help administrators quickly pinpoint potential issues and easily identify trends and other behaviors occurring on a switch or fabric.
  • ClearLink diagnostic technology (D_Port) ensures optical and signal integrity for Gen 5 Fibre Channel optics and cables, simplifying deployment and support of high-performance fabrics. It leverages ClearLink diagnostic port (D_Port) capabilities of Gen 5 Fibre Channel platforms.
  • Bottleneck Detection identifies and alerts administrators to device or ISL congestion as well as abnormal levels of latency in the fabric. This feature works in conjunction with IBM Network Advisor to automatically monitor and detect network congestion and latency in the fabric, providing visualization of bottlenecks in a connectivity map and product tree, and identifying exactly which devices and hosts are affected by a bottlenecked port.
  • Integration into IBM Network Advisor provides customizable health and performance dashboard views to locate problems faster, simplify SAN configuration and management, and reduce operational costs.
  • Critical diagnostic and monitoring capabilities help ensure early problem detection and recovery.
  • Non-intrusive and nondisruptive monitoring on every port provides an end-to-end view of the entire fabric using capabilities integrated into the hardware. This allows sophisticated monitoring without imposing an additional burden on switches with frequent polling activity.
  • Forward Error Correction (FEC) enables recovery from bit errors in ISLs, enhancing transmission reliability and performance.
  • Credit Loss Recovery helps overcome performance degradation and congestion due to buffer credit loss.
  • Real-time bandwidth consumption by hosts or applications on ISLs helps easily identify hot spots and potential network congestion.


Table 1 lists the IBM System Networking SAN24B-5 switch specifications.

Table 1. IBM System Networking SAN24B-5 switch specifications
Product numbers
  • 2498-F24 (AAS)
  • 2498-X24 (Xccellerator)
  • 249824G (HVEC)
Base machineBase switch includes the following components:
Power distribution unit (PDU) jumpers, fixed rack mount rail kit, install guide hardcopy, EZSwitchSetup CD, CD-ROM (with manuals), service tools, RJ-45 wrap tools, wrist strap, and small form factor pluggable (SFP) extraction tool
AAS: dual integrated power supplies and fans (replaceable)
HVEC/XCC: one integrated power supply and fan (replaceable)
Base switch: 12 ports activated; no SFPs included
Base switch includes the following functions:
Advanced Web Tools, Advanced Zoning, Full Fabric, Enhanced Group Management, Fabric Operating System v7.0.1 or later. Also includes Adaptive Networking and Server Application Optimization when using FOS 7.2 or later.
Fibre Channel interfaces
  • Auto-sensing of 2, 4, 8 and 16 Gbps port speeds
  • D_Port (diagnostic port), E_Port, EX_Port, F_Port, M_Port (mirror port); optional port type control
  • Access Gateway Mode: F_Port and NPIV-enabled N_Port
  • 16 Gbps: hot pluggable SFP+, LC connector; 16 Gbps short-wavelength laser (SWL), long-wavelength laser (LWL), , extra long-wavelength laser (ELW)
  • 8 Gbps: hot-pluggable SFP+, LC connector; 8 Gbps SWL, LWL, ELW
Hot-swap componentsPower supplies, fan modules, small form-factor pluggables (SFPs)
Non-rack supportNon-rack installation support; requires country-specific power cords which must be ordered
Management softwareHTTP, SNMP v1/v3 (FE MIB, Fibre Channel Management MIB), SSH; Auditing, Syslog; Advanced Web Tools, Advanced Performance Monitoring, Fabric Watch; IBM Network Advisor v11.1 or later; CLI
Servers supported*
  • IBM Power Systems™
  • IBM System p®
  • IBM System i®
  • IBM System x®
  • Other Intel processor-based servers with Linux, Microsoft Windows 2008 and Windows 2012
  • Selected Sun and HP servers
Operating systems supported*
  • Windows 2003, Windows 2008
  • Red Hat Linux, Red Hat Linux Advanced Server
  • SUSE Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)
  • IBM AIX®
  • Other selected operating systems
Storage products supported*
  • IBM XIV® storage system
  • IBM System Storage® DS8000® storage servers
  • System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC)
  • IBM Storwize® V3700, V5000, and V7000
  • Other selected storage systems
Fibre Channel switches supportedSystem Storage and TotalStorage b-type and m-type SAN directors, switches, and routers; other directors, switches and routers manufactured by Brocade
Fibre optic cableFiber optic cables with LC connectors are required and available in various lengths in single-mode and multimode formats
Power cordsJumper cables are included for installation; country-specific power cords must be ordered for desktop or stand-alone installation
WarrantyOne year; customer-replaceable unit (CRU) and onsite; 9×5 next-business-day response, warranty service upgrades are available
Optional featuresSFPs, fiber optic cables, upgrade power supplies, Twelve-port Activation, Advanced Performance Monitor, Fabric Watch, Adaptive Networking, Enterprise Package*, Extended Fabrics, Trunking Activation, Server Application Optimization, Fabric Vision
*For the most current and complete details, see the product details at the IBM System Storage Interoperation Center (SSIC):

Physical characteristics

Table 2 lists the physical characteristics for the IBM System Networking SAN24B-5 switch.

Table 2. Physical characteristics
SizeWidth: 43.8 cm (17.24 in.)
Depth: 4.3 cm (1.7 in.)
Height: 44.3 cm (17.44 in.)
Weight7.82 kg (17.25 lb) with one power supply, without transceivers
9.16 kg (20.2 lb) with two power supplies, without transceivers

Operating environment

Table 3 describes the operating environment for the IBM System Networking SAN24B-5 switch.

Table 3. Operating environment
Temperature (operating)0 to 40°C (32 to 104°F)
Humidity (operating)10% to 85% noncondensing at 40°C (104°F)
Altitude (operating)Up to 3,000 m (9,842 ft)
AirflowRear panel-to-door airflow

Electrical requirements

Table 4 lists the electrical requirements for the IBM System Networking SAN24B-5 switch.

Table 4. Electrical requirements
Nominal input voltage85 - 264 V ac, universal
Input line frequency47 - 63 Hz
Power consumption80 W with 24 ports populated with 16 Gbps SWL optics
60 W for empty chassis with no optics
Heat dissipation338 BTU/hr
Inrush currentMaximum of 35 amps

Related information

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
03 December 2013

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