IBM Storage Networking SAN96C-6 Fibre Channel Switch

What IBM Storage Neworking SAN96C-6 can do for your business

IBM Storage Networking SAN96C-6 Fibre Channel Switch provides high-speed fibre channel connectivity for all-flash arrays and supports multicloud environments. It offers state-of-the-art analytics and telemetry capability built into its next-generation Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) platform. This switch allows seamless transition to FC-NVMe workloads whenever available without any hardware upgrade in the SAN. It empowers small, midsize, and large enterprises that are rapidly deploying cloud-scale applications using extremely dense virtualized servers, providing the benefits of greater bandwidth, scale, and consolidation.


High density and scale

96 32-Gbps line rate Enhanced Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP+) ports provide bandwidth of 3-Tbps per switch for hyperscale environments that drive multiple virtual machine instances within the rack.

Fully integrated SAN analytics

State-of-the-art SAN analytics and telemetry data extracted from the inspection of the frame headers are calculated on board and can be streamed to any analytics-visualization platform.

High availability

Equipped with three field-replaceable 16-Port Fibre channel expansion modules that provide high availability, compared to traditional fixed switches with a single ASIC or port group.

Sophisticated diagnostics

Delivers Inter-Switch Link (ISL) diagnostics, HBA diagnostics, network analysis tools, and integrated IBM Call Home capability for greater reliability and reduced service costs.

Virtual machine awareness

Provides visibility into all virtual machines accessing storage LUNs in the fabric. This is available through HBAs tagging the Virtual Machine Identifier (VMID) on every Fibre Channel frame.

Key features of IBM SAN96C-6

Next-generation ASIC

The SAN96C-6 Fibre Channel Switch is powered by the same high-performance 32-Gbps IBMASIC with an integrated network processor that powers the IBM Fibre Channel Switching Module. Among all the advanced features that this ASIC enables, one of the most notable is inspection of Fibre Channel and Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) headers from every storage workload without the need for any external taps or appliances.

Intelligent network services

Slow-drain detection and isolation, Virtual SAN (VSAN) identifier, Access Control Lists (ACLs) for hardware-based intelligent frame processing, smart zoning, and fabric wide Quality of Service (QoS) enable migration from SAN islands to enterprise-wide storage networks. Traffic encryption is optionally available to meet stringent security requirements.

Sophisticated diagnostics

The SAN96C-6 provides intelligent diagnostics tools such as Inter-Switch Link (ISL) diagnostics, HBA diagnostics with leading HBA vendors, read diagnostic parameters, protocol decoding, network analysis tools, and integrated IBM Call Home capability for greater reliability, faster problem resolution, and reduced service costs.

Programmable fabric

The SAN96C-6 provides powerful Representational State Transfer (REST) and IBMNX-OS Software API capabilities to enable flexible and rapid programming of utilities for the SAN.

Single-pane management

IBM Data Center Network Manager (DCNM), which currently manages the entire suite of IBM data center products, can be used to provision, manage, monitor, and troubleshoot the MDS 9396T.

Secure-boot and anti-counterfeiting technology

The SAN96C-6 uses onboard hardware that protects the entire system from malicious attacks by securing access to critical components, such as the bootloader, system image loader, and Joint Test Action Group (JTAG) interface.

Capital Expenditure (CapEx) savings

The 32-Gbps ports allow users to deploy them on existing 16- or 8-Gbps transceivers, reducing initial CapEx and investment protection with an option to upgrade to 32-Gbps transceivers and adapters whenever needed.

Grow in small increments

The SAN96C-6 Fibre Channel Switch provides an option to deploy as few as 48 32-Gbps Fibre Channel ports in the entry-level variant, and then grow in increments of 16 ports to up to 96 ports. This allows four possible configurations of 48, 64, 80, and 96 ports.