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IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
IBM Redbooks Product Guide
The IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch is designed to offer the performance you need to support
clustered databases, parallel processing, transactional services, and high-performance embedded I/O
applications, helping to reduce task completion time and lower the cost per operation. The switch
supports 40 Gbps QDR InfiniBand and can be upgraded to 56 Gbps FDR InfiniBand.
The IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch can be installed in the IBM Flex System chassis, which
provides a high bandwidth, low latency fabric for Enterprise Data Centers (EDC), high-performance
computing (HPC), and embedded environments. When used in conjunction with IB6132 InfiniBand QDR
and FDR dual-port mezzanine I/O cards, these switches will achieve significant performance
improvements resulting in reduced completion time and lower cost per operation.
Figure 1 shows the switch module.
Figure 1. IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
Did you know
This switch is designed for low latency, high bandwidth, and computing efficiency for performance-driven
server and storage clustering applications. The switch supports full bisectional bandwidth, and, when
combined with the InfiniBand 56 Gbps FDR adapter, your organization can achieve efficient
high-performance computing by providing maximum bandwidth and off-loading from the CPU protocol
processing and data movement overhead, such as Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) and
Send/Receive semantics, allowing more processor power for the application.
IBM Flex System, a new category of computing and the next generation of Smarter Computing, offers
intelligent workload deployment and management for maximum business agility. This chassis delivers
high-speed performance complete with integrated servers, storage, and networking for multiple chassis
management in data center compute environments. Furthermore, its flexible design can meet the needs
of varying workloads with independently scalable IT resource pools for higher utilization and lower cost
per workload. While increased security and resiliency protect vital information and promote maximum
uptime, the integrated, easy-to-use management system reduces setup time and complexity, providing a
quicker path to a return on investment (ROI).
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
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Part number information
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch base enables 14 internal Quad Data Rate (QDR) links to each
compute node and 18 Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable (QSFP) uplink ports for inter-switch links or to
connect to external servers. Clients can upgrade to FDR speed (56 Gb) via the Feature On Demand
(FOD) process. Table 1 shows the part numbers for ordering the switch and upgrade.
Table 1. Part numbers and feature codes for ordering
Description
Part number
Feature codes*
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
90Y3450
A1EK / 3699
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch (FDR Upgrade)
90Y3462
A1QX / None
* The first feature code listed is for configurations ordered through the IBM® System x® sales channel. The second
feature code is for configurations ordered through the IBM Power Systems™ sales channel.
The part number for the switch, 90Y3450, includes the following items:




One IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
Important Notices Flyer
Warranty Flyer
Documentation CD-ROM
Note: IB6131 supports QDR and FDR copper QSFP cables to connect to other devices or servers. No
cables are included with the switch.
The part number for the upgrade, 90Y3462, includes the following items:


Feature on Demand Activation Flyer
Upgrade activation key
The base switch and upgrades are as follows:

90Y3450 is the part number for the physical device and comes with 14 internal QDR ports enabled,
one to each compute node, and 18 external QDR ports enabled to connect to a server or other
InfiniBand devices. All external ports are QSFP-based connections.

90Y3462 can be applied on the base switch (one upgrade per switch) to enable FDR on all ports (both
internal and external).
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
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Supported cables
Table 2 lists the supported cables.
Table 2. Supported direct-attach cables (DAC) and serial cables
Part number
Feature code*
Description
A2RR / None
IBM Flex System Management Serial Access Cable Kit
Serial cables
90Y9338
InfiniBand QSFP cables
90Y3470
A227 / None
3m FDR InfiniBand Cable
None
None / 3249
QDR InfiniBand 3M QSFP Cable
* The first feature code listed is for configurations made through x-config (HVEC). The second feature code is for
configurations ordered through e-config (AAS).
Benefits

Ultra high performance with full bisectional bandwidth at both Fourteen Data Rate (FDR) and Quad
Data Rate (QDR) speeds

Capability of up to 18 uplink ports for 14 servers allowing high-speed throughput with zero
oversubscription

Suited for clients running InfiniBand infrastructure in High Performance Computing and Financial
Services

When operating at FDR speed, less than 170 nanoseconds measured latency node to node — nearly
half of the typical QDR InfiniBand latency

Forward Error Correction–resilient

Low power consumption

Capability to scale to larger node counts to create a low latency clustered solution and reduce packet
hops
Features and specifications
The IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch has the following features and specifications:


Internal ports:

Fourteen internal ports that can operate at 40 Gbps QDR or 56 Gbps FDR. An optional
Feature-on-Demand (FoD) upgrade is required to enable ports to operate at 56 Gbps. FDR
requires IB6131 FDR InfiniBand Adapter (90Y3454).

One 1 GbE port is connected to the chassis management module.
External ports:

Eighteen QSFP ports auto-sensing 10 Gbps, 20 Gbps, or 40 Gbps QDR (or 56 Gbps FDR with
optional upgrade) supporting QSFP copper direct-attach cables (DAC). DAC cables are not
included and must be purchased separately.
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
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
One RS-232 serial port (mini-USB connector) that provides an additional means to configure the
switch module.

One external Ethernet port with RJ-45 connector for switch configuration and management.

The InfiniBand QDR and FDR switches based on Mellanox technology are unmanaged switches. No
embedded subnet manager. Switch requires subnet management from an external source.

InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA) 1.3 and 1.21 compliant.

IBM PowerPC® based MLNX-OS management.

InfiniBand: Auto-negotiation of 10 Gbps, 20 Gbps, 40 Gbps, or 56 Gbps.

Mellanox quality of service (QoS): Nine InfiniBand virtual lanes for all ports, eight data transport
lanes, and one management lane.

Management: Baseboard, performance, and device management agents for full InfiniBand in-band
management.

Switching performance: Simultaneous wire-speed any port to any port.

Addressing: 48,000 unicast addresses maximum per subnet, 16,000 multicast addresses per subnet.

Switching capacity: 2 Tbps for FDR and 1.44 Tbps for QDR
Standards supported
The module supports the following standard:

IBTA (InfiniBand Trade Association) 1.3 compliant
Supported chassis and adapter cards
The switches are installed in switch bays in the rear of the IBM Flex System Enterprise Chassis, as
shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Location of the switch bays in the IBM Flex System Enterprise Chassis
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
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The connections between the adapters installed in the compute nodes to the switch bays in the chassis
are shown diagrammatically in Figure 3. Figure 3 shows both half-wide servers, such as the x240 with two
adapters, and full-wide servers, such as the p460 with four adapters.
Figure 3. Logical layout of the interconnects between I/O adapters and I/O modules
The IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch can be installed in bays 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the Enterprise
Chassis. A supported InfiniBand adapter card must be installed in the corresponding slot of the compute
node (slot A1 when modules are installed in bays 1 and 2 or slot A2 when switches are in bays 3 and 4).
With compute nodes that have an integrated dual-port 10 GbE network interface controller (NIC), these
switches can only be installed in bays 3 and 4, because integrated NIC's ports are routed to bays 1 and 2
with a specialized periscope connector, and the InfiniBand adapter card in slot A1 cannot be installed.
However, when needed, the periscope connector can be replaced with an InfiniBand adapter card. In this
case, the integrated NIC will be disabled, and the InfiniBand switches can be used in bays 1 and 2.
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
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Table 3 shows the connections between the adapters installed in the compute nodes other than x222 to
the switch bays in the chassis.
Table 3. Adapter to I/O bay correspondence
I/O adapter slot
in the server
Port on the adapter
Corresponding I/O module bay
in the chassis
Port 1
Module bay 1
Port 2
Module bay 2
Port 1
Module bay 3
Port 2
Module bay 4
Slot 3
(full-wide compute nodes only)
Port 1
Module bay 1
Port 2
Module bay 2
Slot 4
(full-wide compute nodes only)
Port 1
Module bay 3
Port 2
Module bay 4
Slot 1
Slot 2
Table 4 shows the connections between the adapters installed in the x222 compute nodes to the switch
bays in the chassis.
Table 4. x222 InfiniBand adapter to I/O bay correspondence
Compute node
IB6132D 2-port
FDR InfiniBand
Corresponding I/O module
bay in the chassis
Upper compute node
Upper Port 1
Module bay 4
Lower compute node
Lower Port 1
Module bay 3
Table 5 lists the InfiniBand I/O adapters that are supported by the IB6131 InfiniBand Switch.
Table 5. Supported InfiniBand I/O adapter cards
Part
number
Feature code
(x-config /
e-config)
Support for
IB6131
switch
IBM Flex System IB6132 2-port FDR InfiniBand Adapter
90Y3454
A1QZ / None
Yes
IBM Flex System IB6132 2-port QDR InfiniBand Adapter
None
None / 1761
Yes
IBM Flex System IB6132D 2-port FDR InfiniBand Adapter
90Y3486
A365 / A365
Yes
Description
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
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The adapters are installed in slots in each compute node. Figure 4 shows the locations of the slots in the
x240 Compute Node. The positions of the adapters in the other supported servers are similar.
Figure 4. Location of the I/O adapter slots in the IBM Flex System x240 Compute Node
Connectors and LEDs
Figure 5 shows the front panel of the IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch. Note that the port
numbering shown in the figure is different from the shipping version. Consult the Installation and User's
Guide for the switch for more information.
Figure 5. Front panel of the IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
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The front panel contains the following components:

LEDs that display the status of the module and the network:

Green power LED indicates that the module has passed the power-on self-test (POST) with no
critical faults and is operational.

Identify LED: This blue LED can be used to identify the module physically by illuminating via the
management software.

The fault LED (switch error) indicates that the module has failed the POST or detected an
operational fault.

Eighteen external QSFP ports for 10 Gbps, 20 Gbps, 40 Gbps, or 56 Gbps connections to external
InfiniBand devices.

An InfiniBand physical link LED and an InfiniBand Tx/Rx LED for each external port on the module.

One mini-USB RS-232 console port that provides an additional means to configure the switch
module. This mini-USB-style connector enables the connection of a special serial cable (the cable is
optional, and it is not included with the switch. See the Part number information section for details).
Network cabling requirements
The network cables that can be used with the switch are as follows:

InfiniBand:



External Ethernet RJ45 management port:




1 m, 3 m, or 5 m InfiniBand QDR or 3 m InfiniBand FDR copper QSFP cables listed in Table 2
Other IBTA compliant QSFP cables
Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Category 6
UTP Category 5e (100 meters (328.1 ft) maximum)
UTP Category 5 (100 meters (328.1 ft) maximum)
RS-232 serial cable: Console cable DB9-to-mini-USB or RJ45-to-mini-USB (nonstandard use of USB
connector) that comes with optional IBM Flex System Management Serial Access Cable, 90Y9338
Warranty
There is a 1-year, customer-replaceable unit (CRU) limited warranty. When installed in a chassis, these
switches assume your system’s base warranty and any IBM ServicePac® upgrade.
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
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Physical specifications
These are the approximate dimensions and weight of the switch:




Height: 30 mm (1.2 inches)
Width: 401 mm (15.8 inches)
Depth: 317 mm (12.5 inches)
Weight: 3.7 kg (8.1 lb)
Shipping dimensions and weight (approximate):




Height: 114 mm (4.5 in)
Width: 508 mm (20.0 in)
Depth: 432 mm (17.0 in)
Weight: 4.1 kg (9.1 lb)
Regulatory compliance
The module conforms to the following standards:

Safety:




US/Canada: cULus
EU: IEC60950
International: CB
Environmental:


Type I / II
EU: IEC 60068‐2‐32: Fall Test
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
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Popular configurations
Figure 6 shows the use of the IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand switches to route two InfiniBand FDR
ports on the dual-port expansion card installed in slot 2 of the compute node. Each compute node has two
InfiniBand ports, and two IB6131 switches are installed in bays 3 and 4 of the Enterprise Chassis. The
connections between the adapter card and the modules are internal to the chassis. No cabling is needed.
Figure 6. Using IB6131 InfiniBand Switch with dual-port InfiniBand FDR adapter cards
Table 6 lists the solution components.
Table 6. Components used when connecting the adapter to the InfiniBand switches
Part number/machine type
Description
Quantity
8737-x2x
IBM Flex System x240 Compute Node with
Embedded 10Gb Virtual Fabric Adapter
1 to 14
90Y3454
IBM Flex System IB6132 2-port FDR InfiniBand
Adapter
1 per server
8721-A1x
IBM Flex System Enterprise Chassis
1
49Y4270
IBM Flex System Fabric EN4093 10Gb Scalable
Switch
2
90Y3450
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
2
90Y3462
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch (FDR
Upgrade)
2
90Y3470
3m FDR InfiniBand Cable
Up to 18 per IB6131 switch
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
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Related publications
For more information see the following IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch product publications,
available from the IBM Flex System Information Center:
http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/flexsys/information/index.jsp

Installation and User's Guide
These resources are other useful references:

US Announcement Letter 112-053
http://ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?infotype=dd&subtype=ca&&htmlfid=897/ENUS112-053

IBM Flex System Enterprise Chassis Product Guide
http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/tips0865.html

IBM Redbooks Product Guides for IBM Flex System servers and options
http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/portals/puresystems

IBM Redbooks® publication IBM Flex System Products and Technology, SG24-7984
http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg247984.html

IBM Flex System Interoperability Guide
http://ibm.com/support

Configuration and Option Guide
http://www.ibm.com/systems/xbc/cog/
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
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Notices
This information was developed for products and services offered in the U.S.A.
IBM may not offer the products, services, or features discussed in this document in other countries. Consult your
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service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program, or service that does not infringe any IBM
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operation of any non-IBM product, program, or service. IBM may have patents or pending patent applications
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IBM Director of Licensing, IBM Corporation, North Castle Drive, Armonk, NY 10504-1785 U.S.A.
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PUBLICATION "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT
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Any performance data contained herein was determined in a controlled environment. Therefore, the results
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COPYRIGHT LICENSE:
This information contains sample application programs in source language, which illustrate programming
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© Copyright International Business Machines Corporation 2012. All rights reserved.
Note to U.S. Government Users Restricted Rights -- Use, duplication or disclosure restricted by
GSA ADP Schedule Contract with IBM Corp.
IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
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This document was created or updated on August 1, 2013.
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
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
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IBM Flex System IB6131 InfiniBand Switch
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