Dell PowerConnect B-DCX 4S

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Organizations seeking a highly robust 8 Gbps platform that combines performance, scalability and efficiency with long-term investment protection.

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  • Full fabric architecture of 239 switches

Certified maximum

  • 6000 active nodes; 56 switches, 19 hops in Brocade FOS fabrics; 31 switches, 3 hops in Brocade M-EOS fabrics; larger fabrics certified as required


  • 1.063 Gbit/sec line speed, full duplex; 2.125 Gbit/sec line speed, full duplex; 4.25 Gbit/sec line speed, full duplex; 8.50 Gbit/sec line speed, full duplex; auto sensing of 1, 2, 4, and 8GB port speeds; optionally programmable 1, 2, 4, and 8GB ports; 10.5 Gbit/sec line speed, full duplex

    Chassis bandwidth

    Brocade™ DCX-4S: 1.536 Tbit/sec per chassis (192 ports × 8 Gbit/sec data rate)

    Slot bandwidth

    256 Gbit/sec (data rate)

    ICL bandwidth

    256 Gbit/sec; 4 ICLs x 8 8Gb Fibre Channel connections
    ICL bandwidth is load-balanced using eight 8-port frame-based trunks and DPS

    Switch latency

    Locally switched ports 700 ns; blade-to-blade latency is 2.1 µsec

    Frame buffers

    2048 per 16-port group on 16/32-port blades and up to 2048 per 24-port group on 48-port blades, dynamically allocated

ISL Trunking

  • Frame-based trunking with up to eight 8GB ports per ISL trunk; up to 64 Gbit/sec per ISL trunk
    Exchange-based load balancing across ISLs with DPS included in Fabric OS

Maximum frame size

  • 2112-byte payload

Classes of Service

  • Class 2, Class 3, Class F (inter-switch frames)

Port Types

  • FL_Port (except FC8-48), F_Port, M_Port (Mirror Port), E_Port, EX_Port (Fibre Channel Integrated Routing); self-discovery based on switch type (U_Port); optional port type control

Data Traffic Types

  • Fabric switches supporting unicast, multicast (255 groups), and broadcast

Media Types

  • 4Gb: FC8-16, -32, and -48; FR4-18i; FA4-18; and FS8-18 blades require Brocade hot-pluggable, Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP), LC connector; 4Gb Short-Wavelength Laser (SWL); 4Gb Long-Wavelength Laser (LWL); 4Gb Extended Long-Wavelength Laser (ELWL)

    8Gb: FC8-16, -32, and-48; and FS8-18 blades require Brocade hot-pluggable SFP+, LC connector; 8Gb SWL; 8Gb LWL

    10Gb: FC10-6 blades utilize non-Brocade hot-pluggable, 10Gb Small Form Factor Pluggable (XFP), LC connector; 10Gb SWL; 10Gb LWL

    Distance subject to fiber-optic cable and port speed

Fabric Services

  • Advanced Performance Monitoring (including Top Talkers); Adaptive Networking (Ingress Rate Limiting, Traffic Isolation, QoS); BB credit recovery; Brocade Advanced Zoning (default zoning, port/WWN zoning, broadcast zoning); Dynamic Path Selection (DPS); Extended Fabrics; Fabric Watch; FDMI; Frame Redirection; FSPF; Integrated Routing (FR4-18i SAN Extension blade not required for routing); IPoFC; ISL Trunking; Management Server; N_Port Trunking; NPIV; NTP v3; Port Fencing; Registered State Change Notification (RSCN); Reliable Commit Service (RCS); Simple Name Server (SNS); Virtual Fabrics (Logical Switch, Logical Fabric)


  • Management
    HTTP, SNMP v1/v3 (FE MIB, FC Management MIB), Telnet; Auditing, Syslog; Brocade Advanced Web Tools, Brocade Fabric Watch; Brocade Data Center Fabric Manager (DCFM) Enterprise (Brocade DCX, DCX-4S) or DCFM Professional (Brocade DCX-4S only), Brocade Fabric Manager (optional, FOS environments only), Brocade EFCM 9.x (optional), command line interface; SMI-S compliant; Administrative Domains; trial licenses for add-on capabilities

    DH-CHAP (between switches and end devices), FIPS 140-2 L2-compliant, HTTPS, IPsec, IP filtering, LDAP, Port Binding, RADIUS, Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), Secure Copy (SCP), Secure RPC, SSH v2, SSL, Switch Binding, Trusted Switch

    Management access
    10/100/1000 Ethernet (RJ-45) per control processor, in-band over Fibre Channel; serial port (RJ-45) and one USB per control processor module; call-home integration enabled through Brocade DCFM, EFCM, and Fabric

    Manager Diagnostics
    POST and embedded online/offline diagnostics, including RAStrace logging, environmental monitoring, non-disruptive daemon restart, FCping and Pathinfo (FC traceroute), port mirroring (SPAN port)


  • Single chassis: 192 (Brocade DCX-4S) 8Gb universal (E, F, FL, M, EX) Fibre Channel ports using up to eight 16-, 32-, or 48-port Fibre Channel blades

    Dual chassis: 384 (Brocade DCX-4S) 8Gb universal Fibre Channel ports; ICL ports (four per chassis, copper pin) connect two Brocade DCX-4S chassis.

    Special-purpose blades

    FC10-6 Blade provides six 10Gb Fibre Channel ports (up to eight blades)
    FR4-18i SAN Extension Blade provides Fibre Channel routing and SAN extension over IP networks (16 4Gb Fibre Channel ports and two Gigabit Ethernet ports per blade; up to eight blades and 64 EX_Ports)
    FA4-18 Application Blade is integrated with EMC RecoverPoint to provide continuous data protection (16 4Gb Fibre Channel ports and two Gigabit Ethernet ports per blade; up to four blades)
    FS8-18 Encryption Blade provides plug-in encryption of data on disk or tape, supporting industry-standard AES-256 and DataFort-compatible encryption mode (16 8Gb Fibre Channel ports; up to four blades; requires DCFM management)


    1 USB port per control processor for firmware download, support save, and configuration upload/download

    Mechanical Specifications


    Rear panel-to-door airflow; Brocade DCX-4S ships with 1U exhaust shelf

    Rack-mountable in a standard 19-inch EIA cabinet

    Brocade DCX-4S
    Width: 44 cm (17.22")
    Height: 35 cm (13.78", 8U) plus 4 cm exhaust shelf (4 cm (1.72"), 1U)
    Depth without door: 61 cm (24.09")
    Depth with door: 73 cm (28.82")

    System weight
    Brocade DCX-4S
    68.04 kg (150.00 lb) for 192-port configuration fully populated
    25.26 kg (56.80 lb) for chassis

Environmental Operating Conditions

  • Temperature
    Operating: 0° C to 40° C (32° F to 104° F)
    Non-operating: –25° C to 70° C (–13° F to 158° F)

    Operating: 20% to 85% RH non-condensing at 40° C (104° F)
    Non-operating and storage (non-condensing): 10% to 93% at 70° C (158° F)

    Up to 3000 meters (9842 feet)

    Operating: 20 g, 6 ms, half sine
    Non-operating: 33 g, 11 ms, half sine

    Operating: 0.5 g p-p, 5 to 500 to 5 Hz
    Non-operating: 2.0 g p-p, 5 to 500 to 5 Hz

    Heat dissipation

    Brocade DCX-4S
    Min: 16-port configuration of 363 W, 1239 BTU/hr
    Max: 192-port configuration of 753 W, 2570 BTU/hr

    CO2 emissions

    Brocade DCX-4S
    2.8 metric tonnes per year (with 192 ports at 0.42 kg/kWh)
    1.8 kg per Gbit/sec per year


  • Voltage
    Range: 85 to 264 VAC Auto-volt
    Nominal: 100 to 240 VAC

    85 to 132 VAC; 1000 W
    180 to 264 VAC: 2000 W

    In-rush current
    20 Amps maximum, peak

    47 to 63 Hz
Optimized for virtual data center fabric evolution

The PowerConnect™ B-DCX 4S helps enable large-scale server virtualization and SAN consolidation through high-density, high-performance Fibre Channel/FICON connectivity. Local switching capabilities enhance performance for data traffic within the same port group by not consuming slot bandwidth. The PowerConnect B-DCX 4S can provide 256 Gbps of bandwidth per slot (512 Gbps aggregate data rate). Performance capabilities include:

  • 192 ports operating simultaneously at full 8 GB speed
  • 1.5 Tbps of chassis bandwidth
  • 256 GB of ICL bandwidth (freeing up to 32 8 GB ports per chassis)

The PowerConnect B-DCX 4S helps reduce device congestion as well as device latency conditions in the fabric with features such as high-bandwidth traffic measurement with Top Talkers and critical traffic prioritization with Ingress Rate Limiting.

Designed for SAN consolidation
The PowerConnect B-DCX 4S director helps reduce server-to-storage traffic issues using highly available lossless connectivity. It includes a Virtual Fabric feature that enables partitioning of a physical SAN into logical fabrics and isolation by application, business group, customer or traffic type. Optional Fibre Channel Integrated Routing helps alleviate the need for special-purpose blades or routers to connect servers and storage in separate fabrics. In addition, optional SAN extension over long-distance IP connections can accelerate offsite replication, backup and restore.

The PowerConnect B-DCX 4S supports 1/2/4/8/10 GB Fibre Channel FCIP (Fibre Channel over IP) and IPFC ((Internet Protocol over Fibre Channel). PowerConnect B-8000 top-of-rack switches can be connected over Fibre Channel inter-switch links (ISLs) to the PowerConnect B-DCX 4S director in the network core.

In addition, the DCX 4S chassis can be configured with the B-FCoE 1024 blade for first hop direct connectivity of access layer servers to PowerConnect B-DCX 4S FC director. This helps eliminate the need for intermediate networking devices (see more in the B-FCoE 1024 Blade tab).

Efficiency for energy conscious operations

With nearly one-half watt per GB energy consumption, the PowerConnect B-DCX 4S is designed to help reduce power consumption and cooling, reducing the data center's carbon footprint while providing high performance and scalability.
B-FCOE 1024 blade
The B-FCOE 1024 blade enables first hop direct connectivity of access layer servers to PowerConnect B-DCX 4S FC director, helps eliminate the need for intermediate networking devices. The B-FCoE 1024 blade provides 24 10GB DCB ports capable of transporting both storage (FCoE) and LAN traffic.

Server edge I/O consolidation

Transporting storage and networking data over DCB can reduce the number of adapters used in servers. That, in turn, can reduce the number of cables and required switch ports. The overall reduction of I/O adapters and cables simplifies cabling and helps reduce the cost of acquisition (CapEx). The reduced investment costs can be supplemented by lower operating costs (OpEx) resulting from reduced power consumption and cooling costs and fewer management points.

Server I/O virtualization

DCB 10GbE interfaces offer scalable bandwidth for demanding virtualized server environments powered by multicore and multisocket servers. FCoE and DCB can deliver network convergence that simplifies virtualized application mobility to meet the needs of today’s dynamic data centers.

DCX and fibre channel investment protection

The PowerConnect B-FCOE 1024 blade is designed to enhance the value of the PowerConnect B-DCX 4S director by adding FCoE and DCB capabilities to the product line. With the new blade, servers can connect directly to PowerConnect B-DCX 4S using 10 Gbps DCB ports extending lossless Ethernet reach to FC backbone. Two hot-pluggable blades per system enable FCoE redundancy in the switch.

FCoE preserves the data path model and FC constructs. As a result, FCoE integrates seamlessly with existing customer FC environments and FC management applications.

Fibre Channel portsThe PowerConnect B-FCoE 1024 Blade relies on other PowerConnect B-DCX 4S blades for Fibre Channel ports
DCB/CEE ports24 ports with 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE)
FCoE features Complete T11 FCoE entity and FCoE bridging. The FCoE hardware engine provides:
  • Detection of Fibre Channel encapsulation and redirection of FCoE fabric login frames
  • Encapsulation of Fibre Channel frames in FCoE Ethernet packets (FC > FCoE)
  • Extraction of Fibre Channel frames from FCoE Ethernet packets (FCoE > FC)
  • Mapping of Fibre Channel destination Virtual Fabrics and destination FC_ID to Ethernet Virtual LAN and destination MAC addresses

Fabric-Provided MAC Addresses (FPMAs) enable new Ethernet MAC addresses to be created using the FC_ID assigned by the fabric.
DCB/CEE featuresData Center Bridging eXchange (DCBX)
Priority-based Flow Control (PFC): IEEE 802.1Qbb
Enhanced Transmission Selection (ETS): IEEE 802.1Qaz
Performance DCB: 10 Gb line speed
Fibre Channel: Accessible via backplane
Maximum frame size2112-byte Fibre Channel payload; 9048-byte Ethernet frame 
Data traffic types Fabric switches supporting unicast, multicast (255 groups), and broadcast
CEE media typesHot-pluggable, 10 GbE SFP+ supports any combination of Short-Reach (SR) and Long-Reach (LR) optical transceivers 
Link aggregation10 Gigabit Ethernet standards-based Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) 802.3ad, enhanced frame-based trunking
sFlow monitoring sFlow version 5 and RFC 3176 compliance: statistical packet-based and time-based sampling 
802.1x security802.1X authentication for switch-to-HBA authentication:
Authenticator support: Enables a switch to authenticate a peer host or HBA
Multi-peer host or MAC authentication options: Enable a switch to authenticate traffic from multiple peer MACs behind a hub/HBA
Drop filter customization for LLDP: Enables unauthenticated ports to send LLDP PDUs based on destination MAC address
MAC support 32,000 MAC addresses 
DCB/CEE servicesSpanning Tree Protocol (STP, MSTP, RSTP), VLAN Tagging (802.1q), MAC address learning and aging; native FCoE switching; IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation (LACP); ACLs based on VLAN, source, destination address, and port; eight priority levels for QoS and approximately 4000 VLANs; Priority-based Flow Control (PFC); Data Center Bridging eXchange (DCBX); Enhanced Transmission Selection (ETS), sFlow, and IEEE 802.1X
Licensing optionsFCoE support license is included with the blade 
ManagementManagement software: Data Center Fabric Manager (DCFM) Professional, DCFM Professional Plus, and DCFM Enterprise:
  • DCFM uses HTTP/HTTPS and SNMP protocols to communicate with the PowerConnect B-DCX 4S Backbone chassis to effectively manage and monitor CEE features
  • DCFM enhancements support the following FCoE/CEE functionality: Discovery, connectivity map and product list; configuration management; performance management; fault management; security management
Diagnostics: Power-On Self-Test (POST): These tests are port blade-oriented to ensure that the switch is ready for use; testing is performed on physical ports. Switch-level testing is executed at the user port level. The tests rely on the standard Fabric OS support to provide routing and port setup. Manufacturing support includes long-duration testing.
TemperatureOperating: 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F); Nonoperating: -25°C to 70°C (-13°F to 158°F)
HumidityOperating: 20% to 85 percent noncondensing at 40° C (104° F); Non-operating: 10% to 93% at 70° C (158° F)
Altitude Operating: Up to 3000 meters (9842 feet); Storage: Up to 12 km. (39,370 feet) 
Shock Operating: 20 g, 6 ms half-sine; Non-operating: Half-sine, 33G 11ms, half-sine
VibrationOperating: 0.5 g p-p, 5 to 500 to 5 Hz; Non-operating: 2.0 g p-p, 5 to 500 to 5 Hz 
PowerNominal: 250 watts; Input Voltage: 40 to 50 VAC nominal; Input Line Frequency:47 to 63 Hz; Inrush Current: 60 amps maximum; Maximum Current: 29 amps at 12V DC 

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