For cost-saving considering, many companies want to purchase THIRD PARTY compatible SFPs instead of origins (Cisco, HP, Juniper, Huawei…..etc). After all, it could be saving 80% even 90% money.
The question is, is the 3rd party compatible SFP safe?
Let’s take Cisco for example. The Cisco guideline for support and warranty services for the use of third-party memory, cables, gigabit interface controllers (GBICs), filters, or other non-Cisco components is as follows:
When a customer reports a product fault or defect and Cisco believes the fault or defect can be traced to the use of third-party memory products, cables, GBIC’s, filters, or other non-Cisco components by a customer or reseller, then, at Cisco’s discretion, Cisco may withhold support under warranty or a Cisco support program such as SMARTnet™ service.
When a product fault or defect occurs in the network, and Cisco concludes that the fault or defect is not attributable to the use of third-party memory, cables, GBICs, filters, or other non-Cisco components installed by a customer or reseller, Cisco will continue to provide support for the affected product under warranty or covered by a Cisco support program.
From the Cisco policy we know two things:
1) Fault or defect caused by 3d party products, no warranty support.
2) Fault or defect in not attributable to 3d party products, warranty support no problem.
So, does the 3d party SFP or GBIC can cause a fault or defect? The answer is that it’s possible, but very very unlikely.
Let’s take it deeply.
If you use a third-party transceiver and it leads to actual damage Cisco may, at their discretion, refuse warranty support. If the transceiver is merely suspected of being at fault, they may refuse support until you install a supported Cisco-branded transceiver.
In fact, this is all they can threaten to do, under law! Many don’t know this, but an obscure regulation called the Magnuson-Moss Act specifically prohibits a manufacturer from revoking warranty support merely for the use of unapproved hardware. Unless they can demonstrate a good reason to think the third-party hardware is at fault, they can’t revoke your warranty. Which, of course, immediately raises another question:
Are Third-Party Cisco-Compatible Transceivers Safe? And the answer here is an unequivocal YES!
Most “third party” transceivers are made and assembled in exactly the same plants assembling officially-branded transceivers. There’s a very small number of devices in this world with the specialty equipment needed to produce fiber optic hardware. As such, they supply pretty much everyone.
Chances are, there is absolutely no difference between an official Cisco transceiver and a reliable third-party plug, aside from the branding and about two hundred to a few thousand bucks.
Speaking personally, here at EXCOM FIBER we have never seen an actual case of a Cisco switch being damaged by a third-party transceiver. In fact, the failure rates on our transceivers are far lower than most kinds of network hardware. They’re a very basic technology and there’s a reason they only cost a few dollars each to produce.
They just don’t have any real way of failing that would also damage a switch.Third-Party SFPs Can Be As Reliable As Official OEM Products
The short version is, if you buy a Cisco-compatible SFP transceiver from a reputable vendor who’s backing it by warranty, you have nothing to fear. You’re getting a transceiver that’s every bit as good as the official version, for a vastly reduced cost.
And if you’re looking for transceivers as an inexpensive way to upgrade your current switch, contact EXCOM FIBER today.