Does Using 3rd Party Optics Void the Warranty of the Switch It Is Used On?

Posted on by FS.COM

The cost of fiber optic transceivers, such as SFP, SFP+, XFP, QSFP+ and CFP optics keeps adding up over time. And the cost of the transceivers is high when sourced from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) like Cisco, HP and Juniper. On the surface, there are some advantages to implementing a “brand homogenous” network. However, savings from purchasing aftermarket transceivers far exceeds the economic value of brand homogeneity when facing the huge pricing disparity in fiber optic transceiver pricing between OEMs and many 3rd party. That is the reason why so many network operators have been switching in droves to 3rd party optics over the past few years.

Warranty-voidActually, salespeople for the big OEMs and their authorized distributors try to get as price competitive as they can. However, their hands are largely tied by contractual agreements specifying minimum sell prices. Though they keep trying to lower their bottom line of price, they are still much higher than the 3rd party optics as their layers of profitable relationships. Except the price, the arguments regarding quality are rife. In fact, every people who has the experience of using 3rd party transceivers knows that the performances of both OEM and 3rd party optics are the same, of course, excluding the inferior-quality optics from the unreliable vendors. And after having long-term arguments regarding quality, availability and support issues rebuffed, the occasional desperate OEM salesperson will play their last card and claim that installed 3rd party optics in the switch will void its warranty. This caused much discussion among the users.

Will using 3rd party transceiver modules void the switch warranty?

The short answer is No. If the equipment is defective, the vendors are obliged to fulfill the terms of the warranty because good 3rd party optics are fully compliant to MSA (Multi-Source Agreement), unless it can be verified that it is the use of the 3rd party optics that damaged the equipment.

However, it is unlikely that fiber optic transceivers will induce damages to the slot on equipment by itself. Take an SFP optic for example:

  • SFP converts electrical data from the equipment to optical signal. There is no incoming power surge from optical ports to damage the equipment.
  • SFP draws voltage/power from the equipment and it is more likely that the equipment damaged the SFP. All current and voltage required are as per MSA and the equipment should be able to support the power requirements for each SFP ports.
  • SFP size will fit accordingly to any MSA compliant device without damaging the electrical circuitry on the equipment.
  • If installations of SFP modules are handled by personnel who are properly grounded, there is no electrostatic damage to the equipment circuitry.

Note: Some network equipment vendors try to protect the sales revenue of their optics by denying support if the serial number does not match their record. Fiberstore offers high-compatibility fiber optic transceivers by finding out the complete and perfect solution for the series’ encryption of many major brands, e.g. Cisco, HP etc.

In addition to the technical issues, the reason equipment vendors cannot void your warranty is that they are prohibited by law from doing so. Voiding of a warranty in this situation would be violating what is defined in the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 (15 United States Code section 2302(c)) as a “Tie-In Sales” provision.

Of course, you should be aware of that the equipment warranty would not cover any 3rd party optics deployed in their switches. Though sometimes the OEM salespersons try to exaggerate this as if it is an odd, difficult or exceptional issue, the truth is a typical network is composed of many devices from many different manufacturers, with each device supported by its manufacturer’s warranty. For instance, you use Cisco switch, HP server, and other brands of fiber optic compatible transceivers, e.g. Fiberstore Compatible Optics in your network, so that you should enjoy your warranty right from Cisco for your switch, and from HP for your server, as well as lifetime warranty from Fiberstore for your optics.

Fiberstore SFPAs the leading global manufacturer and supplier of compatible optical transceiver modules, Fiberstore always specialized in compatibility breakthrough and insisted on the high performance of the optical components/lasers. At present, Fiberstore has already established a comprehensive inventory of fiber optic transceivers. Most of the common used transceivers which are designed to be compatible with many major brands are in stock and with very competitive prices. Additionally, more discounts are available for bulk orders. For more information, please contact us directly over e-mail sales@fs.com.

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Model# Description Price
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