As we all know, 3rd party optical transceivers are much cheaper than Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) optical transceivers. Therefore, more and more companies are using and plan to use 3rd party optical transceivers in their network project. However, many original equipment manufacturer published limited warranty policy about 3rd party hardware. Then should we use 3rd party optical transceivers or not? Let’s get a look at most popular network equipment manufacturer warranty policies firstly.
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.
Juniper Networks is not obligated to provide services for any of the following:
Third-party devices (hardware, software, cabling, etc.) not provided by Juniper Networks, or problems associated with or arising directly or indirectly from such components. Problems with product that have been installed by any party other than (A) Juniper Networks or (B) a party authorized by Juniper Networks.
In order to ensure proper operation of Brocade products, it is required that all Brocade systems utilize only Brocade supplied optical transceiver components. Brocade reserves the right to void warranty and service support offerings if optical transceiver components other than those supplied by Brocade are used in the operation of Brocade products.
This HP Limited Warranty does not apply to expendable or consumable parts, with the exception of HP printing supplies and certain rechargeable batteries as specified below, and does not extend to any HP Hardware Product from which the serial number has been removed or that has been damaged or rendered defective by software, interfacing, parts or supplies not supplied by HP; HP is not responsible for any interoperability or compatibility issues that may arise when products, software, or options not supported by HP are used; If HP equipment is got defective because of using 3rd party hardware, then HP Limited Warranty does not apply.
What is covered by this limited hardware warranty? – This limited hardware warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship in your Dell-branded hardware products, including Dell-branded peripheral products.
What is not covered by this limited hardware warranty? – Using accessories, parts or components not supplied by Dell & Commercial hardware products that use, or in which have been installed, products or components that have not been provided by Dell.
How long does this limited hardware warranty last? This limited hardware warranty may be voided by Dell, at Dell’s sole discretion, if third party products that were not provided by Dell are installed on your Dell system.
Comparing some of the biggest network equipment vendor warranty policies we see that most of them have similar rules on using 3rd party optical transceivers. If problems are caused by 3rd party optical transceivers, then warranty support will be refused until optical transceivers are changed to OEM ones. In the mean while if defect to vendor’s equipment is caused by 3rd party optical transceiver (and it is proved by vendor) then warranty can also be voided. So, this leads to biggest question – Does 3rd party transceivers ensures the same working and quality standards as OEM optical transceivers?
The answer is yes! Because 3rd party optical transceivers are manufactured and assembled in the same factories where OEM branded ones are. Optical transceivers are standardized by SFP Multi source agreement. This means everyone can manufacture and supply optical transceivers. As a result there is absolutely no difference in hardware for official branded transceiver and reliable 3rd party optical transceiver, as much as four or ten times cost difference. The performance is the same because all manufacturers follow same rules same standards.
If there is no real difference between OEM optical transceivers and 3rd party transceivers, then why network equipment vendors has such strict warranty policies? That is because network equipment manufacturers has to make money. They will use all available resources to sell more of their production. So they make warranty policies which psychologically affects their customers, making them think that there will problems (warranty void) if they will use other vendor equipment’s (transceivers) in their OEM devices.
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