3 Common Misconceptions About Third-Party Optical Transceivers

Over the course of our long history in open standards-based optical transceivers, we’ve helped many organizations across industries drastically reduce equipment costs without jeopardizing network performance. However, there are still several common myths contributing to fear, uncertainty, and doubt. 

1.       Third-party optics providers are all the same.

This is the assumption that underlies reluctance we see after a prior negative experience with either the products or support from a third-party optics provider. This hesitancy can be common among operators of critical networks, including large service providers and health care networks.

However, this is far from the case: not all third-party optics providers are created equal. While all are built to accepted standards laid out in multi-source agreements, there is a wide range of product performance within this industry subset, from enterprise-grade on the low end to carrier grade on the higher end. In the case of carrier-grade optics, the difference between an OEM and a third-party transceiver may be as little as a label; the components and manufacturing time and location may be exactly the same. The price range within the third-party market reflects the quality disparity as well.

The cost savings are often worth bringing evaluation samples into your lab for a direct performance comparison.

2.       These optics are only a small piece of our hardware spend. It’s not worth changing.

While this may be true now, it’s not likely to stay that way. As bandwidth demands force networks to upgrade to higher and higher data rates, transceivers become a larger percentage of the total. For example, as 10G links become insufficient for meeting exponential growth in traffic, 100G (and even 400G) will become core network requirements. These transceivers can account for as much as 50% of the individual hardware purchase… cumulatively as much as the switch they populate!

3.       Warranty Confusion

There are two sources of frequent misunderstanding surrounding warranties in the third-party space: the third-party warranties themselves, and their interaction with OEM warranties.

To address the latter concern, using OEM transceivers from another supplier won’t void your switch warranty. In the event of a network issue, a standard troubleshooting process will determine which warranty is triggered based on the root cause of the issue.

When it comes to “lifetime” warranties offered by some third-party providers, it is often important to read the fine print. The precise definition of “life” of the product can vary tremendously. Furthermore, it is important to consider the opportunity cost of network downtime when a transceiver fails in the field into your warranty calculation.

Champion ONE offers free evaluations on all optical transceivers and switches. For more information on how to get started, contact us today.

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