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Ministry of Defence BT Inmarsat Science & Technology Facilities Council

Will Using Cisco Compatible SFPs Make My Warranty Void?

Cisco Compatible SFPA frequent concern of our clients and customers is that by using our third party, Cisco compatible SFPs in conjunction with their Cisco hardware their warranty may become void. Due to the costs associated with Cisco hardware and products we feel this concern is valid and should therefore be appropriately addressed.

Ultimately this concern can be attributed to the strict nature of Cisco’s warranties and the fact that as a brand they make no secret of their preference for their customers to utilise their branded products. The short answer to the question of whether utilising compatible, third party SFPs result in a void warranty is no. However this is contingent on making use of alternative SFPs which have been manufactured by responsible supplier, with the warranty to prove it. This is because such SFPs are for the most part as reliable as those produced by Cisco but are available for a fraction of the price.

The main reason that this question arises is due to the fact that some lines of Cisco products, especially their Catalyst line of switches simply reject non-Cisco transceivers. To demonstrate, if you were to insert an SFP optical transceiver into one of these switches then the first thing which occurs is the vendor ID and serial number of the SFP is queried. If, once entered, this does equate to an SFP of Cisco manufacture then the system promptly shuts down that gigabit point and will not work. This can be bypassed through a simple two-command workaround, which bypasses this system. However, here concern arises as once this is done Cisco provides a stern-warning, whereby Cisco warns that the use of third party hardware which is shown to be responsible for actual damage, means that Cisco may at their discretion refuse warranty support. However, the Magnuson-Moss act actually legally forbids manufacturers from revoking warranty support merely for consumers utilising unapproved hardware.

However due to the high level of manufacture and quality provided by all of our Cisco compatible SFPs, there is no real difference between ours and those manufactured by Cisco except the branding. Therefore you can rest assured that they can be relied on. Furthermore, there is no way in which a compatible SFP failing is able to cause damage to the switch itself, it simply is not possible!

Still confused or concerned? A member of our customer service team can be contacted by calling 08442 160 160. All of our customer service agents are highly experienced and knowledgeable and we are confident they will be able to comprehensively answer your questions.