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Cisco, Juniper, Avaya, Huawei, and others dismiss 3rd party optics programs as a warranty risk. Until end user operations managers and engineers understand how easily this program can be managed, the OEMs may be able to effectively discourage the use of more affordable 3rd party optics.

Operationally Handling a 3rd Party Program

There are a few facts that must be understood regarding the simple methodology of managing a 3rd party optics program:

  1. Quality 3rd Party Optics rarely fail. Failure rates for Approved Optics lower than the OEM branded optics.
  2. A failed optic means an empty port, not a failed network. An optic performs a function that is defined. It is not highly variable or "smart". If the optic malfunctions, the port is temporarily useless until the transceiver is replaced.
  3. Operationally, there is no difference between management of a 3rd Party optics program and an Original Branded Optics program. The troubleshooting action is exactly the same for both. That is, if a transceiver malfunctions it must be replaced.

When a Cisco, Juniper, HP, or Avaya optic fails in the field, port integrity fails and the optic must be replaced. A larger end user with failsafe measures will usually install a spare transceiver which allows the port to function properly, fixing the problem. Regardless of whether the transceiver is from a 3rd Party or an OEM, the risk of malfunction is limited to the port and the solution is a simple part replacement. Because of this, the only risk in a 3rd party optics program is the failure or malfunction of the optic. If it is found that a failure has occurred, the OEM cannot cite the use of 3rd party optics as a reason to void the warranty (Magnuson Moss Act 1975/Sherman Antitrust Act). Essentially, the quick and simple operational cure for a failed 3rd party optic makes it impossible for an OEM to enforce purchasing their branded optics within the context of the law.

If a failure of a 3rd party optic occurs (which is very uncommon), our larger customers have usually purchased a hot spare which is available on-site to quickly fix the port issue. A hot spare program in a 3rd Party optics environment is a negligible cost compared to purchasing the original at three times the cost. The cost difference, even when keeping 3rd party spares available, is significantly lower. We do have smaller customers who do not choose to buy spares because optics rarely fail. If an optic fails in this case we simply ship overnight or cross-ship for replacement immediately.

Click HERE to Download Approved's
Whitepaper on Cisco's Secret Franchise

Click HERE to Download Approved's
Whitepaper on Handling Your Third Party Optics Program