The use of third party SFP transceivers has become common in today's IT network industry.
Customers choose them because they have reduced rates than the original OEM transceivers.
Some users are scared to use third-party modules because reduced prices should also imply reduced performance. While in most cases there is no quality problem, there is always uncertainty if they work as expected.
In the last 12 years in optical networking, we have encountered clients who choose 3rd party transceivers to reduce their expenses. Some of them were pleased with the reduced cost. Yet after about a year, some of them complained that the transceivers dropped packages As quickly as they substituted them with a different product, the issue was gone. These individuals are unwilling to use non-OEM modules because of their lack of knowledge.
It's essential to understand what might go wrong in a transceiver. The transceiver isn't a complex thing. It comprises of a house, a circuit panel printed, and two lasers. The house rarely gets incorrect. Surely, striking it with a hammer will end up altering its dimensions, but it's not lifelike.
The next section is the PCB — Printed Circuit Board. Most of the time it's a secure component of the unit. It contains an EEPROM describing the capabilities, standard interfaces, manufacturer, and other information of the transceiver.
The one thing that is not evident is the laser quality.
These are designated for transferring and getting data through the fiber cable.
When all lasers are new from the manufacturer and operate as they should.
Yet lasers lose their capacity during the time of use. It is a natural method that affects every laser on the market, including OEM ones. The only issue is how quickly they loose their power. This is a problem if you are on the limit of the range on which the transceiver can operate.
Higher ranges such as 80 km ZX or ZR SFP transceivers are more impacted by performance problems than reduced ones such as SX / SR. High speed also needs stronger components of the parts of the network. While on 1 gigabit network it is feasible to get back with parts of poor performance. Using the same parts at greater rates such as 10 gigabit, 40 gigabit or even 100 gigabit can become catastrophic. General thumb principle to maintain in mind that low-quality laser will degrade quicker over time.
In the example above, the transceivers were equipped with low-quality lasers. Very quickly they began dropping packages. A good laser can function over the centuries without the need to substitute them. Migration to greater rates should be the only justification to alter the transceivers.
It is sad, since there is not so much difference between the price of a high or low-quality laser. But as in the manufacturing sector, a slight decrease in price per piece can lead in enormous mass savings.