A big number of compatible SFP transceiver components were used in the data centre with the growth of fibre optic technology. However, there are still some questions and concerns about the compatibility and interoperability of SFP transceiver modules now. Therefore, there will be a comprehensive introduction to SFP compatibility and how to test it.


What Is SFP Compatibility

To comprehend the compatibility of SFP, we'd better get to know the Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) first. MSA is an arrangement between many different transceiver suppliers to develop standardized devices. Instead of being standardized by common requirements MSA specifies SFP. It specifies SFP modules including size, connectors and signaling to ensure that SFP modules are consistent with branded SFP systems. There are also MSA standards for other optical transceivers such as SFP+, XFP, QSFP, etc. SFP transceivers that meet the SFP compatibility specification are generally consistent across a variety of components from telecom vendors so customers can combine and match parts from various vendors. Generally speaking, if an SFP can be linked to cables and switches properly and enables systems operate effectively as you wish, its SFP compatibility is eligible.


Why Compatible SFP is Needed?

Major corporations like Cisco, HP, Juniper and so on advertise that their systems can only operate with the SFP modules with their product. Of course, using the official SFP module is a great option except for the large cost. Whereas when purchasing certain items the price is generally crucial or even the first consideration for buyers. Using official SFP modules requires paying a lot of money than using compatible SFP modules.

Moreover, some vendors do not indicate whether or not their SFP slots on the devices are compatible with other manufacturers' standard SFP. It will cause users trouble when their device is unable to communicate with an SFP purchased from other companies.

Also, the compatible SFP is a standard product as long as it meets the MSA standard. It has the same function as the standard equipment which is consistent with appliances from different telecoms vendors. Using compatible SFP means you can save a lot and you don't need to worry about your devices and SFPs coming from varying manufacturers.


How to Use a Compatible SFP Module?

You may find that in the branded switch, a compatible SFP transceiver can not operate efficiently. This is often not triggered by the incorrect compatible SFP transceiver, but by misbehaviour. The following are several instructions for you to use a suitable SFP module properly.

  • Check the transceiver unit and the hardware interface

Some transceiver modules are simple to mix due to similar appearances. SFP and SFP+, for instance. SFP provides 1Gbps of data and SFP+ offers data up to 10Gbps. With the same size, an SFP module on the switch can fit seamlessly into the SFP+ port and vice versa. If you put an SFP+ module into an SFP port they will still operate, but the transport rate will be restricted to 1 Gbps. On the contrary, when an SFP module is placed into an SFP+ port, there will be no connection.

  • Ensure that the SFP modules have the same color at either end

We know that the SFP module is used for data transmission. The transmitting method is that the electrical signals from one side are converted into optical signals, then the lights are transmitted through the fiber cable and can be converted into electrical signals from the other end of the SFP unit. The SFP modules at either end should have an identical wavelength to guarantee this operation So, you'd better look closely at the specifications of the SFP components.

  • Choose the right fiber cable

Choosing the right type of fiber is a major consideration in achieving compatibility with SFP as well. You must therefore check the fibers on both ends of the SFP modules which should be the same type. The uniform colours on the fibers ' exterior coat will assist you to recognize them. Moreover, remember to use the corresponding fiber cables.

  • Ensure that both ports are compatible with the SFP module

It is crucial that the ports on your devices can support the SFP units you want to use. As stated above, some products are not compliant with other manufacturers ' SFP modules. Even when using the appropriate SFP modules, the ports specifications would be better checked first.

SFP compatibility is essential to selecting network equipment on the market. Unoptix can guarantee SFP compatibility and performance as a trustworthy and qualified company. It delivers SFP transceivers that can be compatible with nearly all manufacturers. If you have any needs, please visit Unoptix.com