Generally GBICs have been open so you can use any brand. Cisco equipment won’t accept “just any vendor’s” compatible SFPs. I found this out the hard way last year trying to save some money when I purchased a couple of OEM SFP transceivers from Dell to use in a Cisco switch. Plugging in the SFP module would disable the port. The switch’s firmware supposedly checks the identifying data in the SFP’s internal Flash memory, and if it isn’t built by Cisco, the switch refuses to enable that slot. It’s not only Cisco that does this. Other vendors like Extreme Networks and 3Com are also reported to do the same.

I had to to give in and purchase a $300+ Cisco branded SFP from CDW to use with this switch. Fortunately, there is a way to disable this check in the switch depending on the IOS version installed on the switch.

Issuing the following commands will allow for unsupported SFPs and wont disable the port.

switch(config)#service unsupported-transciever
switch(config)#no errdisable detect cause gbic-invalid

You will be presented with a warning after the first command with something to the effect that if you experience any problems with the switch, Cisco may deny support if the cause is determined to be the ‘unsupported’ SFP.

  2 Responses to “Non-branded SFP modules in Cisco Switches”

  1. You gave the commands which are useful to use when we are using a non branded sfp’s, but still i feel it would be a risk factor to use non branded items.

  2. Thank you for the information, even i tried this way without using the branded one, but was of no use. So, anyone who is trying to get new switches for their board please be carefully.

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