by Tom Chantrell
At the heart of most copper and fiber Ethernet networks lies a critical modular, pluggable and interchangeable device: the network transceiver.
The “need for speed” demanded by the age of Internet of Things (IoT) will require faster data transmission rates for all of tomorrow’s data centers, local area networks and digital communication systems. This means 3rd party transceivers will increasingly be an appealing option for data center owners and operators.
Despite the essential importance of these devices, several widespread misconceptions about third-party transceivers persist.
Perhaps most notably, there is a widespread myth held throughout the information and communications technology industry that using “3rd party” transceivers – that is, transceivers supplied by a manufacturer other than the one providing the broader network equipment – voids network equipment warranties.
This is simply not true!
The use of a 3rd party transceivers does not, in fact, void network equipment warranties. Many of today’s 3rd party transceivers are built to the exact same specifications and offer the exact same proven performance as their equivalent original equipment manufacturer (OEM) transceiver. The only thing different is the sticker on the back and the price.
Still need assurance? Here’s some support from Uncle Sam – the U.S. government protects transmission equipment warranties through federal legislation, like the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, Clayton Act, and Magnusson Moss Act, which helps to maintain OEM warranties when using 3rd party accessories and prevents OEMs from “tying”, or requiring the purchase of their accessory with their device. This means that data center owners and operators can use whatever transceiver best suits their needs – and still receive warranty protection.
Beyond these base-line assurances, buyers of third-party transceivers should make sure that all transceivers are OEM compatible, and that all transceivers are 100% application tested – not “batch” tested – with OEM equipment. 100% application testing ensures that transceivers will work with the OEM equipment that it’s specified to work for, whereas batch testing – which tests for maybe 1 out of 50 – doesn’t provide that comprehensive assurance.
There are numerous factors to consider when picking a 3rd party transceiver. At the very least, you can rest assured that you will be covered by warranty because the myths about 3rd party transceivers voiding manufacturers’ warranties are like so many other made-up tales: not true!
Tom Chantrell is the product manager for Legrand.