Cisco SFP Transceiver – Choosing Compatible over branded

 SFP stands for small form-factor pluggable, meaning the optical module transceiver can be plugged into a port and some network devices.

There are different pluggable small form-factor module transceivers such as XFP, SFP, SFP+, QSFP, etc and these modules are not the same or universal in terms of the optical wavelength they operate, protocol specification, and agreement.

SFPs generally are expensive especially if you require more than one – you can easily spend a huge budget!

From a business’s perspective, this extensive spending is extremely detrimental to the yearly budget. So, an option for businesses is a Cisco-compatible SFP.

A compatible SFP means that you can save many amounts of money. In this blog post, we’re going to explain why you should choose compatible over branded SFP.

Cisco sfp tranceiver modules

Cisco Compatible SFP: What is it?

A Cisco compatible SFP (small form-factor pluggable) is a diminutive transceiver that can plug onto the SFP port of a network switch. This connects to fiber channel and gigabit ethernet optical fiber cables at the other end.

Also known as mini-GBIC due to being smaller than the Gigabit interface converter (GBIC) transceiver, SFPs superseded this transceiver. SFP modules are hot-swappable and contain ID and system information for the switch.


Cisco Compatible SFP: Why you need to use compatibles

  • More cost-effective

Purchasing Cisco SFPs from the vendor isn’t going to be cheap especially if your business demands more than one. It’s going to become extremely expensive.

If you’re looking for a bargain, you aren’t going to get that courtesy of a vendor. Fortunately, you can get a bargain courtesy of somebody selling compatible SFPs.

It’s obvious to those who’ve tried it to note that compatible SFPs are much cheaper: data shows that compatibles are generally up to 80% cheaper than the prices of the vendor. This means that if you go straight to Cisco, you’re effectively chucking money away.

So, what are you paying more than triple the price for? Well, it might interest you to find out that you’re effectively just paying the extra money for branding. There’s no difference between the quality of the two, all you’re paying extra for is the name on the side.


  • Reason Equal quality

When you’re paying triple – or more – for a Cisco SFP, you’d expect it to be much better than the compatible. Well, that’s not the case.

A cisco compatible SFP is the same quality that a standard Cisco SFP is. This means that whilst you’re certainly going to pay much more for an SFP straight from Cisco, you’re not going to be getting anything more for your money than a little bit of branding.

The only difference is the fact that one has branding whereas the other doesn’t.

The only apparent difference between a compatible SFP and one from a vendor is the fact that one is branded (and that one is much more expensive).

You still get the same quality and the same performance. Some compatible SFP manufacturers are so sure of that that they offer you a range of guarantees demonstrating their belief in their product.


  • Lifespan

So, there’s no difference in quality when it comes to a Cisco compatible SFP and one from a vendor. You’d then probably expect the difference to be in how long the device will last.

After all, it might be the same quality now but if it doesn’t work in a few months, what good is it?

A Cisco compatible SFP lasts the same length of time that a vendor SFP does. This means that not only is it cheaper and the same quality, it’s also pretty much guaranteed that it will last as long too.

Some compatible SFP suppliers are so confident in their products that they offer a lifetime guarantee. This means that if one breaks or malfunctions within the set period, they’ll replace it for you free of charge.



There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be buying Cisco compatible SFPs instead of purchasing from the more expensive brand vendors.



This article was written by Jack Mitchell with helpful information from Compatible SFP. Jack loves the outdoors, films, and reading.