Simply put, the OEM alternative optics industry exists because Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) charge far more for their transceivers than they need to. They can do this because most of their transceivers (SFP’s, GBICs, etc.) and switches are programmed to work only when paired with each other. This practice makes it possible for them to set their own exorbitant price points. What’s worse, the OEM for your switches, routers, and servers isn’t even the manufacturer of the transceivers. They use many of the same contract manufacturers as the third party providers; so you’re paying more for the same part.

As fiber optic infrastructure and networking became the data center standard, many large enterprise businesses realized that up to 20% of their IT budget was spent on over-priced optical transceivers. While these businesses looked for alternatives, the OEMs (Cisco, Arista, Juniper and others) started placing custom codes on the EEPROM chips in their transceivers to keep customers from using 3rd party transceivers with their equipment.  This created an opportunity for forward-thinking companies to develop OEM-agnostic test labs and engineer a 100% compatible product that is MSA (Multi-Source Agreement) compliant and is properly coded to be recognized and supported in any OEM network device.

The third party optics industry includes of a small number of engineering-based companies working with Tier 1 contract manufacturers to source MSA compliant components that work perfectly in your switches and are coded and tested in the United States. Companies looking to cut costs, including Fortune 100 companies, purchase a product for 90% off OEM prices. With these products they’re getting a lifetime warranty and a guarantee that the parts will work and be recognized by the OEM software.

Unfortunately, there are many companies trying to take advantage of this market who do not adhere to these high standards. These companies use off-spec lasers and flash coded optics that don’t work correctly, disable features such as DDM (Digital Diagnostic Monitoring), and jeopardize the stability of your network. They don’t strictly code, test, and validate performance because they don’t have the resources necessary to do so.

Approved Network’s complete process is performed in our California lab

In order to guarantee reliable performance, we’ve invested heavily in our California based code and test lab and we take pride in testing all of our optics and cables in the actual switches, servers, routers, and NICs that you have in your network.

We build the programming boards to re-engineer the EEPROM on the optical transceivers to function 100% in Cisco, Juniper, and most other brands.  After hardware validation, the optics are moved to the coding bench where the process of “check digit hardware” programming is performed.  This is where the specific algorithm is loaded for each switch platform and the DDM programming is loaded.  All the general diagnostic alarm thresholds are confirmed, particular OEM data specifications are set into the EEPROM, and the unique non-repeating serial number is applied.

The transceivers are then moved to our test bench where they are inserted into the switch that they have been coded for.  The tosa and rosa  are then re-checked to verify they are functioning according to design. After completion of the testing procedures, the parts are ready to be processed and shipped same day.  

Approved Network’s Track Record

Our stringent testing protocol has led to many satisfied clients within the Financial, Healthcare, Technology, and Advertising industries. Our many repeat customers are a testament to the fact that our products work the instant they are put to use and for years afterward.  Additionally, the reliability of our products has given our engineers the freedom to develop custom coded options the OEMs and other third party companies can’t or won’t supply. We were the first to deliver: 10G BIDI’s, 10G Copper T’s, and Tunable optics into non-tunable platforms, among other innovations.

We continue to be on the forefront of the third party industry when it comes to advancement, consistency, and competitive pricing.