Use Third-party Transceiver on Cisco Device

Using third-party transceivers… This is one of those things that a lot of engineers run into from time to time and may need. This may happen for a few different reasons. Maybe you need to connect something really quick but only have a third-party transceiver available; maybe you just don’t want to spend the money for a genuine Cisco part. There may be a lot of things that bring you to this point. Regardless, you may try to use your third-party transceiver on a Cisco device and have issues. There may be errors in your log messages and the port may even go err-disabled. Good news though, there is a workaround to make the third-party transceiver work correctly.

Disclaimer

First things first, there are some downsides to doing this. They are:

  1. Possible voided Warranty if the third-party transceiver damages your device. No surprises there.
  2. Support. Cisco will not give you support on a product that is not their own. Frankly, I would expect this with most vendors. In the event you do need support, as the message says below “Cisco may require that the end user install Cisco transceivers if Cisco determines that removing third-party parts will assist Cisco in diagnosing the cause of a support issue.”

The Workaround

Here is what the workaround looks like. I did this on my home 4506 chassis (Sup 5). I have had it done on other models as well with no issues, just using this as an example for the post.

Home-Core#conf t
Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
Home-Core(config)#service unsupported-transceiver
Warning: When Cisco determines that a fault or defect can be traced to
the use of third-party transceivers installed by a customer or reseller,
then, at Cisco's discretion, Cisco may withhold support under warranty or
a Cisco support program. In the course of providing support for a Cisco
networking product Cisco may require that the end user install Cisco
transceivers if Cisco determines that removing third-party parts will
assist Cisco in diagnosing the cause of a support issue.
 
Home-Core(config)#no errdisable detect cause gbic-invalid
Home-Core(config)#

So that’s what the config looks like. Pretty straight forward. The first command allows unsupported, third-party transceivers and the second command prevents the port(s) from going err-disabled when one is detected. If after you enter these commands you are still having transceiver issues, it may be work cleaning your fiber ends with something like this:¬†Engineer Gear: Fiber Connector Cleaners

 

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Kevin

Kevin

Cisco CCNP, Senior Network Engineer in the Healthcare Industry. Currently working on my CCIE R&S which is the focus of most of my latest blog posts. #NFD15 Delegate.

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