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Certified Coding Compatibility: The Key to Reliable Networks

Strong networks depend on certified OEM coding for continual reliability.

With quality and reliability of service as the primary objectives for many networking projects, it’s important to know your optics have the specifications needed to keep your systems up and running. Coding is one of the most important facets to consider to ensure successful deployment of a dependable and fast network.

There’s no room for error when coding optics, especially with hundreds of different OEM switches in various environments, each with different complexities and intricacies to remain aware of. With all components in your network requiring constant communication with each other, one wrong code could potentially cause costly time-sensitive delays.

ProLabs goes the extra mile in ensuring we code your optics with the most up-to-date codes and system requirements. From over 20 years of developing, testing, and engineering standard to unique custom coding solutions for our clients, we truly understand the importance of delivering certified compatibility and interoperability. Most importantly, we understand what our clients need to avoid the pitfalls of working with inexperienced optics suppliers.

1) What are the most frequently reported quality issues from other third-party suppliers?

Based on studies, quality issues most frequently found are related to reliability, compatibility, and interoperability. Coding is reported as the biggest issue with optics reading as the wrong part and receiving messages of “unsupported data”. This can cause network delays and system reboots, taking up critical time and possibly needing a system engineer to triage.

We understand the importance of quality and take measured steps in our manufacturing and testing processes. Our optics are coded and tested in its intended environment so that it functions 100% the same as an OEM version. Compatibility is key to ensure a seamless connection with no downtime. Known coding issues from some third-party suppliers: Sample products tested include common transceiver types such as SFP LX, QSFP LR4, SFP+ DWDM and a variety of DACs and AOCs.

Feedback for these parts in Cisco and other OEM systems is read as:

Transceivers –

Wrong part number shown in the EEPROM

No “PID” displays

Displays "Non-Cisco" (Or other OEM)

Receive "UNSUPPORTED" message upon inserting in any switch ports

DACs and AOCs –

Wrong part number shown in the EEPROM

No “PID” displays

No DOM reporting available on AOCs in multiple platforms

Module SPROM display 0 meters

2) What happens if an optic is not coded correctly?

Miscoding a transceiver can have a number of unintended and costly side effects. Sometimes the effects are minor, such as a nice to have feature not being supported. Other times, the OEM switch won’t recognize the part as even compatible, thus rendering the port unusable until the transceiver is swapped out or recoded.

A rare but potentially devastating case is that the EEPROM can be missing password protection, leading to data corruption if an OEM switch accidentally overwrites part of the pre-installed coding. In turn, this breaks the transceiver, requiring replacement before that port is usable again. Any power surges or failures requires your infrastructure’s hardware to reboot, meaning poorly coded transceivers all run the risk of bringing down mission-critical networks in this way or worse.

All of these headaches are avoided by understanding end user needs and coding a product that avoids these pitfalls, which is exactly the value that our vast end user experience allows us to add to our transceivers that sets us a cut above other competitors.

3) What happens to the optic when there are revisions or updates to the OEM software?

Other suppliers’ optics may work out-of-the box, but revisions and changes to software can cause the parts to ultimately fail. We are constantly researching firmware upgrades and implementing them to maintain an up to date database. Our in-house coding facility programs all our parts to standard OEM specs as well as creating unique, one-of-a-kind coding for customized networking solutions. With over 20 years of coding knowledge and experience, we have refined a database of compatible programming that is unrivaled. Additionally, our proprietary Data Traveler System™ tracks and serializes every part to make sure it has gone through the proper coding and testing required. From keeping our lab systems up to date with the latest software to a pre-code hardware inspection, we create a solution that is guaranteed for long lasting compatibility and performance.

ProLabs certifies our optics are fully compatible on deployment. Request a quote or contact usto learn more today!