SFP transceivers and MDS lab study

What transceivers should you use in your MDS lab? I am using a variety of SFP’s in my lab for lab study. The specific SFP transceivers I am using are:

Vendor Part # Speeds
Finisar FTLF8524P2BNV 1/2/4
Intel TXN31115D100000 1/2/4
JDS Uniphase 52P6537 1/2
Finisar FTRJ8519P1BNL-MC 1/2
Finisar FTRJ8519P1BNL-B1 1/2
Finisar FTRJ8519P1BNL-MD 1/2
Cisco-Finisar FTRJ8519P1BNL-CS 1/2
Infineon AG V23818-M305-B57 1/2
E2O COMMS INC (Emulex) EM212-LP3TA-MT 1/2

I have not had any issue with any of these transceivers. Most if not all are capable of being used for Gigabit Ethernet as well, I specifically use the Finisar FTRJ8519P1BNL-B1 for this purpose in my lab, they are in my IPS-8 modules.

Other than the GBIC’s from vendor Finisar-Cisco, the rest are third party “unsupported” GBIC’s. They will show up in the MDS as such:

MDS1# show int fc1/1 transceiver
fc1/1 sfp is present but not supported
Name is FINISAR CORP.
Manfacturer’s part number is FTRJ8519P1BNL-MC

This does not seem to be an issue. However I would not use unsupported GBIC’s in production, that would not be a smart thing to do.

On some Cisco products, the idprom information is read from the GBIC and if it doesn’t match a supported part #/vendor, it disables the GBIC. This is the case for example on many Cisco Catalyst switches such as the 3750’s. You can overcome this by disabling supported GBIC enforcement:

Switch(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.

Switch(config)#no errdisable detect cause gbic-invalid

Once again, really something only to be done in a lab environment. Getting your hands on expensive GBIC’s can be tough, especially in a CCIE storage lab environment where you probably need at least 80-100 GBIC’s to have a good lab going.

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