Before embarking on a decision to choose, let us first understand what does OEM optics mean. It refers to the class of optics that are made available in the market by the original equipment manufacturer. On the other hand, optical transceivers, or third-party compatible optical modules, are provided by any vendor other than the OEM, which can produce identical optics with similar specifications.
The most notable difference between OEM optic and third party transceiver module is the different brand of manufacturers. In the market, the price of OEM hinges on the higher side for it is perceived to have a better quality. You need to understand that they do not have an indigenous optical module. Instead, they purchase it from their own group of suppliers who manufacture and label it for them.
Many Japanese optical companies stocks from optical transceiver manufacturers and sells it to the end-users at a higher price. The charge higher price because they have tested the transceivers with their equipment to verify whether they work or not. This approach is trending among many optical transceiver manufacturers.
In addition to compatibility problems, equipment warranty is a big deal that you need to consider. Many companies do not hesitate to withhold the warranty support if hardware products of other vendors cause the defect in equipment. Although third-party transceivers have lower price end users are still apprehensive of its performance and quality. Unless one has limited budget people try to stay away from it as third party modules may nullify the OEM device warranty on light optical works. In the event that the end user invests a hefty amount on their equipment, this worry finds a stronger expression. Besides, the issue of performance and quality standard is always there.
The good news is that optical transceiver module is standardized by the SFP MSA (multi sources agreement), that is a subset of SFF commitment. This indicates that OEM optics and third-party optical transceivers follow identical standards and protocols in manufacturing. In case, the equipment turns out to be defective the vendor is liable to adhere the terms of the warranty because good third-party optical modules comply with the specifications laid down by the MSA unless there is sufficient evidence to suggest that third-party optics damaged the equipment. Although not impossible it is highly improbable that fiber optic transceivers will cause damage to the equipment slot. Warranty policies of OEM are driven by the motive of profit and they are designed in a way to make the end user feel that third-party optical modules can cause a problem in the long run.
Irrespective of quality and price, the choice between OEM optics and third party transceivers is personal and depends on the custom requirements of end users. If you a firm believer in the goodwill of a reputed brand and do not want to risk the compatibility issues OEM optics are the way to go about. Although, third party transceivers beside the factor of cost affectivity can provide many noteworthy advantages provided that you purchase it from a reliable vendor.