Tag Archives: Cisco SFP

Things About Cisco SFP Compatibility Matrix That Wiki Can’t Tell You

Transceiver module is the essential device of a network architecture. As a famous manufacturer of optical products, Cisco published a set of copper SFP transceiver modules to support copper networking. Here focus on Cisco SFP compatibility matrix to present a comprehensive Cisco SFP datasheet for you.

Overview of Cisco Copper SFP Transceiver Module

SFP stands for small form factor pluggable. Copper SFP transceiver is a hot-pluggable transceiver with RJ45 port, so it’s also called SFP RJ45 transceiver. SFP RJ45 transceiver supports 10/100/1000 BASE rate over Cat5 cables. In addition, RJ45 copper transceiver is usually used for transmitting data in a short distance, due to its transmission distance ranging from 10 to 30 metres or from 80 to 100 metres. And Cisco 1G SFP, copper and RJ45 Ethernet cables are much cheaper than the fibre ones, so it’s wise to choose a copper SFP transceiver to make use of the existing cabling system to optimise your network instead of using the fibre cables.

How to Choose A Cisco Copper SFP Transceiver Module

When you decide to buy a copper SFP transceiver, the quality and price matter a lot. But the price between OEM and the third party suppliers varies greatly. If you have plenty of money, you can order one directly from Cisco. If you search for a cost-effective solution, then the third party is a good choice. As for the quality, there are not many differences between Cisco and the third party’s products, because all products must meet the strict standards or MSA (Multisource Agreement). So it’s a wise decision to buy a copper SFP transceiver from a third party. Here I recommend you some copper SFP transceivers from FS.COM, whose transceivers are all tested before shipping.

SFP of Cisco SFP Compatibility Matrix

Figure: Choose a suitable copper SFP transceiver for your network

Cisco GLC-T Compatible 1000BASE-T SFP Transceiver

This GLC-T transceiver is a typical RJ45 transceiver, which is used for Cat5 wiring. The max data rate is 1000Mbps and the max cable distance is 100 metres, which is suitable to connect different switches or routers in a data centre. It’s compatible with most Cisco switches and some FS switches like S5800-48F4S Gigabit SFP switch.

Cisco GLC-TA Compatible 10/100/1000BASE-T SFP Transceiver

Similar with GLC-T SFP, but this copper transceiver supports 10/100/1000 auto negotiation. And the operating temperature is different. It is an extended temperature range from -5 to 85°C, while GLC-T is from 0 to 70°C. Furthermore, it also operates on standard Cat5 unshielded twisted-pair copper cabling of link lengths up to 100 metres.

Cisco SFP Compatibility Matrix for GLC-T and GLC-TA

Both GLC-T and GLC-TA are supported on a wide range of Cisco equipment. Here lists some of Cisco network switches compatible with GLC-T and GLC-TA Cisco SFP compatibility matrix.

Switches Support GLC-T and GLC-TA
Cisco ME-2400-24TS-A
Cisco WS-C2940-8TF-S
Cisco ME-3400G-12CS-A
Cisco WS-C2960-24PC-L
Cisco ME-3400G-2CS-A
Cisco WS-C2960-48PST-L
Cisco ME-3400-24FS-A
Cisco WS-C2960G-48TC-L
Cisco 3750 ME-C3750-24TE-M
Cisco WS-C2960S-24TS-S
Cisco ME-3600X-24FS-M (SFP ports)
Cisco 2960S-F48TS-S
Cisco ME-3800X-24FS-M (client ports)
Cisco WS-C2970G-24TS-E
Cisco 4900 ME-4924-10GE
Cisco WS-C2975GS-48PS-L
Cisco 6500 ME-C6524GS-8S
Cisco WS-C3560-24PS
Cisco 2900 WS-C2948G-GE-TX
Cisco WS-C3560G-48TS
More supportable switches, please check Cisco Transceiver Compatibility Matrix.

Besides Cisco switches, GLC-T and GLC-TA can also be used on FS.COM S5800-48F4S switch which is a 48 port SFP L2/L3 MPLS switch with 4 10G SFP+ ports. It is a very cost-effective solution for traditional or fully virtualised data centre.


Knowing Cisco SFP compatibility matrix can help us to choose the suitable transceiver and switch quickly. Cisco copper SFP transceiver modules produced by FS.COM can work well with Cisco switches and FS switches. Besides, our Cisco compatible SFPs are the most reliable quality products without high price, and supported by a long time warranty to offer you a great after-sales service. Know more about Cisco copper SFP modules, please visit FS.COM.

How to Choose Satisfying Cisco SFP Transceiver Modules?

Today, various types of 1000BASE SFP transceiver modules can be found in the market. But should you choose one for long distance and short distance application? Or buy copper optics? Which brand is the most reliable and cost-effective, Cisco, HP, Avago, etc.? Do the third-party optics operate as well? So how to find satisfying SFP transceiver modules which suit your switch most? Now keep reading this article and you will get the method. Take three most common types of Cisco SFP modules as example.

Three Types of Cisco SFP Modules

This GLC-SX-MM 1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver module is a duplex SFP transceiver for optical communications. It can support the data rate of 1Gbps reaching the distance up to 550 meters over OM2 multimode cable. The GLC-SX-MM transceiver operates at 850nm wavelength. It’s compatible with the IEEE 802.3z 1000BASE-SX standard, which is usually applied in Gigabit Ethernet. There are also GLC-SX-MMD and GLC-SX-MM-RGD SFP modules. “D” of GLC-SX-MMD means Digital Optical Monitoring (DOM) support which supports transceiver monitoring and troubleshooting operations. “RGD” of GLC-SX-MM-RGD refers to rugged (RGD) transceiver module, which features enhanced ESD (electrostatic discharge) protection, and extended operating temperature range.



The Cisco GLC-LH-SM 1000BASE-LX/LH transceiver is an LC duplex SFP transceiver applied for Gigabit Ethernet network. This module is designed for both short distance and long distance data transmission. If connecting with single-mode fibre patch cable, it can reach up to 10 km. If connecting with multimode fibre patch cable, it can go up to 550 meters. The GLC-LH-SM transceiver operates at 1310nm wavelength. This transceiver is compliant with Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) standards. LX means long wavelengths and LH is short for long haul. 1000BASE-LX is the Gigabit Ethernet standard specified to work over a distance of 5 km over single-mode fibre cable. 1000BASE-LH and 1000BASE-LH/LX are often used by the manufacturers. Thus, we often see 1000BASE-LX/LH instead of 1000BASE-LX.cisco-glc-lx-sm


The GLC-T 1000BASE-T SFP is a hot-swappable input/output device that plugs into a Gigabit Ethernet port or slot, linking the port with the network. It supports the max data rate of 1000Mbps reaching 100 meters links over copper cables such as Cat5, Cat5e or Cat6a. This transceiver is fully compliant with the MSA and 1000BASE-T standards as specified in IEEE 802.3-2002 and IEEE 802.3ab.


Original Cisco or Third-party?

“Third-party” means a supplier (or service provider) who is not directly controlled by either the seller (first party) or the customer/buyer (second party) in a business transaction. For fibre optics industry, all fibre optic transceivers are defined by Multi-Source Agreement (MSA). MSAs strictly define the operating characteristics of fibre optic networking equipment. Therefore, as long as a manufacturer complies to MSA guidelines, their transceiver modules will function and operate identically to other manufacturer’s MSA-compliant transceivers. For example, the above fibre optics like GLC-SX-MM, GLC-LH-SM and GLC-T made by FS.COM are completely compatible with Cisco networking equipment.

Whether to buy original or compatible SFPs may depend on the the cost. Original SFPs are much more expensive than the third-party modules. Using the third-party optics can absolutely help you save the cost. Considering the third-party SFPs from the third vendor, you may worry about the quality and compatibility. As to Cisco compatible GLC-SX-MM, GLC-T, GLC-LH-SM SFP modules, lots of vendors can produce these optics. So it’s necessary to ask information about OEMs and compatibility test from your third-party optics supplier.


From the above introduction, you must have a well understanding about three common Cisco 1000BASE SFPs. When choosing SFP modules, you should consider whether it matches the switch port and the cable you have prepared. If you have multimode cable, then you can choose GLC-SX-MM 1000BASE SFP. If you use single-mode fibre cable, you should select GLC-LH-SM 1000BASE SFP. While if your cable is copper category, you have to use GLC-T 1000BASE-T SFP. On condition that your budget doesn’t allow you to buy original brand module, you can buy the third-party optics from FS.COM with Cisco, Avago, HP and other compatible brands. All the optics have gone through test for 100% compatibility. Any question, please contact us via sales@fs.com.

What’s Your Opinion Of Using 3rd Party SFP Modules On Cisco Catalyst Switch?

In general, the cost of an original brand SFP module is more expensive than a 3rd party one. Take Cisco 1000BASE-SX SFP (GLC-SX-MMD) for example, the list price of Cisco is about $ 500.00, but you can easily find a 3rd party SFP modules that can take a discount at up to 90% off. As the cost of SFP transceiver keep adding up over time, many labs or companies are seeking for SFP alternatives to help cut down the costs on these expensive modules. However, a frequent customer problem with Cisco’s new line of Catalyst switches is that they do not support 3rd party (non-Cisco) SFPs – or at least they do not seem to. If you’ve just replaced your network switches and tried using any 3rd party SFPs to connect your network backbone, you’ll quickly stumble across an error similar to the following:

Error message

%PHY-4-UNSUPPORTED_TRANSCEIVER: Unsupported transceiver found in Gi1/0/0
%GBIC_SECURITY_CRYPT-4-VN_DATA_CRC_ERROR: GBIC in port 65538 has bad crc

When you see this error, it means that your Cisco Catalyst switch has just disabled the GBIC port. Why? When a SFP is inserted into a switch’s GBIC port, the switch immediately reads a number of values from the SFP and if it doesn’t like what it sees, it throws the above error message and disables the port. Simple to understand, your Cisco Catalyst switches are configured by default not to work with the 3rd party (non-Cisco) SFPs.

As we know, all SFP modules contain a number of recorded values in their EEPROM that include:

  • Vendor Name
  • Vendor ID
  • Serial Number
  • Security Code
  • CRC

How To Solve This Issue & Successfully Use 3rd Party SFPs On Your Cisco Switch

When the errors displayed, many users will be very nervous and even begin to regret using the 3rd party SFPs. Is there no hope for a solution when facing such situation? Just be relax, the following content will give you some tips on it.

There are two undocumented commands which can be used to force the Cisco Catalyst switch to enable the GBIC port and use the 3rd party SFP.

3750G-Stack(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.

3750G-Stack(config)# no errdisable detect cause gbic-invalid

When entering the “service unsupported-transceiver” command, the switch (eg. 3750G) will automatically throw a warning message as a last hope to prevent the usage of a 3rd party SFP. The “no errdisable detect cause gbic-invalid” command will help ensure the GBIC port is not disabled when inserting an invalid GIBC. In addition, since the service unsupported-transceiver is undocumented, if you try searching for the command with the usual method “service ?”, you won’t find it.

According to the test, Cisco 2960G, 3560G, 3750G, 4507R and 4507R-E Catalyst switches all accept both “service unsupported-transceiver” & “no errdisable detect cause gbic-invalid commands” commands without a problem. In fact, if the Catalyst switch is running IOS 12.2(25)SE and above, the undocumented commands are available.

Opinion on 3rd Party SFP Modules

People have different opinions on “Whether I should use 3rd party SFPs”. It seems a difficult question for them as the attractive price but unknown performance of the 3rd SFPs. In fact, take Catalyst 3750 Series Switches for example, starting from 12.2(25)SE release, the user has the option via CLI to turn on the support for 3rd party SFPs. However, you should remember that the Cisco TAC will not support such 3rd party SFPs. In the event of any link error involving such 3rd party SFPs the customer will have to replace 3rd party SFPs with Cisco SFPs before any troubleshooting can be done by TAC.

Thus, it is very necessary to use quality assurance SFP modules. Actually, there are some high quality SFP modules OEM vendors, such as Fiberstore. You would not worry about the compatibility of the usage. Because there is a perfect system from the production to shipment. All the products are tested before they shipped and ensure the 100% compatible and high quality. In addition, you can save more as the price is also very competitive.

GLC-SX-MMD sfp modules

Some common types of SFPs supported on Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches

  • 1000BASE-SX SFP (GLC-SX-MM=)
  • 1000BASE-ZX SFP (GLC-ZX-SM=)
  • 1000BASE-T SFP (GLC-T=)
  • 1000BASE-BX SFP 1490nm (GLC-BX-D=) (12.2(25)SEB and later)
  • 1000BASE-BX SFP 1310nm (GLC-BX-U=) (12.2(25)SEB and later)

What is Forcing Cisco Switches Using a Third Party

If you use Cisco switches, you’ll know that their hardware is very expensive on the market. Most of the time, this makes sense, however, it still makes Cisco users trying to find a way to reduce their cost on hardware.

One of the most saving ways is that use a third-party optical transceivers. SFP transceivers are developed to ensure that a single Cisco switch can accept a variety of standard plugs, especially for those SFP on the market with various optical formats. Usually, they’re even plug-and-play, without having to reboot.

When adding new Cisco routers, these may be an available method of saving money.

However, cisco would rather you spend $200 for their own branded SFP transceivers, rather than spend 10% of that for a third-party SFP.

In the rather harsh way, Cisco has even started setting up their Cisco Catalyst line of switches, attempting to completely shut down a port with a non-Cisco SFP in it.

The good thing is that a couple simple console commands to remove this restriction, so that can make it possible to use a reliable third-party SFP transceiver in Cisco hardware running IOS 12.2(25) SE or later.

Fiberstore SFP Transceiver

Two Commands Which Allow Third-Party SFPs On Cisco Switches

The first command is so well-hidden that it is absolutely undocumented. It will not even appear in the standard help lists of identify command. This is simply:

# service unsupported-transceiver

After typing this in, it will pop up a warning message, but will make no other attempt to prevent you from proceeding. Theoretically, this will allow the switch to accept third-party hardware, but often a second command is necessary to disable the automatic port shutdown.

That second command is:

# no errdisable detect cause gbic-invalid

And that is really all it takes. At this time, your Catalyst should be prepared to accept any third-party SFP plugged into it, no matter what kind of suppliers.

Is There Any Reason Not To Use Third-Party Transceivers?

When you run the “service unsupported-transceiver” command, you get a rather harsh-looking warning message. However, all it actually says is that:

  1. Cisco will not give support for third party hardware,
  2. If a third party SFP damages the Catalyst, that’s outside your warranty,
  3. If the SFP is causing a problem, Cisco will require you to replace it with an official model before they’ll provide technical assistance.

What’s the reason to believe that it is possible third-party transceivers will cause problems? According to our experience, definitely not. If your SFP is well-made and buy from a reliable supplier, there’s no reason it should cause any problems. Optical transceivers is a very basic technology, and the possibility of even if it is a poorly made one causing actual damage are very minimum.

If you purchase your transceivers from a reliable supplier, they’ll be just as dependable as the Cisco branded units, but the cost is just a small part of the Cisco SFP Module.

Always Explore Your Choices In Network Upgrades

Even if you are “locked in” to a single networking brand or vendor, that does not mean you must have to use them for everything. The basic components, like optical transceivers, are so standardized that just about any reliable model will work perfectly well.

To find the most suitable for your network solutions: Fibre optic network solutions.

Purchase Fibre Optic Transceiver Module On The Market

There exist several small pluggable optical modules and network what to pick from available on the market. Fibre optic transceiver module both emit and receive optic signals together.

All fibre optic transceiver module must be made and created along the lines of the Multi-Source Agreement. Industry professionals make sure that modules are made under this strict agreement. You will notice when researching fibre optic transceiver module that they tend to be sectioned into groups by transmission speed rates. Each pluggable module supports ranges from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps. You will be able to determine which works great for you according to rates that modules support.

You will locate a variety of optical modules that act at different speeds and ranges. There are XENPAK modules, XFP modules, X2 modules, GBIC modules, SFP modules, SFP+ modules, and BiDi XFP pluggables. Listed below is detailed data on just a couple.

fiber optic transceiver module

For example, the 10G BiDi XFP series transceivers are designed for bi-directional 10G serial optical data communications such as IEEE 802.3ae 10GBASE-BX by using 1330(1270) nm transmitter and 1270(1330) nm receiver. The fibre optic transceiver module includes two sections: the transmitter section utilises a multiple quantum well 1330(1270) nm DFB laser and is a category 1 laser compliant based on International Safety Standard IEC 60825; the receiver section uses a built-in 1270(1330) nm detector preamplifier (IDP) mounted within an optical header along with a limit.

Modules like GBIC have special working functions for example attaching the Ethernet network and also the fibre optic network. GBIC means gigabit interface converter, and is an optic used with one plug in an Ethernet port and the other plug for connecting fibre patch cords. GBICs are hot pluggable, which offer you the capability to mix one type of interface with another without having to turn off. Optical power and wavelengths, working distance, and transmission velocity determine the particular groups that GBIC modules are put in.

New generation GBIC modules are thought to be the SFP transceivers. Short for small form-factor pluggable, SFP modules will also be hot pluggable optics. Hot pluggable transceivers tend to be simpler to keep up and change in comparison to basic interface modules. Items like Cisco SFP transceivers tend to be smaller and are only about half how big GBIC optics. These modules send rates that vary from 100 Mbps to about 4+ Gbps, while SFP+ modules can send rates of 10 Gbps. You will find that these modules transmit as much as 120+ kilometres right down to about 500 metres.

Optics such as XENPAK are known to be the largest of the fibre optic transceiver module. There’s a large range of XENPAK modules that function with different lines including copper line, multimode optical fiber line and single mode optical fibre line. Multimode fibres function at a distance of up to 300 metres while typical copper lines operate as much as about 15 metres. Most single mode modules span as much as 80km at maximum. Produced first underneath the Multi-Source Agreement were these 10Gbps pluggable fibre optic transceiver module.

Whatever type of fibre optic transceiver module you are in looking for the market, you should know that you’re consistently getting items that are made under the highest standards possible. Depending on your fibre optic networking experience, you might be in the market for other technical things like fibre patch cords and fibre media converters which are also easily purchased. With today’s technology, you are able to count on optical modules and all other fiber optic products to continue to determine advancements, becoming faster and better.