Cisco Optics vs. Curvature Optics: Myth and Reality | Blog | Curvature
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Cisco Optics vs. Curvature Optics: Myth and Reality

There is no difference between a Cisco Optic and a Curvature Optic (sometimes referred to as Third Party Optic) unless you’re comparing the price or the warranty. Did you know that Curvature Brand Optics are identical to the ones you buy from Cisco and we guarantee the same capabilities? Our quality-assurance process ensures that Curvature Brand Optics will function identically to a Cisco original part in all Cisco devices.

New Curvature Brand Optics are available in all common optic types in GBIC, SFP, XENPAK, and X2 form factors. We are so confident in the long-term performance of Curvature Brand Optics, that we offer a lifetime warranty on all types. Why pay more when you don’t have to?

Curvature offers new 100% Cisco-compatible optics to support Ethernet, Sonet/SDH, and Fibre Channel applications for all Cisco switches and routers.

Compare Curvature Optics and Cisco Optics

Curvature Cisco
Lifetime Warranty X
100% Cisco Compatible
60% – 90% Off List Price X
Compatible with Brocade/Force10/Juniper X
Available for Immediate Shipping ?

The largest companies, which buy direct from Cisco, may receive 65+% off list price and have Cisco engineers on staff etc., will still often carve this category off and buy through Curvature.

Below are common myths regarding Curvature Brand Optics and how we address those concerns.

Myth 1: Third Party Optics or Curvature Optics are unreliable and incompatible.


For most Third Party Optics that you find online, this is true. There are shoddy companies out there selling the cheapest, lowest quality, non-tested optics. Curvature is the largest provider of Third Party Optics. We have test labs to verify compatibility across nearly all manufacturers, all SKUs, and all versions of IOS. That type of testing infrastructure is unmatched. It has taken years to surgically pinpoint the most perfect inflection of high-quality manufacturing while ensuring 100% compatibility and reliability. We fully back all our Curvature Brand Optics with a money-back guarantee and lifetime warranty. We also have plenty of references available.

Myth 2: This will void my SMARTnet contracts.


Per Cisco, this is not true. If you open a TAC case and the problem can be traced to the optic, they don’t necessarily need to provide you with support for that particular problem. If the problem is not related to the optic, they continue providing support for the affected product. A common parallel would be using a FRAM oil filter in your car instead of a manufacturer filter from the dealership. Or third-party HDMI cables with your AppleTV, flatscreen, Xbox, etc. The manufacturer cannot void maintenance contracts due to third-party components; this practice is protected by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Myth 3: If Cisco TAC sees that I am using non-Cisco optics, they may make me swap it out before providing me with any kind of tech support.


This is a non-issue with Curvature optics, due to the proper coding we provide to ensure there is no unsupported transceiver error. Essentially, it looks like a Cisco optic based on the outputs, which mitigates this as a concern or issue. Also, most engineers will know very quickly whether the problem they are experiencing is optic related. When clients have issues with optics (Cisco branded or otherwise), it’s a fairly obvious point of failure which is most easily verified by reseating the optic or simply swapping it out. Curvature optics are of extremely high quality, with an RMA rate less than .3% (all are replaced through our Lifetime Warranty).

Learn more about Curvature Brand Optics.
Click here to contact a Curvature technical professional.
Read our Cisco 10GbE Optics Cheat Sheet to learn all you need to know about XENPAKs, X2, XFP, and SFP+.

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