GBIC compatibility and pricing (was Managed, cheap, DC power switches)

Kevin Oberman oberman at
Fri Jul 18 00:06:14 UTC 2008

> Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 15:15:45 -0700
> From: "Steve Dalberg" <sdalberg at>
> This reason is twofold, one is Resellers were just buying whatever cheap
> gbics they could and bundling them with Procurve switches (I'm sure this
> happens to other vendors too).  Thus most of the profitable parts of
> switch sales were being eroded by the resellers.
> The other is that Procurve offers a lifetime warranty on most (possibly
> all) of their products, including gbics I believe, thus the premium.  I
> believe you can just RMA a Procurve GBIC, and they will send you a new
> one, no receipts, no worries, no expiration, no service contract.
> He shouldn't have to eat 300 gbics unless he bought non-Procurve ones to
> begin with.  HP should be able to exchange/reprogram them if they were
> HP Gbics.  

The problem was that earlier code revs would accept 3rd party
optics. Buying the optics from the manufacturer rather than from HP
saved a lot of money and was a common practice. Then the code was
upgraded to prohibit non-HP branded optics. This was a non-reversable
upgrade and, for the folks who had bought their own optics, they had
dead boxes and had to buy HP optics to get them back into service. Quite
a few folks were a bit upset about this.

While HP can make whatever claims they want as to why this was a benefit
to the consumer, it was clear done to benefit the HP bottom line and the
consumer was not taken into consideration. If you had HP optics, no
exchange was needed.

If you compare identical optics that are branded by the manufacturer
vs. those branded Cisco or HP, you will notice a 'small' mark-up on the
re-marked units. Maybe a few hundred percent.
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
E-mail: oberman at			Phone: +1 510 486-8634
Key fingerprint:059B 2DDF 031C 9BA3 14A4  EADA 927D EBB3 987B 3751
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