Generally, the router / switch manufacturers that don't force you to use vendor-locked pluggables say something like "We don't specifically exclude any parts, but we have only tested with the following parts: ..."The ES-16-XG does not recognize my Nebula DAC cables but does recognize my Cisco DAC cables. This is a real bummer because I have 8 of the Nubula cables for all my servers and only 2 of the Cisco cables to "stack" this switch to the ES-48-LITE (once I get that setup). If I have to get all new cables I may just go with fiber transceivers/patch cables from FS.com this time around. Can anyone confirm which specific transceivers that work with EdgeSwitches?
That's pretty reasonable, but not much of a condolence when you're trying to get something working. Incompatibilities can arise from:
- Interactions with vendor proprietary "magic footprints". These are generally computed based on some of the SEEPROM fields and stored in one of the reserved areas, so this should not be a problem if the part accurately describes itself (I've seen all sorts of screwball problems, including DWDM parts that report the wrong channel and so on).
- Parts that aren't compatible regardless of branding. For example, Dell has a dual-speed 1/10GbE SFP+ part that is used in one product line. It isn't recognized anywhere else, even by other Dell products. This part requires some hardware support that isn't present in most routers / switches. That's also one of the issues with copper SFPs - some of them do speed conversion internally and always talk to the router / switch innards at GigE speed, while others expect the router / switch to handle 10/100/1000 speeds itself.
- Parts that aren't one of the types the hardware / firmware knows about. For example, a lot of the lower-end products only know about short or long range optics or passive direct attach cables. If you plug in something like a BiDi part (bidirectional on a single fiber), the device will probably go "I don't know what this is, so I can't use it". Likewise if you plug a SONET part into a switch that is only expecting Ethernet.
- Parts that are not listed in any relevant standard. It is possible for a switch / router manufacturer to come up with something non-standard that will work in their equipment but nowhere else. I haven't seen much of this, and most of it has been oddball variants of direct attach for things like active / standby failover.