& cplSiteName &

Gray-Market Optics Get a Brand Name

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto

Curvature announced Tuesday that it's now selling its own line of optics compatible with equipment from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and others.

The company is showing off the modules -- pluggable optical transceivers in form factors such as SFP and XFP -- at Interop in New York this week.

Why this matters
Cisco charges a premium for optical modules that, from a hardware perspective, are quite ordinary, purchased from module makers such as Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) and Oclaro Inc. (Nasdaq: OCLR). NHR had already been offering an alternative by buying the same modules and tweaking the software to be Cisco-compatible.

Now, NHR is out guns-blazing with modules under its own name. And although we're picking on Cisco here, NHR notes the modules also work in gear from other vendors, including Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL) (Force10), Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR). NHR claims its prices run 70 to 90 percent lower than the OEMs'.

In March, NHR struck a deal with independent module vendor Menara Networks . It seems likely that Menara, which was founded with the goal of building 10Gbit/s modules supporting Optical Transport Network (OTN), could be the foundation for any higher-end devices NHR is offering.

For more

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Pete Baldwin
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:19:54 PM
re: Gray-Market Optics Get a Brand Name

Checked with NHR, and none of the branded modules being offered so far is a Menara one.

The list of form factors includes a few that Menara wouldn't touch anyway (X2, Xenpak, GBIC). 

User Rank: Moderator
12/5/2012 | 5:19:49 PM
re: Gray-Market Optics Get a Brand Name

All I can say is "caveat emptor". All optical modules are *not* created equal.

Very few people realize that there is a microprocessor in each of those, which means there is software ("firmware") running in them.  As we all know, all software has bugs.  (Anyone who claims their software is bug-free is clueless or lying.)  There is no off-the-shelf implementation of this software (open-source or closed-source).  Every optics vendor rolls their own.

So even though "all optics follow 'The Standard'", they're not all the same.

Oh, and there is no independent body or testing organization that actually certifies whether a given vendor's optic complies with "The Standard".  It is up to each optics vendor to state whether they conform or not. Can you imagine *anyone* saying "well, we're close, but not quite 100% compliant."?

Mike Sheldon
Mike Sheldon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:19:31 PM
re: Gray-Market Optics Get a Brand Name

All NHR branded optics are MSA compliant and correspond to published standards for optical power, receive sensitivity and other physical characteristics.



The optics we sell as “Cisco compatible” are tested in a wide range of Cisco products for compatibility and interoperability.  The same can be said for the other “OEM compatible” optics we carry.  We guarantee our optics with a lifetime warranty and our customers can be assured that our testing procedures are best-in-class and adhere to TL9000 and ISO9001 standards.

Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Friday, October 21, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Evolving the Data Center
Rasool Kareem Irfan, Head, Telecom & Infrastructure Security Practice, Tata Communications Transformation Services Ltd (TCTS)
Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Tackling DDoS
Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
LRTV Custom TV
Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
US Issues Total Flight Ban on Samsung Note 7
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/15/2016
Oh Snap! Qualcomm Unveils X50, Its First 5G Modem
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/17/2016
SDN Champions ONF & ON.Lab Tie the Knot
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/19/2016
Telecom Italia Plots Digital 'Overlay,' Not Transformation
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/17/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.