Arista unqualified SFP

Hi all,
Is there a way for unlocking off-brand transceivers usage on Arista switches?

I've got an Arista 7050QX switch with 4.14 EOS version. Then it has been found out that Arista switches seem to not have possibility to unlock off-brand xcievers usage (by some service command or so).

I've patched /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/, made the checking function bypass the actual check and it helped: ports are not in errdisable state anymore. But despite of xceivers are detected correctly, links aren't coming up (they are in notconnect state).

If anyone possibly have does have a sacred knowledge of bringing off-branded transceivers to life on Arista switches, your help'd be very appreciated. Thanks.

Yes, email support and ask for the unlock code, they will make you agree that you know that 3rd party optics may explode the switch and it's not their fault.

The command they give you will have a key/hash built into it (but will work on any switch) that ties the "unlock" to your org.

Ours looks like this:

service unsupported-transceiver DescriptionOfKeyFromAristaGoesHere 0000000000 (hex key)

Spencer Ryan | Senior Systems Administrator |<>
Arbor Networks
+1.734.794.5033 (d) | +1.734.846.2053 (m)<>

I'd suggest bitching and moaning at your account team & support until they
give you the key to unlock them..

Let me know if you want samples. We can ship today.

Hi Tim,

Thanks for your expressive answer. Will try it :slight_smile:

Tim Jackson писал 2016-08-17 22:57:

Exactly this, get your unlock key that is tied to your company and you are off to the races, bake it into your standard config. Your SE or support team should be able to get this to you :slight_smile:

We’ve done this as well, and Arista support hasn’t hassled us about anything yet so I’ve been pleased. I’ve been very happy using Flexoptics transceivers in all kinds of equipment too, if anyone’s looking for something they know works, and you get a programmer that will let you code optics to certain vendors switches that don’t have unlock keys. It won’t work on all though, so investigate before investing if that’s a concern.


Hi all,
If somebody is following my epic adventure of getting uqualified SFP to work on Aristas, here is the unhappy end of it.

I've written to Arista support and got the following dialogue:
Support guy:
Thank you for contacting Arista Support. My name is **** and I'll be assisting you on this case.
Could you please provide the "show version" output from this switch?

Here it is:
<show version output here>

Support guy:
Thank you for the information.
Unfortunately, we are unable to activate your 3rd party components. To ensure ongoing quality, Arista devices are designed to support only properly qualified transceivers.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.

I do not understand,
But there is a command which allows using non-Arista transceivers. Why have you implemented it but don't provide an access key to your customers when they ask for it?
If it is required to sign some papers which declare that I am aware of all the risks and losing my warranty - I agree with that, lets do it. Any way what are the conditions to receive that access key?

Support guy:
I'm afraid that there is nothing I'm able to do regarding this situation. If you have any other questions regarding enabling 3rd party options in Arista switches, I suggest to contact your local account team (or sales) for further discussion on this matter.

Next, i've tried inserting various QSFP+ DAC cables I have - none of them has been even detected on the switch, it was acting like nothing has been inserted. I guess that even if I get the key, most of my transceivers/DAC (which work like a champ in Juniper or Extreme switches) cables wouldnt work.

I'm writing this post to make somebody who considers buying their switches be aware of what they'd get. Just buy Juniper instead.

Stanislaw wrote at 2016-08-17 23:25:

And I was about to jump on to the Arista train.....



Hello all,

At my actual job, some colleagues bought Arista switchs very recently. They asked the question about 3rd party transceivers and their SE told them exactly what has been said before :

"we do accept 3rd party transceivers but we don't support them. If you still want to use them willingly, you'll have to sign a discharge paper and we'll provide you with a key to activate on your equipement".

That's Arista's official policy regarding 3rd party transceivers.



Your AM team will gladly unlock this for you.

This is probably just a procedural issue with Arista TAC not knowing the
secret sauce.


Same here, i was considering Arista, because they are quite cost effective,feature rich, interesting hardware for developing some custom solutions. But no more, after reading about unreasonable vendor lock-in.
But such inflexibility are very bad sign, this "openness" looks like marketing only, under the hood it seems worse than other solutions on market. Also when support shows such inflexibility, it is very bad sign. And very sad.

So. Since when does one handle a business-decisions with the TAC? handing out the key means that ANET will not never ever be able to sell you any optics, because that's how it works when you ride on the 3rd party optics train. Also the TAC need to be flagged to ignore non-official transcievers when sending in your issues so they know they don't have to bitch about that.

Id suggest you call your SE/TAM instead of TAC for this.

Or buy something where you can brand the EEPROM with something more appropriate that a ANET-switch like

I am fine with that.

All other vendors, explicitly or silently, adopt the same approach.


Your AM team will gladly unlock this for you.

This is probably just a procedural issue with Arista TAC not knowing the
secret sauce.

That's not the answer I got at all from Arista:

"I understand that Arista TAC indicated that <SE> could provide you with a
transceiver unlock code. While it is true that the unlock code concept
exists, it is very unusual for us to unlock optics on switches. We’d be
happy to talk with you further about this in person. "

Followup was:

"As I'm sure you know, Arista is not the only manufacturer that has made
this choice. Unlike our competition, we work to make our optics pricing
competitive, but we'll never be as low as the "Taiwan specials" that you
see floating around. I have another customer that was flashing white label
optics that just made the decision to start using Arista labeled optics
again because they were tired of bad quality."

They basically said we'll sell you 10x priced optics instead of 100x and
we're awesome because we do that. No unlock for you, buy our slightly
cheaper OEM optics instead.

Don't be too hasty. See my response earlier.


So the bottom line is that not all AM's are built the same.

Some are nice, some are not. Some are enthusiastic, some are docile.
Some are self-motivated, some need a fire lit underneath them.

My advice, tell them you'll take your business elsewhere if they don't
come to the table. If that does not work, request for another AM. If
that doesn't work, escalate to the sales head. If that doesn't work,
look for another Arista sales office in some other region.

If all that fails, move on to another vendor - although I doubt it will
get to that point before someone within Arista is screamed at. Of
course, there's always Twitter :-)...


+1. At least they have a policy that they fully assume publically, which is
more than others can say/do.

Best regards.

I've heard from people running Intel NICs and HP switches, that this can't be turned off there. You run into very interesting problems when you're trying to use DAC cables between multi vendor.

Any pointers to how to turn this of on Intel NICs and HP switches?

Intel does allow DAC of any vendor (assuming they properly identify as DACs. You can also disable Intel's check in the Linux drivers.