Extreme Network now charges a license fee for ports that have 40G/100G OEM or third party SFPs installed. If you don’t purchase a license within 90 days, it will limit bandwidth to 25%.
How crappy is that ? Hiding the full price of the switch with hidden SFP pricing strategies is a dumb idea that all the big vendors have. What about simply being honest and calling it what it is – a per-port licensing fee designed to extract more revenue from a shrinking product market.
From the “Pluggable Hardware Installation Guide” on the Extreme support site:
Beginning with EXOS 15.5, customers will need to purchase a feature license to achieve full functionality of new unapproved third-party 40G or 100G optical interfaces. If customers do not purchase the feature license for these new modules, they will receive an informational message via SNMP/ Syslog. This message will indicate that they have an unapproved third- party 40G or 100G optic and that a feature license is required for full functionality of the new hardware. Customers will have 90 days to obtain the feature pack before the port’s egress bandwidth is rate-limited to 25% of line rate.
I’ve been saying for some time that SFPs include a “per port license fee” for the switch. I’m not picking on Extreme Networks here since all the big vendors have some version of this. For example, Cisco SFPs cost 10 to 20 times the price of smaller vendors while the physical product is identical to OEM versions freely available.
The EtherealMind View
Sales of Ethernet switches are in steep decline and vendors are desperately looking for ways to maintain revenue because sales are not going to increase . Cisco is rumoured to make over USD$2 Billion year on SFP sales.
My advice to customers is to calculate the the full price of a new Ethernet switch, including a selection of optics, when comparing vendor pricing. Vendors have discounted the physical switch to make their product look cheaper but gouging customers with high priced SFP modules.
Or consider using Whitebox Ethernet with Cumulus Networks. With optics included, savings of more than 80% are expected and for that amount of money, it will be worth trying out.