We buy, sell and refurbish some of the world’s most important networking equipment.

Optical Transceivers

BrightStar Systems Specializes in Used and Refurbished Cisco, Arista, and Juniper Optical Transceivers

Optical transceivers convert electrical data signals coming from data switches into optical signals that can be transmitted through optical fiber. The data typically is transmitted through fiber-optic cable, which is faster and more reliable than electrical copper wire.

Purchasing used or refurbished optical transceivers is a straightforward and simple solution to increasing your bandwidth. If you’re operating in a data center or other high-performance computing environment where you’re taking on data-intensive applications, such as video streaming, it’s important you have the right hardware in order to avoid latency issues and other potential problems.

You can find plenty of optical transceiver datasheets designed to help you determine which products would be a good fit for your needs, but those sheets won’t do you a lot of good unless you know which specifications to look at. Whether you need minor upgrades or an entire optics overhaul, BrightStar Systems will empower you with the knowledge and resources you need to get the best pre-owned, used and refurbished optical transceivers at the best available price.

There are several optical transceiver specifications to consider, most importantly the form factor, the data rate and the distance. Optical transceivers are available in what is called form factors, such as QSFP, QSFP+, CFP, CFP2, QSFP28, and CPAK – which is exclusive to Cisco. Each of these form factors is designed to handle different speeds, mainly 40G and 100G networks. BrightStar Systems’ pre-owned, used and refurbished optical transceivers for sale are developed by some of the biggest names in the industry, including Cisco, Juniper, and Arista. Read on to find out what optical transceiver specifications you should be paying attention to.

We Offer the Best Transceivers from the Biggest Network Developers

Based in San Jose, California, Cisco is the largest manufacturer of networking equipment in the world. The company manufactures Ethernet switches and routers, security equipment, hardware for data centers, and offers a variety of software solutions and other services. The company carries several types of optical transceivers, including its highly regarded CPAK line, that range a variety of specifications. BrightStar Systems stock Cisco’s top CPAK models, including the CPAK-100G-LR4, the CPAK-100G-SR10, and the CPAK-10X10G-LR. We also stock Cisco’s CVR-CFP2-CPAK4 and CVR-CFP2-CPAK10 converters. Whether they are used surplus Cisco CPAK, used Cisco CPAK or refurbished Cisco CPAK products, all our Cisco optical transceivers are guaranteed to operate at peak performance levels.

Juniper, which is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, develops hardware networking solutions, including routers, Ethernet switches, and data center security products. Historically, the bulk of the company’s business has come from selling routers to Internet service providers. BrightStar Systems has several used Juniper optical transceivers for sale for both 40G and 100G applications, several of which are compliant with existing Multi-source Agreement (MSA) optical transceiver specifications. Some of our top selling used Juniper optical transceivers for sale include the QSFP-40G-SR4, the CFP-GEN2-100GBASE-LR4, and the CFP2-100GBASE-LR4.

Arista, out of Santa Clara, California, offers a similar lineup of hardware products as Juniper but has more recently made a name for itself in the cloud networking software industry. The company has a wide range of optical transceivers for sale, and BrightStar Systems supplies its top 40G and 100G models. Just like the other brands of optical transceivers we stock, many of our Arista models comply with Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) optical transceiver standards and established MSAs. BrightStar Systems has several used and refurbished Arista optical transceivers for sale, including QSFP and QSFP+ form factors. We stock some of the most highly-recognized Arista transceivers in the industry, including the QSFP-40G-SR4, the QSFP-100G-SR4, and the QSFP-100G-LR4.


40G Networking VS. 100G Networking

Ultimately, the difference between 40G and 100G comes down to bandwidth. Networks operating on 100G Ethernet can move more information, faster. A faster network also is extremely beneficial to companies that have large data centers or do a lot of cloud computing. And if you are looking to scale your network alongside your business or organization, 100G may give you the necessary extra room to grow.

Upgrading to 100G also can help free up physical space in your office or data center, since there’s less cable running from one point to another, and because newer equipment – which usually is faster – tends to take up much less real estate. It also reduces the amount of link aggregation required to transmit data, which will help your network run smoother.

The downside to upgrading to 100G Ethernet is the cost. If your business or organization is operating on 40G – or even 10G – and still has plenty of unused network capacity; it may not make financial sense to upgrade to 100G. Everyone has overhead costs that must be covered and if a faster network with more bandwidth is not something you need, hold off on it.

We Have All Major Form Factors of Optical Transceivers for Sale



The QSFP and QSFP+ are two of the most commonly used optical transceiver form factors. QSFP stands for Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable, meaning it supports four independent optical channels. The QSFP form factor is essentially an earlier generation of the QSFP+ form factor. As the demand for greater bandwidth has grown, the QSFP+ has become more common; it’s built for 40G Ethernet applications, whereas the older QSFP is better suited for transmitting less data. The QSFP+ form factor can support either four different 10G channels or a single 40G channel. The slower QSFP form factor works similarly; it supports four different 1G channels or a single 4G channel.



The QSFP28 functions the same way as the QSFP and QSFP+ form factors, but it’s made to carry 100G Ethernet, which is becoming more common for companies and organizations. The QSFP28 has four optical channels – just like the QSFP and QSFP+ form factors – but each one supports up to 28G instead of only 1G or 10G. This form factor is known for its small size and low power consumption; it beats all other form factors for both of those optical transceiver specifications. Several 100G optical transceivers that are available in the QSFP28 form factor comply with MSAs, including the 100GBASE-SR4, the 100GBASE-LR4 and the 100GBASE-CWDM4.



This is an MSA that outlines optical transceiver specifications and is its own form factor. CFP stands for C Form-factor Pluggable, and it was the first standardized form factor for 100G optical transceivers. One of the benefits of optical transceivers that follow this MSA’s specifications is the inclusion of support for two different channel setups: 10 channels divided into 10G signals and four channels divided into 25G signals. Although transceivers made with the CFP form factor are much bigger than newer transceivers, CFPs are reliably interoperable with more recent form factors, such as CFP2 form factors and Cisco’s CPAK models.

Further, explore the similarities and differences between QSFP28 vs CFP4 optical transceiver form factors.



The CFP2 is essentially an updated MSA for the original CFP. It includes specifications for 100G transceivers, but it’s about half the size of the first generation CFP, and it’s twice as energy efficient. Just like its elder form factor, it also supports a 10-channel setup that’s divided into 10G signals, as well as a 4-channel setup that’s divided into 25G signals. All optical transceivers that comply with CFP2 specifications are compatible with older CFP-compliant transceivers, as well as newer generation CFP4 transceivers and Cisco’s CPAK transceivers.



The CPAK is Cisco’s proprietary form factor for 100G optical transceivers. Some of these transceivers, such as the CPAK-100G-LR4, are set up the same way as the QSFP28 form factor; it has four optical channels that each support up to 25G. There’s also the CPAK-100G-SR10, which is more in line with the CFP form factor; it has ten optical channels, and each one can carry up to 10G. Cisco’s CPAK line of optical transceivers is made to be more compact and more energy efficient than those with CFP2 specifications. In addition to the CPAK-100G-LR4 and the CPAK-100G-SR10, BrightStar Systems stocks Cisco’s CPAK-10X10G-LR, CPAK-100G-ER4L and CPAK-10X10G-ERL transceivers.

BrightStar Systems Will Make Sure You Get the Right Cabling for All Pre-Owned, Used and Refurbished Optical Transceivers

Optical cable configurations vary significantly, depending on what kind of data you’re looking to send and how far you need to send it. Direct attach cables (DAC) are best for sending data short distances, such as connecting different racks inside a data center. DACs are broken into three categories: passive DACs, active DACs and active optical cables (AOC).

The main difference between passive DACs and active DACs has to do with distance; active DACs have microprocessors that allow them to send signals about twice as far as passive DACs. AOCs, on the other hand, are made to mimic the functionality of copper direct attach cables – simple setup, short distances and lower costs than structured cabling that requires a separate optical transceiver on each end of the cable – but are ultimately higher-performing cables.

Although AOCs are designed to run much shorter distances than a structured cable setup, they still carry signals much further than copper cables. Active DACs max out at about 15 meters whereas AOCs can run more than 100 meters. AOCs also are much lighter and less bulky, which means they’re a lot easier to set up and move around. AOCs are more cost-effective than structured cabling – in terms of both equipment purchasing and power usage – but the transceivers on each end of the cable are integrated with the optical fiber, which means they are not interchangeable. This is possibly the biggest downside to AOCs; you lose the versatility that comes with having removable optical transceivers.

There are a couple different types of fiber optic cables: single mode and multimode. Single-mode fiber optic cables are made to handle longer distances and higher bandwidth applications, such as cable television. Multimode cables are better for shorter distances and are ideal for transmitting audio and video in local area networks.

BrightStar Systems is not an authorized Juniper partner and we have no affiliation with Juniper Networks. BrightStar Systems is an independently used Juniper networking hardware reseller.