Cisco QSFP adapters

L1 Bithead

Cisco QSFP adapters

Has anyone used these Cisco QSFP adapters for the QSFP and HA2 ports? Officially not supported but they will probably work as they support the same QSFP standard.


The PA5220 HA2 uses an HSCI/QSFP port. We want to use a Cisco BiDi QSFP Transceiver here:

Solution with Cisco 40-Gbps QSFP BiDi Transceiver
The Cisco QSFP BiDi transceiver, shown in Figure 2, transmits full-duplex 40-Gbps traffic over one dual-fiber LC-connector OM3 or OM4 MMF cable. It provides the capability to reuse 10-Gbps fiber infrastructure. In other words, it enables data center operators to upgrade to 40-Gbps connectivity without making any changes to the previous 10-Gbps fiber cable plant.
Figure 2. Cisco QSFP BiDi Transceiver (QSFP-40G-SR-BD) 

The Cisco QSFP BiDi transceiver has two 20-Gbps channels, each transmitted and received simultaneously over two wavelengths on a single MMF strand. The result is an aggregated duplex 40-Gbps link over a MMF duplex LC-terminated fiber cable. The connection can reach 100 meters on OM3 MMF or 150 meters on OM4 MMF, which is the same as 40-Gbps SR4. Figure 3 shows the technology concept of the Cisco QSFP BiDi transceiver.
Most Cisco switching and routing products that support 40 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces support the Cisco QSFP BiDi transceiver. For a complete list of supporting products, refer to the Cisco 40 Gigabit Optical Transceiver product page at

Will this work for HA2?

We also want to use Cisco QSFP - SPF (QSA module )adapter which will use one 10 Gbps lane of the 4 X 10 Gbps lanes of the HSCI for other connections

Features and Benefits
The Cisco QSA Module converts a QSFP port into an SFP or SFP+ port. With this adapter, customers have the flexibility to use any SFP+ or SFP module or cable to connect to a lower-speed port on the other end of the network. This flexibility allows a cost-effective transition to 40 Gigabit Ethernet by maximizing the use of high-density 40 Gigabit Ethernet QSFP platforms. This adapter supports all SFP+ optics and cable reaches and several 1 Gigabit Ethernet SFP modules.

CVR-QSFP-SFP10G Cisco QSA Module

Cyber Elite


BiDi gets really finiky with non-Cisco equipment. I wouldn't attempt to do something like this unless I already had the pieces and parts to test this on Lab equipment before actually ordering them. With the issues I've incountered with this on non-Cisco switches I'm just going to go ahead and say it probably wouldn't. 


"We also want to use Cisco QSFP - SPF (QSA module )adapter which will use one 10 Gbps lane of the 4 X 10 Gbps lanes of the HSCI for other connections"


Can you further explain what you are trying to do here? If you are attempting to use a QSFP to SFP/+ adapter on the HSCI interface this should likely work perfectly fine. 

If you are trying to use a breakout cable on the HSCI port and configure one of the breakouts as a traffic interface that isn't going to work at all. The HSCI port is strictly for HA. 

L1 Bithead

Thanks for your reply. We do not have the PA5220 yet. We could test this in a lab befor deploying.


The Cisco QSA module will provide 1 X 10Gbps lane from one of the other QSFA ports not the HSCI as I mentioned in error.

Cyber Elite



Just a word of caution on third-party SFPs in Palo devices, just like anything else they aren't guaranteed to function correctly. That being said, Palo does a really good job of laying out how they support third-party tranceivers.

  • If a customer uses a third-party component in a Palo Alto Networks device, and a fault is traced to the use of this third-party component, then at Palo Alto Networks’ discretion, support and warranty service may be withheld.
  • If a product fault is determined to not be related to the use of third-party components, then Palo Alto Networks will continue to support the customer per our standard support policies.
  • At no time will hardware RMA support be provided on third-party components. If hardware is replaced and the fault is determined to have been caused by the installation of a third-party component, Palo Alto Networks reserves the right to charge for reasonable time and material rates for the service provided.
L1 Bithead

I got my 5220s and used addonnetworks PN QSFP-40G-SR-BD-AO BiDi tranceivers in the HSCI ports and they work just fine for about 2 months now. This is over an OM4 fiber plant at about 150 ft. (spec'd to 550M at 10GBps).


This saves 3 X fiber pairs and of course is not supported by PA.


I also configured HA2 backup over an in band port @ 10GBps should the HSCI have issues.


addon will give you a 30 day demo so no cost just to try.

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