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Cisco Quietly Resumes Shipping UCS Invicta All-Flash Array That Spent Six Months On Hold

Cisco is once again selling the enterprise all-flash array that it pitches as a performance booster for UCS servers and apps running on them, but partners say the product's reputation has suffered.

Cisco Systems is once again shipping its UCS Invicta Scaling System, a product it pulled from the market more than six months ago after some customers couldn't get it to work properly.

Cisco resumed shipments of the UCS Invicta Scaling System "earlier this month," a spokesperson for the San Jose, Calif.-based vendor told CRN Thursday.

This was news to the half-dozen Cisco partners CRN spoke with this week, who said Cisco hasn't given them any indication that the UCS Invicta Scaling System is back on the market.

[Related: Cisco Halts Shipments Of UCS Invicta Storage Appliance Due To Scalability Issues]

UCS Invicta Scaling System, an all-flash array Cisco pitches as a performance booster for UCS servers and apps running on them, uses technology from its $415 million acquisition of storage vendor Whiptail in 2013. Cisco began selling it early last year along with a stand-alone UCS Invicta appliance for small and midsize customers.

Cisco halted shipments of both UCS Invicta products last August after some customers reported having scaling issues and began returning them. While Cisco resumed shipping the appliance in October, it repeatedly delayed its time frame for getting the UCS Invicta Scaling System back on the market, raising questions about the product's viability.

The fact that the UCS Invicta Scaling System spent more than six months on hold, without Cisco explaining what was wrong, will likely make it a tough sell for the time being, three Cisco partners told CRN.


The partners said they think the technical issues could interfere with Cisco's pledge to turn the UCS Invicta product line into a $1 billion business.

After Cisco confirmed the shipment hold to CRN last September, it sent an FAQ to partners insisting that it was still committed to developing the UCS Invicta product line.

Cisco said in the FAQ that it was working on a new storage blade with integrated UCS Invicta technology, and would also build deep integration between UCS Invicta and its UCS Manager product.

Some partners were expecting Cisco to unveil -- or at least talk about -- the UCS Invicta storage blade at its partner conference in late April. But Cisco has not provided any new information about the product in recent months, leading them to believe the product may have been delayed or scrapped.

"Cisco is really sending mixed messages and hasn't been too forthcoming on updates," said the partner, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to discuss the matter.

A Cisco spokesperson declined to comment on whether the UCS storage blade is still in development because the product hasn't been officially announced.

Meanwhile, at least two Cisco executives who've touted the UCS Invicta technology have left the company since the shipment delay began.

Ryan Snell, employee No. 3 at Whiptail and Cisco's top sales executive for UCS Invicta, left in October to join Lua, an enterprise mobile messaging startup.

Paul Perez, vice president and general manager of computing systems, left Cisco earlier this month. Sources told CRN this week he's heading to Dell to become CTO of its enterprise business.

PUBLISHED MARCH 20, 2015

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