Cisco Halts Shipments Of UCS Invicta Storage Appliance Due To Scalability Issues

Cisco has temporarily stopped shipping its UCS Invicta flash storage appliance because some customers have been "experiencing quality issues in deployments," a spokesperson for the San Jose, Calif.-based vendor told CRN Tuesday.

"Our customers expect the same quality, simplicity and customer experience from Invicta as they've become accustomed to with other Cisco products, so we decided to put a temporary hold on shipments while we address those deployment and experience issues," the spokesperson said in an email.

Cisco expects to resume UCS Invicta shipments "later this fiscal quarter," which ends in late October, the spokesperson said.

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UCS Invicta, which Cisco launched in January, uses technology from its $415 million acquisition of flash storage vendor Whiptail last September.

Cisco sells a stand-alone UCS Invicta appliance and a version that's designed to scale out to large numbers of users.

Customers that have bought the scale-out version of UCS Invicta have run into technical glitches, and some have returned the product to Cisco, sources familiar with the matter told CRN Tuesday.

"When you just put in one of these Invicta appliances, they work OK. But you're supposed to be able to stack them up to four-deep to get to a 40-terabyte type of solution, and we're hearing it's not scaling out the way Cisco thought it was going to," said one Cisco partner, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The news doesn't come as a huge surprise to Cisco partners, who told CRN the company hasn't been promoting Invicta as aggressively in recent months as it did in the wake of the deal.

Cisco reps definitely aren't working Invicta into UCS-related conversations as much as they used to, one partner told CRN.

"Three or four months ago, every UCS conversation with Cisco would have something to do with Invicta. Now, we are not seeing that as much," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Cisco recently launched its ATP (Advanced Technology Partner) program for Invicta, which significantly limits the number of partners it allows to sell it.

Since acquiring Whiptail, Cisco has positioned Invicta as a performance-enhancer for UCS and compute-intensive apps, and not as stand-alone storage, to avoid upsetting its storage partners.

But sources have told CRN in recent months that Cisco sales reps have been pitching Invicta as an all-flash storage option in conversations with customers.