Cisco kills Invicta storage product line

Pulls plug on troubled appliances that came from $415M WHIPTAIL buy

Cisco has pulled the plug on its troubled Invicta flash storage appliances in another admission that an acquisition didn’t pan out as hoped.

Invicta was developed after Cisco acquired solid state flash storage array vendor WHIPTAIL for $415 million in 2013. The product was pulled from the market last year after having scaling issues, and then reinserted.

Now, it has been killed.

“Cisco strives to deliver solutions and services that exceed customers’ expectations; and as part of product lifecycle management, we withdraw technology from the marketplace when necessary to focus our efforts on what is critical for the future of our customers’ business as well as our own,” a Cisco spokesperson stated in an e-mail.

“Cisco is prioritizing the elements of our portfolio to drive the most value for our customers both now and in the future, and today, we are announcing the End of Life (EoL) for the Invicta Appliance and Scaling System products. We will continue to support existing customers who have deployed Invicta products in accordance with our Products and Services End of Life Policy, which includes ongoing technical assistance, software support and spare/replacement parts.

“Cisco maintains a leadership position in the data center market, with high demand and growing market share. UCS delivers on customers’ compute and network needs, and we will continue to invest in building world-class data center solutions via UCS product innovations, and market-leading flash storage solutions from our Partner ecosystem.”

Employees associated with the product line are impacted but Cisco will not disclose how many. Sources say 80 will be let go but Cisco would not confirm this figure.

Some expect Cisco to re-enter the storage market through another acquisition. Rumors are afloat that Cisco is eying hyperconvergence start-up Nutanix; Cisco also has a partnership with SimpliVity.

The Invicta development follows this week’s sale of Cisco’s Connected Devices business unit, which provides set-top boxes, modems, gateways and other products for video connectivity, to Technicolor for $600 million. The business unit was largely the result of Cisco’s $6.9 billion acquisition of Scientific Atlanta in 2005.

As many as 790 employees could be impacted by the sale of that unit.

These developments are part of Cisco’s ongoing “limited restructuring” in which the company realigns its workforce and product line around new priorities. It usually results in layoffs even though Cisco says its total headcount will rise this quarter and in fiscal 2016.

The end of Cisco’s fiscal year in late July is usually when the LR activity and anticipation heighten. This summer’s LR coincides with a big, stadium-sized sendoff party for outgoing CEO John Chambers as Cisco transitions to new CEO Chuck Robbins.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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