Cisco Dumping Invicta Flash Storage Line

The decision comes two years after Cisco bought Whiptail for $415 million, and days after the company sold its set-top box business for $600 million.


Cisco Systems continues to shed businesses as Chuck Robbins takes over for longtime CEO John Chambers.

Less than a week after the networking giant sold its TV set-top box business to French media vendor Technicolor for $600 million, Cisco is getting out of the flash storage business. The company is ditching its Invicta storage array line, which the company launched after its $415 million acquisition of Whiptail in 2013.

When Cisco bought Whiptail, company officials said the deal would bring integrated solid-state memory into their United Computing System (UCS) converged data center solution. It also was seen as a move that would bring it into closer competition with storage partners EMC and NetApp.

However, Cisco soon started having trouble with the Invicta line of products, eventually stopping shipments of the flash storage appliance in 2014 after complaints from some customers regarding quality issues related to the scaling out of storage capacity.

Now the company is killing the product line.

"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," Cisco officials said in a statement sent to journalists. "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."

The announcement comes after days of speculation in the media. According to an announcement on the Cisco Web site, the last day to order UCS Invicta Series products was July 24. The company listed more than 100 products that will be affected by the decision.

Cisco continues to shed businesses with Robbins takes over as CEO of the networking company July 26. The $600 million deal to sell it set-top box business came 10 years after the bought Scientific-Atlanta and its business selling customer premises equipment (CPE) to both consumers and cable providers.

In a post on the company blog, Robbins said Cisco "will continue to make decisions to prioritize our portfolio and our investments to accelerate our business. Part of this ongoing prioritization is ensuring we have the right talent in the right places to drive our strategy and our growth in a very fast-paced market. Some functions and geographies across Cisco are making very focused changes to quickly re-align our investments to the top opportunities."

He admitted that "a limited number of our employees will be impacted, but we will exit [the fiscal fourth quarter] with our headcount up and, based on our current business assumptions, expect an increase in our headcount as we exit next fiscal year."

Robbins is taking over for Chambers, who spent two decades as Cisco's CEO. Chambers will stay with the company as executive chairman and will continue to serve as chairman of the board.