Cisco Axes Invicta Flash Storage Business, Layoffs Expected
Cisco (CSCO) confirmed it has shuttered its Invicta flash storage array business, specifically the Invicta Appliance and Scaling System products the networking giant derived from its $415 million buyout of flash array supplier Whiptail in 2013.
The vendor said instead it will continue to work with “market-leading flash storage solutions,” from its storage partners, likely a nod to EMC (EMC) and NetApp (NTAP).
While Cisco initially contended the Whiptail acquisition fit well with its Unified Computing System (UCS) platform, many believed it ultimately would add unwelcome strain to its relationships with old line storage vendors. It didn’t help that last year Cisco pulled Invicta shipments owing to quality control issues.
Cisco said that despite closing Invicta sales it will continue to provide technical support to existing customers.
“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 wrote in an e-mail, as Network World reported.
“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,” the spokesperson said.
Some 80 people likely will be laid off in the closure, Network World reported, although Cisco declined to confirm either the layoffs or the total number of people potentially impacted.
Cisco sells off Connected Device business
Cisco’s Invicta axe comes in tandem with the vendor’s sale of its Connected Devices business to the French firm Technicolor SA for some $600 million. The unit, which originated from Cisco’s $6.9 billion buyout of Scientific Atlanta in 2005, offers set-top boxes, modems and gateways for video connectivity.
The fate of the business’ 800 employees isn’t clear at this time.
Incoming chief executive Chuck Robbins, who officially assumes the company’s mantle from John Chambers on Monday, July 27, said in a blog post the deal maps to Cisco’s strategy to prioritize its “investments to deliver on our strategy of video in the cloud…This is a win for us, a win for Technicolor, and a win for our customers, partners and employees.”
Hilton Romanski, Cisco’s senior vice president and chief strategy officer, will join Technicolor’s board of directors after the deal finalizes, sometime in Q4 2015 or Q1 2016.
As part of the deal, the two companies agreed to jointly develop and deliver next generation video and broadband solutions and services, Romanski said, in a blog post.