Cisco Reports Serious Clock Signal Component Issue in Several Products

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By: Kelley Katsanos|

In recent a public statement, Cisco relayed a critical issue with an outsourced clock signal component installed in a number of its products, including Nexus 9000 Series switches, Series 4000 integrated services routers and ASA security devices, according to Data Center Knowledge. Moreover, the flaw will eventually cause the equipment to fail if it goes unrepaired.

Remedying the Critical Issue

According to the source, the flawed clock signal component, “which functions like a type of metronome to synchronize the operation of digital circuits,” affects various Cisco products. Furthermore, although the noted faulty Cisco products are currently working, the company anticipates product failure after about 18 months.

This is a significant issue for businesses. According to Cisco’s statement, “Once the component has failed, the system will stop functioning, will not boot and is not recoverable.”

To remedy the situation, Cisco said it will provide customers and partners “replacement products under warranty or covered by any valid services contract dated as of November 16, 2016, which have this component. Due to the age-based nature of the failure and the volume of replacements, we will be prioritizing orders based on the products’ time in operation.”

Problem for IT Service Providers

Even though Cisco is addressing its customers, it doesn’t take away from the fact some managed service providers (MSPs) have their work cut out for them trying to identify affected devices. In turn, the situation may cost them in the end.

“Many MSPs don’t have accurate or up-to-date information about the devices on their client networks,” Alex Hoff, vice president of sales and product at Auvik, said in a statement, according to Data Center Knowledge. “They’ll need to run potentially hundreds of commands to identify if a device is subject to the Cisco notice. It’s something an MSP must do, but it takes time — and we all know, time is money.”

As Hoff noted, the situation brings to light the importance of network inventory tools that can help IT service providers identify infrastructure devices faster.

Cisco is currently working with the manufacturer of the flawed clock signal component in order to issue a fix. The company also noted that the products shipping currently do not contain the faulty component.

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About The Author

Kelley Katsanos

News Writer

Kelley Katsanos is a freelance writer specializing in business and technology. She has previously worked in business roles involving marketing analysis and competitive intelligence. Her freelance work appears at IBM Midsize Insider, Houston Chronicle's chron.com, and AZ Central Small Business. Katsanos earned a Master of Science in Information Management from Arizona State University as well as a bachelor's degree in Business with an emphasis in marketing. Her interests include information security, marketing strategy, and business process improvement.