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Cisco ASA 5520 DIMM slot issue appears to be a manufacturing defect

"I and others here have legitimately bought Cisco equipment which seems to have a manufacturing defect."

Wed, 10/26/11 - 11:38pm    View comments

Cisco ASA 5520 Cisco ASA 5520

In the letter below, Cisco kicks to the curb (at least in my opinion), end-users who have purchased defective Cisco ASA 5520 units that only have 1 DIMM slot. Cisco readily admits the issue is not a counterfeit problem:

"Per our phone conversation the ASA5520 units bearing s/ns..., were manufactured by Cisco. However, the devices are actually ASA5510's, which were modified without Cisco's consent post-manufacture and outside of Cisco's control. We know this based on the configuration information you provided from the device."

Cisco Letter

In the photo below, a network engineer complains:

"I have two ASA5520 with exactly that problem. There's the place and the pins for 4 slots but only one physical slot. Here's a picture."

Cisco ASA 5520 DIMM Slot Issue

Additionally in the photo shown below, yet another Cisco customer complains:

"Ya that looks like the one i have too. I actually have two 5540's like this and two 5520's. Hoping that a field notice might pop up eventually giving some background on maybe this being a batch of serials that were manufactured with the wrong design. If anyone finds any new info let me know."

Cisco ASA 5520 DIMM Slot Issue

Here's some feedback I've gotten from industry insiders:

"Guys, we went through this a while back. Cisco manufactured the 5520's with one memory slot. It worked fine till IOS was revised I think May 2009. There's not a lot you can do. I've heard Cisco sometimes does RMA. It depends on mileage they can get out of situation."

"This is a unit that was sold with only one dimm slot. Cisco is calling these units counterfeit. I am aware that this is a game Cisco is playing because they made a manufacturing mistake and they are refusing to take care of the issue because the customer did not buy direct."

Frank KobuszewskiHowever, Frank Kobuszewski - Vice President of the CXtec Technology Solutions Group replied:

"Yep, we definitely ran into it as well. When 8.3 was released a lot of customers upgraded or attempted to upgrade their ASA 5520's and 5540's. A good number of them discovered that there was only a single DIMM slot instead of the 4 slots they were expecting. We ended up determining through Cisco documentation and info from a Cisco partner that 4 was indeed the number of slots we should expect.

"Cisco at first seemed to backpedal quite a bit. I think it caught them off guard. However, in our experience they also took care of our customers that ran into the issue. While I'm sure there are still problematic ASA's out there we run into this less and less. Based on everything we've read and experienced it seems to us that this is indeed a manufacturing defect."

A Cisco TAC Technical Leader states:

"The only shipping configuration of all ASA5520 and ASA5540 units manufactured by Cisco is with 4 DIMM slots (regardless of the manufacturing date). Only some ASA5510 units may have a single DIMM slot. At this point, the best course of action would be to involve your Cisco partner/reseller."

Which was challenged by a Cisco customer:

"While that may be the official line - it is an untruth. I and others here have legitimately bought Cisco equipment which seems to have a manufacturing defect.

"I am simply asking how I can get this remedied. As it is the reseller is no more (economic issues) and this unit is out of warranty and has no Smartnet.

"TAC won't talk to me without Smartnet and I cannot justify purchasing Smartnet on this unit to my management if I cannot be sure it will be replaced so that I can run 8.3!

"So I'm looking for a way to confirm that this unit - which DOES exist - will be replaced.

"As far as I'm concerned I've got a lemon here, a unit which was missold, and now Cisco are claiming that you couldn't have sold me this as your spec is different. This attitude is what I would expect from a shyster at a flea market - not Cisco."

Memory requirements for the Cisco ASA adaptive security appliances software version 8.3 and later

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