Cisco recently announced a problem with the memory used in several of their platforms. A specific memory supplier (who Cisco has not named) provided faulty memory modules to Cisco and other vendors between the years of 2005 and 2010.
The memory in these platforms degrades over time and up until recently the failure rate was below expected levels. However, recently several Cisco customers have had higher than expected failure rates and as a result Cisco is publicizing the issue to raise awareness.
One way to see if your device has the issue is to power cycle it. If a device does not boot up after being powered back on, then it is likely due to this memory issue.
The following platforms may have the faulty memory:
- Cisco ISRs (1800s, 2800s, 3800s)
- Cisco Catalyst switches (2960, 3560, 3750)
- Cisco 7200 Series Routers
- Cisco ASR 1000 Series ASRs
- Cisco MDS 9000 Series Multilayer Switches
- Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches
- Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA 5505/10/20/40/50)
- Many more platforms listed on Cisco's site...
So, as you can see, a lot of gear Cisco has sold in the past decade could be a failure waiting to happen.
What can you do if you have a product that might have this faulty memory? At the time of this writing, Cisco is not preemptively replacing equipment. Cisco has implemented a fix-on-fail procedure to replace failed equipment on an as needed basis. If you have one of the products listed on Cisco's announcement page and it fails, call TAC.
Cisco is publishing information as it becomes available at http://www.cisco.com/go/memory