Cisco also reported on Oct. 18 a flaw in the way power supplies are attached to motherboards in some Pix 506 Firewalls. Over time, friction and vibration can work the power connection loose, causing the firewall to freeze or reboot, according to the field notice. A cable tie-down was introduced on Oct. 2 that will keep the power supply attached.
Cisco is replacing the affected 506 units for registered customers, free of charge. As a workaround, Cisco provides instructions on its Web site for opening the firewall and reinserting the power connector in the motherboard.
The failures and possible long waits for replacements put the spotlight on one problem with integrated hardware-software "appliances" such as the Pix Firewalls, Stiennon said. If hardware problems befall a software firewall, such as one from Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., most users can solve them easily and quickly by replacing the Intel-based PC on which the software runs.
The Cisco service notes can be found at http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/770/52.html/.
Cisco, in San Jose, California, can be reached at +1-408-526-4000 or via the Web at http://www.cisco.com.