Whither Cisco MARS?
Jon Oltsik writes on C|Net News:
Cisco System's Security Monitoring for Threat Identification, Mitigation, and Compliance (aka MARS) product is the company's offering for security and compliance management, competing with the likes of ArcSight, RSA Security, and Symantec. The MARS product came via Cisco's acquisition of Protego for $65 million in December 2004.More here.
Through 2005 and 2006, Cisco pushed this product into end-user accounts through an aggressive scorched-earth effort. Cisco intended to get the product out into the market quickly, establish a base, and then continually add product enhancements over time. This seems to be where the strategy hit a speed bump.
The product languished behind competitive offerings, causing problems with the installed base. This opened the door for aggressive competitors: Enterasys, Juniper, and Nortel established partnerships with Q1 Labs in a direct attack on MARS. Log management vendors like LogLogic and LogRhythm out-flanked Cisco with incremental products. Worst of all, some Cisco sales executives and channel partners eschewed MARS in favor of more popular Cisco products. When you have a portfolio of hundreds of products, it is easy to lead with your best stuff and never mention those in the doghouse.