How do you find out if your product is a Gen 1 or Gen 2 product?
This is a great question. The easiest way is to visually look at the appliance and the difference will be apparent (click the images for larger versions).
Cisco MARS Generation 1 Appliance
Cisco MARS Generation 2 Appliance
As you can see, the gen 2 appliance has the common Cisco logo and color scheme. The 2nd generation represents the migration of the MARS platform to a standard hardware configuration governed by Cisco. The gen 1 appliances has had known hardware issues that were the result of poort components used by Protego (acquired by Cisco for the MARS product line) within the MARS appliance. The gen 2 models now use all Cisco certified components and show significant performance and reliability increases versus the gen 1 platform.
You can also SSH into the appliance and run the command show version. Any version 4.x is a gen 1 appliance, while version 5.x is a gen 2 appliance. I hope this brief post answered your question axiom and can help others discern between the MARS generations.