Ten billion mobile devices will populate our planet by 20161, and this proliferation in mobility is promoting the need for wireless connectivity. Businesses are compelled to open their networks and provide customers with wireless network connectivity, presenting tremendous potential as well as unique challenges. The Cisco® Mobility Services Engine (MSE) is the single network device that enables businesses to realize unprecedented benefits from the BYOD revolution as well as mitigate the risks involved.
The Cisco MSE is a platform that enables the wireless network to deliver mobility services in a centralized and scalable way. The MSE delivers the following mobility services:
• Base Location license: Increases visibility into the network by capturing and consolidating crucial information about RF spectrum, sources of RF interference, and devices and users on the network. Cisco MSE extends and enhances the capabilities of Cisco CleanAir® technology. Location services also enable a rich set of real-time location services (RTLS).
• Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) license: Enables enterprises and service providers to deliver customized location-based mobile services to end users to use location analytics to gain insights into end-user behavior while in their venue.
• Wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS): Protects the network from wireless threats, rogue wireless devices, and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks to improve security and meet compliance objectives.
The MSE is available as a physical (Figure 1) or a virtual appliance.
Figure 1. Cisco MSE Physical Appliance
To deliver true business mobility, IT must take a practical approach focused on unifying networks, managing the wave of mobile devices, and enabling mobile application development. The Cisco MSE is at the heart of this mobility architecture evolution. It provides an open API that allows a broad ecosystem of partners to access network intelligence in developing industry-relevant mobility solutions. The MSE is part of Cisco Unified Access, delivering a comprehensive approach to business mobility: an approach that extends applications to the right device at the right time, no matter which network is being used.
The Cisco MSE provides the following architectural elements:
• A common API framework
• A common management plane for services design, deployment, and operation (monitoring, reporting, and troubleshooting)
– Management of services provided by Cisco Prime Infrastructure
• Scalable infrastructure to support the instantiation of additional services
– Architecture allows services to span across multiple MSEs to facilitate flexibility in deployment
• Loose coupling among services
– Facilitates easy integration into framework (plug and play)
– Message-based collaboration service-oriented architecture (SOA) model, in which individual services can be managed independently without affecting others
• Integrated with the Cisco Unified Access architecture
Figure 2 shows the Cisco MSE architecture.
Figure 2. MSE Architecture
Table 1 lists product specifications for the Cisco MSE. Table 2 lists specifications for the Cisco MSE Virtual Appliance. Table 3 lists scaling details for Base Location, CMX, and WIPS on Cisco 3355 MSE or Cisco MSE Virtual Appliance.