Inside Cisco's Mobility Services Engine

A closer look at Cisco's new wireless network appliance

  • For Cisco, "services" are software programs that collect, store and format WLAN network and client data for use in higher-level applications from Cisco, third-party vendors or customers. Cisco's Wireless Control System (WCS) manages the services, which will become available over the next nine months.

  • Cisco's MSE services collect and aggregate relevant access point and client data through numerous controllers. It creates a network-wide locus for mobility information and an interface to backend applications.

  • An XML/SOAP API lets mobility applications plug into Cisco's MSE services and exploit their radio, client and other data. Cisco's partners include AeroScout, Agito Networks, Airetrak, IntelliDOT, InnerWireless and OAT Systems.

  • Cisco's new rack-mounted Mobility Services Engine (MSE) hosts software programs that manage specific mobile "services" -- such as intrusion prevention, location fixing and mobile client management -- for enterprise WLANs (and other networks in the future). MSE centralizes these software services, offloading them from Cisco WLAN controllers. Applications from Cisco, third-party providers and customers can access the services via a new API. Cisco sees MSE as a programmable platform to support enterprise-wide unified communications.

  • The first product: MSE 3350, ships June 3: US$19,995. Specifications include: 1RU, dual quad-core processors, Linux OS, 8GB RAM, 137GB storage, hot swappable power supplies and disks.

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