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MSE v8.0 Deployment Options


I am looking for a MSE v8.0 deployment matrix that CLEARLY explains, not implies, the deployment options for MSE based on the services being deployed - CAS, wIPS and CMX - on either hardware appliance or virtual appliance.

My focus is on MSE appliances with CAS and wIPS but a definitive guide including CMX as well would be very much appreciated.

Please correct my understanding but the deployment options are:

  1. A single MSE licensed to provide ONLY wIPS service can only provide that wIPS service to a single WLC - it is a 1 to 1 relationship.
  2. A single MSE licensed to provide ONLY CAS service can provide that CAS service to (if required) multiple WLCs - it can have a 1 to many relationship.
  3. A single MSE licensed to provide both CAS and wIPS services can provide CAS and wIPS services to ONLY as single WLC - it is a 1 to 1 relationship.

My problem is that Cisco's documentation is rather vague on this. The Cisco Mobility Services Engine Ordering and Licensing Guide (up to Release 8.0 software) states that deploying an MSE with wIPS service "Requires a separate MSE running the wIPS service" but the Cisco Mobility Services Engine (up to Release 8.0 software) Data Sheet states that "Separate MSE appliance is recommended for running wIPS".

Can anyone point me to a more definitive document/matrix that CLEARLY explains the options for both hardware and virtual appliance?

Many thanks



Hi Scott,

As you have found finding info on Cisco MSE can be difficult, I have ran into several issues with MSEs in the past  and it can get very frustrating.  

If you are planning on running WIPS and CAS it it highly recommend that you run them on separate VM or appliances. I ran them both on the same VM server for years and never really had any real issues until version 8.0 came out.  8.0 caused the MSE to crash all the time, the logs on the MSE would fill up with "Core Crash logs" which I had to manually delete. I moved the WIPS and CAS to separate servers and everything stabilized. is a stable version,  do not run any 8.x version below this, they all have major issues.  is out but I have not upgraded yet, since it took me  over a year to get a stable version of 8.0 code.

Make sure you pay attention to the server size you want to use. if you are requirements call for you to install a High-end vMSE , you must have the correct VM specs Cisco requires, The software may install but the licenses will not. 

I hope this helps


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