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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.