Friday, March 2, 2012

How to get the Cisco MSE virtual machine up and running on an ESXi 5.x server

It took me a bit of time to get the new Cisco MSE VM up and running on my ESXi 5.0 box. I used the vSphere client from an XP64 vm to deploy the OVF template according to the video instructions posed by Cisco on YouTube.

But when the VM import was completed, I couldn't start the VM because the MSE OVA file is configured with 8 vCPUs. The error I received when trying to startup the MSE VM was indicating that I needed to run the command esxcfg-advcfg -s 1 /Cpu/AllowWideVsmp at the CLI of the ESXi server.

I had to do some searching to figure out how to get to the CLI of theESXi box. The
solution I found was written up ages ago by Rick Vanover.

I also found out the hard way that you can't have two vSphere clients managing the same ESXi box. If you find yourself facing the error message
Call "PropertyCollector.RetrieveContents" for object "ha-property-collector" on "[IP ADDRESS] ESXi failed. that's what's going on there.

Of course, I also forgot what the default username/password combination is for an MSE VM. For the record, th
e default user ID is root and the default password is password.


  1. Alternatively, you could modify the VM settings after your .ova deployment and change the requirements from 8 to 2 CPUs. That seemed to do the trick in my lab...

  2. Well why on earth does the OVA from Cisco say it needs 8 CPUs if it really doesn't?! >.< Don't tell me it says somewhere in the manual that the CPU count is negotiable, cause I didn't read the manual...

  3. Great blog Jen. I have a quick question for you... been trying to do this for the past couple of days. Tried with esxi5 and VMware workstation 8. I have the same issue with both.

    When I start MSE up, I keep get "Starting MSE platform, Waiting to check the status. Failed to get the status". Although health monitor is running and so apparently is MSE but I doubt it is. Also odd is when I do an "ifconfig" on the console, all I see is the local loopback, not any of the ethernet interfaces? Much help would be appreciated! Thanks!

  4. Disregard, after many, many hours including deletion/creation/imports/restarts(days), the MSE services finally came up! Argh! Hopefully the actual appliance itself is not this difficult.

    Keep up the blog...

  5. I am having the same problem: "Starting MSE platform, Waiting to check the status. Failed to get the status"
    Please, I need help!!!!

  6. So I used Sam's method for modifying both the CPU and RAM amounts before powering it up for the first time on my ESXi 5 host. It defaults to 8 cores and 11GB of RAM. I chose 2 cores and 6GB of RAM.

    But where I am struggling is with the correct responses to all the setup wizard prompts. I've run through this several times now, and I can't seem to get a working MSE. All I can tell you is that when I query for status - it tells me the Health Monitor is not running. Try to start MSE and it tells me the Health Monitor failed to start.

    The only guide I have found from Cisco is not even 60% correct about the prompts and defaults. Anybody who actually got this thing to work care to share your step by step answers to the setup prompts?

  7. I have not yet gotten the MSE vm to startup in esxi 5.x. I got frustrated and gave up and moved on to getting the ISE demo up and running. That was much easier. I will have to get back to this again, and I'll let you know which way to point the chicken foot to get it to start! :-)

  8. Hi Jennifer,

    A simple and very informative procedure for vMSE. Do you have similar procedure for Cisco WCS or CPI?

  9. WCS is a simple exe installer if you load it on windows. Loading WCS is not complicated at all. CPI can be an appliance or it can be an OVA file that you load into a VM instance. I haven't created any documentation on setting up CPI, I haven't had much of an issue with it. I've just used the documentation Cisco created.