Skip to content

Creating a Cisco MVE in Autonomous Mode

This topic describes how to create and configure a Megaport Virtual Edge (MVE) with Cisco in autonomous mode for routing. Before you begin, you need user accounts with ordering permissions that provide access to the Megaport ONE Portal. You also need a Cisco Smart account for licensing.

For details on setting up a Megaport account, see Creating an Account.

Basic steps

This section provides an overview of the configuration steps using CLI commands and the Megaport ONE Portal. Detailed procedures follow this basic step summary.

The basic steps are:

  • Obtain a C8000V Smart License from Cisco.
  • Generate an SSH key pair for authentication.
  • Select autonomous mode in the Megaport ONE Portal while creating the MVE.
  • Enter an SSH key for full access to the MVE.
  • Enter the MVE details.
  • Order the Cisco MVE in the Megaport ONE Portal.
  • Activate the Cisco Smart License on the MVE using CLI commands.


Before you create an MVE in the Megaport ONE Portal, you need a valid C8000V Smart License from Cisco. Smart Licensing is a license manager on a Cisco IOS XE device. You can place the order for Smart Licensing in the Cisco Portal.

The next step is to generate an SSH key pair for authentication.

Generating an SSH key pair

MVE and Cisco connect through a public/private SSH key pair to establish secure connections. The public SSH key allows you to use SSH to access the MVE.

Megaport supports the 2048-bit RSA key type.

To generate an SSH key pair (Linux/Mac OSX)

  • Enter the SSH keygen command.
     ssh-keygen -f ~/.ssh/megaport-mve-instance-1-2048 -t rsa -b 2048

The key generator command creates an SSH key pair and adds two files to your ~/.ssh directory:

  • megaport-mve-instance-1-2048 - contains the private key.
  • - contains the public key that is authorized to log in to the Cisco account.

To generate an SSH key pair (Windows, using PuTTYgen)

  1. Open PuTTYgen.
  2. In the Key section, choose RSA 2048 bit and click Generate.
  3. Move your mouse randomly in the small screen to generate the key pairs.
  4. Enter a key comment to identify the key.
    This is convenient when you use several SSH keys.
  5. Enter a Key passphrase, and re-enter to confirm.
    The passphrase is used to protect your key. You will be asked for it when you connect via SSH.
  6. Click Save private key, choose a location, and click Save.
  7. Click Save public key, choose a location, and click Save.

You’ll copy and paste the contents of the public key file in the Megaport ONE Portal later to distribute the public key to the MVE. Your private key will match the public key to grant access. Only a single private key has access to the MVE for SSH access.

Creating an MVE in the Megaport ONE Portal

Before you create an MVE, you need to determine the best location - one that supports MVE and one that is in the most compatible metro area. You can connect multiple locations to an individual MVE. For location details, see Planning your Deployment.

You can deploy multiple MVEs within the same metropolitan area for redundancy or capacity reasons.

To create an MVE

  1. In the Megaport ONE Portal, choose Networking > Services.
  2. Click Create Service and select MVE.
    Create MVE button

  3. Select an MVE location geographically close to your target branch and/or on-premises locations.
    You can search for your preferred location using the Country drop-down list, or enter a search term to filter results as you type. Click Clear Filters to reset the filters. Note that the country you choose must be a market in which you have already registered. If you haven’t registered a billing market in the location where you will deploy the MVE, see Enabling Billing Markets.
    Select MVE location

  4. Specify the MVE Configuration details.

    • MVE Name – Enter a name for the MVE that is easily identifiable, particularly if you plan on provisioning more than one. This name appears in the Megaport ONE Portal.

    • Vendor – Select Cisco and the software version.
      The MVE will be configured to be compatible with this software version from Cisco.

    • Service – Displays the vendor name and software version, and any important information such as upgrade requirements.

    • MVE Size – Select a size from the drop-down list. The list displays all sizes that match the CPU capacity at the selected location. The sizes support varying numbers of concurrent connections, and individual partner product metrics vary slightly. For sizing details, see Planning your Cisco MVE Deployment.
      MVE details

  5. Specify the Cisco C8000 Configuration details.

    • Appliance Mode – Select Autonomous from the Appliance Mode drop-down list.

    • SSH Key – Copy and paste the contents of your public SSH key here. You can find the public key in the file generated earlier. Must be RSA 2048 bits. We support both RFC4716 and RFC4253/OpenSSH formats. Cisco C8000 Configuration details

  6. Specify the Billing Details:

    • Service Level Reference (optional) – Specify a unique identifying number for the MVE to be used for billing purposes, such as a cost center number or a unique customer ID. The service level reference number appears for each service under the Product section of the invoice. You can also edit this field for an existing service.

    • Minimum Term – Select No Minimum Term to pay-as-you-go, or select a term of 12, 24, or 36 months. Longer terms result in a lower monthly rate. By default, a 12-month term is selected.


      Partner and partner-managed accounts cannot view or change MVE contract terms.

      For details on contract terms, see MVE Pricing and Contract Terms.

    • Monthly Price – The monthly rate is based on location, size, and contract term.

    • Promo Code – If you have a promotional code, enter it and click Add Code.


      Partner-managed accounts can apply a Partner Deal to a service.

      Cisco C8000 billing details

  7. Click Deploy MVE.
    A summary screen appears.
    MVE summary

  8. Review the new configuration and pricing then click Confirm.
    You are prompted to create a Transit Virtual Cross Connect (VXC). A Transit VXC provides connectivity and allows MVE to register and communicate with the Cisco overlay network.
    Create Transit VXC

To create the Transit VXC

  1. Click Create IP Transit VXC to proceed (recommended), or click Not now to provision your own internet access at a later time.
    A destination port in the same diversity zone as the MVE will be assigned automatically.


    MVE requires connectivity to the internet onto the management plane virtual interface. You can either provision a Transit VXC or configure a third-party internet connection using a private VXC. We strongly recommend that you order a Megaport Transit VXC for the initial MVE startup and deployment to ensure that the MVE is provisioned and functioning correctly.

  2. Specify the VXC Configuration details:

    • Connection Name – Specify a unique name for the Transit VXC.

    • Rate Limit (Mbps) – Specify the speed for the Transit VXC.
      This speed is adjustable from 20 Mbps to 10 Gbps in increments of 1 Mbps. You can change the speed as needed after you create the Transit VXC. Monthly billing details appear based on location and rate limit.

    • Preferred A-End VLAN (optional) – Specify an unused VLAN ID for this connection.
      This must be a unique VLAN ID on this MVE and can range from 2 to 4093. If you specify a VLAN ID that is already in use, the system displays the next available VLAN number. The VLAN ID must be unique to proceed with the order. If you don’t specify a value, Megaport will assign one. Alternatively, you can click Untag VLAN. This selection removes the VLAN tagging for this connection and it will be configured without a VLAN ID.

      Transit VXC connection details

  3. Specify the Billing Details:

    • Service Level Reference (optional) – Specify a unique identifying number for the Transit VXC to be used for billing purposes, such as a cost center number or a unique customer ID. The service level reference number appears for each service under the Product section of the invoice.


      Use the same Service Level Reference numbers for the Transit VXC and MVE to help identify the matching pair in your invoice.

    • Monthly Price – The monthly rate is based on location and size.

    • Promo Code – If you have a promotional code, enter it and click Add Code.

  4. Click Create Connection to order the connection.
    A summary screen appears.
    Transit VXC summary

  5. Review the new connection details and pricing then click Confirm.
    The MVE and Transit VXC are created.
    Cisco MVE and Transit VXC

Ordering MVE provisions the instance and assigns IP addresses from the Megaport software-defined network (SDN). The MVE provisioning takes only a few minutes to complete. The provisioning process spins up an MVE. At this point, the Cisco Catalyst 8000V MVE instance is booted.

Viewing the MVE in the Megaport ONE Portal

After creating the MVE, you can view it in the Megaport ONE Portal on the Services page. You can also view the MVE public IP address assignment.

To view an MVE in the Megaport ONE Portal

  • Go to the Networking > Services page.

MVE and Transit VXC in the Megaport ONE Portal

Under the new MVE, you will see a Transit VXC to “Megaport IP Transit”. The Transit VXC icon differs from a standard VXC icon in the Megaport ONE Portal, as shown in the image.

For details on the Services page, see Viewing Network Services.

To view the public IP addresses assigned to the MVE

  1. Click the gear icon Gear icon next to the Transit VXC and select Edit Service.
    The VXC Configuration details appear. From here, you can modify any of the Transit VXC details.
    Transit VXC Connection details
  2. Click the Details tab.
    Transit VXC details
  3. Locate the public IP address (IPv4 or IPv6). These are the public IP addresses assigned to the MVE. Make a note of these addresses for use later.

The next step is to activate Cisco Smart Licensing on the MVE.

Activating the Cisco Smart License

Before you begin, you need to obtain a registration token from Cisco. After applying the token to the CLI configuration on the MVE, you can then verify the license status and configure the MVE throughput speed using CLI commands.

To activate the Cisco Smart License

  1. Obtain a token ID from Cisco using your Smart account.

  2. Use SSH to access the MVE. The default username is mveadmin.

      ssh -i <path_to_private_key> mveadmin@<IP_OF_MVE_Instance>
  3. Submit a trust request to activate the license and register the MVE with Cisco.

      license smart trust idtoken OTgyODllZjktM2UzOC00ZTIzLThjODQtN2ZiZDc2ZDMzYjZmLTE2OTg0MjE0%0AODk5MDh8YURXSzBwdm0zTWtCU05mY3VRaUhTalFLbmJOTTQ2M0hIR2Y0U1E0%0ASUpmbz0%3D%0A local force
  4. Verify that the trust token was installed.

      show license status

    Wait for the instance to return a value for your smart and virtual accounts as well the date and time that the trust code was installed. This acknowledgement might take a couple of minutes.

  5. Enter configuration mode.

  6. Configure the throughput speed.

      platform hardware throughput level MB <value>

    Where value is a speed in mbps (for example, 10000 for 10G, 5000 for 5G, 1000 for 1G).


    For speeds above 250 mbps, a Router US Export License for DNA (also known as an HSECK9) license must be available in your CSSM virtual account. After configuring the throughput level, the MVE instance retrieves the HSECK9 license automatically.

  7. Verify the installed licenses.

      show license summary
  8. Check the current throughput level.

      show platform hardware throughput level


      c8kv-auto-test-16#show license summary
      Account Information:  
      Smart Account: Megaport As of Nov 04 15:44:06 2022 UTC  
      Virtual Account: CSR Virtual Account
      License Usage:  
      License                 Entitlement Tag               Count Status
      Router US Export Lic... (DNA_HSEC)                        1 IN USE
      network-advantage_1G    (ESR_P_1G_A)                      1 IN USE
      dna-advantage_1G        (DNA_P_1G_A)                      1 IN USE
      c8kv-auto-test-16#show plat hardware throughput level
      The current throughput level is 2000000 kb/s
  9. Save the configuration and reboot the MVE.

      wr mem  

Next steps

Now that you’ve deployed an MVE, the next step is to connect a VXC to a CSP, a local port, or a third-party network. You can optionally connect a physical Port to the MVE through a private VXC or connect to a service provider in the Megaport Marketplace.

For details, see Creating a VXC to an MVE Integrated with Cisco SD-WAN.

Last update: 2023-11-08