10 Things You Need To Know About Cisco Meraki
1. What is Cisco Meraki Cloud Managed Networking solution?
First of all Meraki started with a project called Roofnet designed to bring wireless to the city of Cambridge. The company grew tremendously at a rate of 2-3x per year and was acquired by Cisco in 2012. Meraki became part of Cisco’s Cloud Networking Group (CNG) and has kept its secret sauce and passion for cloud managed networking.
Cisco Meraki changed the way we think about network management today. Its out-of-band cloud architecture creates secure, scalable and easy-to-deploy networks that can be managed from anywhere. This can be done from almost any device using web-based Meraki Dashboard and Meraki Mobile App.
2. What about the product portfolio?
The very first Meraki product was a cloud managed access point. But those days are long gone. Since then Meraki has become a scalable enterprise solution with variety of products interacting with each other. The more Meraki products you use on your network, the more outcomes you get.
- Enterprise grade cloud management solution also known as Meraki Dashboard
- Cloud managed indoor and outdoor access points (MR product line) with built-in wireless security and Bluetooth Low Energy beaconing
- Cloud managed security appliances (MX product line) providing routing, switching, security, remote access and even wireless capabilities
- Stackable L2 and L3 switches with innovative features enabled by the power of the cloud managed architecture
- Cloud based Enterprise Mobility Management called Systems Manager which seamlessly integrates with all above products. It unifies management and control of thousands of mobile and desktop devices in the secure, browser-based Meraki Dashboard.
- Integrate Meraki with Umbrella, the cloud-delivered secure internet gateway to protect users against threats such as malware, ransomware & C2 callbacks with no added latency.
The beauty of Cisco Meraki isn’t in a single best in class product. It is a best in class solution. This is often referred to as “Full Stack”.
3. Secure and trusted by many
Security is a strategic priority for Cisco. All products are designed and built with security in mind. To learn more about security, reliability and privacy of the Cisco Meraki solution please go to Cisco Meraki Trust.
4. Focus on your core business and let Cisco Meraki manage your network
We understand that your family, customers and business are important to you. Spend more time looking after those who matter the most and let Cisco Meraki manage the network for you.
5. Simple licensing model that works
If you have been in the IT industry for a while you may have seen many different licensing models. Meraki licensing is very simple. For every managed network device (think switch, access point, security appliance) you need a single Meraki Dashboard license so that you can manage the device. Technical support is already included in the license.
6. Deployed in minutes
As long as there is power and an internet connection available, simply ask someone to plug your Meraki devices. Everything else can be done remotely.
7. Outstanding user experience
Do you remember your feeling after unpacking your first iPhone or iPad? That sound of peeling the plastic… Meraki core team in San Francisco continuously improves all products to deliver the best experience to you.
Even a switch or access point could be a cool device:
8. Powerful features enabled by the cloud architecture
So many features are now possible thanks to the cloud based management. Is your current network capable of doing them?
- Consistent and replicable configuration – Opening a new office in New York? Simply copy your London office configuration and apply it to the new site by several clicks. You can also clone device configuration to keep consistency within your network.
- Automatic firmware upgrades – Schedule your maintenance window for Saturday 3:00 AM and next time there is new software or improvement available for your switch, security appliance or AP it will be installed automatically.
- Secure Site-to-Site VPN without previous IPsec knowledge – Configure your sites and preferred connectivity between them. AutoVPN will automatically build secure IPsec tunnels between them without any IPsec knowledge required.
- Layer 7 traffic visibility – Meraki devices can filter or report traffic on your network based on application level (Layer 7). Now you can easily create rules based on domain names and block it or limit speed.
- Virtual Stacking – All Meraki switches support Virtual Stacking which lets you manage all switchports as if there were all on a single switch. This rapidly reduces configuration effort.
- Intelligent WAN traffic optimisation – Select internet uplink based on the current performance of the line. Granularly specify the preferred path and QoS for different traffic classes.
- Manage your mobile devices and desktops – Systems Manager lets you control applications installed on your company phones and tablets as well as push configuration changes to them, push certificates, wipe stolen devices and much more.
- Automatic Network Topology Map – Meraki Dashboard automatically builds a dynamic topology map of your networks. No more outdated Visios.
9. Start your first Cisco Meraki project
Best way to get familiar with Cisco Meraki is to use it. Perhaps you have a small branch office in mind which is due to refresh or is going to open soon. Contact your Cisco Meraki representative, ask him/her for a demo and get your free trial kit.
10. Stay tuned to the latest news
There is so much more to share with you. Please subscribe to Cisco Meraki blog to receive the latest news to your mailbox.