We recently launched a number of features in our Carrier Edition that make it easier to setup and administer larger Meraki networks. Here are some of the notable new features.
Our RADIUS service has been in beta for a couple of months now, and feedback has been great. We’re adding high availability and failover features.
Custom Splash Pages
A number of people have asked for the ability to create fully custom splash pages using their own HTML. We’ve got that in the product today.
Operators who are using RADIUS and their own sign up processes can now designate an IP range that unauthorized users can reach. You might use this to create a user sign-up process on your own website, or give free access to certain areas while limiting access to the broader Internet.
Lawful Intercept (Beta)
A number of jurisdictions require network operators to be able to comply with intercept requests. In the past , this was challenging because of Meraki’s use of NAT. We’ve built a special interface that allows operators to isolate the traffic of a client onto a single port range, enabling integration with existing lawful intercept systems.
Example Usage: An Integrated Network
Larger network operators can combine these features to integrate Meraki into existing network management systems. For example, you might create a splash page encouraging people to sign up for your service. Then, create a walled garden around your own signup system. Finally, you can attach your own user management system to Meraki using RADIUS.
Meraki’s goal has always been to change the economics of Internet access. By enabling companies and organizations to build large-scale networks quickly and cheaply, we figured we could get more people online, more often, and in more places. The response over the past year has been amazing: our customers have built thousands of networks covering villages in Chile and apartment complexes in California. We’ve also gotten a lot of excellent feedback. People email, call us, and drop by the office every day. In response, we’ve been busy building new features. We’re going to use this blog to keep everyone abreast of our latest product developments.
And now for the good stuff! There’s been a lot of product activity over the last couple of months that we’d like to share. Below are some of the most significant improvements. Email us and let us know what you think.
A number of people told us that they need to understand what a given user is doing, not just a given device. So we added a user list, where you can see a user’s activity across all of her devices. This works whether your network uses Meraki’s native user auth, RADIUS, or our prepaid card system. To use it, just login to Dashboard and go to Monitor-Users.
Internet connections sometimes go down. Previously, this caused problems because repeaters would continue to send traffic to the failed gateway, even if another gateway was available. The mesh is now smart enough to recognize when a gateway’s internet connection has failed, and automatically recovers once the connection comes back up.
Multiple Meraki networks in the same area no longer route traffic between each other. This is an important security enhancement that will become more important as the number of Meraki networks continues to grow.
Routing over Ethernet
Some people have wondered what the second Ethernet port on the Meraki outdoor might be used for. The second port, combined with routing over Ethernet, lets you combine two Meraki radios together. Here’s one way this could work. Let’s say you have a portion of your mesh that is far away from its gateway. Put a directional antenna on one Meraki Outdoor to get a strong signal to your gateway. Then, attach a second Meraki Outdoor using a regular Ethernet cable. Finally, put an omni-directional antenna on the second outdoor so you can build out the mesh.
Sometimes you just don’t want to draw attention to your Meraki repeater, especially at night. You can now turn off the LEDs on your Meraki network.