Archive for March, 2012

100% free mobile device management in 2 easy steps

Some information in this post has changed.
More about Systems Manager licensing is available here.

Meraki Systems Manager is a feature of our cloud management platform that allows you to control the devices on your network.  The recent explosion in mobile device adoption has put the spotlight on Systems Manager, we are excited to announce 2 important changes to it.  First, Systems Manager now supports Apple iOS devices.   Second, we are making Systems Manager available to any organization – even those not yet running Meraki – 100% free!

Meraki Systems Manager allows you to configure, monitor and update your mobile clients, from iPods to iPads, Macs to PCs, in real time from the cloud. Meraki Systems Manager lets you manage clients running Microsoft Windows, including XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, as well as Mac OS X versions 10.5 through 10.7.  With Systems Manager, you can:

  • instantly search and find your clients, with useful live-diagnostic tools to monitor performance
  • install applications simultaneously across all your clients, or specific groups of clients, with just a single click
  • receive email alerts for important events, such as when software is installed on a client or if it goes offline
  • identify clients running outdated software, track down compliance or licensing issues, and identify unauthorized third-party software installed on your clients

How to get started:

Step 1: Create a Systems Manager account here

Step 2: The next step is to configure the Systems Manager in each client device. You can find instructions for various operating systems on the Systems Manager Overview page in the dashboard. If you want to configure the Systems Manager agent via Active Directory GPO (Group Policy Object), we have a video and article to show you how to do this. Once Systems Manager is configured, the client will automatically connect to Meraki’s datacenters within a couple of minutes. You’ll be able to see the client on the map and listed in the clients page in the dashboard.

Systems Manager map

Bonus tips for iOS clients

For iOS devices, here are a couple more quick tips. On the Configure > iOS profiles page, you can create various profile groups. The profile settings for each group apply only to the clients which are members of that group. Don’t forget to save your changes.

iOS Profile

On the Configure > iOS settings page, you can set security restrictions on device functionalities, applications and content. You can apply these restrictions across all your iOS clients, or only for those clients with a specific profile (use the drop down box as seen below), simply by checking or un-checking the restriction policy. For example, you can disallow the user to install apps, use the device’s camera, play multiplayer games, watch YouTube, or play explicit music and podcasts. Another popular security feature you can enforce from this page is the use of a passcode: you can set a minimum passcode length, minimum number of complex characters and maximum number of failed attempts before all data on device will be erased.

iOS Settings

Lastly, on the Configure > iOS apps page, you can install applications across all your iOS clients or a selected group of clients. To install a new application, click on the “Add a new iOS App” link on the top right hand corner.

Systems Manager map

This will take you to a search bar that is linked to the Apple app store. Simply enter the topic of the app you’re looking for in the search bar and click “Search”. Here I am looking for an app for transportation maps of San Francisco and I’ve found one that I like. Click “Add” to add the app to your client devices.

Apple app store

After adding the app from the Apple app store, you will see it at the bottom of the iOS app page. You can also specify which client devices will have this app installed by defining the scope of the installation.

Don’t forget to check out the new features in the Feedback > What’s new page. We are constantly adding more exciting features and we’re expanding and improving existing features.

What’s New? Quite a Bit!

We’ve added a page called “New features” so you can quickly see what’s new in the Meraki dashboard. You’ll find the link to this page under the Help menu on the left side of any dashboard page.

Our engineering team frequently delivers new features for wireless, security appliance, and switch networks. Many of these are delivered right through the dashboard, meaning you don’t even need to upgrade your firmware to get them, and all the new features are included at no additional charge to existing Enterprise customers.

Here’s an example introducing our new, mobile-friendly splash page theme called Fluid:

Don’t forget that you can submit a feature or enhancement request through the “make a wish” tool on the bottom-right corner of any page in the Meraki dashboard. Our engineering and product management teams keep a close eye on these requests.

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