Archive for November, 2012

Startup Kit Spotlight: CircleUp

CircleUp, one of the first recipients of the Meraki Startup Kit, is an online social marketplace that supports direct equity investments from individual investors into privately held consumer and retail companies.  At CircleUp, accredited investors find free access to select private investments, easy tools to identify and diligence companies, and online transaction capability to make investments.  In addition, CircleUp provides investor relations tools to help maintain engagement between companies and investors beyond the initial financing.

When we met the CircleUp team to deliver the kit, they were working out of accelerator RocketSpace, getting ready to move into a new office of their own the following week.  They needed an enterprise-class network to support their growth, so the Meraki hardware came at just the right time.

A week later, we checked in with the CircleUp team to see how their network deployment went. “We set aside most of the morning to install and configure the Meraki equipment in the new office, but to our surprise, we were done in 10 minutes,” said Erik, Director of Engineering (pictured below, center). “They really do ‘just work.’ The cloud monitoring dashboard is just as intuitive to use, and incredibly powerful. We couldn’t be happier.”

Below, the CircleUp folks were excited to get the gear personally delivered by AJ and to display their new Meraki t-shirts.

CircleUp’s COO Rory (above, right) was very excited to get the gear in hand. “Thank you again for the wonderful new equipment,” he said. “We are thrilled!”

We are equally thrilled to be running this amazing and fun project!  We have a good number of deliveries still to come.  Check back next week to find out which other companies receive the Meraki Startup Kit and follow our progress on Twitter at #startupkit.

What’s happening with Meraki Startup Kits?

Ever since we announced our Meraki Startup Kit program a month ago, it’s been a whirlwind of activity to read through the 700+ applications that we received from an assortment of amazing companies.

We’ve done our best to carefully evaluate each eligible company’s application and in the process, we got to check out tons of startups.  All of the companies that applied are doing impressive things—we’re seeing a lot of startups focused on social sharing whether it’s through photos or a custom app, others are doing cool things with the cloud, and many are building platforms to innovate an existing staid process.

While we would love to provide Meraki gear to everyone who applied, there is such high demand that this is simply not possible!  We had an immense number of applications from all over the world, but we combed through carefully to find the companies that fit our ideal profile—tech startups with a solid amount of funding that are innovating in their space.

The Meraki Startup Kit team has already made a handful of Startup Kit deliveries to chosen startups located in the San Francisco Bay Area.  We’ve also shipped off some Meraki Startup Kits (pictured below) to other companies —as far as Canada and the state of Georgia. So far, the response from our recipient companies has been overwhelmingly positive and we’ve been thrilled by the opportunity to get to know these cool startups and welcome them to the Meraki family.

We’re super excited to show off the first round of companies that have received a Meraki Startup Kit. We’ll showcase pictures and give a little color to each company’s networking situation before the Meraki Startup Kit arrived on the scene. Stay tuned for our Meraki Startup Kit company feature posts!

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Cloning, the Meraki Way

One of the greatest attributes of the Meraki approach to network management is its seamless scalability. Thanks to the power of cloud-based management, configuring, deploying and administering many thousands of devices becomes a breeze.

Besides the Virtual Stacking feature we discussed in a previous blog post, what else could make widescale deployments quick and easy? Our network cloning feature has already proved a big hit, so we decided to look at extending the feature to our switch product line.

Oftentimes, the network engineering team will establish a standard configuration for deployment to all its managed switches. This approach aids troubleshooting and support, since the most important elements of a config are cloned across all switches on all sites. Cloning so many switches the old way, typically configuring stack-by-stack, or even switch-by-switch, can be a daunting and labor-intensive task, since there can be literally thousands of switches to replicate the standard config across.

Let’s take a look at how we’ve implemented a simple yet powerful new cloning feature to take the hard work out of the process. Under the Monitor section of the switching dashboard view we now find a new button, labelled ‘Clone’…

Simply select your target switch (or switches), click the ‘Clone’ dropdown and select the switch you want your targets to look like. That’s all there is to it.

Cloning a switch will replicate the following configuration elements:

  • switch port configuration
  • link aggregates
  • access policies
  • mirrored ports
  • RSTP bridge priority

So there you have it. An elegant way to apply standard configs across all your switches. We’re certainly confident it’ll help smooth your workflow, so you can complete your deployments quickly and focus your energy on the more interesting aspects of network engineering.

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Welcome to the new Meraki Blog

Notice anything different about us lately? Take a look around and check out what we’ve done to breathe some new life into our blog.


The new look and feel isn’t just skin deep. It’s a better space for us to connect with our customers and share news with the world, but you’ll still see the same things that you’re used to. Keep looking here for announcements from the company, in-depth presentations of new products, and stories from real-world deployments. You can be sure that we’ll keep showing off the fun side of Meraki HQ, and we’ll also feature a lot more multimedia and interactive content as well.

More than anything, we value the voice of our customers, and we’re always trying to deliver innovations that respond to real customer needs. Consider our blog just one more tool you can use to give us your feedback, opinions, and—of course—wishes. What are the new challenges facing your industry? What kinds of trends have you noticed on your network? We’d like to help you find a solution. We’re listening.

We’re joining Cisco!

We’re excited to announce that Cisco has announced its intent to acquire Meraki. After close, we’ll become Cisco’s new Cloud Networking Group. Our HQ will stay here in San Francisco, and the Meraki team will continue to focus on customer experience.

We’ve put together an FAQ for our customers and posted our CEO Sanjit’s letter to employees. The press release can be found here. We’re looking forward to bringing our innovative cloud-based networking technology and business model to even more customers and partners.

Do more with your data: mobile ads and retail analytics

System administrators using Meraki’s products are used to getting an incredible amount of data about the users and traffic on their networks. Typically, that data is used to manage resources and troubleshoot issues directly related to the network, but there are quite a few other ways businesses can make use of that data to make smarter decisions.

In particular we’ve seen our customers in the retail industry start to take advantage of smartphone and mobile device trends to engage with the always-connected shopper. Now that visitors are  carrying and using internet-connected devices while shopping, savvy businesses have started creating advertising and coupon campaigns that target users while they are in the store. For a brick-and-mortar advertiser, smartphones provide a new opportunity to influence a potential customer in those important final moments in the decision-making process. The Apple Store and Square are some of the more visible examples of mobile devices enhancing the shopping experience, but there are plenty of ways to incorporate smartphones into an in-store strategy without a a huge investment of resources.

All good online marketers will take advantage of every piece of data available to them. The more information you can gather about your audience, the better you’re able to craft a relevant message and target your potential customers. Let’s take a look at how a retail customer using Meraki to provide guest WiFi access to shoppers can use the data from their network to supercharge an in-store advertising campaign.

Facebook has just started letting advertisers target mobile ads by OS (iOS or Android) and device (iPhone, iPad, or Android), a feature that Google AdWords has had for some time. Two of the most powerful online advertising platforms offering granular control like this is good news for an advertiser with a decent idea of which mobile devices are most important to his business. It’s great news for an advertiser who can see real statistics about the devices logging on to her network.

Meraki networks are capable of gathering a host of aggregate information about connected client devices, including device type and OS, so one can draw conclusions about the makeup of users as a whole. If a store uses Meraki to provide WiFi for its customers, a quick visit to the Summary Report in the dashboard can give you an aggregated view of what kinds of devices are being used by visitors to your store.

Armed with that data, a clever marketer can easily run intelligent in-store advertising. Distribute a budget between iOS and Android based on what’s actually in customers’ hands. Prioritize resources to develop a mobile app for the most popular mobile platform on your network, and then use the Meraki API to add in functionality to trigger special offers as soon as anyone logs on to the WiFi.

In the world of online marketing, the possibilities aren’t endless, but by learning more about your audience, you can get pretty close. Meraki makes it easy to spot trends in your network traffic, and you can do a lot more with that data than just making the internet faster—although your customers will certainly appreciate that as well.

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iOS 6 & Mobile Device Management

Apple announced during its recent unveiling of the iPad mini that almost every single Fortune 500 company had deployed the iPad in a business application or is testing iPads at the moment — that is nothing short of amazing for a device that was launched less than three years ago!

Apple’s much anticipated iOS 6 release packs a number of API enhancements for mobile device management to support the growing number of businesses that are deploying iPads, iPhones, and iPods for various applications.


We’ve integrated many of the new MDM features in iOS 6 into Systems Manager, our free solution for mobile device management. Systems Manager users have access to these new features without having to install any new software or make any changes — it’s all right there in the Systems Manager dashboard!

Our new iOS 6 MDM features include:

  • Single App mode under Guided Access
  • Ability to disable iMessage
  • Passbook, Game Center, iBookstore, and shared Photo Stream blocking

Single App mode, also referred to as “kiosk” mode, locks the iOS device to a single app and disables the home button. A few scenarios include:

  • Retailers: Enhance the customer experience by creating a mobile point of sale (mPOS) terminal, without worrying about the iPad being used for any other purposes.
  • Hospitality: Enter the digital concierge! Hotels are setting up iPads in their lobbies and guest rooms, allowing guests to check in and out, order room service, and have various services literally at their fingertips. All that’s needed is an iPad — or iPad mini — set up in kiosk mode.
  • Education: Schools are already using iPads for various learning initiatives, and they can now be locked to a single app so students aren’t distracted.










With iOS 6, disabling iMessage is a welcome addition to the security and compliance groups in highly regulated industries that need to concern themselves with archiving all communication and information exchanges for e-discovery.

Note that for some of these features, Apple requires the device to be placed in supervised mode by Apple Configurator — but not to worry, Meraki Systems Manager also integrates with Apple Configurator, allowing supervised devices to be managed via the Meraki dashboard.

If you haven’t given Meraki’s Systems Manager a try yet, go ahead and give it a try – lots of awesomeness awaits you!

Halloween at Meraki: Spooky, Scary!

This year’s Halloween party  was thrilling to say the least. Spooky decorations, delicious food, and special fall drinks made for a frightfully good time. Meraki’s own TRAVISWILD provided the music, and our mascot Miles even made a rare appearance.


But clearly the highlight of the party  was the zombie flashmob performing Michael Jackson’s Halloween classic “Thriller”

Like us on Facebook to see video of  the dance and check out the whole album.