Archive for December, 2012

Managing large-scale networks just got easier

If you manage a large-scale network today, you face challenges around scalability, complexity, and security. Needing to quickly add branch locations and new networks increases the difficulty of securing and managing a growing array of devices — and the sheer number of them makes identifying problems, such as hardware or outage issues, tough.

We’re excited to announce that managing a large-scale environment just got easier with the latest updates to the Meraki dashboard. You can now assign tags to networks, improving search in multi-network environments. You can also use these network tags in the Configuration Sync tool to easily identify settings you’d like to copy from one wireless network to another.

For example, if you have wireless access points (APs) spread across your corporate offices, warehouses, and retail locations, you could tag the devices configured in those locations as such. Then, when you add a retail network for a new location, configuring it is as easy as syncing between your new network and the “retail” network tag.  Maintaining security and consistency between hundreds of networks becomes simple.

 

And don’t forget about the features already provided by Meraki that help you manage a large-scale environment, such as built-in wireless mesh networking, the ability to generate email alerts when changes are made to specific network settings, the Configuration Sync tool (which lets you copy settings from one wireless network to another), and our intuitive dashboard interface, where you can easily view the real-time health of your networks and then drill down to see the status of all connected devices.

Map showing distributed network locations


 

Wireless network overview

These features are useful for rapidly configuring multiple branch locations or extending a large wireless LAN while keeping tabs on the changes being made.  Additionally, it’s easy to add more devices to your network, and once added, to see at a glance which APs, switches, and security appliances need attention.

We’re constantly listening for feedback and developed these features to help you tackle your management challenges at scale.  Let us know what you think, and stay tuned for more posts detailing the new features available in the latest round of updates from Meraki!

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Our latest wireless update

Continuing to build on our cloud-based multi-site network management and industry-leading layer 7 tools, today we’re excited to introduce:

  • Simplified large-scale network management via network tags and config sync
  • Traffic shaper enhancements, including enhanced visibility and layer 7 traffic shaping via group policies
  • Bonjour Gateway, selectively bridging Apple Bonjour services across subnets
  • Other enhancements, including manual RF tuning controls and additional support for Ekahau asset tagging devices

Simplified large-scale network management

Customers that manage large-scale, multi-site network deployments love the ease-of-use that’s ingrained into the Meraki experience, including using the dashboard. We’ve now made it even easier to manage deployments that cover dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of locations. Using tags, network admins can easily monitor networks of interest, apply configuration changes, and even synchronize settings between subsets of networks.

Large-scale network management

Traffic shaper enhancements

Earlier this fall, we enhanced our layer 7 traffic shaper in the MX Security Appliances by adding additional visibility into network activity. Now we’re adding that same enhanced visibility into our wireless products. This gives deep insight into network activity, adding hostnames, IP addresses, number of users and time spent on apps and sites.

We’re not only enhancing the visibility, but also adding even more granular control through traffic shaping by group policy. This means network admins can now apply layer 7 traffic shaping based on a user’s membership in an authentication system, like Active Directory, thus throttling or prioritizing different apps on a single SSID.

Traffic shaper enhancements, including shaping by group policy

Bonjour Gateway

Our integrated Bonjour gateway is now available on wireless APs, and enables seamless support of Apple TVs, printers, AirPlay mirroring, and any other Bonjour server device. Rather than flooding the whole network with Bonjour traffic, the APs forward Bonjour requests from client VLANs on this SSID to VLANs that are hosting Bonjour services such as Airplay, enabling scalable support of Bonjour devices.

Integrated Bonjour forwarding

We’ll be taking a more in-depth look at some of these features in upcoming blog posts, so stay tuned. For those of you who can’t wait to get your hands on this new release, you’ll be able to upgrade your wireless networks early by calling our support team around the end of next week.