Last week we introduced some exciting new hardware. A range of stackable switches for building fast, scalable and resilient networks, plus a new, more powerful security appliance for the branch.
Now it’s time to bring the focus back to features, today exploring a couple of changes for our switch customers, designed to make busy lives easier.
First up, port mirroring. While a packet capture can be useful for getting deep into the detail of how a client is behaving – or misbehaving – on the network, it’s primarily designed as a troubleshooting tool. Port mirroring takes things a step further by allowing network administrators to capture all traffic traversing one or multiple ports, via another. Port mirroring is useful wherever traffic flows need to be recorded, for example archiving VoIP calls for compliance or training purposes.
Meraki switches have had port mirroring capabilities since the early days, and configuration was tucked-away on the Switch Settings page. After considering feedback from our customers we’ve moved the configuration for mirroring to the Switch Ports page. With the benefit of hindsight this new home for the feature makes perfect sense, and is certainly a more intuitive approach. Here’s how it looks:
To mirror ports, simply select them and click the Mirror button and a prompt will ask for the destination port which will receive the mirrored traffic. They say simple ideas are the best and this example of that mantra will certainly save some head-scratching when looking for the feature.
The second feature we’ll cover today is upcoming for our Layer 2 switch customers. DHCP is fundamental to the operation of modern networks, with all clients using the protocol by default to get connected and online. Layer 2 switches have always been able to connect clients to a DHCP server on the same VLAN, but what happens if there’s a requirement to support multiple IP based VLANs, each with their own IP address range?
Until now, supporting multiple VLANs would have meant using a Layer 3 switch, capable of relaying DHCP requests to a server and then returning the correct IP address to the source VLAN. Now, thanks to a wave of the Meraki Magic wand, our brainiac engineers have added DHCP functionality for multiple VLANs to our Layer 2 switch line.
Configuration is easy, as our customers would expect. Simply provide an IP address in each VLAN where DHCP is required. This IP address will then be used in the DHCP request and the switch will process the returning offer, returning it to the appropriate VLAN. Anyone familiar with configuring DHCP relay will be right at home here as configuration is essentially the same.
This feature will be coming soon for all of our Layer 2 switch customers. In the meantime please reach out to our support team to take it for a spin.
Feature velocity is in our DNA here at Meraki. Every week our switch team is discussing new and upcoming capabilities which we know our customers will love. Today’s examples are humble but useful additions for the busy network engineer and we look forward to bringing many more features to our customers soon. In the meantime, please don’t forget to ‘make-a-wish’ on the dashboard to let us know where we should be focussing next.