Wow. What a 2015! It’s been another frenetic year for Meraki, with sales and the team continuing to grow at a breakneck pace. We hope all our readers have had an equally successful year to look back on, and are looking forward to a well-earned rest.
In the run up to the holidays we’ve allowed ourselves the freedom to indulge in some suitably questionable clothing choices, as has become the tradition of our age. Here are a couple of examples. Meet the winners of our ugly sweater and PJ day contests:
Suitably topical? We tend to think so, and so too did this gentleman who decided to drop-in on our offices to help with the judging:
Finally, Santa may not have any more Meraki goodies to distribute this year, but rest assured we’re going to be hitting the ground running in 2016 and will have more new products and features to announce in the very near future. Our New Years Resolution is going to be simple: keep on delighting our customers with more IT designed to make life easier and lower costs. I’m sure we can all raise a toast to that! Speaking of toast, here’s the latest addition to our kitchen countertop…
Yes, our very own Todd Nightingale, the man who leads the Meraki team. We thought this a fitting tribute.
Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones. We’ll see you in 2016!
Happy holidays from Cisco Meraki! As we start to prepare for the hustle and bustle that accompany this festive season, we’re proud of our employees that took time to give back to the San Francisco community. Meraki Gives, our employee volunteer program, put on two events this month for employees based at headquarters.
To kick off December, a group of eighteen Merakians loaded up a fleet of cars with sandwich supplies, headed over to the St. Vincent de Paul Society in San Francisco, and prepared 200 packed lunches for the organization’s drop-in lunch program.
Our group made 140 turkey sandwiches. After running out of bread, the team got creative and made a gluten-free option with tasty turkey and cheese wraps. Everything looked delicious, if we do say so ourselves, and it took quite a bit of willpower to make sure none of the meals ended up in our own stomachs. The sandwiches were then packaged with a pickle, clementine, and bottle of water.
After a few hours of teamwork and multiple sandwich assembly lines, the Meraki group headed up to the society’s main room and passed out lunches to people dropping in. A direct quote: “These sandwiches are the bomb! Thank you!” Thank you, St. Vincent, for letting us participate in this impactful program.
Later in the month, an in-house PB&J and holiday card-making event helped spread the holiday cheer even further. Over the course of four hours, Meraki employees from every department dropped by our cafeteria to make sandwiches for local SF organizations fighting hunger. By the end of the day, we had over 555 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches packaged and picked up by Food Runners, the amazing group that picks up extra lunch from Meraki every day.
Merakians also showed off their creative flair by making dozens of holiday cards to be sent to the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Keep up the great work Merakians! We can’t wait to see what we achieve in 2016.
As 2015 comes to a close and the winter weather sets in, the Meraki team have been planning the many exciting events we will be attending next year. One of the big events kicking off the year is Cisco Live! in Berlin.
Along with an extensive presence in the world of solutions, a number of members of the Meraki team will be running sessions throughout the week. This is a fantastic opportunity to hear the latest product updates, get detailed information on feature functionality, and expand your cloud managed networking knowledge. All speaking sessions will be presented by experts from the product marketing team, and in typical Meraki fashion will be in an engaging and interactive style that includes live demonstrations.
If you’re planning on coming to Cisco Live! and would like to attend one of the Meraki sessions, we suggest you sign up as soon as possible to secure a place. Meraki sessions at last years Cisco Live! in Milan were exceptionally popular, with a queue for last minute places. To easily book your spot, visit the Cisco Live! Berlin content catalog page for Meraki here.
Intermediate – Cloud-Managed Mobility with Meraki Wireless and MDM [BRKEWN-2002]
George Bentinck, Solutions Architect
Tuesday, Feb 16, 11:15 a.m.
Session Length: 1 hr 30 min
This session will provide a recap of the Meraki cloud architecture and an in depth look at the latest Meraki WLAN offerings. Accompanying this will be an extensive look at managing mobility in the enterprise, with detailed discussion of mobility security and integration of MDM and EMM into WLAN. The session will be a mixture of slides, demonstrations, and audience interaction.
WiFi meet Beacons meet MDM with Cisco Meraki [BRKEWN-2066]
Simon Tompson,Technical Evangelist
Thursday, Feb 18, 2:30 p.m.
Session Length: 1 hr 30 min
A lot has been happening in the world of Cloud Managed Wireless. Join the Cisco Meraki team to learn about the very latest portfolio developments in the world of 802.11ac WiFi, Location Analytics, BLE Beacons, and integrated MDM policies.
Cloud-Managed Security for Distributed Networks with Cisco Meraki MX [BRKSEC-2055]
Joe Aronow, Product Marketing Manager
Wednesday, Feb 17, 11:30 a.m.
Session Length: 1 hr 30 min
Meraki’s cloud managed networking portfolio includes out-of-the-box centralized management capabilities to help administrators secure distributed networks. This session will provide a product update on the Cisco Meraki MX security appliance with an emphasis on new and existing security features. The session will feature a live demo of key security capabilities such as the new IWAN features, SourceFire IPS/IDS, Malware Protection, and more.
Building Scalable, Flexible Enterprise Architectures with Cisco Meraki [BRKCRS-2101]
Simon Tompson,Technical Evangelist
Friday, Feb 19, 9:00 a.m.
Session Length: 2 hr
The simplicity and flexibility associated with cloud managed networking isn’t limited to small and medium sized organizations. The Cisco Meraki product family helps customers to easily build and maintain scalable, resilient networks containing thousands of devices with enterprise-class performance. During this session we’ll walk through the management tools, features and architectures available across Cisco’s popular cloud managed portfolio of wireless, switching, security and MDM products, demonstrating how customers can scale with confidence.
Cisco Enterprise WLANs: understanding all the solution options and required technology details [TECEWN-2016]
George Bentinck, Solutions Architect, Meraki
Aadil Hassim, SE, Cisco
Gerhard Jaeggle, SE, Cisco
Maren Kostede, Systems Engineer, Cisco
Monday, Feb 15, 9:00 a.m.
Session Length: 8 hr
This technical seminar is a deep dive into the different options that you get for a full Wireless Network design at Cisco. It includes all necessary baseline knowledge to understand 802.11 and WiFi important differences with wired deployments, details and comparisons between Cisco Unified Wireless Network (CUWN), Converged Access, Mobility Express, private-cloud deployments (FlexConnect) and public-cloud based networks (Meraki). We will look at the key building blocks of all solutions, including licensing and management, as well as where it fits best in your network (campus, branch offices, managed services for small enterprises), and compare them with other Wireless LAN vendors’ offerings on the market. We will also be highlighting some key advanced features of the Cisco Wireless solutions, and showcase use cases where each architecture has its own place.
Meet Dave, the IT Guy. Dave has explored many networking technologies in the past, but none have come close to the ease and visibility his Meraki MS Switches offer.
In our new story site, you can dive into a typical work day for Dave and see how his Meraki PoE switches help quickly and efficiently manage his organization’s network. Follow along as Dave checks the health of his entire network through a single pane of glass, prioritizes business-critical traffic in minutes, deploys new equipment to a branch location, remotely troubleshoots a cable issue, and more.
That’s all we’ll reveal in this post, check out https://meraki.cisco.com/dave/ to see the full story and to find out how you can start your own switching adventure! Let us know what you think @meraki.
With employees and customers taking vacation over the holidays, those quieter hours could be perfect for taking a few network refresh projects off the back-burner. The best part? With any Meraki products, you can complete these tasks without taking time away from your own holiday.
Plug and (go) Play
Replacing old hardware? Setting up a new branch location? Forget hours and hours of configuration and on-site fiddling; built with multi-site management in mind from the beginning, Meraki products enable convenient zero-touch provisioning. Simply enter the serial number of any Meraki device into your dashboard, apply the settings you wish with just a few clicks, and the device will automatically download the correct settings from the cloud when it’s plugged in.
One of the perks of cloud management is that this quick deployment process can be done from anywhere in the world. After you are securely logged into your Meraki dashboard through either a browser or our mobile app, it’s easy to monitor, configure, and troubleshoot all your devices through a single pane of glass. You can make sure that the replacement access point you shipped to a branch location has been plugged into the correct switch port, has downloaded its proper configuration, and that people are successfully connecting – all while basting your turkey and watching your favorite seasonal flicks.
Add new devices in seconds from the centralized dashboard
Easy to manage remotely
Meraki makes it easy to keep your existing networks healthy without active maintenance or cumbersome travel on your part. The network overview page, that greets users upon logging in, displays the health of all network devices in clear color codes. Drill down into any site, device, or user traffic from the comfort of your own home.
Automatic alerts can be configured to let you know when any issues arise, allowing you to sit back with ease. Built-in intrusion detection and prevention on wireless access points, intelligent topology mapping on switches, automatic failover on security appliances, and dynamic group policies through mobile device management are just a few examples of how every Meraki product line is designed not only for reliable deployments, but also with powerful simplicity in mind.
Granular visibility in the palm of your hand
Troubleshooting? No trouble at all
If alerts do come in, your holiday time need not be interrupted for long. The granular visibility and live tools built into the Meraki dashboard enable our customers to proactively resolve issues before they spread. With a few clicks, Meraki customers can run remote packet captures, trace routes, pings, and even reboot specific devices all through the management dashboard. Extensive visibility into devices, applications, and clients make it easy to pinpoint the root of an issue and enact a speedy resolution.
A sampling of the live tools built into the Meraki dashboard
One of our favorite customer stories tells of an IT admin hiking on vacation, when he suddenly received a phone call from his boss who had accidentally left his company iPad in a plane seat pocket. Pausing for a brief moment at the top of a mountain peak, the IT admin logged into his Meraki dashboard and wiped the misplaced device. In under a minute, the issue was resolved and vacation continued. All involved parties pleased, no festive parties abandoned.
These high-level use cases are just the icing on top of the deep empowerment Meraki provides; check out other blog posts, our product pages, and our interactive webinars for more information. One of the most consistent pieces of feedback we get from our users is how Meraki has allowed them to expand their IT capabilities while saving time and money. With all the extra capabilities you’ll have, you can keep that holiday cheer going all year round!
As we grow, we’re constantly looking for ways to make it easier for our customers to take advantage of our educational webinar programs to discover how they can further benefit from the Meraki portfolio.
From Saudi Arabia to Japan, from Portugal to Mexico, from the USA to the Netherlands and beyond,, we’re spreading the word about Meraki cloud managed networking. To do this, we’ve launched webinars on a variety of topics in more than 10 different languages (and counting)!
To facilitate this growth, make it easier for you to locate webinars in your language, and simplify the topic selection, we completely redesigned our webinar page. Now you can search for that perfect webinar by language, region, product family, industry, or solution!
Keep an eye on the page too, as we’re constantly releasing new webinar topics – a select few even have exciting offers like free switches! Some of the latest topics include “Designing and Deploying High Performance Meraki Wireless”, “Get Wired with Meraki Switching and Security”, “Systems Manager Teacher’s Assistant”, and “Going #fullstack”.
Intrigued? Head on over to the webinar page and find one that excites you!
One of the most popular capabilities of our MX security appliances and MR wireless access points is their ability to control what is going on in the network. This can be accomplished via a whole range of built in features such as Layer 7 traffic shaping, Layer 7 firewalling, intrusion prevention, malware scanning, and content filtering. Importantly these features can be easily applied in varying ways to different devices or users with the creation of custom network policies.
Known as Group Policies, these customized network rules prevent network administrators having to enforce a ‘one size fits all’ policy. They can make the network fit their users’ requirements, rather than the other way round. As is typical of Meraki feature design, the simplicity of configuration makes deploying it achievable and not an unattainable dream.
However, what if we could make this even simpler to implement? Systems Manager Sentry provides simple, automatic security that is context aware. Sentry Policies enable dynamic updates to a client device’s assigned Group Policy based on contextual information gathered by the Systems Manager MDM. Now your firewall, traffic shaping, or content filtering rules can be automatically updated based on changes to a device’s security posture, logged-in user, or even location.
Sentry Policies are automatically made available when Systems Manager is deployed with Meraki network equipment. Due to the unified Meraki cloud management architecture, no complex integration or further configuration is required. If you can’t see Sentry Policies in your dashboard, then you are running an older version of Systems Manager. Click here to find out how to upgrade.
For one example of how Sentry Policies can be implemented,consider a content filtering deployment in an education environment. The multi-user authentication capability of the Systems Manager app allows devices such as iPads to have unique apps, settings, and restrictions per student. When a student logs into the device, Sentry Policies can trigger a content filtering policy change on the MX suitable for that class’s age group or subject. This is done without any teacher or administrator intervention.
For security conscious customers, Sentry Policies can also be used to control network access. When a device is detected that is jailbroken or has an undesirable app installed, Sentry can implement firewall rules in the access points to block that device’s connectivity to sensitive corporate resources. Again, this requires no administrator intervention.
Systems Manager Sentry is unique in the way it enables automated security and simplified IT operations by unifying network and endpoint management. To find out more, sign up for one of our advanced webinars covering the Sentry feature set, or contact us to get a live demonstration.