Archive for January, 2017

Instant Systems Manager Free 30-day trials

We’re excited to announce a new customer-initiated free trial program for Systems Manager, Cisco’s Enterprise Mobility Management solution. This program enables anyone to get started with Systems Manager right away through a more managed and supported experience and replaces the previous SM Free 100 device program.

After visiting the Systems Manager signup page, enter basic contact details and device count and a fully support 30-day free trial will automatically be provisioned. This also includes access to Meraki support for 24/7 questions.

For more information or to get started immediately with a trial, please visit the signup page or contact your Cisco Meraki representative.

FAQ
Q: How do I start a free trial?
A: Visit https://meraki.cisco.com/form/systems-manager-signup.

Q: How many devices can be enrolled?
A: 1.25 times the number of employees entered at signup.

Q: How long is the trial period?
A: 30 days

Q: Can the trial be extended?
A: Yes. It can be extended by calling a Meraki rep.

Q: What happens to customers with “SM Free 100” today?
A: There are no changes to existing “SM Free 100” accounts.

TECH SUPPORT’S WINTER/SPRING 2017 US CAMPUS TOUR

Cisco Meraki’s Technical Support team is making the rounds to 12 universities and colleges over the course of the next three months for our winter/spring campus recruiting season, and we’d love for you to join us at our events!

TechSupportEvents

Our technical support team is consistently praised by our customers around the globe, and we’re looking for recent graduates to join us as Network Support Engineers. The daily work of our team members is ever-changing and regularly challenging, with opportunities to work with Meraki’s wireless access points, security appliances, switches, IP phones, security cameras, and enterprise mobility management software. Subjects of study that connect well with the day-to-day responsibilities of our team include Computer Information Technology, Network Technology, Information Systems, and other majors in that realm.

Make sure to stop by at one of the following schools we’ll be visiting on our tour and meet our team in person!

DePaul University
Chicago, Illinois
1.24.2017 | Hot cocoa with Meraki
1.25.2017 | Careers in Technology networking event
1.26.2017 | Rapid hiring session (& breakfast!)

Syracuse University
Syracuse, New York
1.31.2017 | Undergraduate Info Session
1.31.2017 | Meraki Meet & Mingle
2.1.2017 | iSchool Spring 2017 Career Fair

Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana
1.30.2017 | Hot cocoa with Meraki
1.31.2017 | Meraki Meet & Mingle w/ Product Lab
2.1.2017 | Polytechnic Career Fair 2017

University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California
1.31.2017 | Meraki Info Session
1.31.2017 | Meraki Product Lab
2.1.2017 | CEIC & Gaming Fair

Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah
2.7.2017 | Meraki Info Session & Resume Workshop
2.7.2017 | Meraki Product Lab
2.9.2017 | STEM Career Fair

East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina
2.8.2017 | Meraki Info Session & Product Lab
2.9.2017 | Employer and Student Networking Day

University of Wisconsin, Stout
Menomonie, Wisconsin
2.20.2017 | Meraki Info Session & Product Lab
2.21.2017 | Spring 2017 Career Conference

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Carbondale, Illinois
2.21.2017 | Meraki Info Session & Product Lab
2.22.2017 | Spring 2017 University Career Fair

Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, New York
2.27.2017 Hot cocoa with Meraki
2.27.2017 | Meraki Product Lab
3.1.2017 | Spring 2017 Career Fair

Alfred State College
Alfred, New York
3.21.2017 | Meraki Info Session & Product Lab
3.22.2017 | Spring 2017 Career Fair

University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
3.21.2017 | Meraki Meet & Mingle and Product Lab
3.22.2017 | Blitz hiring session

Champlain College
Burlington, Vermont
3.27.2017 | Meraki Meet & Mingle and Product Lab
3.28.2017 | 2017 Career Conference & Fair

Can’t make it to our campus events? Check out our website and/or apply at meraki.com/jobs. Also, take a look at our video showcasing what it’s really like to work at Meraki and our YouTube channel full of information.

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Meraki and the Hastily Formed Network

We all love to think that our work can make a difference in other people’s lives. Some of us are fortunate enough to be engaged in work which directly helps others – educating the next generation, or healing the sick – while others are enablers, providing the tools those on the front lines depend on.

nethope

NetHope is a consortium of 50 non-governmental organizations that specializes in improving IT connectivity among humanitarian organizations in developing countries and areas affected by disaster. Cisco is one of the major partners of the consortium and contributes equipment, expertise, and transport to relief efforts around the world. Some of the world’s most challenging humanitarian disasters have seen responses from Cisco’s Tactical Operations (TacOps) team, including Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti and Nepal earthquakes, and the current Syrian refugee crisis on the southern fringes of Europe.

Typically, these Hastily Formed Networks – as organizations like NetHope call them – are brought online to assist and connect the humanitarian workers themselves. In the case of the Syrian refugee crisis, however, the TacOps team was tasked with enabling mass communication for hundreds of thousands of refugees at more than 60 sites!

We now live in a world with ubiquitous mobile device ownership, and in many cases refugees are landing in Europe with smartphones or tablets equipped with Wi-Fi capability, but typically no mobile network access via the SIM cards in their phones. Suddenly Wi-Fi becomes not only a convenience, but potentially a lifesaver, enabling families to connect with loved ones who remain back home, or were perhaps lost during their flight to safety.

Once connected, these vulnerable individuals can be a perfect target for those wishing to exploit, or even endanger them, with their devices providing a means to that end. Providing a highly secure network, with both perimeter and advanced cybersecurity capabilities, proves as important as the connectivity itself.

The TacOps team has been using Meraki technology for some time, which has proven itself dependable, secure, easy to manage, and perfect for building Hastily Formed Networks. Utilising our MX security appliances and MR wireless access points, the team was able to rapidly deploy multiple sites with probably the most advanced security ever deployed in the humanitarian field, providing reliable connectivity for vulnerable refugees with approximately 16,000 unique client devices every week.

nerv_at_hq

Rakesh Bharania from TacOps recently presented a review of the team’s work in a special NetHope webinar. The highly recommended recording (here) provides a fascinating insight into both the human and technical challenges faced in creating these critical networks, and is definitely worthy of your time.

Technology has done so much for us: simplifying our lives and connecting us. At Meraki we’ve gone a step further, streamlining the experience of building and deploying multi-site networks, reducing time and cost. We’re both humbled and honored to see our products being used not only to power business, but also to connect disaster-stricken families and help save lives.

Take Meraki for a test drive and see how our approach enables the Hastily Formed Network.

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Packets Go In, Packets Go Out

Switches are so often the unsung heroes in our networks – chugging away in a dark, cold closet obediently relaying each and every message they receive as quickly as possible and never letting us down.

Switches can also be the first stop in our troubleshooting repertoire when something isn’t quite behaving as it should – perhaps beginning with a remote cable test, and then working up to the packet, transport and application layers. Meraki switches offer a suite of built-in tools and logging capabilities that are designed to make troubleshooting much easier for users, and today we’re excited to introduce a subtle yet powerful enhancement to the port-level information available in real-time for Meraki switches.

Packet counters with live data

Starting today, the packet counters for a selected switch port can be viewed in several different ways, including historical options such as for the “last 5 minutes”, and a streaming option for real-time troubleshooting. The live data option clears the counters, allowing a user to take a snapshot of the sent and received packet count and type in real time—a great way to determine if a link or logical problem is present on a particular link.

packet counters

In the above example, live packet counters were observed on the SFP+ fiber interface of a switch that was having performance issues. The test quickly brought to light that the link was experiencing CRC align errors, often caused by a physical layer problem with the transceiver or fiber-optic cable.

This enhancement was made entirely based on the feedback you, our customers, provided. We hope you find it useful, and as always, please do share your wishes, feedback, and comments via the handy “Make a Wish” option at the bottom of the Meraki dashboard. Happy switching!

 

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Checking in with BlueChilli

By Helana Zhang

You may remember seeing BlueChilli’s name recently because they were a Meraki Australia Startup Kit winner. This past December, I had the opportunity to pay the team a visit in their Sydney office, which happens to be a convenient three-minute walk from the Meraki Sydney office.

As one of the most prominent venture tech companies in Australia with the mission to bring non-technical co-founders’ visions to life by pairing them up with in-house developers and engineers, BlueChilli’s office serves a full team of employees, as well as rentable office space for startups just kicking off their businesses. Upon arriving at the office in the heart of the Central Business District (CBD), I could immediately see how the open space inspires creativity, innovation, and teamwork with its programmable Nerf gun, exposed brick walls, and inviting collaboration areas.

I was most excited to meet the founder to learn a bit more about the impact of their new Meraki gear, including two wireless access points (APs), a security appliance, and a switch.

The CEO of BlueChilli, Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, gave me a tour of the office. He pointed out the large open spaces BlueChilli uses to host startup and community events, which require reliable Internet connectivity as presentations are being shown and audience members are tweeting and brainstorming their next startup idea. He also noted where all of the new Meraki gear has been installed.

BlueChilli office

Can you spot the Meraki MR Access Point in this photo?

BlueChilli is truly an all-hands organization. Though Eckersley-Maslin is the CEO, he’s also the IT guy. He loves the new Meraki network solution and being able to provide his staff and the startups with reliable and secure Internet access, as it’s crucial to every team. He commented that “Meraki is dead simple to set up,” and we would have to agree. Alejandro Silva, Head of Engineering at BlueChilli, said complaints about WiFi have gone down significantly since deploying Meraki. This is all music to our ears.

Since the office visit, the team has purchased an additional 9 Meraki APs to replace the legacy network gear in the office. This way, Eckersley-Maslin and team can see all of the network activity in the Meraki web-based dashboard, making IT, which is a small part of the CEO’s responsibility, even easier.

Thanks, BlueChilli, for giving me a tour, making me feel like a total #girlboss in front of the infamous BlueChilli startup wall, and for being a great Meraki customer!

At BlueChilli

Sebastian Eckersley-Maslin (CEO), me, and Alejandro Silva (Head of Engineering)

 

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Switches a la velocidad que necesitas

Los Nuevos switches Meraki, al mismo precio y con un rendimiento 10 veces mayor

Hoy en día, las empresas de tecnología y en especial Cisco Meraki buscan mejorar no sólo los productos que ofrecen, sino innovar más allá de los simples componentes, para así revolucionar por completo su experiencia de uso.

En diciembre anunciamos varias actualizaciones a nuestro portafolio de switches y redes inalámbricas. Los nuevos MS225 y MS250 recibieron una cálida bienvenida, al introducir enlaces de gran ancho de banda y apilamiento físico en todo el portafolio de switches, algo que muchos habían estado esperando.  Además de las grandes mejoras en velocidad, nuestro equipo ha trabajado en otras mejoras, teniendo en cuenta muchos de los comentarios que recibimos de nuestros clientes y partners.

Un aspecto que hace que estos equipos sean más atractivos es el hecho de que los nuevos modelos ofrecen al mismo precio que la generación anterior muchos más avances y que además pueden integrarse sin inconvenientes con la red ya existente. En cuanto a los switches de la generación anterior, actualizarlos es una tarea muy sencilla, sólo debes presionar un botón mediante la función de clonación en la nube y listo. Así podrás aumentar el ancho de banda y la redundancia en cuestión de minutos.

Esperamos que esto te emocione tanto como a nosotros. Si quiere saber más sobre los nuevos switches Meraki te invitamos a registrarte en nuestros webinars especialmente para América Latina.

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Meraki 2017 Education Events

The Cisco Meraki team will be attending several events throughout 2017. Clad in our famous green tshirts, we’ll be showcasing our latest products, demoing our dashboard, and sharing socks, shirts and swag! Take a look at our schedule for education and be sure to stop by and say hi! 

 


FETC

The Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), the largest, national, independent education technology conference, annually attracts thousands of education and technology leaders from around the world. Delivering strategies and best practices for student success and school-wide advancement, FETC is known as one of the nation’s premier education technology events.

January 25 – 27

Orlando, Florida

Booth #811


TCEA

Join thousands of innovative educators for the 37th TCEA Annual Convention & Exposition in Austin, Texas this February for a unique experience that will engage teachers and administrators with the tools, techniques, and resources needed to improve teaching and learning through technology.

February 7 – 9

Austin, Texas

Booth #2045


NERCOMP

The NERCOMP Annual Conference attracts more than 500 college and university IT professionals, from over 200 colleges and universities in the northeast region. Attendees represent a mix of higher education professionals ranging from CIO and executive to director, manager, instructional technologists and more.

March 28 – 29

Providence, Rhode Island

Booth TBD


CoSN

CoSN’s Annual Conference typically brings together close to 1,000 North American K-12 school systems’ technology leaders.

April 3 – 6

Chicago, Illinois

Booth TBD


UBTECH

UBTech is an annual conference and trade show on higher education technology leadership. UBTech highlights emerging trends in IT and AV technologies and their applications across campus to improve institutional and student success. Each year UBTech brings together key campus leaders from hundreds of colleges and universities for a focused high-level conversation about technology innovation across every aspect of campus leadership and practice.

June 12 – 14

Orlando, Florida

Booth #101


ISTE

The ISTE Conference & Expo is recognized globally as the most comprehensive educational technology conference in the world. For more than three decades, educators and education leaders have gathered at the ISTE conference to engage in hands-on learning, exchange ideas and network with like-minded thinkers seeking to transform learning and teaching.

June 25 – 28

San Antonio, Texas

Booth TBD


CAMPUSTECH

The Campus Technology Conference brings together thought leaders from the fields of higher education and technology to explore innovative solutions and to develop effective strategies for campus administration, infrastructure, teaching and learning, and more.

July 17 – 20

Chicago, Illinois

Booth #413


EDUCAUSE

This premier gathering of IT professionals and technology providers represents the best thinking in higher education IT. The conference solicits content from colleagues who are willing to share ideas regarding strategies, leading change, effective processes, what’s working and often what isn’t.

October, 31 – November 3

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Booth TBD


Keep an eye on this page – we’re always adding new events to our schedule.

 

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New MS Features for Large-scale Networks

Let’s face it – we tend to love acronyms in the networking world. HTTP, DHCP, ACK, NAC and NIC. Are we speaking your language yet? Great! Because our team has been busy adding new capabilities designed for large-scale networks, and they’re packed full of acronyms. Let’s take a deeper look!

 

Multi-domain Authentication (MDA)

Secure networks often have port security features enabled on wired ports, such as 802.1X with RADIUS authentication. Multidomain authentication (MDA) allows both a data device and voice device, such as an IP phone, to authenticate on the same switch port. In the examples below, see how enabling Multi-Domain mode affects the authentication scenario:

no MDA graphic

In Single-host mode, only one device is required to authenticate

MDA graphic

In Multi-Domain mode, both devices are required to authenticate

Without MDA enabled, authenticated IP phones containing a built-in Ethernet switch will allow any devices that subsequently connect downstream on the LAN, without requiring additional authentication. MDA adds enhanced security and control by enforcing per-client authentication for both the IP phone and anything connecting in downstream, such as a workstation. See our online documentation to learn more about this feature and how to enable it.

 

Change of Authorization (CoA) with URL Redirect

We recently announced support for Network Access Control (NAC) solutions, including Cisco’s own Identity Services Engine (ISE). For any network that relies on URL redirects – a central web authentication process that lets you redirect any device that plugs into the network to an authentication server – Meraki MS switches now support URL redirect requests as part of our Change of Authorization (CoA) features. Additionally, Meraki switches allow you to optionally configure a walled garden, letting you add IP ranges that users are permitted to access prior to authentication. This feature is currently available on the MS225, MS250, MS350 and MS400 series. For further information please visit documentation.meraki.com.

 

Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) Routing and IGMP Querier

Multicast has become an increasingly more prevalent method of transmitting media, particularly for media-rich solutions such as overhead paging and IP video. With many networks now relying on switches to handle routing of IP traffic, support for IGMP querying and multicast routing has become critical, particularly in larger networks.

We are excited to announce new features that make handling of multicast traffic a breeze:

  • Multicast routing support is now available on the MS350 and MS400 series, enabling larger scale networks to handle routing of multicast traffic via PIM sparse mode.
  • IGMP Querier support can now be configured on all MS switches.

See our online documentation on these features to learn more!

 

These features are rolling out over the next few weeks and will be available on the latest software update for MS switches. For questions or support, please email [email protected]

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New Year, New Features for the MC74

Just in time for the new year, the MC engineering team has been hard at work building exciting new MC solutions for different use cases. Today, for businesses that have receptionists or executive assistants, say goodbye to archaic attendant consoles, and hello to the improved MC74.

For customers that already have an MC solution, call into the Meraki support line to have these beta features enabled on your existing hardware, free of charge.

The MC74 can now make and receive calls on up to 8 lines, to manage all the different phone numbers that your business runs on. These lines can be set easily through the dashboard. All inbound calls will indicate which number they are calling, and outbound calls can use a simple drop-down menu on the dial screen to select which line to use.

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For executive assistants that manage multiple high-priority lines, favorite contacts can be set and seen in a separate tab on the contacts page. This will also work in the phone portal.

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 1.52.25 PM

Not only will Favorites provide quick access to specific priority contacts, the Presence feature will also alert you to the status of each of those contacts. If they are on a call, the presence button will turn red, and if they are open to a call, it will be green.

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However, even if someone’s line is available, they themselves might not be. In this case, receptionists may want to do a warm transfer and ask if the person can take a call. To accomplish this, we’ve added the Ask to Transfer feature, which allows you to check in with the person you want to transfer to, and either transfer the call over or cancel the transfer if the person is busy.

Not all calls that come in are urgent, and sometimes the caller simply wants to leave a voicemail. In these cases, we’ve built a Send to Voicemail feature that allows you to transfer a call directly to the inbox of any other MC74 in your network.

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For more information about the MC74 and Meraki’s complete communications solution, attend an Intro to Cloud Managed Communications webinar or contact your Meraki rep for an MC trial today.