Archive for May, 2017

Why SM (Systems Manager) is a Win for Education

Library Tablet

Most administrators are aware of the challenges that come with managing mobile devices: the sheer number, the lack of visibility and security, and the difficulty provisioning or configuring them, to name a few. As we approach the end of another school year in the US, let’s review some of the reasons tens of thousands of customers in education chose Systems Manager to manage millions of mobile devices and PCs.

Before talking about a specific feature, it may help to know some of the general reasons people choose Systems Manager. For one, it takes something as complicated and cumbersome as navigating a flood of mobile devices and makes it manageable while keeping the advantages of mobility. Simplifying powerful technology to free passionate people to focus on their mission is at the core of the Cisco Meraki vision. This is fundamental to how Systems Manager addresses enterprise mobility management (EMM) and mobile device management (MDM).

People also love SM because it continues to grow. For years, Systems Manager has flexed its cloud-managed and software-only muscles by rapidly iterating on ideas and support. This isn’t just about Systems Manager’s consistent zero-day support for new OS versions. It’s also about its consistency in adding brand new features and functionality. A great example of this is the Systems Manager Teacher’s Assistant.

A real life teacher’s assistant (TA) can make a difference by reducing stress, workload, and disruption in the classroom. Unfortunately, TAs are not always available for all teachers and classes, and they’re not necessarily able to help with everyday tasks for a large number of devices or complex digital technology. When automation, scalability, and simplicity are needed, SM has many solutions. There have been quite a few tools for education added since the May 2015 launch of the Systems Manager Teacher’s Assistant, and for those interested in a free trial check out the link at the bottom.

Classroom Laptops

Stayed tuned in the coming weeks to learn more about the specific tools that make Systems Manager so popular in education.

Start an instant free 30-day trial here.

A Major Milestone

This is an exciting week for the Meraki community. Just about 10 years after our first product shipped from a basement in Mountain View, the millionth active Meraki network went online on Tuesday night.


I believe the real story behind hundreds of thousands of businesses, schools and governments moving to the Meraki architecture is about the evolving nature of IT.

IT groups are being asked to do more: to support corporate devices and any other device a user prefers. To transition to a wireless office and support remote working. To enable massive device expansion and constant digital collaboration. To provide zero downtime and constant change. Most importantly, IT is being asked to focus on Mission Focused Technology: technology which drives education in schools, patient care in healthcare, and guest satisfaction in hotels.

In order for IT to deliver on these many asks, infrastructure has to be simple. Simple enough to allow IT to be nimble and adapt with the business. Simple enough to allow IT to focus on their true mission.

A decade ago we began shipping simpler IT, managed via the cloud, and we were humbled by the amazing response. Overloaded and thinly stretched IT teams worldwide were creaking under the load of legacy systems with clunky interfaces, and crying out for simplification. Cloud was just emerging as an option for enterprise (AWS launched the same year as Meraki). Today, cloud services are integral to our daily lives, whether it’s the apps on our smartphones or the online bank that pays our bills. It’s easy to forget this has been a journey of evolving acceptance as confidence grew in the dependability and security of the cloud.

It’s been an amazing journey. Our 2006 device, the Meraki Mini will always hold a special place in our hearts. Even if it doesn’t look or demo quite like our newest product (Meraki MV).

Untitled design

 Mini, 2006                                                                              MV, 2017

Our nostalgia for the original Meraki dashboard is probably more muted (actually it was originally called Meraki Manage).

dash managers

 Meraki Manage 2007                                                      Meraki Dashboard 2017

The many Meraki logos, mascots and T-shirts are still coveted “vintage gear” around the office, and as someone who spends every day of my life wearing a Meraki holiday gift jacket, I appreciate that.

logos (1)

 Meraki logos, from 2006 to now



 Meraki birds                                                                                                Meraki tree



 Vintage Meraki shirts, including the very first MX shirt.

We’re proud to have been a pioneer of cloud-native IT, and ecstatic to have reached the 1 million networks milestone. A Meraki network contains any number of Meraki devices and since 2015 it can include multiple types of Meraki devices. There are many networks with a single AP and some networks with as many as 10,000 nodes. Here’s an important one: MIT CSAIL (75 MR34s), where Meraki began as the research project “RoofNet.”


Thanks to every user who made a wish on Dashboard, who convinced their boss to give the cloud a chance, who deployed a webinar AP in their home and refused to go back to CLI at work…   This milestone belongs to you more than anyone.

Thanks to all the partners who’ve demoed the Meraki dashboard, who’ve built practices around the Meraki platform, who’ve developed on the Meraki API. Thanks to the Meraki and Cisco teams, the founders who set us on the path, every coder who checked in code on Sunday morning, every sales rep who refused to be satisfied with 99%, everyone who installed test gear or replicated an issue, every support engineer who filed a late night mule, everyone who got one more order shipped before “cutoff”, who ran a webinar, managed an event, kicked off a promotion or flew around the world to teach CMNA.

Thanks also to all the families and friends who have made sacrifices to support our teams around the world and help make this cloud managed dream a reality.

Now for the next chapter…  We have yet to see the best from this team.



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Guardians of the Cloud – Trends & Technologies Inc

For eligible Trends sales reps, between June 1 and July 29, 2017, win a gift card to the value of PHP2,500 (USD 50 equivalent) by closing USD5,000 in net new Meraki wireless deals!

Claim form:

GOTC email banner


Guardians of the Cloud: Trends & Technologies, Inc.

Terms and Conditions


2.             Sponsor.  The sponsor of the Promotion is Meraki LLC (“Meraki” or “Sponsor”), 500 Terry A. Francois Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94158.

3.             Promotion Period.  The promotion (the “Promotion”) begins at 12:00 am Pacific time on June 1, 2017 and ends at 11:59 pm Pacific time on July 29, 2017 (the “Promotion Period”). Sponsor’s computer network is the official time-keeping device for the Promotion.

4.             Entry. In order to be eligible for the Promotion, participants (each a “Participant”) must be an “Account Manager”, “Senior Account Manager”, or “Inside Sales Account Manager” at Trends & Technologies, Inc. (“Partner”)] who are (i) legal residents of the Philippines, (ii) at least the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence, and (iii) have the permission of Partner to participate in the Promotion and accept the prizes described below if awarded to such Participant. Participants are solely responsible for informing Partner of their participation in the Promotion, and compliance with any applicable laws, contractual limitations and procedures established by Partner related to their participation.  The Promotion is void where prohibited or restricted by law.

  5.            The Prizes.  The prizes described below are referred to individually as a “Prize” and together as the “Prizes.”

     a. Threshold Prize.

                           i. Prize.  Each Participant can win a prize of a gift card to the value of USD50.00 (the “Threshold Prize”) by closing a Qualifying Wireless Deal during the Promotion Period. There is no limit on the total number of Threshold Prizes a Participant may win.  However, for avoidance of doubt, a Participant can win at most one Threshold Prize per customer account. Threshold Prizes are subject to terms and conditions as dictated by the issuer of such Threshold Prizes (including, but not limited to, expiration dates), and Meraki assumes no liability for any failure by a Participant to abide by those terms and conditions.

      b. Definitions.

                               i.  Meraki Products” means the line of Cisco Systems, Inc. (“Cisco”) products branded as the Cisco Meraki cloud-networking products, listed at

                               ii. Meraki “sales” are measured by the Partner’s cost of goods from the distributor, Meraki, Cisco or its local affiliates (as applicable).

                             iii. A sale or deal is considered “closed” when the products listed on the purchase order have actually been shipped to the end customer.

                              iv. Qualifying Products” means Meraki products with SKUs beginning with MR and corresponding licenses and accessories with SKUs beginning with LIC-ENT or MA.

                               v. Qualifying Wireless Deal” means a deal, or multiple deals with the same customer account, that (i) are registered and approved through Meraki’s deal registration portal on or approved as an Opportunity Incentive Program “OIP” through Cisco Commerce Workspace (CCW) before or during the Promotion Period, (ii) include an aggregate minimum of $5,000 in sales of Qualifying Products sold (and not returned during the 30-day return window) to a single Meraki account that has made no previous purchases of Meraki MR or wireless products at any time, and (iii) are closed during the Promotion Period. If Meraki’s business records indicate that any previous closed-won MR or wireless business on an account before the commencement of the Promotion Period or such deal, then a deal involving that account is not a Qualifying Wireless Deal. No account can give rise to more than one Qualifying Wireless Deal, and only one Participant can receive credit for each Qualifying Wireless Deal. Deal registrations must be approved by a Meraki sales representative in accordance with the criteria available at

c. Prize Conditions.  Sponsor may, in its discretion, issue any Prize (i) to the winning Participant, or (ii) to Partner to deliver to such Participant in the Partner’s sole discretion and subject to taxes. A Participant must be employed by Partner at the time of Prize issuance to be eligible to receive the Prize. No substitution, assignment, transfer, or cash redemption of any Prize is allowed by winner. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a Prize with another item of equal or greater value should the advertised Prize become unavailable for any reason. If a potential winner is unable to participate in or accept the Prize or any portion of the Prize for any reason, Sponsor shall have no further obligation to such potential winner.  Neither Sponsor nor any of its Prize suppliers will replace any lost or stolen items, cards or certificates after being awarded to winners.

  6.            To Claim a Prize; Notification of Winners. To claim a Prize, Participant must complete a claim form (available at and submit the claim form by August 7, 2017 at 11:59pm Pacific time. Meraki will use commercially reasonable efforts to notify the winning Participants by email and issue the Prize applicable to each winning Participant within 90 days after the end of the Promotion Period.  Sponsor may also send potential winners a declaration of eligibility and release form (a “Release”).  Unless restricted by law, potential winners receiving such a Release may be required to complete and return it within the time period specified therein.  The Prize may be forfeited and, in such case, an alternate Participant may in Sponsor’s discretion be selected from among the remaining eligible entries (using the criteria described above), if a potential winner:  (i) cannot be reached; (ii) fails to provide all signatures on the Release; or (iii) cannot accept or receive the Prize for any reason.

  7.            General Conditions. The Promotion is subject to applicable federal, state and local laws, and these Terms and Conditions. By participating in the Promotion, Partner and Participants agree to (i) abide by these Terms and Conditions and any decision Sponsor makes regarding this Promotion, which Sponsor shall make in its sole discretion, and (ii) waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Promotion or these Terms and Conditions, except where prohibited by law. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any Participant who, in Sponsor’s reasonable suspicion, tampers with Sponsor site, the entry process, violates these rules, or acts in an unprofessional, unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Sponsor reserves the right to (i) cancel or modify any aspect of the Promotion at any time without notice, and (ii) cancel the Promotion should it suspect fraud or for reasons out of the control of Sponsor, in each case, without any obligation to Participants. Any attempt to deliberately damage or undermine the legitimate operation of the Promotion may be in violation of criminal and civil laws and will result in disqualification from participation in the contest. Following the Promotion Period, Sponsor will not be required to retain records of any entries.

8.              Third Party Sites.  To the extent the Promotion uses or requires functionality of any third party website (e.g., Google, social media sites or platforms that enable broad communications, collaboration or posting of content), Participant understands that the Promotion is not sponsored by such third parties, and further agrees to follow the policies posted on such website.

9.             Tax Provisions. Participants acknowledge that awarding of any Prize may be treated as a taxable income and may be considered direct compensation for the purposes of taxation.  Each winner will be solely responsible for any local, provincial, country or any other applicable taxes, and any other costs, expenses and fees in connection with the Prize.  If applicable, the winner(s) may be issued an IRS Form 1099 or other tax documentation for the approximate retail value of any awarded Prize.

10.           Disclaimer; Release and Limit of Liability.  Sponsor makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding any Prize or your participation in the Promotion. By participating in the Promotion or receiving any Prize, Participant agrees to release and hold harmless Sponsor, and its subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers, distributors, advertising/promotion agencies, and Prize suppliers, and each of their respective parent companies and each such company’s officers, directors, employees and agents (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action, including, but not limited to, damages of any kind including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or punitive damages to persons, including without limitation disability or death, arising out of participation in the Promotion or receipt, use or misuse of any Prize. The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Promotion; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries; or (5) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from participation in the Promotion or receipt or use or misuse of any Prize. If for any reason a Participant’s entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, such Participant’s sole remedy is another entry in the Promotion, provided that if it is not possible to award another entry due to discontinuance of the Promotion, then no other remedy will be available to such Participant.

11.           Personal Data and Communications.  The Sponsor cannot operate the Promotion without processing certain data supplied by and attributable to the Participants. Such data may include personal data attributable to individual Participants. Participants should anticipate that personal data supplied to Sponsor will be exported to the U.S. for processing in connection with the Promotion. Processing of personal data will be required to award the Prizes and will include all incidental processing necessary to operate the Promotion in accordance with the terms hereof. Participants should anticipate that such processing will be undertaken by the Sponsor, its sub-contractors, and other members of the group of companies to which the Sponsor belongs. By accepting the terms hereof, each Participant consents to the processing of the information and personal data supplied to the Sponsor as outlined above.

12.           Publicity Release.  Participants acknowledge and agree that Sponsor may use the Promotion for publicity, advertising or other marketing purposes in any media, and may use the name, likeness, and state of residence and/or Prize information of winning Participants as part of that publicity, without notice or additional compensation to such Participants.

  13.          Disputes. Disputes regarding these Terms and Conditions and the Promotion will be governed by the internal laws of the State of California. The remedy for any claim shall be limited to actual damages, and in no event shall any party be entitled to recover punitive, exemplary, consequential, or incidental damages, including attorney’s fees or other such related costs of bringing a claim, or to rescind this agreement or seek injunctive or any other equitable relief.

  14.          Terms And Conditions And Winners’ List.  For a copy of these Terms and Conditions or the names of winners, please send your request and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to 500 Terry A. Francois Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94158, ATTN: Guardians of the Cloud Promotion.  Winners list to be available approximately 90 days after the Promotion Period.

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Protecting our customers

Updated on 6/28 to include additional resources

The WannaCry Ransomware outbreak started hitting the headlines around the world on May 12th. This is just the latest in a particularly pernicious type of exploit, which typically involves locking or encrypting data to render a computer unusable, and then demanding a ransom to have that encryption removed. Sadly, many victims have felt compelled to pay up, even when there is no guarantee their system will recover, which only encourages criminals to repeat their behavior.


Exploits of this nature are entirely indiscriminate in the way they target their victims, seeking out any unpatched machine or unwary user. Unfortunately this means that even systems crucial to protecting lives can be affected, as was the case with WannaCry. The ransomware hit, among many others, the UK’s National Health Service, causing severe disruption to vital services. This was not the first attack of this kind, and we can be sure it won’t be the last.

This attack serves as a reminder of the importance of keeping our computer systems patched, but human nature being what it is, there will always be systems vulnerable to attack. So what else can we do to protect ourselves? Fortunately, Cisco invests heavily in security technology and boasts the industry’s foremost threat intelligence organization, Talos.

Among the tools maintained by Talos is Snort, the industry leading intrusion detection and prevention technology, which is integrated into every Meraki MX. Snort performs real-time traffic analysis and packet logging in order to identify traffic patterns that match known threats. The good news for Meraki MX customers is that if they have Intrusion Prevention enabled and set to the ‘security’ ruleset on the Threat Protection page, the signatures for WannaCry are already in place, having already been added to the Snort database. For this outbreak we’ve taken the additional measure of adding them to the ‘balanced’ ruleset as well, to protect a broader set of customers against this threat.

We’re proud of our integration of critical Cisco security technologies like Snort and Advanced Malware Protection into our MX platform, ensuring that customers who choose Meraki enjoy world-class protection for their valuable network assets. A much more detailed breakdown of the outbreak and the work of the Talos team on it can be found in their blog post here.

To learn more about the many capabilities of the Meraki MX, please view our detailed video on the threat and how Meraki MX defends against it. You can always sign up for one of our webinars to learn more.

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Did Somebody Ask for More Video Storage?

Security cameras can serve a multitude of different functions, from providing live footage to a security guard, to analyzing customer behavior in a retail location, to supplying evidence in a liability claim. With each of these use cases comes a different retention policy. Scheduled recording and motion-based retention, both available in public beta now, allow users to customize their camera settings to match their specific retention needs.

Hot on the heels of some other product improvements in just the last couple of months, the engineering team has worked tirelessly to produce features that would help accommodate the most commonly received request from MV customers.

Scheduled recording minimizes extraneous recording for customers who only use cameras during certain hours—think process controls in a factory—with the potential to greatly extend storage duration. Plus, scheduled recording can be used to disable historical footage altogether in instances where only live footage is needed and/or permissible.

Motion-based retention works differently than other motion-based recording solutions on the market. Instead of triggering a camera to record only when it senses motion, which can often result in false negatives and lost footage, MV uses a hybrid cloud processing approach to give a more reliable result. MV will record all footage and then, using the same motion indexing engine as the Motion Search tool, will gradually and intelligently trim segments of footage which contain no motion. This gives users the flexibility to retain the most recent 72 continuous hours for extra security before trimming out the motionless video. This approach also means that motion-containing video segments can be better padded to ensure no valuable footage is lost.

Based on the motion data from all cameras that have been deployed since launch in October, 95% of MVs are expected to record 30 days or more at Standard image quality.

To enable schedules and motion-based retention, simply choose a camera and go to its settings page. Select the “Quality and Retention” tab. To create a new schedule, select “Scheduled” and “Change Schedules.” Select an already-created schedule te  mplate, or “New schedule.” Then, just drag the time sliders to adjust when cameras are recording. Click on any timeline to create multiple recording segments in one day.

MV scheduled recording

Motion-based retention can also be enabled on this page. The chart on this page shows how much motion that specific camera actually captured in the past week. Based on an average of the same time period, the dashboard will provide an estimate of the total retention capacity for the selected camera. Adjusting the image quality from Standard to Enhanced will also affect this value. Use scheduled recording in conjunction with motion-based retention to build the retention plan that works best for you.

MV beta firmware opt-inFinally, video exports now feature timestamps embedded as watermarks. This small-but-mighty feature update will help provide users a more robust experience, should video need to be shared as evidence with law enforcement. Timestamps include the camera name, date, time, and timezone to ensure absolute clarity when reviewing footage.

Optimized retention is now available in beta. To take advantage of this functionality in your network, go to Network-wide, then click General. At the bottom of the page, select “Yes” in the dropdown menu next to ‘Try beta firmware.’ Please proceed with caution, however, if your cameras are housed in a combined network, as enabling this setting will apply to all device types in that network, not just cameras.Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 11.12.14 AM

If you still haven’t gotten your hands on an MV trial, be sure to contact us to learn more.

Introducing Virtual MX and MV Optimized Retention

The innovation engine never stops churning at Meraki. Today we’re delighted to announce updates to two of our product lines: MX security appliances and MV security cameras. Let’s get straight to the details.

New Virtual MX Appliance for Amazon Web Services

Every day, more companies are migrating IT services they previously hosted on servers in a physical data center to a public cloud, like Amazon Web Services. Meraki customers have long enjoyed having less hardware to power, cool, and maintain: no controller for the APs, no PBX for the phones, and no NVR for the cameras. This same benefit is attracting organizations to stop running their own servers, or simply reduce the number, by moving the services they provide to the cloud.

Meraki MX security appliances have been able to provide a VPN to these public cloud services for some time now, but these connections to a third party required manual configuration. Wouldn’t it be great if the legendary simplicity of Meraki Auto VPN could be made available for connection to these public cloud services? Allow us to introduce vMX100: Auto VPN and SD-WAN for Amazon Web Services.


Virtual MX enables Meraki customers to extend Auto VPN and SD-WAN functionality directly into the Amazon Web Services public cloud.

  • Appears in the dashboard, like any other MX security appliance
  • 500 Mbps VPN throughput
  • Bring Your Own Meraki License (BYOL). Choose from 1, 3 or 5 year licenses to get started
  • Connect to dashboard organizations with Enterprise or Advanced Security licenses

Secure connections built to a virtual MX benefit from the same SD-WAN capabilities as a physical MX appliance. An optimal path can be maintained using Dynamic Path Selection, for traffic destined for regular servers in a datacenter behind a physical MX, or EC2 virtual servers behind a virtual MX.

To learn more about setting up the new vMX100, please see our documentation.

Meraki MV Gets Optimized Retention & Export Timestamps

We’re also announcing two optimized video retention features for MV customers, addressing the most requested feature since the product launch in October: extended retention times.

  • With Motion-Based Retention turned on, cameras intelligently discard video footage more than 3 days old that does not contain any motion, significantly extending retention times.
  • Scheduled Recording can now be configured using templates, for either individual cameras or groups of cameras.
  • Video exports now also feature timestamps on the exported footage, embedded as a watermark, providing strong evidence for authorities.

We’ll have a more detailed post covering our Meraki MV announcements later this week.

In everything we do, at Meraki we’re focused on streamlining the world of IT so that organizations can focus on making a difference for their customers. Today we’ve announced another small but significant step, enabling Auto VPN simplicity for those using or migrating to Amazon Web Services, plus answered the call of many MV Security Camera customers who need longer storage times for their captured video.

There’s no better way to know whether Meraki is a good fit than to take it for a test drive. Click here to begin the journey.

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