Archive for December, 2018

Our Topology Icons Speak Volumes

Communicating technical topics to a broad audience can be challenging. Photos, illustrations, and video are all helpful tools designed to simplify complex subjects, but it’s easy to go overboard when describing a product as intricate as a switch or security appliance.

To help everyone represent Cisco Meraki products and related concepts more clearly, Meraki has released a set of official topology icons (in png and svg formats) to encourage collaboration and discussion.

Speaking a single language

The icons help to describe key networking ideas more consistently across our entire product line. The products covered include our switches, access points, smart cameras, security and SD-WAN devices, virtual appliances, and other generic networking items. The images can be used freely, with attribution, as a part of the Creative Commons terms of use. We envision the icons being used in topology diagrams for deployment documents, blogs, forums, and social media.

Below is a symbol legend for some select icons you will find inside our larger icon set in the Meraki Library.

Topology Set Icons

Left-to-Right Arrows for Layer 2 – The two sets of arrows going right and left indicate communication between devices at Layer 2. Available on MS device icons. Example:

Diagonal Arrows for Layer 3 – Our Layer 3 icon adds diagonal arrows to indicate the routing capabilities available on MS and MX products. Example:

Wireless – The icon represents a device that has Wi-Fi capabilities. Available on MR wireless, select MX security appliances, and Z-Series teleworker appliances. Example:

MX SD-WAN and security specific symbols – The MX icon includes symbols for inspecting traffic (magnifying glass), diagonal arrows for routing, and a brick wall for protection against bad actors. Example:

Dotted Line for Virtual Appliances – The virtual appliance provides Meraki security and SD-WAN services for migrating IT services to Amazon Web Services and or Microsoft Azure. Example:

Server – The server icon has several sub-icons to highlight important characteristics. Available with cloud, directory, domain, file, web, and Meraki servers. Example:

If you would like to get started, consider downloading our full icon set to begin incorporating the images into your topology maps, Meraki community messages, personal blogs, and Twitter posts.

Meraki Topology Icons by Cisco Meraki are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This Holiday Season’s Must-Watch: Systems Manager

Apple TV

In a variety of different industries, Apple TV is helping provide better guest experiences and increase user engagement.

Educational environments around the globe, including classrooms, hallways, and entire campus structures, are becoming more technologically integrated. Apple TV is a common tool used by instructors to share information. Teachers are able to better engage with students while seamlessly sharing content from their iPads to on larger screens, enabling easy collaboration and spontaneous sharing between students.

In the hospitality sector, making the guest experience an “at-home” experience has always been a top priority. Today it is more common to see technologies like Apple TV provide a platform for proactive and efficient communication. Employees can easily share relevant information with guests and other hotel staff, resulting in simpler and more automated hotel operations. Local recommendations, amenities, and seasonal offerings can be featured in guest rooms and around an entire hotel, allowing guests to constantly be in the know, without it interfering with their stay.

Having received a ton of requests for Apple TV support from our customers, Cisco Meraki is happy to announce that Systems Manager now fully supports Apple TV (tvOS). With the addition of tvOS, Systems Manager now supports six operating systems, with tvOS joining iOS, MacOS, Android, Chrome OS, and Windows.

The new Systems Manager feature allows customers to manage Apple TV-enabled devices similar to mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops and other endpoint devices.

With the way these verticals are using Apple TV and how it contributes to their business, any downtime on these devices can be costly. Not being able to get alerted when an Apple TV is offline, locate and erase a lost device, or enroll hundreds of devices at the same time results in a stressful and inefficient experience for IT admins.

In order to optimize technologies like Apple TV for better student engagement, larger revenue streams, and improved customer experience, managing these devices needs to be intuitive, fast, and to-the-point.

Systems Manager caters to these needs by:

  • Supporting new out-of-box enrollment (OOBE) capabilities using Apple DEP for easy Apple TV onboarding
  • Providing remote troubleshooting tools (such as locking devices, selectively wiping, erasing a device, and rebooting)
  • Allowing device restrictions — now made easier with an updated user experience and more security for AirPlay and Single App mode
  • Enabling easier addition and synchronization of tvOS apps via VPP

The list doesn’t stop there — if you are familiar with Systems Manager, the experience is built to be on par with the management of other Apple operating systems such as iOS and macOS.

If you would like to learn more about Systems Manager, join us for an upcoming webinar (where you can qualify to earn free System Manager licenses), or call the Meraki sales line to start a risk-free evaluation.

Meraki MV: The Newest Member of your Floor Plans

If you have a lot of cameras on your site, you’re probably familiar with the challenges that come with keeping track of them all.

Even with diligent naming conventions and liberal tagging, trying to figure out exactly where a particular camera is located on your site can be frustrating — especially if your cameras sit on multiple floors.

Well, worry no more. The Map & floor plans feature in the Meraki dashboard has recently been expanded to include Meraki MV cameras. Rather than guess where a camera is, you can now use MV indicators on your floor plans to easily track where each camera is, monitor their statuses, and access their video streams.

Getting MV cameras on your floor plans

If you’re already using floor plans in the dashboard, then you’re all set, because adding a camera to a floor plan is no different than adding any other device.

If floor plans are something you’re yet to explore, don’t worry — adding floor plans in the dashboard is very simple, and they’re incredibly useful for every network.

First, navigate to Network-wide > Map & floor plans and select the “Add a new floor plan” button. You’ll be prompted to provide a name for the floor plan (e.g., “1st Floor”), the street address for your site, and to upload the floor plan image.

Once you’ve done this, the image you’ve uploaded will be overlaid on Google Maps at the provided street address — you can rotate, resize, and position your floor plan so it aligns properly with the map, as shown below. When you’re happy with the alignment, press “Save floor plan and place devices.”

You should now see your newly added map beside a list of all the Meraki devices on your network. Click and drag to place each camera (or other device) in the appropriate spot on your map. When everything has been placed, press “Save device placements.” That’s it!

With cameras now on your floor plan, you can hover your mouse over any MV icon to see a dialog box containing the name and model of the camera. Clicking on a camera’s name will take you directly to that camera’s video stream.

The color of the icon will also indicate the status of each of your cameras, so you can quickly locate and troubleshoot any cameras that may be having problems.

Are you planning on using floor plans to help manage your camera network? Tell us all about your plans over at the Meraki Community!