Archive for January, 2020

Cisco on Cisco: Meraki Systems Manager

The growing trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) brings a lot of benefits to the workplace. BYOD provides employees with flexibility to leverage more connectivity options while increasing productivity and satisfaction by allowing employees to work where and when they want to. 78% of organizations in the US* are embracing BYOD policies, as it allows them to report reduced operational and IT costs, diminished work delays, and enhanced security., 

Recently, Cisco IT deployed Meraki Systems Manager as their Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution to support Cisco’s BYOD model. At Cisco, the IT team manages 60,000+ mobile devices, all of which are BYOD. BYOD plays a big role in allowing Cisco employees to connect to the right work resources, anytime, anywhere, simply using their personal devices. 

Screenshot of mobile app 'what does this mean'

A seamless onboarding experience for Cisco employees 

At Cisco, BYOD onboarding/enrollment is completely user-driven. When an employee wants to have access to Cisco applications and services on their personal mobile device, the first step is to download the Cisco eStore application. Once the Cisco eStore app is downloaded, employees log into the app using their Active Directory credentials and begin the process of enrollment. The entire process is easy to follow and gives employees an understanding of what will happen on their personal device if they choose to be managed by Meraki Systems Manager. After opting into MDM management, employees will then be prompted to install the configuration profile which includes the certificate that authenticates the user and their device. As soon as the installation is complete, employees will have access to their Cisco email, calendar, and WebEx.  

Screenshot of getting started page on mobile app

Cisco IT needed an Enterprise-ready MDM solution

For a large enterprise like Cisco, it is critically important to automate IT processes, report intelligently, and integrate with their existing infrastructure. With Systems Manager, powered by Meraki APIs, Cisco IT is able to accomplish these priorities with global scalability. 

Cisco IT has a big ecosystem of “of custom-built, in-house systems and it was a top priority to have an MDM solution integrate with them seamlessly. An example of that is the close integration between the Cisco eStore application and Meraki Systems Manager. The Cisco eStore application is the central hub for Cisco employees to have Cisco manage their phones to establish client VPN and access to corporate email, collaborative applications, and other resources. The Cisco eStore app provides a simple and intuitive user-friendly experience, while all the mobile security and management is taken care of on the backend with Meraki Systems Manager.

Screenshot of mobile app user agreement page

Effective security Cisco IT can count on

On top of providing employees a simple and efficient way to access work resources with their personal mobile devices, Cisco IT can rest assured knowing security is front and center for the entire process. With Meraki Systems Manager, Cisco IT has created security policies that require employee consent before they are given access to what they need. These policies depend on consistent compliance from employees,  so they can continue to have access to business resources.

Currently, Cisco IT is deploying employee BYOD with Meraki Systems Manager and will complete the rollout for the 60,000+ devices by June of this year. If you would like to learn more about Cisco IT and Meraki Systems Manager, visit the Cisco on Cisco booth at Cisco Live Barcelona starting January 27th, or attend a Systems Manager webinar to try out its MDM capabilities. 

*Frost and Sullivan 2018
Posted in Company Blog | Comments Off on Cisco on Cisco: Meraki Systems Manager

I See What You Did There…

Video access is a powerful tool. Knowing this, it helps to ensure that the right people get timely and secure access to video when needed. 

While current camera permissions on the Meraki dashboard allow a lot of flexibility, they may not be the quickest way to share video. For this purpose, we have added the ability to share live video externally to non-dashboard users. Admins like school principals or branch managers can now easily share live video to emergency response personnel or temporary workers when additional situational awareness is needed. Because these links expire, security camera administrators can rest easy, knowing sensitive information is protected. 

On top of this, users need to be accountable when they are accessing video to ensure the system is not abused. With the new video access log, site managers can verify if employees are accessing video for legitimate business reasons. Network administrators can now also monitor the number and length of video viewing sessions to mitigate bandwidth usage spikes. 

Share live video to non-dashboard users

An admin can now quickly share live video externally to any email address. These links expire and can be revoked, so admins can be certain no one can get access to sensitive information unless required. 

Screenshot of menu option to share strean externally

Screenshot of security camera footage of bike storage room

Read more about the feature on the Meraki Documentation site.

Get more visibility through the video access log

On a network with many camera users and custom permissions, it can be extremely valuable to have a clear audit log of who is accessing video through the Meraki dashboard and how. The video access log provides network administrators with information on who’s doing what with video in your network.

Screenshot of video access log

The log includes access-related actions for all cameras within the network, including:

  • Video viewed locally
  • Video viewed through cloud access
  • Video viewing session ended
  • Screenshot created
  • Video export created
  • Video export deleted
  • Video export downloaded
  • Video export link created
  • Video range paused
  • Video range unpaused
  • Video range deleted
  • Snapshot created via API

Learn more by visiting the Meraki Documentation site, and try using these features today! We would love to hear your use cases and thoughts on the external stream feature and video access log, on the Meraki Community.

Barcelona, here we come!

Cisco Live is like a merry-go-round, and it feels like no sooner has one finished we’re planning the next. And there’s a good reason the planning starts so early: there’s a ton going on! These are huge events, attracting Cisco fans from across the globe – the last one held in San Diego attracted almost 30,000 attendees!

Cisco live main stage and audience seating

It’s this success that drives Cisco to run multiple Cisco Lives around the world each year, and the new decade kicks off with a return visit to Barcelona for the last week of January. As always, The Cisco Meraki team will be there in large numbers, helping to ensure we get to meet and shake the hands of as many attendees as possible. We’ve created a website with all the details, and here’s a quick rundown of what we have in store this time around.

11 new dashboard product and feature demos

8 formal presentations (technical and less technical)

2 walk-in labs to try out

6 #MerakiMission challenges to complete

The new Capture the Flag

DevNet workshops

And last but not least…

An Innovation Showcase talk by the always-energized head of Meraki, Todd Nightingale

We’ll also be hanging-out in our Meraki Lounge, where we’ll be serving quality coffee alongside the cloud managed IT. There’ll even be a happy hour on Tuesday, definitely not to be missed! With all these opportunities to meet Merakians, and with everything else that goes on both in and around Cisco Live, we’re confident this will be a great experience for everyone, as always.

Our top priority at events like Cisco Live is meeting customers, past, present and future, partners, developers, IT leaders and anyone enthusiastic about our mission to simplify IT and unlock the potential of organizations the world over. We very much look forward to meeting you and hearing your story.

Sign-up here to join us in Barcelona!

Posted in Company Blog | Comments Off on Barcelona, here we come!

Set it and forget it, with MV camera profiles

Since its launch in 2016, the MV smart camera has been making the deployment of security cameras hassle-free for network administrators and security camera specialists. With onboard storage and management through the Meraki dashboard, from anywhere, the MV camera is essentially plug-and-play. However, for larger deployments with different coverage scenarios and target use cases, one can spend a lot of time and a lot of clicks customizing settings across all cameras and networks.

With the new quality and retention profiles and APIs, you can now deploy your cameras faster than ever before. 

Bulk configure using profiles on the dashboard

Each camera deployment faces unique requirements. Some cameras, like the ones facing entrances, or monitoring important assets, may need to record with the highest resolution, frame rate and bitrate, for the most amount of detail when identifying faces. Some sites have strict retention requirements and may require scheduled recording, motion-based retention and the lowest resolution and quality. With profiles, everything under the camera’s “Quality and retention” tab can be combined together and applied in one go.

After creating quality and retention profiles on the dashboard, you can then easily select multiple cameras within a network and bulk-assign them the same settings. 

Gif showing adjustment of camera settings in Meraki dashboard

More information on using the quality and retention profiles can be found on the Meraki Documentation site.

Work even smarter using APIs

On top of being able to use profiles to quickly apply settings to multiple cameras, you can work even faster by using a number of APIs that provide more freedom and automation. 

You can perform the following actions using APIs:

  • Quality and retention profiles (for a given network)
    • List the quality retention profiles 
    • Create new quality retention profile
    • Retrieve a single quality retention profile
    • Update an existing quality retention profile
    • Delete an existing quality retention profile
  • Individual quality and retention settings (for a given camera)
    • Return a list of all camera recording schedules
    • Return quality and retention settings 
    • Update quality and retention settings (individually, or using a profile)

More information on the APIs can be found under the Meraki Developer Hub.

Do you have an upcoming deployment? Visit our documentation for more information on how to use quality and retention profiles. Let us know what you think on the Meraki Community page!

Export Video, On Your Schedule

When you need to get video off of a security camera – say for evidence collection after an incident – you want it to be simple. With MV smart cameras, video can be exported from the camera and uploaded to the cloud in just a few steps.  As simple as exports are to set up, there are times that users may want to wait to export video after hours, as they do require upstream WAN bandwidth.  Before, this would require logging into the dashboard at a later time to export the video, but the newly released scheduled exports allows a user to set and forget. 

Schedule Video Exports to Minimize Disruptions

With scheduled exports, users can select the video they’d like to export from their security cameras, and choose the time most convenient for exporting.  Scheduling exports after hours can help reduce the potential bandwidth impact on other business critical applications, allowing your organization to run more smoothly.

Screenshot of video analytics menu

Scheduling video for export is easy in the Meraki dashboard

Scheduling video for export is easy.  Once you’ve navigated to the desired video time, select the “Share” drop down, and the export video option. You can drag the sliders on the video timeline to adjust the length of the export, or use the date/time boxes at the top of the video stream.  Then, choose the date and time that you’d like the video to be exported, and select “export”.

Download or Share Video Clips After Export

After export, the file will be available for download or sharing in the dashboard by selecting the “Share” drop down, and then “Show recent exports”.  Video clips are saved for 12 months in the dashboard, during which time they can be downloaded to a computer as an MP4 file.  Need to share the video with someone outside the organization?  Generate a shareable link within the dashboard to send, and they’ll be able to download the file via the unique URL.  

Screenshot of recent exports report

Interested in learning more on exporting videos, or MV smart cameras? See our documentation for more information on how exporting video works, or check out a webinar for an overview of our MV smart camera line. Let us know what you think about the new feature on the Meraki Community page. 

2020: The Year to Master Meraki APIs

Ready or not, 2020 has begun and folks are trickling back into the office / building / campus. We know there are a number of tasks on your list for the upcoming year, and if digging into Meraki API services is on that list, here are a few reasons to bump that up near the top:

1. APIs help you automate everything, saving time and brainpower for other things. 

Meraki APIs make it possible to automate much of what you do in the dashboard, giving you more time to focus on other things in your network (or life!).

2. An API-first strategy (at Meraki) means more resources (for you!), making it easier to get started and/or master your practice. 

Meraki is doubling down on its investment in its API services, and that means continued development of training resources (learning labs, GitHub and Postman collections, live DevNet Express training events, etc.), full code libraries, a thriving user community for peer-to-peer support, and a growing collection of live and on-demand webinars

3. Programming skills will help expand your networking toolset and strengthen your career.

The demand is growing for programming skills in network engineering roles, along with the opportunities and requirements to use APIs for automation, advanced reporting/auditing, and application development on top of networking technologies. Meraki and Cisco DevNet have partnered up to provide the resources you need to add programing skills to your networking toolset. On that note, you might also consider joining us at Cisco DevNet Create this March – early bird registration is open through January 24th, 2020!

To help you get started, here are two upcoming webinars that both beginners and advanced programmers will enjoy. If you can’t make the live broadcast, feel free to follow the same links below for on-demand viewing after the event. 

Webinar 1: Programming in Python: An updated SDK for the Meraki Dashboard API

Date: Jan 8th 11AM PST/2PM EST

Join us in this session as we unpack the updated Python SDK (Software Development Kit). Learn how simply and easily use the Python SDK to make Dashboard API calls, handle errors and exceptions, easily access and export logs for troubleshooting, and collect meaningful data. 

Webinar 2: Drag and Drop Programming with Meraki and Node-RED

Date: Jan 14th at 11AM PST/2PM EST

Join us in this session to learn about Node-Red, a tool for taking the work out of programming with the Meraki Dashboard API. Node-Red is a dream come true for both experienced and first-time/recently refreshed programmers, allowing you to offload scripting boilerplate code around commands and link tasks together in an intuitive, flexible format.

We hope to see you in these webinars, at DevNet Create, the Meraki Community, and the Developer Hub soon!

Posted in Company Blog | Comments Off on 2020: The Year to Master Meraki APIs