Archive for January, 2020

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!

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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!

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