Providing up-to-date information to the right people at the right time has always been a fundamental driver of telecommunications technology. With Meraki MV security cameras it is exceptionally easy to provide situational awareness to first responders in emergency situations.
Due to its cloud architecture and browser-based interface, the MV system allows any number of police officers or firefighters access to video from any device with a modern web browser. This ability to gain situational awareness in just a few minutes can have a big impact on public safety when a crisis occurs.
Four major attributes of MV’s functionality enable this capability. The first is the automatic delivery of video to remote viewers through the cloud. This automatic cloud stream is dynamically created when the Meraki dashboard detects the user’s device can’t connect directly to the camera for instance, from outside of the building. This secure encrypted video delivery eliminates the need for a VPN and the associated complex configuration.
The Meraki cloud will automatically detect whether the viewing computer is in the same network as the cameras, sending video directly or proxying through the cloud.
The second is that because the cloud acts as a proxy for the video coming from the MV cameras, video is only streamed once from the camera to the cloud but many times from the cloud to the clients. This allows the system to scale in an emergency to allow for many first responders to have access to video simultaneously. This happens automatically and dynamically with no pre-planning or configuration required.
Video streams once from the cameras to the cloud, but can stream to multiple remote computers simultaneously.
Thirdly, the implementation of HLS for video transport means video can stream to any device with a modern web browser. In an emergency situation all you need is access to an Internet-connected device and a web browser: no special computer, no software to install, and no wasted time.
Finally, comprehensive access controls allow for login and video viewing privileges to only be assigned to those who should have them. These privileges can be integrated with existing user databases with Meraki’s support for SAML, or new access can be provisioned directly within a couple of minutes with just a user’s email address.
Combined, Meraki MV’s features offer a new level of capability and customizability when it comes to public safety. When making the right decision is paramount, the value of having rapid access to the right information cannot be overestimated. Contact us today to find out more about MV and to arrange a trial to test the technology for yourself.
Our approach to product development ensures we bring new Meraki hardware to market rapidly, once the essential feature set is ready to roll. This formula has worked well for us, and anyone who has followed Meraki over the years will know all about our legendary Feature Velocity. Shipping hardware is just the beginning of an exciting life cycle for each product. From day one we’re listening to feedback, planning and building new features to ensure our customers experience increasing value for their investment over time.
Since its launch in May we’ve been delighted by the response to our Communications line and its first product, MC74. This was a bold move by Meraki, entering an established and mature market, but we knew we had something fresh to offer. It simply made sense to take our experience in building cloud-managed networking products and apply it to other areas of technology, and the voice world was ripe for a simplified approach to deployment. By eliminating the traditional PBX, and integrating the PSTN service provider component directly into the dashboard, we’ve delivered on the promise of IT made simple.
Almost since the day of the launch we’ve seen one consistent feature request: what the industry generally refers to as Hunt Groups, or Work Groups. These are essentially a way to relay an incoming call around a configured group of phones until the call is answered, with the ultimate goal of improving customer experience.
Our engineers have been hard at work coding a solution, and today we’re delighted to announce the introduction of ‘Call Groups’ for Meraki phones. Here’s how setting up a Call Group looks in dashboard:
Setting up a call group is as simple as our customers have come to expect from Meraki. Name the call group, determine which phones should ring (phones can be tagged, or all phones in the network can be included), determine a ringing strategy, numbers for the group, and that’s it. The ringing strategy can be based on which phone has been idle the longest, a round robin (one after the other with equal treatment for each) or simply ringing all the phones simultaneously. In each case the duration of ringing for each phone is set on the phone itself, and the admin can configure a total time for which the caller will be passed around the group before the call goes to voicemail.
Next on today’s list of much requested features is Announcements. It’s now possible to grant specific phones the privilege of making announcements to a predetermined group of receiving phones. When an announcement is initiated, the speakers on the receiving phones will be enabled and the phones will be muted to prevent feedback. Here’s how it looks on the announcing phone:
The blog title hinted at three things, and we do have one more thing to share today: an enhancement to our Service Provider integration into the Phone Numbers configuration screen. Integrating the Service Provider component directly into dashboard smooths the workflow for IT administrators, eliminating the need to work separately with the provider to purchase public numbers, which can be a potentially lengthy process. The dashboard already provides searching for and purchasing new numbers. We’re now adding the ability to ‘port’, or transfer existing numbers from a third party, all handled within the dashboard.
IT administrators who work with Meraki are familiar with our Feature Velocity. It’s a fundamental benefit of moving to a cloud-based architecture, where so much more can be achieved in software, free of the constraints of an expensive box. The Product Management team is already cooking up the next batch of features for the Meraki phone, as well as for the other products in our broadening portfolio, and this blog is the place to be to stay on top of it all. We hope you’re enjoying the ride as much as we are.
Click here to learn more about Meraki MC and attend a webinar.
A big challenge of managing the physical security of a large office, school, or other campus is keeping an eye on what’s important at any given time. One way to help streamline this daunting task is grouping relevant video feeds—whether by location, tag, or anything else—into video walls. This not only helps with the organization of seemingly endless video streams, but also creates screens that can be used in a ‘command center’ setup in the main security office or elsewhere.
In contrast to many hard-to-manage and/or clunky video management software (VMS) packages available today, the browser-based Meraki dashboard provides a simple and streamlined experience. Meraki MV doesn’t require any additional software packages or plugins, and best of all, with the dashboard interface, you can create a video wall in just a few clicks. See it in action:
As of today, we now have a second blog, hosted on medium.com. Check it out HERE.
Why the need for an additional blog, you ask? At Meraki, we’re always looking for better ways to deliver the most relevant and engaging content we can to our followers. We’ve decided there are two distinct formats that will allow us to more effectively organize and distribute content which matters to our community and beyond.
Here’s the breakdown:
The Meraki site blog (the one you’re reading this on!) will continue to focus on product and feature news and updates, as well as more company-specific happenings, keeping you up to speed on all things Meraki.
The new Meraki Medium blog will feature content that makes sense for broader audiences, filtered through our experiences here at Meraki. Topics will include case studies, helpful advice, industry observations, and more; think of it as the right brain to our site blog’s left brain.
Rather than splitting our current posting frequency between the two mediums (sorry for the pun), we will be stepping up our content output, delivering more substance that will help you rock your job and be the most interesting person at your office happy hours.
Just over a month ago, the First Year on Us promotion launched, allowing customers making new license purchases (3 years or more) to get an extra year of licensing for free!
We want to make sure everyone can benefit from the promotion, so from now until July 29, 2017, it will automatically be added to eligible customers’ Meraki dashboard accounts and will appear within 30 days of purchase.
No matter whether you’re adding new devices to an existing Meraki network or thinking of purchasing for the first time, it’s a great time to take a look at your IT needs and see that you don’t have to compromise due to budget constraints. With the added year of licensing, your IT infrastructure will keep on running for another year, providing you with Meraki’s standard suite of benefits:
Easy to configure: fill in the blanks and drop-down menus in an intuitive interface with enterprise functionality
Easy to access: configure and monitor your network from anywhere in the world where you have Internet access
Easy to scale: ship Meraki hardware to your sites and add it to your network by entering the serial numbers into dashboard
Easy to deploy: ideal for organizations of any size, from small site to large distributed enterprises
And remember, there’s so much more than you think included in that license! Not only do you get 24/7 dedicated support from a Meraki specialist, but you’re also getting all future firmware updates and new feature releases included, making your deployment future-proof.
Now is the perfect time to try the industry-leading Cisco Meraki solution and get started on completing those IT projects!
*This is for new license purchases only, so license renewals are not eligible for this offer. This offer is only valid between September 1, 2016 and July 29, 2017.
They say a picture tells a thousand words. Today we wanted to share a short video put together by Paul, one of the Meraki Product Specialists working on our MC product line. In less than 2 1/2 minutes Paul shows us how easy it is to do the essentials on the MC74.
Hands up everyone who’s experienced sitting through a training session at work or being given a manual to work through, just to use a device as simple as a phone. The truth is, we all know how to work a sophisticated modern phone: we carry one around with us everywhere we go.
Anyone who can work a smartphone will be right at home on this beautiful handset, and as we set out on our webpage, MC74 has a host of user-friendly features to keep communication simple, like it should be.
In the recent updates to the Meraki switch view, a subtle yet powerful feature has been that lets users upload a photo of any switch and install location. This can come in handy, particularly when managing lots switches or locations. Take for example a retail store that just lost the network connection to one of their point of sale systems. A network engineer that’s remote to the store can pull up the location photo to quickly help the store manager identify which ports to look at, and check physical connections. Combine this with the many other troubleshooting tools available throughout dashboard, and the engineer can help get things back on track in no time.
Source: Digital image. “Patch panel / switch” by jdelshad, reddit inc.
To get started, either download and install our mobile app for iOS or Android to take the picture directly, or use a previously saved photo by going to the switch view in dashboard, and then selecting the Location tool. Once selected, you’ll see a “map”, “photo” and “topology” view. Choose the “Photo” view and simply drag and drop the picture into the grey area, or click to select one for uploading – it’s that easy!
Stay tuned for more In the know posts featuring subtle yet useful features across the entire Meraki portfolio of networking and IT products, and let us know what you think!
The last couple of weeks have shown how vulnerable our connected world can be. Reports of a new wave of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks at a scale beyond what has been seen before are attracting worldwide headlines. With traffic floods now reaching the terabyte scale, only those with global resources and deep pockets can withstand such an onslaught.
“The attack began around 8 p.m. ET on Sept. 20, and initial reports put it at approximately 665 Gigabits of traffic per second.”
KrebsOnSecurity Hit with Record DDoS – KrebsOnSecurity – September 21st 2016
Powering this new wave of cyber weaponry is the Internet of Things (IoT). A nascent breed of devices taking their steps into the world at a time where the value of something is dramatically amplified by its integration into the network. Unfortunately this rapid push to connect everything has not always been balanced with the rapid push to secure the underlying technology architecture.
“That cyberattack was powered by something the internet had never seen before: an army made of more than one million hacked Internet of Things devices.”
How 1.5 Million Connected Cameras Were Hijacked to Make an Unprecedented Botnet Motherboard – September 29th 2016
One of the unwilling device types in these recent attacks are IP enabled security cameras. These cameras and recording systems are typically well connected and remotely accessed. When this is combined with poorly implemented web interfaces, default passwords, and a lack of cyber security oversight, systems are effectively waiting to be exploited.
“Attackers used an army of hijacked security cameras and video recorders to launch several massive internet attacks last week, prompting fresh concern about the vulnerability of millions of “smart” devices”
The Meraki MV Security Camera delivers on the promise of simple connected devices without security compromise. At the heart of MV is the same core software powering other Meraki devices like wireless access points and security appliances. This code has been honed over the last 10 years, battle tested in the most demanding of locations, and it provides the most secure control infrastructure of any security camera available.
All MV management traffic and video transport is encrypted by default: it’s not even possible to configure MV to operate without encrypted communications. Administrative access to the cameras is only available through the Meraki dashboard, an interface that can be secured with advanced technologies such as two factor authentication.
Beyond the individual devices, the Meraki infrastructure is housed in SSAE16 / SAS70 Type II certified data centres, undergoes daily penetration testing, and is covered by our security rewards program. These policies and processes allow us to meet the most rigorous of customer requirements, including the need to be PCI compliant.
The initial savings of a low cost or consumer grade security camera system may prove expensive later on. If it is trivial for cameras to be used to attack legitimate businesses and other organisations, how much extra effort would it take for someone to start snooping through those same cameras?
With the advent of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the MV team will be posting more information on MV’s security architecture to highlight our commitment to a safe world of connected devices. Until then, for further information please contact us to find out more.
It’s that time of year again! With E-Rate season ramping up, the folks here at Meraki wanted to remind all of our K–12 and library customers about some education-centric features our suite of products can offer you. Find out about useful features and read a short case study featuring Milpitas Unified School District by downloading the Meraki for K–12 solution guide.
You’ll learn about:
Deep network visibility Layer 7 visibility and management for fine-grained control over how the network bandwidth is used.
Bulletproof security Six complex devices built into one, easy-to-use security appliance: branch router, firewall, site-to-site VPN, content filter, load balancer, and intrusion prevention.
High-density support Automatically optimizes and delivers superior performance in high-density wireless environments under intense interference conditions.
BYOD and 1:1 Establish mobility management rules, bandwidth limits, device-aware access policies, and firewall rules to ensure appropriate network use.
Live troubleshooting Ethernet cable testing, event logs, and live packet captures right from the dashboard.
Mobility management Systems Manager is the only solution that provides unified management of mobile devices, Macs, PCs, and the entire network from a centralized dashboard. Automate device onboarding, deploy apps, and enforce security restrictions easily.
Want these features in your school? Reach out to your Meraki representative to find out more or register for a no-strings attached trial.
P.S. All Meraki hardware and most licenses are 100% eligible for E-Rate funding* and with our current E-Rate promotion, you can take advantage of the following at an incredible price.
*MX Advanced Security Licenses are 50% eligible, SM Licenses, MC Hardware & Licenses, and MV Hardware & Licenses are not E-Rate eligible per Funding Year 2016 eligible services list.
A couple of weeks ago we announced our upcoming support for Fast Lane features, which improve the WiFi and application performance experience for users of iOS10. These new capabilities are the culmination of joint development between Apple and Cisco as part of the partnership we announced last summer, and are delivered via our MR access points and Systems Manager mobility management.
Today we’re happy to announce the release of related documentation, and the opening of these exciting new features to our MR beta customers.