Archive for the ‘Company Blog’ Category

Inspiring science & technology with the help of Meraki Switches

TELUS World of Science - Edmonton- Planetarium

TELUS World of Science – Edmonton is a non-profit organization in Edmonton, Canada, focused on bringing science education to their community. The center houses one of the largest IMAX theaters in all of Canada, as well as a planetarium theater (pictured above) for lectures, events, and science presentations.

The growing organization is dedicated to its mission of fostering wonder and excitement for children and adults around science and technology in ways that advance and strengthen the community. Yet, as a non-profit, funding and costs are spread quite thin across the entire organization. When it comes to IT infrastructure, Robert Litchfield, Director of IT, leads a lean team of 2, including himself.

On March 1, 2017 at 11AM PT, Litchfield will join us in a live webinar to share some of the greatest challenges managing and monitoring the TELUS network, and how Cisco Meraki has helped advance their organizational mission, cut costs, and create opportunities for additional revenue.

Litchfield will share:

  • How his lean team manages everything from Wi-Fi, desktop support, server maintenance, data security, and application and network management
  • How the center has supported a network of hundreds of guests and devices each day, before and after Meraki
  • What the rip and replacement looked like, as well as the deployment of Meraki switches
  • Some of the unique use cases, challenges, and needs a science center faces, and how a solid network infrastructure plays a part in its success

Register today for the chance to hear directly from Litchfield on how TELUS World of Science overcame their networking challenges with Meraki to continue educating and inspiring their community.

The webinar is March 1, 2017 at 11AM PT and eligible attendees will receive a free switch*, so register today!

What: TELUS World of Science: The Magic of Science and Switching

When: Wednesday, March 1st at 11AM PT

Register Here: [Link]

*free switch rules

Meet Meraki at Cisco Live! Berlin

It’s that time of year again! Cisco Meraki is headed to Cisco Live! in Berlin, Germany in just a few days. Members from our executive, product, marketing, support, and sales teams will be heading to the show to meet with our customers and partners. Stop by the Cisco Meraki booth in Hall 1.2 in the World of Solutions and meet the team!

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 5.48.56 PM

Undoubtedly, our favorite aspect of the Meraki Magic is the secure, cloud managed dashboard. This year at Cisco Live! we’ll be unveiling our dashboard localization project. Attendees will be able to get a dashboard demo in German, French, or English from native speakers. Want to see the dashboard in Spanish or Japanese too? You can do that with a simple click. Our experts will be on standby and ready to show you just how easy it is for your international teams to work more efficiently (and in their own language).

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 5.21.33 PM

If you’ve never seen the dashboard or our products up close, Cisco Live! is the perfect time to get one-on-one interaction with our experts and ask all your questions. If you’re a diehard #Merakifan, we’d love to show you the shiny new features we’ve been working on. We’ll be displaying our new wireless and switching models as well as our trusted security appliances, SD-WAN, and our EMM solution. Additionally, we’ll be showcasing Meraki Communications and live MV security cameras for the first time ever at Cisco Live! EMEA.

Last but not least, Meraki will be hosting a number of presentations throughout the week. Sign up for one of the following sessions today!

Enterprise Networks Innovation Talk (Tuesday, Feb 21, 11:15 a.m.)

  • Todd Nightingale, SVP, General Manager, Cisco Meraki

Technical Breakouts & Workshops

  • Cloud Managed Mobility with Meraki Wireless and MDM
  • Beyond the Network: Cloud Managed IT with Meraki
  • SD-WAN with Meraki
  • Cisco Meraki Cloud Managed Networks
  • Meraki MV Security Cameras
  • Cloud Managed Security for Distributed Networks with Cisco Meraki MX
  • Cloud-Based Service Management Architectures
  • Network Automation with the Meraki API
  • DevNet Workshop: Automation with Meraki Provisioning API
  • Mobile Presence and Operational Analytics with Splunk and Meraki
  • DevNet Workshop: Cisco’s New Bluetooth CMX Location
  • DevNet Workshop: Analytics with Meraki CMX Location API
  • Cisco Meraki Developers: Cloud as a Platform Overview
  • DevNet Workshop: Engagement with Meraki Splash API

We look forward to seeing you in Berlin!

 

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Enhanced 911 Visibility for MC

E911, or Enhanced 911, is a system in North America that provides the caller’s phone number and physical address to the emergency responder when an emergency call is made. In the rest of the world, a similar feature is often called caller location.

For customers that like to be prepared in case of emergencies, Dashboard will now display the exact street address associated with each MC74. If there is a mismatch between what is configured in Dashboard and what the provider is reporting, the following error will appear. This way, IT administrators can ensure that locations are always up-to-date if 911 is called.

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Default addresses can also be configured in Dashboard to update the network in bulk – this is handy when moving buildings, or adding to your deployment. This setting can be found under Network wide -> Configure -> General and will update all the phones in your network that do not have a customized address.

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 11.08.06 AM

If you’re curious about this feature and would like to try MC for yourself, get in touch with your Meraki rep or check out a webinar to learn more.

Announcing MV Analytics

If you noticed a new tab that says “Analytics” pop up in your Cisco Meraki MV dashboard last week, you weren’t dreaming. MV has officially taken its first step into the video analytics world.

Specifically, the MV team is delighted to announce the launch of heat maps, which will give customers valuable insights into customer behavior, school safety, and more. Staying true to one of the team’s core principles which drive product decision makingbusiness value through intelligence—developing heat maps is just the first step in delivering advanced analytics tools to our customers.

Heat maps show an overview of the last week’s worth of motion data, on a per-day basis, giving insight into how a space is being used by students—are they using the playground equipment on the weekends?—or how customers are moving through a retail store location.

MV Heat Maps in Action

Most importantly, as with all Meraki products, cloud management means that every existing MV user will now automatically have this heat map tool available to them (as a public beta): no software installation, payments, or configuration required. Simply log in to your dashboard account to try it out for yourself.

If you haven’t gotten your hands on an MV yet or seen one in action, get in touch with your Meraki rep or check out a webinar to learn more.

Easy as 1, 2, 3

So your first five MV cameras have just arrived. Now what? Proper, strategic camera installation can make all the difference when it comes time to review footage. Taking the time to map out your deployment before the big day (installation day!) can mean the difference between finding your boss’s stolen iPad and coming up empty handed. Here are some tips and ideas to help get you started:

1. Think context and identity. When installing MV cameras (or any security cameras, for that matter), two cameras per key area should typically be regarded as a minimum requirement. One camera should be zoomed out, with a wide field of view for context. The other should be zoomed in on an area where you can easily catch a face walking by (think door entrances) in order to catch detail and help you identify potential perpetrators.

Having one or more cameras situated so you can easily perform a motion search can help too. This may double as your wide-angle camera, or a third could be useful. As with network deployments, camera deployments will vary widely based on your particular use case. Consultation with the experts—your partner or installer—is recommended.

Zoomed Camera

A zoomed in camera for identification.

Wide Angle

A wide angle camera for context.

 

2. Aim! MV is a fixed, varifocal lens camera, so lens adjustment should be done during physical install. Use the Meraki Mobile App to simplify installation that much more and reduce the likelihood of dropping your laptop off the top of a 10 foot ladder.

Mobile App

Setup with the Meraki mobile app is a breeze.

3. Focus. While lens positioning adjustments must be made during physical install, zoom, aperture, and focus settings are adjusted remotely, through the dashboard or the Meraki app. MV’s autofocus tool allows you to either focus on the whole frame, or select a specific area to focus on. Check out this mini-demo to see how easy it is to adjust these settings.

Happy MV installing! For more information, check out our free webinars and get in contact with your Meraki sales rep.

How One Retailer Took Over the Nation with Meraki

A Wireless Map

When Stephen Stanton, VP of IT at A Wireless, was told about upcoming plans to acquire 370 stores across the United States, he didn’t think it would be possible. Stanton knew the company would not be able to scale at that rate with their legacy networking solution. But that was four years ago. Today, A Wireless, a full-service Authorized Verizon Retailer, has about 1,170 stores across 46 states—an almost tenfold increase in store locations.

On Thursday, February 9th at 10 AM PT, Stanton will join us in a live conversation to share how A Wireless evaluated and decided on Cisco Meraki as their solution of choice for national expansion.

As A Wireless acquired new stores, they also acquired a mix of IT networking solutions and vendor products. They found themselves with a network built on varying technologies, configurations, and management systems. Implementing a standardized network and centralized management was essential for their continued success. 

Over a 3-year period, A Wireless have saved in excess of 80% in the total cost of ownership of the network, compared to a more traditional networking solution.

A Wireless TCO Cost Savings

A Wireless TCO Cost Savings

Over 670 stores already fitted with a full suite of Meraki solutions, including MX Security Appliances, MR Access Points, MS Switches, and even a few MC Phones. Now, Stanton and his team are ready to deploy the next 500 locations with the same products and by the final deployment, all 1,170 stores will be full Meraki shops without any other network vendor solutions.

View a recording of this webinar, A Wireless, A Verizon Premium Retailer: Scaling Nationally with Meraki, here: [Link]

 

Instant Systems Manager Free 30-day trials

We’re excited to announce a new customer-initiated free trial program for Systems Manager, Cisco’s Enterprise Mobility Management solution. This program enables anyone to get started with Systems Manager right away through a more managed and supported experience and replaces the previous SM Free 100 device program.

After visiting the Systems Manager signup page, enter basic contact details and device count and a fully support 30-day free trial will automatically be provisioned. This also includes access to Meraki support for 24/7 questions.

For more information or to get started immediately with a trial, please visit the signup page or contact your Cisco Meraki representative.

FAQ
Q: How do I start a free trial?
A: Visit https://meraki.cisco.com/form/systems-manager-signup.

Q: How many devices can be enrolled?
A: 1.25 times the number of employees entered at signup.

Q: How long is the trial period?
A: 30 days

Q: Can the trial be extended?
A: Yes. It can be extended by calling a Meraki rep.

Q: What happens to customers with “SM Free 100” today?
A: There are no changes to existing “SM Free 100” accounts.

TECH SUPPORT’S WINTER/SPRING 2017 US CAMPUS TOUR

Cisco Meraki’s Technical Support team is making the rounds to 12 universities and colleges over the course of the next three months for our winter/spring campus recruiting season, and we’d love for you to join us at our events!

TechSupportEvents

Our technical support team is consistently praised by our customers around the globe, and we’re looking for recent graduates to join us as Network Support Engineers. The daily work of our team members is ever-changing and regularly challenging, with opportunities to work with Meraki’s wireless access points, security appliances, switches, IP phones, security cameras, and enterprise mobility management software. Subjects of study that connect well with the day-to-day responsibilities of our team include Computer Information Technology, Network Technology, Information Systems, and other majors in that realm.

Make sure to stop by at one of the following schools we’ll be visiting on our tour and meet our team in person!

DePaul University
Chicago, Illinois
1.24.2017 | Hot cocoa with Meraki
1.25.2017 | Careers in Technology networking event
1.26.2017 | Rapid hiring session (& breakfast!)

Syracuse University
Syracuse, New York
1.31.2017 | Undergraduate Info Session
1.31.2017 | Meraki Meet & Mingle
2.1.2017 | iSchool Spring 2017 Career Fair

Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana
1.30.2017 | Hot cocoa with Meraki
1.31.2017 | Meraki Meet & Mingle w/ Product Lab
2.1.2017 | Polytechnic Career Fair 2017

University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California
1.31.2017 | Meraki Info Session
1.31.2017 | Meraki Product Lab
2.1.2017 | CEIC & Gaming Fair

Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah
2.7.2017 | Meraki Info Session & Resume Workshop
2.7.2017 | Meraki Product Lab
2.9.2017 | STEM Career Fair

East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina
2.8.2017 | Meraki Info Session & Product Lab
2.9.2017 | Employer and Student Networking Day

University of Wisconsin, Stout
Menomonie, Wisconsin
2.20.2017 | Meraki Info Session & Product Lab
2.21.2017 | Spring 2017 Career Conference

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Carbondale, Illinois
2.21.2017 | Meraki Info Session & Product Lab
2.22.2017 | Spring 2017 University Career Fair

Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, New York
2.27.2017 Hot cocoa with Meraki
2.27.2017 | Meraki Product Lab
3.1.2017 | Spring 2017 Career Fair

Alfred State College
Alfred, New York
3.21.2017 | Meraki Info Session & Product Lab
3.22.2017 | Spring 2017 Career Fair

University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
3.21.2017 | Meraki Meet & Mingle and Product Lab
3.22.2017 | Blitz hiring session

Champlain College
Burlington, Vermont
3.27.2017 | Meraki Meet & Mingle and Product Lab
3.28.2017 | 2017 Career Conference & Fair

Can’t make it to our campus events? Check out our website and/or apply at meraki.com/jobs. Also, take a look at our video showcasing what it’s really like to work at Meraki and our YouTube channel full of information.

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Meraki and the Hastily Formed Network

We all love to think that our work can make a difference in other people’s lives. Some of us are fortunate enough to be engaged in work which directly helps others – educating the next generation, or healing the sick – while others are enablers, providing the tools those on the front lines depend on.

nethope

NetHope is a consortium of 50 non-governmental organizations that specializes in improving IT connectivity among humanitarian organizations in developing countries and areas affected by disaster. Cisco is one of the major partners of the consortium and contributes equipment, expertise, and transport to relief efforts around the world. Some of the world’s most challenging humanitarian disasters have seen responses from Cisco’s Tactical Operations (TacOps) team, including Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti and Nepal earthquakes, and the current Syrian refugee crisis on the southern fringes of Europe.

Typically, these Hastily Formed Networks – as organizations like NetHope call them – are brought online to assist and connect the humanitarian workers themselves. In the case of the Syrian refugee crisis, however, the TacOps team was tasked with enabling mass communication for hundreds of thousands of refugees at more than 60 sites!

We now live in a world with ubiquitous mobile device ownership, and in many cases refugees are landing in Europe with smartphones or tablets equipped with Wi-Fi capability, but typically no mobile network access via the SIM cards in their phones. Suddenly Wi-Fi becomes not only a convenience, but potentially a lifesaver, enabling families to connect with loved ones who remain back home, or were perhaps lost during their flight to safety.

Once connected, these vulnerable individuals can be a perfect target for those wishing to exploit, or even endanger them, with their devices providing a means to that end. Providing a highly secure network, with both perimeter and advanced cybersecurity capabilities, proves as important as the connectivity itself.

The TacOps team has been using Meraki technology for some time, which has proven itself dependable, secure, easy to manage, and perfect for building Hastily Formed Networks. Utilising our MX security appliances and MR wireless access points, the team was able to rapidly deploy multiple sites with probably the most advanced security ever deployed in the humanitarian field, providing reliable connectivity for vulnerable refugees with approximately 16,000 unique client devices every week.

nerv_at_hq

Rakesh Bharania from TacOps recently presented a review of the team’s work in a special NetHope webinar. The highly recommended recording (here) provides a fascinating insight into both the human and technical challenges faced in creating these critical networks, and is definitely worthy of your time.

Technology has done so much for us: simplifying our lives and connecting us. At Meraki we’ve gone a step further, streamlining the experience of building and deploying multi-site networks, reducing time and cost. We’re both humbled and honored to see our products being used not only to power business, but also to connect disaster-stricken families and help save lives.

Take Meraki for a test drive and see how our approach enables the Hastily Formed Network.

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Packets Go In, Packets Go Out

Switches are so often the unsung heroes in our networks – chugging away in a dark, cold closet obediently relaying each and every message they receive as quickly as possible and never letting us down.

Switches can also be the first stop in our troubleshooting repertoire when something isn’t quite behaving as it should – perhaps beginning with a remote cable test, and then working up to the packet, transport and application layers. Meraki switches offer a suite of built-in tools and logging capabilities that are designed to make troubleshooting much easier for users, and today we’re excited to introduce a subtle yet powerful enhancement to the port-level information available in real-time for Meraki switches.

Packet counters with live data

Starting today, the packet counters for a selected switch port can be viewed in several different ways, including historical options such as for the “last 5 minutes”, and a streaming option for real-time troubleshooting. The live data option clears the counters, allowing a user to take a snapshot of the sent and received packet count and type in real time—a great way to determine if a link or logical problem is present on a particular link.

packet counters

In the above example, live packet counters were observed on the SFP+ fiber interface of a switch that was having performance issues. The test quickly brought to light that the link was experiencing CRC align errors, often caused by a physical layer problem with the transceiver or fiber-optic cable.

This enhancement was made entirely based on the feedback you, our customers, provided. We hope you find it useful, and as always, please do share your wishes, feedback, and comments via the handy “Make a Wish” option at the bottom of the Meraki dashboard. Happy switching!

 

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