Archive for the ‘Company Blog’ Category

A Day in the Life of a Meraki Intern Part II

In this second half of our spotlight on the Meraki internship program, we recorded a conversation with three of our Support interns: Francesca, Holly, and Andy. Listen to the following two-part podcast to hear the full story, straight from the interns!

Part 1:

 

Part 2:

 

All three Support interns are current university students, studying varying forms of networking: Francesca at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Holly at Rochester Institute of Technology, and Andy at Purdue University. They all became interested in Meraki after engaging with current employees at their respective school’s career fairs and seeing a demo of the Meraki dashboard. Holly was actually able to deploy Meraki access points during a previous internship, which planted the seed for her love of Meraki even before she heard of our internship program.

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Francesca

The interns describe the Meraki Support internship as “all about the customer”, as well as interacting with the larger support team. “We take cases just like everybody else, directly from the customer. We help solve their problems and help them better understand and use their Meraki products,” shared Holly. The interns have had the chance to rotate between various support roles. These included re-creating customer problems in the lab, working with some of our largest hospitality customers, answering email cases, and jumping into the phone queue with the network engineers on the front lines. “It’s totally up to you what you want to work on. Every day is different,” said Andy.

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Andy

The interns have had the chance to get their hands on every Meraki product during their time here. Francesca has formed a soft spot for Systems Manager MDM, and has been able to specialize with that product line during her internship. “In the past I’ve worked on teams that have had a lot of problems that could have been solved with Systems Manager,” she explained.

The interns all spoke to how well everyone on the Support team works together. “There’s a ton of collective knowledge, and everybody’s always willing to answer your questions and help out. It makes us a better team as a whole,” said Holly.

“It’s also a really fun environment, you want to come to work every day,” the interns agreed.

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Holly

Check out the podcast to hear what the interns are up to while answering customer calls (hint: slacklines and puppies are involved), what other departments they’ve been able to work with, the fun highlights of their time in the San Francisco office, the ‘Intern House’, and more.

Meraki internships are a great way to learn things you won’t find in an average textbook – keep an eye on our jobs page for future opportunities.

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Wickett, a fellow supporteer 

 

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It’s 10 O’Clock, Do You Know Where Your Packets Are?

With the massive increase in mobile devices, guest networking, and web-based services in recent years, knowing exactly what clients are doing on your network is more important than ever. Luckily, the IT world has many different methods and tools to help administrators do just that. With Cisco Meraki this comes in the form of in-depth application visibility features built into the cloud management interface.

In some cases, however, administrators may want to combine traffic data from Meraki devices with similar data from third-party equipment, or aggregate traffic data from multiple Meraki networks into a single view. That’s why the MX Security Appliance now includes NetFlow functionality.

What is NetFlow?

NetFlow is a protocol that records information about every traffic flow that passes through a device, and transmits that information to a device or software service known as a NetFlow collector. Specifically, the device sends the NetFlow collector the source IP address, source port, destination IP address, and destination port of each flow. The collector then serves as a sort of log server for this flow data. Many NetFlow collectors include powerful analytics tools that can map the ports and IP addresses in the flows to web sites, protocols, or services – similar to the Traffic Analytics data shown in the Meraki cloud dashboard.

How can an administrator configure NetFlow?

First things first, the MX will have to be running firmware that supports NetFlow. Currently the feature is only in beta firmware, so administrators will need to open a case with Meraki Support. This step is temporary, of course, and will no longer be necessary once the feature is available in non-beta firmware.

NetFlow configuration can be found on the Network-wide>General page. Set the NetFlow collector field to “Enabled” and enter the the IP address and UDP port of the NetFlow collector.

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NetFlow can be enabled on configuration templates as well, allowing administrators to send data from multiple MXs to a central NetFlow collector without having to enable the feature on each network individually. For more information on configuration templates, see this post.

Once these changes are saved and the MX has fetched the new configuration, NetFlow data should begin appearing on the collector for all new flows.

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Using this data, administrators can not only better understand the current traffic patterns in their network, they can also identify trends that may require action. For example, if the amount of Netflix traffic is steadily rising, perhaps it’s time to configure a traffic shaping rule in the Meraki dashboard to limit Netflix usage before it begins to impact business-critical applications. Being able to to identify these changing network needs before they become urgent is beneficial both to the end user’s experience and to the emotional health of the network team.

 

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A Day in the Life of a Meraki Intern Part I

Meraki is always hiring for talented engineers. Seasonally, we also host current college students as interns in a few of our departments, including engineering. We recently sat down with Diane and Stephen (aka Greco), two current interns, to hear what their experience has been like.

Check out this podcast to hear the story straight from the interns! You’ll hear how Diane and Stephen describe the Meraki culture, what their experience in engineering has been like, and even some of the projects they’ve gotten to work on as part of the Systems Manager-specific team.

 

And of course, you will hear what they believe to be the Meraki Magic.

Both Diane and Greco heard about this internship opportunity through career fairs at their respective universities. After chatting with recruiters and learning more about the Meraki solution, they were intrigued and decided to apply. We’re happy they did! They, along with the dozen or so other engineering interns, have made valuable contributions to many projects over the past few months.

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Greco, a student at Carnegie Mellon University

“I feel like Meraki tries to make us feel like full engineers…I come in every day and know what I have to do. We have code reviews like everyone else,” shared Greco. Diane agreed, saying “I also feel like a full-timer here. There’s an open office layout, so your entire team sits together. You get to work on really cool projects and the people are around you are very very accessible.”

Interns also have the opportunity to work with people from other departments throughout the summer. “During our team meetings, we have Support or Product team members there, telling us which projects we might be looking at next, and why we’re implementing these features,” said Diane. They’ve also been able to read feedback from customers through social media and word-of-mouth through the company. “Customers are usually appreciative and excited about new features we’ve implemented,” said Diane.

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Diane, a rising senior at UC Berkeley

Diane and Greco both recommend this internship to current college students. As Greco put it, “This is my third internship in college, and I think this has definitely been my most enjoyable one, in terms of both what I’ve worked on, and the company itself.” He and Diane spoke to the friendly nature of the company, the wide range of collaborative after-work activities and hobbies, and other enjoyable work perks that have complemented a rewarding learning experience. “The team is small enough, so you have a lot of flexibility and independence…you get a lot of say in what you actually work on. In the end, you feel very fulfilled after this internship,” said Diane.

Check out the above podcast to hear the full story, and keep an eye on our jobs page for future opportunities to become involved with Meraki. Stay tuned for next week’s intern spotlight in support!

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Diane and Greco enjoying some of the tasty perks in the Meraki kitchen.

 

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Go Deep

With so many feature additions to Systems Manager, we have decided to create a recurring series of specialist webinars focusing on how to make the most of them. These specialist webinars will be scheduled regularly and cover two important feature sets available in Systems Manager, Sentry and Teacher’s Assistant. Listen to the podcast below to learn about all the features, functionality, and use cases that will be covered in these sessions.

 

 

Sentry

 
Systems Manager Sentry provides simple automatic security that is context aware. Sentry dramatically simplifies previously complex security configurations due to the native integration of Meraki networking products with Systems Manager MDM. In the Sentry-specific webinar, we will cover how Sentry works, highlight where it can be used, and go through live demonstrations of the individual features including:

Teacher’s Assistant

 
With Systems Manager Teacher’s Assistant, integrating technology such as iPads into your lesson plan becomes a cinch. Teachers remain in control, ensuring that students’ learning benefits from the inclusion of mobiles devices, rather than them proving a classroom distraction. The Teacher’s Assistant specialist webinar covers examples of how mobile devices can be successfully used in education by looking at use cases, and providing a live demonstration of how to use features such as:

What are you waiting for?

 
With so many ways to use Systems Manager, the amount of choice can sometimes seem overwhelming. Shortcut the learning process and attend one of these specialist webinars for further guidance on how to make the most of Systems Manager. These webinars assume attendees have a basic understanding of Meraki Systems Manager by having attended an introductory webinar such as Introduction to Cloud-Based Mobile Device Management, or having used the product with a trial. Sign up today for a Sentry session or a Teacher’s Assistant session.

 

Calling all Systems Engineers!

Meraki is a fun, vibrant, energetic place to work, but beneath our friendly face lies advanced enterprise-grade technology. Systems Engineers (SEs) are a vital team at Meraki, as they form the technical backbone of our daily sales operations. These tech-savvy characters work closely with our awesome sales reps, provide trusted support to our customers and partners around all pre-sale activities, and act as Meraki evangelists within the industry.

Do you have networking experience? Are you in love with the Meraki solution? If so, great! We’re hiring for more SEs!

Our ideal SE candidate will have a strong routing and switching background, with an early-adopter mentality toward new technology and business models. Some requirements include a college degree, experience in pre-sales or customer-facing projects, and exceptional communication skills and attention to detail.

From there, we have opportunities for two types of SEs – read on (and watch!) to see which role would fit you best.

Systems Engineer

This role is based in a Meraki office (either San Francisco, London, or Sydney). You will become a Meraki solution expert, and then act as a technical resource to the Meraki Sales Team for pre-sales activities and product-related inquiries. There are many opportunities for career development through daily interactions with customers and partners, opportunities to travel in territory for customer or partner visits, and internal cross-function collaboration with Product Management, Product Development/Engineering, and Technical Marketing.

Consulting Systems Engineer

In this more senior role, your primary responsibility will be to team up with a stellar Product Sales Specialist and perform technical pre-sales activities for new and existing opportunities. We do require that you have 3-5 years of pre-sales (or equivalent customer-facing) experience.This role generally works remotely, and travels up to 50% to customer sites and Cisco offices. You will be a traveling Meraki guru! There are many positions open globally, including North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia – check out our jobs page for more details.

Hear more from Dan Pittelkow, Global Director of Inside SEs, and Rob Casselman, Senior Director of Worldwide Systems Engineering, about who we’re looking for and what working on the team is really like:

Dan Pittelkow, Global Director of Inside SEs

Rob Casselman, Senior Director of Worldwide Systems Engineering

We hire around 1% of all applicants and have been told that our interview process is one of the most challenging in the industry, but also a great learning experience. If you want to join one of the fastest growing SE team at Cisco, check out the complete job descriptions, requirements, and office locations on our jobs page. We can’t wait to meet you!

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Our office isn’t too shabby either – come join us!

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All Aboard!

Systems Manager Sentry offers a range of features that make the life of IT administrators easier. By providing simple, automatic security that is context aware, Sentry dramatically simplifies previously complex configurations. To be able to take advantage of Sentry functionality, devices need to be enrolled in Systems Manager. There are a variety of ways this can be done, but one of the simplest is by using Sentry enrollment.

Sentry enrollment is available with Meraki MR Access Points (AP) and not only automates deployment of Systems Manager, but ensures policy compliance by requiring Systems Managers installation. Sentry enrollment is an option within the wireless access control page of the Meraki dashboard. By choosing the radio button that enables Systems Manager Sentry enrollment, all devices connecting to this SSID will be checked for Systems Manager.

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With Sentry enrollment enabled and a Systems Manager network selected, the administrator then has a couple of options to choose from. The strength option allows the level of compliance to be tailored to suit your environment. With the strength set to ‘Focused’, only the system types you have chosen will be forced to enrol in Systems Manager. A good example of why this may be desirable, is if you only want mobile Apple devices such as iPhones and iPads under management, not Windows laptops. This can be achieved by choosing ‘Focused’ and selecting iOS as the only system type you wish to force to enroll.

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When a user connects to an SSID with Sentry enrollment, they must have Systems Manager to be able to access the network. If a user removes Systems Manager from their device, they will be forced to install it again if they want to access the network.

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Users are guided through the enrollment process with the necessary settings pre-configured for them. This eliminates the need to pre-stage devices before they are delivered to users and allows enrollment as and when devices connect. Think of it as your fast lane to pervasive mobile device management.

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Sentry features highlight the power and simplicity of the Meraki cloud architecture that provides native integration between different product families. Typically such enrollment or onboarding processes require additional servers, appliances, or licences. Even if this is not needed, integration between the MDM and the network (often from different vendors) can be complex to configure. With Meraki, enrollment becomes a couple of clicks and a matter of moments to enable. Find out more by attending one of our focused webinars covering the Sentry features of Systems Manager in further detail.

 

An A(MS)azing Switching Announcement

You may have heard of our special ‘The World Is Not Enough…Without One-Hour Switching’ webinars, where our product specialists configure a switch network from scratch during a live, one-hour webinar. These action-packed presentations are a hit because of their fun theme, and the free MS220-8P switch offered to qualified attendees is just the cherry on top.

Good news! Starting next week, every ‘Introducing the Next Generation of Ethernet Switching’ webinar will also offer a free 8-port switch. All you have to do is sign up, tune in, and enjoy.Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 5.49.29 PM

See the robust capabilities the Meraki dashboard can offer your switching network, at no cost to you. Check out the next live presentation here.

Hope to see you soon!

*Please take a look at eligibility details here.

 

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Feelin’ the love

One of the most rewarding aspects of life at Meraki is the feedback we receive every day from our customers and fans, which we do our very best to stay on top of. There are many ways in which we listen. Firstly, there’s the ever–popular ‘make–a–wish’ box which enables existing customers to provide direct feedback on our management tool, the dashboard, to the very people who write the code that makes it work.

Then there’s that crazy, wild and opinionated place we all know and love, the Internet. We know that satisfying every customer is challenging, especially in the fast–paced world of technology and this era of instant gratification, but doing so remains our guiding star. The feedback we receive online, unsolicited and unfiltered, is an invaluable source of inspiration and we welcome it all.

With summer upon us here in sunny California, we couldn’t resist taking a few moments to sit back and bask in some of the comments we’ve seen lately. We hope you’ll allow us the indulgence of sharing some of our favorites with you.

 

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“Troubleshooting in an organization with Meraki across the board is a dream” – via Reddit

 

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“We have 15-16 hats we have to wear any given day. One of the hats we absolutely don’t have is the RF Engineer hat. Now, with the dashboard, we can look at the channel utilization and interference on each channel for each AP.” – Museum running Meraki

 

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One for our French speaking friends…

 

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“With Meraki, you’re gonna get the visibility, you’re gonna get the reliability, you’re gonna get a solid product.” Car dealership chain IT Manager

 

“I’m a triple CCIE and I gave up the CLI for Meraki” Diehard command line junkie

 

…and finally, one last classic from the archives…

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We’re a deeply passionate team, as our name suggests…

Meraki Defined

…so it’s a constant source of delight for us when we see kind words like these written online.

Please keep the feedback coming and help us remain your favorite networking vendor. We’re easy to talk to via the dashboard and through our Contacts page. We’re also listening on our social channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit and others.

 

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Take me home

To celebrate the launch of our latest product video featuring the Z1, we are running another one of our popular promotions for subscribers to the blog. This time we are giving away Z1 teleworker gateways to five lucky subscribers.

To take part in the promotion, all you need to do is subscribe to the Meraki blog before the end of August 2015. Current subscribers are automatically entered into the promotion. To subscribe, visit the Meraki blog home page and press the subscribe button. Additional terms and conditions apply; subscription is not necessary to enter.

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There is a lot of love for the tiny, but powerful, Z1 in the Meraki office. We encourage you to experience the Z1 for yourself and potentially grow as attached to it as we have.

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Last week to take the Meraki Challenge

The Meraki dashboard is a powerful, user-friendly platform that makes it simple to manage networks of any size. You can see it in action with the Meraki Challenge, but only for a few more days! The challenge officially wraps up this Friday, July 31st.

In the Challenge, deftly maneuver your way around the Meraki dashboard and answer questions about the sample network at hand. If you’re speedy, you could win an Apple or Android watch, or even a tropical vacation! Has IT ever been so fun?

Simply head over to the Meraki challenge designated for Cisco employees, partners, or customers to begin.

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Some poetic inspiration:

Cisco Meraki
cloud-managed, intuitive
hardware and software

cloud-based dashboard gives
richer visibility
into your network

no command line or
on site troubleshooting make
deployments simple

Meraki Challenge:
try the dashboard and compete
for cool prizes now!

From all of us on the Meraki team, good luck!

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