Archive for the ‘General’ 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 joined 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 shared:

  • 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 recording can be viewed here

*free switch rules

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.

Video on the Go

During the months prior to launching Meraki MV, our extensive user experience testing for the new product spanned everything from the layout on the dashboard to physical installation of the security cameras. In doing so, we realized just how difficult it is to stand at the top of a tall ladder while holding a laptop (often the unfortunate reality of IP camera setup). That’s why we’re excited to announce that the Meraki mobile app for iOS and Android now supports MV security cameras.

MV-android

The Meraki app makes it easier and quicker than ever to set up your cameras. View live video feeds and adjust focus, zoom, and aperture, all from a smartphone. Simply download the Meraki dashboard app on your phone, login with your standard dashboard credentials, and then navigate to your cameras in the left-hand navigation menu. Click on the camera you want to view, and then click “Live” in the lower right hand corner. The live video feed will automatically start to stream, and, if needed, you can make any necessary camera adjustments. For video walls and enhanced video monitoring functionality, MV also works with mobile browsers in Android.

MV-iphone

Kiss the days of climbing onto a ladder with a laptop goodbye, and say hello to security camera configuration and management from your phone! Whether onsite or halfway around the world, the mobile app will help to keep tabs on what’s important to you and your organization.

As always, our engineers are keeping their ears open for requests through our Make a Wish tool. It’s hard to believe MV just launched a couple of months ago, and MV engineers have already added full disk encryption and support for the mobile app since then. Just imagine what could be coming next!

To learn more about MV, sign up for a webinar or get in touch with a sales rep.

New features for your switches

Our customers who are running our MS-series of switches are getting some good news – we’re releasing an update that provides some new features to make their hardware even more useful. Included in the update are port schedules that allow administrators to enable and disable ports based on time of day (for example, shutting off connected PoE VoIP phones in the night to save energy), visibility into DHCP servers on a network for enhanced monitoring and debugging, and a new Live Tool for attempting to wake a client via Wake-on-Lan.

We’ll be blogging about these features in the coming days so stay tuned. Customers with switches will be receiving the update over the next few weeks as we roll the update out; as always, a quick call to Meraki support can get you upgraded immediately.

Entrepreneur First – Helping UK startups get off the ground

(Guest post by George Bentinck)

2012 was the inaugural year of Entrepreneur First, a UK based early stage accelerator  that helps top graduates enter the world of entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneur First program differs from most other start-up programs by helping create teams of like-minded, talented individuals with participants selected on the basis of their potential rather than a specific start-up idea. Intensive team building, mentoring and administrative support is provided as well as a collaborative working space in central London so that they can create start-ups from scratch.

Entrepreneurship is a subject close to Meraki’s heart and with Entrepreneur First supporters including The UK Prime Minister, Microsoft, McKinsey, Silicon Valley Bank, Google and Facebook, it made perfect sense for us to be involved.

We provided the network infrastructure for the programme’s office in central London using the MX Security Appliance and MR Wireless Access points.  The flexibility of the Meraki equipment and ease of use suited the temporary nature of the sponsored space, while it was also able to cope with the demands of numerous growing businesses whose world revolves around being connected.

Along with material support Meraki has also provided expertise, with AJ Goldman, Chief Evangelist at Meraki giving a talk on growing your start-up and taking investment wisely, while I have spoken on the skills needed for technical selling.

In December ‘Demo Day’ was the culmination of months of hard work with the program’s start-ups pitching their company, concept and team to an audience of over 120 investors, entrepreneurs and partners. I was there to shoot some video and to catch-up with some of the participants.

There were 7 companies pitching on the night, here’s a flavour of what they pitched:

Prizeo provides an online platform for charity raffles, in which a celebrity offers fans a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime prize at just £1 (or $1) per ticket. Celebrities and their charities use their social networks and press to promote their campaign, and use Prizeo’s viral features to spread the word.

Verse is a PowerPoint plugin that lets teams work on a presentation painlessly – instead of emailing around slides, or worrying about version control, it provides instant updates.

BLAZE tackles one of the biggest causes of cyclist fatality – being caught in a vehicle’s blind spot. It is a beautifully designed, high-quality bike light that projects a laser image of a cyclist onto the road which significantly improves a cyclist’s visibility and safety.

ClickMechanic is an online marketplace that allows drivers to find and book trustworthy mobile mechanics to come to their home and repair their car.

Adbrain is software that allows advertisers to target users across mobile devices, segment these users into addressable groups, tie them to their desktop activity, and then buy and serve the most relevant ads for maximum impact.

Flavrbox offers you the joy of discovering high quality artisan foods while sparing you the pain of sourcing these items individually from independent shops and markets. Each month, they send customers a beautifully designed box of handpicked food and drink products.

Mavrx make affordable, intelligent aerial robots. Their first product is a quadcopter which hobbyists and extreme sports enthusiasts love for its rugged sport camera integration. The first version, the R10, recently sold $220k of products on Kickstarter.

If you would like to view the pitches from the night then you can watch them on the Entrepreneur First YouTube channel here.

Meraki will continue to work with the Entrepreneur First program and its participants as a service partner in 2013, and we wish all those involved the best success for the coming year. As a company we liked to be involved with the startup community both in the US and the UK. If you work for a start-up and would like some sweet Meraki networking gear to run your business on then make sure to check out our free Startup Kits here.

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Take a deeper look with enhanced traffic visibility

In 2010, Meraki introduced the industry’s first Layer 7 application fingerprinting for wireless access points, and since then, we’ve integrated the technology into our security appliances and switches as well. Customers rely on this level of visibility every day to see beyond the size and rate of data transfers on their networks and gain insight into the actual behavior of their users. It’s useful for network administrators to see patterns in large spikes of traffic on the network, but it’s even better to know whether those spikes are coming from online backup or from BitTorrent.

Our latest upgrade to our wireless, switching, and security appliance product lines takes Layer 7 visibility to the next level. Prior to this upgrade, our fingerprinting engine reported in detail on hundreds of web applications like Dropbox, Facebook, Netflix, or Gmail, but portions of traffic were labeled as “Miscellaneous web” or “Miscellaneous secure web.”

Now, network administrators have the option to enable an even more granular view of application traffic on their network. Clicking on “Miscellaneous Web” will reveal a detailed list of the domains included in that category, along with statistics about the amount of data transferred to or from that host and an estimate of the amount of time that users spent browsing that site. With this level of detail, a quick glance at the dashboard can help network administrators figure out if they need to devote more resources to support business related activities or use the Traffic Shaper to throttle access to a popular distraction.

Enhanced traffic analysis on a test network

This is an incredible amount of information for network admins to have at their fingertips, but we understand that in some cases, it might be sensitive or simply unnecessary. As a result, we’ve made this feature opt-in only, so that network admins can decide whether or not this level of data transparency is right for their networks.

When they do choose to enable the new traffic analysis, only dashboard users with read-write access will be able to see individual domain names. To protect user privacy, users with read-only access to the dashboard will see an obfuscated list:

Expanded traffic visibility is just one of the new features rolling out to customers over the next several weeks, and we’ll be continuing to show them off right here on the blog. If you’re ready to try them out for yourself, you can schedule the update for your network by contacting support.

Welcome to the new Meraki Blog

Notice anything different about us lately? Take a look around and check out what we’ve done to breathe some new life into our blog.

 

The new look and feel isn’t just skin deep. It’s a better space for us to connect with our customers and share news with the world, but you’ll still see the same things that you’re used to. Keep looking here for announcements from the company, in-depth presentations of new products, and stories from real-world deployments. You can be sure that we’ll keep showing off the fun side of Meraki HQ, and we’ll also feature a lot more multimedia and interactive content as well.

More than anything, we value the voice of our customers, and we’re always trying to deliver innovations that respond to real customer needs. Consider our blog just one more tool you can use to give us your feedback, opinions, and—of course—wishes. What are the new challenges facing your industry? What kinds of trends have you noticed on your network? We’d like to help you find a solution. We’re listening.

We’re joining Cisco!

We’re excited to announce that Cisco has announced its intent to acquire Meraki. After close, we’ll become Cisco’s new Cloud Networking Group. Our HQ will stay here in San Francisco, and the Meraki team will continue to focus on customer experience.

We’ve put together an FAQ for our customers and posted our CEO Sanjit’s letter to employees. The press release can be found here. We’re looking forward to bringing our innovative cloud-based networking technology and business model to even more customers and partners.