Posts Tagged ‘fullstack’

Keeping The Network Healthy

CNOS-Exterior

On November 16, 2016, at 11am PT, we hosted a live customer webinar with Fidell Wadsworth, Lead Network Engineer at CNOS, a healthcare organization operating in South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Wadsworth shared his Cisco Meraki experience, from deploying and wiring the hardware to troubleshooting with the dashboard. As a full stack Meraki customer, Wadsworth has a unique perspective on how all the Meraki products integrate to form a single, centrally managed network.

The CNOS network spans 17 physical and satellite locations, supporting over 300 patients and guests each day, and over 36 healthcare providers and 200+ associates and physicians. Prior to Meraki, employees endured limited performance and consistent server issues. They were reliant on an old infrastructure that was pieced together with different IT solutions, making it difficult to troubleshoot and configure. Wadsworth and his lean team of 3 knew it was time for something more manageable, reliable, and secure.

“[When deciding which solution to go with] we proposed to the board that ‘if we want to solve problems quickly, if we want to get things fixed fast, we need to go with Meraki.’”
– Fidell Wadsworth, Lead Network Engineer

In this webinar, you’ll hear directly from Wadsworth about:

  • Why CNOS chose Meraki over other networking solutions
  • How they deployed the entire network in 36 hours using Meraki cloud managed solutions
  • What it’s like to have the Meraki full stack, and how it impacts the business
  • How the team troubleshoots and configures the network with the Meraki dashboard
  • And much more!

Missed the CNOS webinar? No problem, find a link to the webinar recording here!

 

Cloud Managed IT for the Modern Business

Hot on the heels of a tremendously exciting new product family announcement, Meraki now offers six technology products that each work together to deliver on our core mission – By simplifying powerful technology, we can free passionate people to focus on their own mission.

We are excited to announce a new whitepaper that discusses modern IT trends and explores how the Cisco Meraki portfolio of IT solutions work together to help deliver reliable, pervasive connectivity for the modern business. 

fullstack

We hope this new document is informative and insightful, and as always, please send us your feedback so we can continue to improve its value.

Firmware upgrades, Merakified

We’ve all experienced it: you open up your laptop or phone and you’re greeted with a notification informing you that a new update is available, or better yet, that a new update has just been installed. While these can sometimes feel like a distraction, this is an amazing capability that most of us now take for granted. Gone are the days of downloading software packages, figuring out when to install them, and crossing your fingers while they install.

When it comes to managing firmware on enterprise networks however, IT teams still spend lots of time keeping the network up to date—TFTP servers, firmware downloads, MD5 hash checks, install scripts, maintenance windows…sound familiar? Wouldn’t it be nice if your network maintained itself reliably and securely? Enter Meraki: automatic firmware updates are just one of the many powerful and unique features you get with our rapidly growing ecosystem of products. Those of you familiar with our products know this well, and hopefully have to think about firmware less and less. Our cloud-based architecture means we can handle the complete process; all you need to do is provide a desired upgrade window, and we’ll handle the rest, from initiating the upgrades to verifying they completed successfully. The next morning you wake up to new features and, in some cases, a network that is even more secure. At the end of the day, our mission at Meraki is to reduce the amount of time our customers spend managing and troubleshooting IT so they can focus on what’s most important.

To support this powerful new approach, both our hardware and software have been uniquely designed to ensure a smooth upgrade each and every time. This starts with a dual-partition flash storage architecture, protecting each Meraki device from power outages and other failure scenarios while the upgrade takes place. Any time a new upgrade is made available, customers are notified two weeks prior to the scheduled upgrade window and have a choice to upgrade now, reschedule, or to proceed as scheduled:

Firmware upgrade options

These options add flexibility for both a hands-off or more custom-tailored approach regardless of the size and number of networks a team manages.

Before new firmware ever makes it to our customers, our engineering team expends a painstaking amount of effort scrutinizing each and every feature, both new and old, to ensure no issues or bugs get introduced. This happens in Meraki Labs, a state-of-the-art 5,500 square foot testing facility based in our San Francisco headquarters. Meraki Labs serves as our global quality assurance center for all new software releases. Take our MS switching products for example; over the past five years, Meraki’s MS family of enterprise switches has grown from just 4 to over 24 different models, supporting a wide range of enterprise features and accessories. Our quality assurance (QA) team works tirelessly to keep up with this tremendous growth, adding new tests daily and working with the broader engineering team as well as our beta customers to address any issues that are uncovered.

Enterance to Meraki Labs, San Francisco, California

Entrance to Meraki Labs, San Francisco, California

Once new firmware has passed our rigorous QA and testing process, it is made available to our beta release channel. Many customers choose to subscribe their test and lab environments to beta releases so they can have early access to testing the new firmware before it is made available to the rest of their organization. Thousands of our customers already help contribute to our new feature releases which provides for an amazing and unique new approach to building and improving our products, and we look at all feedback we receive. If you’re an existing customer, we’d love for you to be part of our beta community. Here is how to subscribe:

  1. Choose the desired network from the drop down at the top of dashboard
  2. Go to Network-wide > Configure > General:
    dashboard menu
  3. Scroll down to Firmware upgrades and choose Yes for Try beta firmware
    try beta menu

That’s it! We will always notify you prior to your network receiving a new upgrade, and we invite you to provide any and all feedback on your beta experience via the Make a Wish box, your Meraki contact, or by email at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!

If you don’t yet have Meraki products and you like the idea of Merakifying your next firmware upgrade, check out one of our webinars to learn more!

Green is the new Gold

One of the trends of 2015 was the enthusiasm we saw for Meraki t-shirts, especially from participants at the many events we attended. More than just free ‘schwag’, the Meraki t-shirt seems to have a greater appeal, with more than one person telling us it was their favorite tech shirt. The combination of bold green color, modern design, and Meraki brand stands out in a way which has caused complete strangers to stop us in the street to talk about Meraki.

However this is not the whole story, and we will admit to an oversight in last year’s t-shirt inventory planning. We had only a small number of bright green Meraki t-shirts manufactured, with the rest in a patterned grey.

fullstack_tshirt_grey

For those not familiar with the technicalities of the Meraki brand, the green shirts were dyed to match the exact Meraki green, known as Pantone 368 U. This bold and vivid colour was thought to be too intense for day–to–day wear, and we only made enough for event staff. The grey variant was picked as our choice of shirt giveaway for the 2015 event season.

As it turns out, we could not have been more wrong in our assumptions about people’s desire for bright Meraki green shirts. The number of people asking to switch their shirt from grey to green became so numerous we lost count, but we did listen and have heard you loud and clear. With that, we are excited to launch the brand new 2016 season Meraki t-shirt, custom dyed Meraki Pantone 368 U green!

fullstack_tshirt_green

Would you like to get your hands on a pure Meraki green t-shirt? If so, then you should put a date in your diary to come visit us at one of the many events we are attending this year. The next opportunity to bag your ‘schwag’ is Cisco Live! Berlin. An extensive team of Merakians will be in attendance for presentations, demonstrations, and meetings. Find out more by reading this blog post.

 

Navigate the #fullstack

 

Here at Meraki, we are continually focused on simplifying the IT management experience. One of the areas our engineering team is always paying attention to is how to offer additional benefits to customers who have multiple Meraki product types. We want every product, be that wireless, security, switching or mobility management to be outstanding in their own right, but what about when they come together?

One exceptional example of this integration is Systems Manager Sentry. With Systems Manager MDM holding a wealth of data on client devices, it can automatically configure the network based on rules you provide. Another is Group Policies, where one interface allows network-wide rules, such as firewalling and traffic shaping to be configured, no matter if the connectivity type is wired or wireless.

The Meraki dashboard is central to our cloud technology and is used to manage all our products through a simple, intuitive, and powerful interface. This is continually updated and improved based on customer feedback and internal research. The cloud infrastructure allows for these changes to be seamlessly deployed without user intervention, patches, or downtime.

In February we introduced our #fullstack campaign to highlight the benefits of a combined network view in dashboard. With a combined view, the products are grouped together so that a single site can be viewed in a single navigation pane.

nav_panel_combinend

Although Systems Manager deployments could be managed from the same dashboard interface as the other products, it was previously not possible to combine them. Today we announce the beta availability of fully combined networks, with Systems Manager integrated into the navigation pane. If you would like to try out the new interface, go to the Organization Overview page within dashboard and choose Combine.

combine_4

To celebrate the arrival of the combined #fullstack network, we are running another blog promotion for our subscribers. The winner will receive a full stack of Meraki equipment, comprising the following equipment, supplied with 3 year licences:

  • 1 x MX64 Security Appliance
  • 1 x MS220-8P PoE Ethernet Switch
  • 1 x MR32 Wireless Access Point with BLE beacon technology
  • 20 x Systems Manager licences

To take part in the promotion, all you need to do is subscribe to the Meraki blog by the end of November 2015. Current subscribers are automatically entered to win.  Additional terms and conditions apply; subscription is not necessary to enter.

If you are an existing Meraki customer with only one product family today, why not try adding some of the others to learn more about the benefits of the full Meraki stack. Contact us to arrange your evaluation at no charge. You’ll be up and running in a matter of minutes, and we have a dedicated evaluation support team ready to help you at every step.