What is Cisco Meraki?
Founded in 2006 and once a Cambridge start-up managing wireless networks under the name Roofnet, Cisco Meraki is now a full stack vendor and has grown to become an industry leader with Google and Apple as early adopters.
With a complete array of hardware and software for enterprises across the globe, with the ability to deploy networks with greater efficiency than ever before by servicing over 230,000 customers and over 3 million network devices globally. By utilising a full stack solution, Meraki provides the visibility and insight into an often-mysterious network and can provide real world improvements in time to resolution and overall satisfaction for end users.
Secure, powerful Connectivity solutions for organisations is more critical than ever. With Cloud technology becoming more advanced every day and similarly, external threats becoming more sophisticated as time passes, how do you keep your business network secure? How is that your organisation can manage users across multiple sites, each that have different needs? Lastly, how can you react quickly if things go wrong or you set up new locations with ease without compromising quality or security?
With in-built application visibility, real-time web diagnostics, monitoring and reporting alongside multi-site management features, Cisco Meraki solutions are scalable from mid-market requirement to enterprise, international scale businesses.
The complete Cisco Meraki Cloud-managed networking portfolio includes security appliances, switches, and wireless LANs that scale from teleworkers to large campus deployments. These can all be managed through Meraki’s web-based dashboard interface which allows end-users the increased visibility across your organisation, simplified management, use, and deployment, whilst allowing you to gain new business opportunities and reduce operational costs.
Within the centralised dashboard there is also full visibility of your network via the comprehensive topology map. This shows you the exact location of every Meraki product installed on the network and also shows the specific locations of any errors and suggests troubleshooting tips so there’s no need to trawl the entirety of your organisation’s network to find the fault.
How does Cisco Meraki work?
All Cisco Meraki products are 100% Cloud-managed and have fully integrated networking and security features under a single dashboard. Cisco Meraki devices are automatically connected to the Cisco Meraki Cloud over a Secure Socket Layer (SSL), register with your network, and downloaded with their configuration.
The inbuilt analytics and intelligence enabling your Network Manager to have full visibility of the Wi-Fi network usage down to a specific user’s browsing activity. Cisco Meraki also enables admin users to make restrictions, making the bandwidth on the network easily controlled when the network becomes overloaded. Traffic can be closely monitored to quickly identify the sources that slowing down the network. Admin users can also set application specific policies and rules can be set that disallow the use of certain applications, websites permanently or for a specific time period. This flexibility promotes efficiency, enables performance monitoring and improves productivity within the workplace.
Optimum security is also one of the top features of implementing a Cisco Meraki solution. Cisco Meraki products come with Layer 7 visibility technology out of the box, which was previously available only through costly overlay appliances. This is included in Cisco Meraki switches at no additional cost.
One feature included within Meraki is Air Marshal. Air Marshal is a wireless intrusion prevention solution that is fully integrated into every Cisco Meraki Access Point. Air Marshal also looks for and neutralises Wireless threats across the network, delivering a state-of-the-art protection that is not only flexible but also intuitive.
Seamless over-the-web upgrades deliver significant new features to your current products, increasing the value of your investment. This means your Meraki products are always up-to-date with emerging device types and application profiles as well as making this solution future-proof.
Meraki devices use the Meraki Cloud for centralised management and control. The Meraki Cloud is licensed on a “per device, per year” basis and are available over 3,5,7 and 10-year durations. This means simply paying for the hardware and the ongoing license cost separately. Licenses are available through official Cisco Meraki partners.
All Cisco Meraki products can be technically configured off-site before they are installed, which means once they are installed only a connection is required, and they are good to go. This avoids any unnecessary business disruption and downtime.
Cisco Meraki Security
From a single office, utilising the Talos security insights, to MPLs busting SD WAN driven environments. The MX appliances provide a centrally managed flexible backbone for any requirement. The MV series of security cameras provide physical security to round the full stack nature of the Meraki ecosystem.
Cisco Meraki Switch
With the ability to remotely troubleshoot complex issues, the MS series of Cisco Meraki switches allow for a network able to function as any enterprise would demand, independent of where infrastructure is located.
What are the business benefits of Cisco Meraki?
Cisco Meraki benefits a wide range of organisations under many verticals including retail, education and hospitality with a range of features.
In retail, Cisco Meraki as an integrated solution enables enhanced guest experiences while it delivers the rich intelligence features required to drive business decisions and increase customer loyalty. Multi-site analysis and reporting helps retailers measure foot traffic, presence-based user behaviour which in turn drives customer engagement by integrating with existing customer relationship management (CRM) systems such as Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Education establishments of all sizes, including schools, can use Cisco Meraki to improve student learning with reliable wired connections and always-on wireless coverage. This gives total peace of mind with easy to deploy physical and network security of Cisco Meraki. Intuitive, Cloud-based dashboards are rich in features such as advanced network analytics, programmability with APIs, and robust threat prevention which enhance experiences for students and makes operating costs more effective.
Cisco Meraki’s Cloud networking solution provides reliable, cost-effective, and centrally managed networking for the hospitality sector which is easy for hotel employees and problem free for guests. Multi-site analysis and reporting helps hotels understand foot traffic and user behaviour.
Cloud-managed access points can detect presence of guests via their mobile devices. Guest experience is enhanced with secure and branded guest Wi-Fi. Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi with social media login and timely mobile offers can increase brand awareness by seamlessly encouraging “likes” and check-ins.
Technology can connect, empower and drive your organisation and with Cisco Meraki you get powerful technology that can streamline the entirety of your organisation’s network. As your business organisation grows or changes to facilitate Digital Transformation, your Cisco Meraki network can be augmented to easily accommodate this.
Further to this our other blog, the business benefits of Cisco Meraki, provides information on the business benefits of Cisco Meraki in more detail.
Infinity Group are official Cisco Meraki partners and a Cisco Meraki reseller. We offer Cyber Security Consultancy and our staff are also Meraki certified. If you are keen to find out more about the implementation of Cisco Meraki within your organisation please do get in touch.