Written by Denis Kayes, Cisilion’s Head of Modern Infrastructure
With the rise of Meraki, intent-based networking has brought a new wave of innovation to switching, and that means constant developments on how we can get the most out of the infrastructure.
I’ve been asked a lot of questions about Meraki from clients interested in refreshing their network and with familiar trends every time this topic comes up, I‘ve answered the six most popular questions:
1. Why Meraki over traditional networking?
Meraki products were built up to provide configuration, control and monitoring capabilities from a consolidated cloud-based dashboard. Through optimising the feature set and providing an intuitive user interface, Meraki allows network practitioners to simplify operations and maximise efficiency through leveraging not just central control point which is extremely valuable particularly for organisations with distributed site profiles but extensive telemetry and visibility tools provided by the platform.
2. Is Meraki only a wireless solution?
Not at all. Meraki started with wireless but Meraki‘s current portfolio includes wireless, switching, security & SD–WAN, intelligent network insights, endpoint management, and smart cameras. Today, Meraki has over two million active networks and over 5.7 million devices online around the world
3. Does Meraki see my traffic?
Meraki’s out–of–band control plane separates network management data from user data. Only management data – something like configuration, statistics, monitoring, etc. – transferred from Meraki devices to the cloud over a secure Internet connection. User data (web browsing, internal applications, etc.) does not flow through the cloud, instead, it’s forwarded directly to the destination.
4. What if I lose access to the cloud?
Because of Meraki’s out of band architecture, most services are not affected if Meraki appliances cannot communicate with Meraki’s cloud services. During the outage, all devices continue to function and provide pre-defined services while changes to the configuration are not possible. When connectivity to the cloud is restored devices will sync configurations and update the policies.
5. Is Meraki cloud secure?
Meraki’s cloud management service is co–located in tier–1, ISO27001, SAS70 / SSAE16 type II audited datacentres. These datacentres feature state of the art physical, cybersecurity and highly reliable designs. All Meraki services are replicated across multiple independent DCs, so that customer-facing services fail over rapidly in the event of a catastrophic DC failure.
6. Can I use 3rd party tools to operate?
Yes, you can. While some functionality is exclusively available in the dashboard only many actions can be instigated via Meraki dashboard API. The API is based on open standards like RESTful API and JSON and well documented. Collection of API calls is even available for Postman API Development platform.
Your Next Steps:
I hope you’ve found this useful, if you’d like to get in touch to discuss any of the four key areas above, or have a wider conversation about Cisco Meraki, please fill in the form below and we’ll get back in touch.