I recently presented Cisco Meraki’s cloud managed networking capabilities to business and IT professionals at Marco’s Mankato Business Technology Seminar. The discussion covered the features and details of Cisco’s new cloud networking platform. If you were unable to attend the seminar, you can check our Events page to see if there are any upcoming seminars in your area, or continue reading this article for an overview of the information discussed in my presentation.
Meraki is a leader in cloud managed networking. The company was founded in 2006 at MIT, and has since grown into a company with 350 employees and 20,000 plus customer networks worldwide. In 2012 their sales equaled roughly $100 million. Meraki’s tradition of innovation and R&D helped the company gain notoriety. Their cloud networking service is 100% cloud-managed and includes a complete line of wireless, switching, security, WAN optimization and mobile device management products.
In 2013, Meraki’s success led to their purchase by Cisco, for $1.2 billion. The IT giant purchased Meraki with the goal of increasing R&D investment in the company’s products and leveraging Cisco’s network to bring the newly named Meraki to new markets. For the time being, Cisco has no plans to change pricing, licenses or the product roadmap.
How Cisco Meraki Works
Cisco Meraki’s four-step process to implementation, installation and management streamlines your business’s cloud managed networking. Those four steps include:
- Select hardware
- Choose your cloud subscription and warranty support
- Management of the dashboard
With Cisco Meraki’s cloud managed networking, the days of purchasing bulky equipment (and lots of it) are gone. Cisco Meraki manufactures a complete family of networking products designed to support the online demands of your business. Each device is powerful enough to handle a variety of applications and countless devices on your network, all at the same time.
Cisco Meraki’s hardware devices eliminate the need for multiple servers and countless other hardware devices, by replacing them with cutting-edge devices such as the following:
- Cisco Meraki MR Wireless LAN – Performance monitoring, interference detection, adaptive configuration and more.
- Cisco Meraki MX Security Appliances – Next generation firewall features, auto VPN, WAN optimization, identity-based filtering and cellular support for maximum uptime.
- Cisco Meraki MS Ethernet Switches – Scalable management architecture, packet processing engine, and voice optimization.
- Cisco Meraki SM Mobile Device Management – Configure, monitor and support devices in your organization.
These products provide reliable access to the Internet throughout your office, monitor and control bandwidth, manage access to the network for multiple mobile devices, and provide security that deters network intrusion and minimizes threats.
The browser-based management system allows IT managers and staff to tell the network what they want, and enables Cisco Meraki’s cloud system to take care of the rest. The dashboard offers centralized management and control of your company’s entire network. This allows for self-provisioning that aids in rapid deployment and expansion of the company. Additional benefits include scalable network-wide monitoring, management tools and seamless over-the-web maintenance and upgrades to system devices and applications.
Cisco Meraki at Work
Cisco Meraki hardware is easily installed, and quick to get up and running. All hardware devices from Cisco Meraki are controlled through the cloud. Datacenters located throughout the world remain connected to your devices via the Internet, allowing IT managers to deal with issues quickly and remotely. The browser-based dashboard allows IT managers to quickly and effectively deal with issues and manage the network from a central location.
Cisco Meraki is a scalable, reliable and secure cloud managed networking platform that ensures your business does not suffer the performance issues that plagued your old networking system. Cisco Meraki offers unlimited throughput with no bottlenecks. You can add new devices or set up new office sites in minutes. Cisco Meraki’s multiple datacenters keep your network functions operating even if the cloud connection is interrupted. In today’s environment, security is a top priority. With Cisco Meraki, no user traffic passes through the cloud, and the system is fully HIPAA/PCI compliant.
The most important takeaway from my presentation at the Mankato Business Technology Seminar was this: it is now easier than ever to manage security policies, applications and users without making significant investments in capital. You no longer need to deal with the cost and headache associated with additional hardware, navigating various manuals and configurations, expanding the IT department or investing in training courses for IT staff.
If you are interested in more information on Meraki, Cisco’s cloud networking solution, and the benefits for your business, sign up for a free webinar and receive one free access point.