5 Reasons Why Cisco Meraki Is A Step Above The Competition
Want to know why Cisco Meraki is a step above the competition? Read below to find out:
What Is Cisco Meraki?
Meraki’s origin stories began with a project known as Roofnet. This initiative aimed to bring wireless connectivity to the city of Cambridge.
After substantial growth each year until 2012, Meraki was purchased by Cisco, becoming part of the Cisco Cloud Networking Group (CNG). Since then, Meraki has continued establishing its reputation of having the secret sauce and unrivaled passion for cloud-managed networking.
An innovator in its space, Cisco Meraki transformed how people view network management due to its out-of-band cloud architecture. This approach offers scalable, secure, and easily deployed networks, manageable from all places and from any device while using the web-based Meraki Mobile app and Meraki Dashboard.
What Does Cisco Meraki Offer?
Gone are the days when Cisco Meraki’s only product was its cloud-managed access point. Now, they offer a scalable, flexible, and highly diverse enterprise-level service with various products that interact cohesively with each other.
You’ll enjoy the best possible outcomes by using Meraki-based products on your network, such as:
- The Meraki Dashboard– an enterprise-level cloud management solution
- Indoor and outdoor access points that are cloud-managed, boasting Bluetooth Low Energy beaconing and built-in wireless security
- Meraki switching, security, remote access, routing, and wireless capabilities–all provided by cloud-managed security appliances
- Cloud-managed architecture that enables innovative, stackable L2 and L3 switches
- The Systems Manager, which offers cloud-based enterprise mobility management, integrates with the above products seamlessly
- The control and management of thousands of mobile and desktop devices can be securely unified in the Meraki Dashboard, which is browser-based
- Meraki can integrate with Umbrella, a secure internet gateway delivered by the cloud, protecting against malware, ransomware, and C2 callback-related threats
Now that you have the broad strokes, let’s delve into the five specific reasons why Cisco Meraki is a cut above the rest:
1. The Advantages Of The Meraki Firewall
Modern applications and mixed-use networks have flooded cyberspace, rendering port and host-based security all but useless.
Enter the Meraki Firewall (or the layer 7 “next generation” firewall). You’ll benefit from the capabilities provided by this robust security system through all MX security appliances and wireless APs.
The Meraki Firewall offers administrations 100% control over network content, applications, and users.
We’ll break these features down further below:
Traffic control and classification:
- In using intricate fingerprinting to identify applications, users, and content on the network, the Cisco Meraki packet processing engine provides network traffic analysis up to layer 7.
- All access control policies get enforced while every network flow is categorized (e.g., prioritizing video conferencing and blocking Netflix).
- The Meraki Firewall controls highly encrypted, dangerously evasive, and tricky peer-to-peer applications (e.g., Skype, BitTorrent) that traditional firewalls can’t handle.
- The security appliances offered by Cisco Meraki offer your network robust protection again malicious cyberthreats and entities.
- It uses a combination of anomaly, protocol, and signature-based inspection approaches, ensuring impossible-to-crack network security.
- Security is constantly updated because automatic updates occur for threat signatures.
Identity-based and device awareness:
- With the Meraki Firewall, administrators benefit from device-aware access controls allowing the appropriate parties to access networks from each device class.
- Apple iOS, Windows, Mac OS, Android, and other clients get automatically classified through layer 7 fingerprints.
- Fingerprints integrate with Meraki Firewalls and wireless APs (for instance, this allows for firewall rules specific to iPads in a network where everyone brings their own device)
2. The Benefits Of Meraki Switching
With the benefit of Meraki Switching, switches can be configured before their delivery. They just need to be added to the cloud. Then, with features such as Virtual Stacking and Configuration Clone, it’s possible to easily replicate settings.
When your switches get connected, their software and configuration update automatically. All that’s needed is an internet connection, removing staging as a requirement.
Here’s an example of how Meraki Switch pays dividends: a business with 1000 employees, 150 locations, and 300 switches could save 80% on related expenses by employing cloud provisioning.
3. Leveraging The VPN Meraki Offers
The automatic VPN Meraki provides got developed to help users seamlessly construct VPN tunnels between their separate network branches and Meraki MX devices. All that’s required is a few clicks to set everything up.
From there, Meraki’s VPN does the hard work of manually configured VPNs with a straightforward cloud-based approach.
4. Cisco Meraki Is Easy To Use
Often, the proof is in customer reviews. Sure, we can sit here and talk until we’re blue in the face about how Cisco Meraki is the cloud-managed network solution your company needs. However, you don’t only have to take our word for it.
Do your own research and due diligence, and you’ll find much of what we’re telling you. To that point, a quick trip to TrustPilot shows an 8.8 out of 10 rating. That’s with 150 user reviews, speaking to Cisco Meraki’s consistency and reliability as a provider.
While the benefits we’ve already discussed drive much of the positive discourse surrounding the cloud-based provider, one broader advantage stands out: Ease of use.
You don’t want to spend all your time trying to master a piece of technology on top of everything else that fills your days. Cisco Meraki removes that need, offering few knowledge gaps for adopters of their solutions.
More specifically, with Cisco Meraki, you’ll have a solution that blends with your business, not the other way around.
One example of this ease of use is Cisco Meraki’s licensing model.
Unlike other complex licensing models, Meraki makes the whole process straightforward. Each managed network device (e.g., security appliance, switch, access point) requires only one Meraki Dashboard license.
Additionally, you receive tech support as part of the license.
Furthermore, you can deploy Cisco Meraki in virtually no time at all. All you need is an internet connection and to plug in your Meraki devices. Then, everything else required can be performed remotely.
5. Cisco Meraki Allows You To Focus On Yourself And Your Own Business
You’re a business owner or key decision-maker. What you likely aren’t is a network manager–at least as a primary job.
With less advanced network management systems, you’ll find yourself working overtime just to keep up. This means less time for the core functions of your role and even lesser time for your personal life.
Cisco Meraki (and their partners like CNWR) handle network management aspects on your behalf, so you can focus more on what counts for yourself and your business.
Why Should You Use CNWR IT Consultants To Implement Cisco Meraki?
Your small business, veterinarian office, labor union, or manufacturing/tool & die company all have hundreds if not thousands of moving parts. As an owner or key decision-maker, you’re faced with multitudes of organizational facets pulling you in every possible direction.
Yet, despite all the nuances of your organization, one equalizing factor can make or break your functionality as a company. Your technology.
When your tech systems are inefficient or stop working, your business can come crashing to a halt. On the other end of the spectrum, tech systems at peak efficiency are almost unappreciated and unnoticed because they help everything operate seamlessly. They are the silent hero of your company.
How Do You Currently Manage Your Tech?
Now, you may have an in-house IT specialist to help. Or–as a jack of all trades and expert DIYer–you’ve figured out enough about your tech to keep it afloat.
Whether any of the above scenarios apply to your organization, ask yourself, is it the best way to manage your IT? Is your current IT solution a catalyst to help your company flourish and profit as much as possible?
An efficiency threshold exists even if you have an in-house specialist, a small team, or you’re a DIY whiz. Sure, there are certain tech areas that you can focus on internally. However, there comes the point where outsourcing and augmentation are by far your best option.
Finding The Optimal IT Management Solution For Your Company
There’s a reason you’re reading this article. You realize how crucial high-functioning tech (such as network management) is to your business. Simultaneously, you recognize that your and your team's efforts are best focused on your company’s core functions.
Of course, you face another challenge once you’ve decided to look for a managed IT services partner. You need to determine which provider best suits your company’s needs.
Fortunately, we have your answer at CNWR.
Small businesses, vets, labor unions, and manufacturing/tool & die organizations are best served by partnering with CNWR to help manage their tech. Included in our services are implementing Cisco Meraki’s systems and features and helping maximize their value to your company.
Contact a CNWR Specialist today to learn how we can best implement Cisco Meraki into your business.