10 New Things You Need To Know About Cisco Meraki

cisco meraki for businesses
August 14, 2023

The last couple of years has been eventful for Cisco Meraki, being one of, if not the biggest, IT cloud networking providers in the world. This article is a recap of recent events that shaped users’ cloud networks and ecosystems and the direction of Cisco Meraki as a company.

1. Meraki recently deployed a new dashboard.

The next-generation Meraki dashboard was released in July 2022 following an initial beta rollout a month earlier. The trial stage was beneficial as it allowed longtime customers to test the new look, feel, and interface and provide constructive feedback for its improvement. 

Upon logging into the Meraki dashboard, users will immediately see a new organization summary page. It shows a quick overview of the networks in your organization, so you’ll know if any of them require immediate attention. 

A Device Health tab serves this purpose, allowing users to inspect devices by network quickly. 

Beneath that is the Top Alerts section, which lists all the issues in the organization in order of priority. Seeing all of them in this simplified view allows users to quickly solve and troubleshoot problems like clients losing connection, device firmware problems, offline Meraki routers, etc.

2. Cisco Meraki offers its portfolio of products as-a-Service (aaS) through Cisco+. 

Cisco Meraki is valuable to organizations that manage hundreds or thousands of mobile and desktop devices over multiple secure networks. Its devices and cloud infrastructure are widely used worldwide in offices, industrial facilities, entertainment centers, and other places requiring a centralized management service to maintain vital business processes. 

Meraki has ramped up its services by making them available as-a-service. This means companies can enjoy the full benefits of a Cisco Meraki ecosystem but only pay for the cloud networking solutions and infrastructure they need. Cisco+ aaS is agile, scalable, boosts productivity, and can easily adapt to a business’s needs. 

3. Cisco Meraki can provide wireless Internet for a campus with over 18,000 students. 

If there was any doubt that Meraki could support wireless connectivity for thousands of users simultaneously, the University of Sharjah threw it out the window. The university is the number one and the biggest university in the UAE, with approximately 18,464 students, 120 graduate and undergraduate programs, and four large campuses. 

Cisco provides the infrastructure and cloud network for the University of Sharjah to become completely wireless. Students, faculty, and employees enjoy stable, reliable WiFi and can attend or conduct classes anywhere on the campus, whether in the classrooms, offices, or dorms. With more than 5,000 access points scattered across the four campuses, the University of Sharjah has become one of the largest, secure cloud wireless networks in the region. 

4. Scaling 5G fixed wireless networks is easy with Cisco Meraki. 

In February 2023, Meraki announced its plans to launch its first 5G cellular gateways for fixed wireless access (FAW). This new feature addresses concerns about wired broadband’s inconsistent nationwide availability, long installation timelines, and restrictive bandwidth plans. Together with T-Mobile, Meraki offers businesses reliable, scalable, and simplified 5G network-managed services. Acquiring hardware like a Meraki Cisco switch and Meraki routers for on-site installations will be justifiable if it supports 5G. 

5. Meraki is the perfect technology for creating smart spaces.

Meraki smart spaces are connected spaces with many sensors that detect and collect data about people’s behavioral patterns. Building a smart space can help business owners obtain valuable insights about the environmental conditions in their stores, for example, and use them to improve outcomes like getting customers to linger longer or drawing them towards a specific product display. 

Meraki smart cameras (MV) can be used to create heat maps for identifying footfall trends, while Meraki access points (MR) can reveal trends – which hours or days see peaks and dips – for foot traffic, bandwidth consumption, guest log-ins, etc. 

6. Cisco is on the path to unifying the management of its networking portfolio.

Cisco Meraki is famous for providing businesses with a centralized management platform where users can efficiently manage hundreds or thousands of switches, entry points, routers, and other devices and software. Even with this convenience, many Meraki products are distributed across several networking platforms and management domains. 

Cisco hopes to slowly converge its portfolio into fewer platforms until it can eventually make all products accessible through one platform, giving customers a simpler, more unified experience

7. Cisco streamlined its Catalyst products into the Meraki Cisco switch line.

Catalyst is the brand of network switches and wireless access points and controllers under Cisco Systems. In line with the company’s move to unify its collective portfolio, Cisco streamlined the Catalyst stack by connecting its devices to the Meraki dashboard. Cisco Catalyst users gradually moved to the Meraki cloud-based dashboard to perform management and troubleshooting tasks. 

Cisco plans to extend Catalyst’s offerings from switches and wireless hardware to SD-WAN. Expectations for the brand to work efficiently alongside the Meraki Cisco switch line are high.

8. Cisco introduced ThousandEyes WAN Insights for forecasting network conditions.

In 2022, Cisco announced that it planned to launch new technology enabling users to forecast network conditions and give insights on improving overall SD-WAN performance. They finally launched this new feature this year with the ThousandEyes WAN Insights

This system predicts network disruptions or outages and alerts managers so they may deploy pre-emptive protocols. With ThousandEyes WAN Insights, organizations can avoid downtime and ensure consistent network performance.

9. Cisco Live events continue to excite the public with announcements about the company’s innovations and plans for the future. 

Cisco Live is an annual event that showcases the latest releases and updates of Cisco Meraki products and services. The 2022 event, for example, was notable for its focus on simplification and the company’s goal of providing all customers – users of Meraki and other affiliate brands like Catalyst – with a unified experience. 

10. Cisco has doubled down on its sustainability mandate since 2022.

The company has been vocal about its commitment to go green and implement sustainable business practices. Cisco’s strategies include using renewable energy in their facilities, embracing hybrid work, increasing their products’ energy efficiency, and more. The company also developed a “greening by technology” approach to increase energy savings and reduce travel and waste.

Interested in deploying a Meraki cloud network in your office or facility? Stratus Information Systems can help. We are a Cisco Meraki channel partner with experienced cloud network specialists who can help you design cloud-based infrastructure to boost productivity, efficiency, and security. 

Whether you want to deploy large-scale cloud networks or consult with us regarding your current IT systems, Stratus Information Systems can do the job. Contact us today.