Companies trying to find a new, enterprise-grade networking solution have likely heard of Cisco Meraki. They make industry-leading switches, access points, firewalls, and camera solutions for businesses of every size.
Cisco Meraki has been all about simplifying the industry since its inception. Taking powerful technologies and making them user-friendly is the name of Meraki’s game. This defining factor is something they incorporate into their licensing model.
In this article, you’ll learn the top three Cisco Meraki licensing benefits and how to get started.
What Does a Cisco Meraki License Include?
Researching network management software and devices will bring you face-to-face with complex licensing models. The Cisco Meraki licensing system is unique in the industry and reflective of its core value—simplicity.
Cisco Meraki’s licensing model:
- Allows your hardware to function
- Grants you access to the powerful Meraki dashboard
- Features 24/7 technical support and hardware warranty
- Includes the process of co-terming expiration dates
What makes the licensing models of other organizations complex? You may have a single device or multiple with separate licenses, different features, and individual control centers. Meraki’s model breaks the mold by streamlining the entire process with one licensing model that covers all your hardware, software, and means of network connectivity.
Still, many people are apprehensive about Meraki’s licensing system. Considering all Meraki products need to be kept under license to function, the concern is understandable. It does involve an extra cost beyond the hardware itself.
As you’ll learn, the robust feature set of Meraki’s licensing model can empower your IT team and increase overall productivity.
Do You Need a License for Cisco Meraki?
Yes, you’ll need a license for any Cisco Meraki devices you purchase. The Meraki license allows your hardware to function because its ability to connect to the cloud directly ties to it.
When you turn on your device, it will try to reach the cloud. The serial number associated with the hardware will confirm whether or not you have an active license and can access the Meraki dashboard.
How Does the Cisco Meraki Licensing Model Work?
Before diving into the deeper aspects of Meraki’s licensing model, we’ll look at how it works.
Most importantly, you enable your hardware when you purchase a Meraki license. You must purchase at least one year of licensing per device when buying new Meraki devices. You can also opt to purchase three-, five-, seven-, and ten-year licenses.
Once you reach the expiration date, there’s a 30-day grace period. Meraki has an excellent system for updating you and will notify you when your licenses are past due.
The process is a bit different if you choose to co-term your licenses. All of your devices shut off on the 31st day after expiration. Because all of your hardware ties to the same date, it will cause your entire network to stop working. The shutdown means all configuration, control, and visibility will be offline since the Meraki dashboard manages those elements.
3 Benefits of Cisco Meraki Licensing
When you purchase a Meraki license, you’re paying for the following:
- Cloud management
- Automatic firmware updates
- 24/7 technical support
- Decoupling some licenses from hardware
- Extending expiration with additional purchases of licenses
To understand why Meraki chooses to structure its licensing model like this, you need to know the benefits.
1. Cloud Management
Cisco Meraki’s cloud management platform is the driving reason for its licensing model. In addition to the actual equipment, one of Cisco Meraki’s primary benefits is their ability to host their management component and support your hardware.
You choose Meraki over competitors because they’re the best in the business. Their enterprise-grade products and services constantly push the boundaries of what’s possible in the industry. The Meraki dashboard is a massive component of that.
Meraki devices are incredibly simple to deploy and manage because of cloud hosting. The infrastructure isn’t necessarily important to you in daily operations, but Meraki still requires the support of the licensing model to expand its data centers.
The Meraki Dashboard
Few innovations in the networking industry have made an impact equal to the Meraki dashboard. It’s a cloud-hosted, centralized platform that manages all of your Meraki devices. You can also access it locally, so you’re always connected.
This management portal lets you dive deep into information about your device functionality, traffic, and more across your network. Other features include the ability to:
- Manage version control
- Control AI integrations
- See insight into device functionality and user stats
- Oversee the majority of your Meraki hardware and software
2. Technical Support
When your Meraki licenses are active, you’re completely covered by both warranty and support for all devices. Meraki’s outstanding technical support can be a deciding factor for many organizations. You may equip your IT team to handle your network’s deployment, configuration, and management, but Meraki’s extensive support system can help lighten the load.
Whether through the web or their support number, Meraki’s stellar team is available 24/7. The support isn’t at a generalized level, either. You’ll be directed to the division that matches your issue when you call in. The group of engineers receiving your request will be the leading experts on your hardware.
If your support team determines that the hardware has failed, they’ll guide you through the warranty process. Cisco Meraki guarantees the replacement of the gear by the next business day.
3. Automatic Firmware Updates
Technology is moving forward every day, so your Meraki products continue to evolve even after you purchase them. When your licenses are active, Meraki keeps you updated with the latest firmware updates to ensure maximum security.
Automatic firmware updates are incredibly beneficial—they’re one less thing you or your IT department have to worry about. If firmware updates aren’t automated, you could spend valuable time, energy, and resources trying to update your devices.
If you don’t want firmware updates or other security additions to interrupt the usability of your devices, Meraki’s licensing structure makes a lot of sense.
Get Meraki Licensing from Stratus Information Systems
Cisco Meraki’s unique licensing model comes with a host of benefits. Organizations looking for an enterprise-grade networking solution that keeps the cords untangled can benefit from a Meraki license for their hardware. To get started, make sure you use a trusted Meraki partner.
Stratus Information Systems is an authorized partner and reseller of Cisco Meraki’s hardware and licenses. Our team is composed of experts in the industry, and we can help you with as much or as little of your network management as you’d like. Contact us today to learn more about Cisco Meraki licensing benefits and how Stratus Information Systems can partner with you.