How to Set Up Cisco Meraki Dashboard Yourself in 6 Steps

Young IT engineer inspecting network cable
April 27, 2022

Cisco Meraki’s dashboard for managing your entire end-to-end network infrastructure in one platform (from anywhere) is the solution you’ve been seeking. 

But should you do it yourself? Or should you call in a professional? We’ll review, step-by-step, how to set up your Cisco Meraki Dashboard and then leave the answer of whether you DIY the task or contact us to get it done for you fast. 

6 Steps for Setting up Your Cisco Meraki Dashboard

As Cisco itself boasts, “There is a tremendous amount of flexibility with the initial setup for a Meraki deployment.” This is good news, because “you can configure everything before you even have your devices, thanks to the Meraki cloud.”

Before you begin working your way through the setup, here are other topics you should thoroughly understand first:

Here are the six steps to follow to set up your Cisco Meraki dashboard correctly. 

1. Gather Your Information for Pre-Setup

This is what you’ll need on hand for setting up your dashboard account, network, and devices:

  • An order number for your Meraki purchase OR the serial #s of your Meraki devices
  • A plan for how you will group your devices, (as well as what you are going to do with them)
  • An internet uplink for your devices
  • A valid firewall with configured rules

2. Create a Meraki Dashboard Account

If you don’t already have an account, it’s time to create one. Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to Meraki’s Dashboard Login.
  2. Click “Create an Account.” 
  3. Choose your Meraki dashboard and organization region. This can’t be changed, so make sure it’s correct!
  4. Enter in your:
    • Email address for login and communication.
    • Full name that will be displayed on your account.
    • Password that’s 8+ characters long and a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters.
    • Company or organization name.
    • Address for default network locations and maps (optional).
  5. Click “Create account.”
  6. Verify your account by checking your email and following the confirmation link.

3. Create a Network

A device network should be created for each physical location:

  1. Log into your Meraki dashboard account.
  2. Click “Register Meraki devices” and “Next.”
  3. Input the following information:
    • Name to be used to identify the network
    • Network type
    • Devices (optional)
  4. Click “Create network.” 

4. Create a Systems Management Network

There’s a slightly different process for creating a systems manager network for endpoint management:

  1. Log into your Meraki dashboard account.
  2. Click “Set up Systems Manager.”
  3. Click “Next.”
  4. Name your network. Or, if there is a “Network type” drop-down menu, click “EMM (Systems Manager).”
  5. Review and click “Create network.” 

Once this step is complete, you’re able to configure the following endpoint management features:

  • Profiles
  • Payloads
  • Applications
  • Etc.

5. Add Devices

For the devices’ configuration to download, all devices must be added to a network:

  1. Log into your Meraki dashboard.
  2. Type in order numbers (one per line) next to the blue “Claim” button.
  3. Click “Claim.” 
  4. Click the checkbox next to any devices you want to be added to the network.
  5. Click “Add to.”
  6. Under “Existing network,” choose the network you created earlier.
  7. Click “Add to existing.”

6. Add Licenses

If you ordered your Meraki device license separately, you may need to manually add it:

  1. Log into your Meraki dashboard.
  2. Click “Organization.”
  3. Click “Configure.”
  4. Click “License Info.”
  5. Click “Add another license.”
  6. Click “License more devices” for the “Operation.”
  7. Enter the “License key.”
  8. Click “Add license.”
  9. Review the details for accuracy.
  10. Click “Add license.”

Congrats! Your Meraki network and devices are now ready for configuration.

Get Expert Guidance

If you find setting up your Cisco Meraki Dashboard to be outside your comfort level, above or below your paygrade, or beyond the time you have to spare, no worries. 

Stratus Information Systems can give you the expert guidance you need to work through it yourself or do it completely for you. Either way, give us a call to set up your Meraki solution!