Leveraging the Power of APIs with Cisco Meraki for Enhanced Automation

November 14, 2023

APIs connect different apps and make them work together. That is the simplest way of describing what it does. To put its role into perspective, consider the Uber app. The Uber app actually consists of many apps that let you find restaurants, book a ride, rate a driver, process payments online, and write reviews. What ties all of them together into one application platform are APIs. 

You can think of the apps that let you do all of the above as small puzzle pieces and the Uber app as a completed puzzle made of hundreds of tiny pieces. APIs connect these puzzle pieces and enable them to interact seamlessly. Therefore, APIs are the backbone of many essential apps we use daily, like shopping apps, social media apps, and mobile apps requesting location data and other user information. 

For a Meraki Partner specializing in network automation and cloud networking solutions, understanding the intricate connections between these puzzle pieces is crucial to ensure a seamless and efficient user experience.

What Is an API? 

An API or application programming interface is a set of instructions, protocols, and tools that enable different software applications to communicate with one another. Now that the digital landscape is becoming increasingly interconnected and many prefer automated solutions where you can integrate many software applications into one harmonious ecosystem, the role of APIs has become more vital. 

Enhanced automation happens when complementary apps work together. For every Cisco Meraki partner that provides Cisco network automation and cloud networking solutions, APIs are essential for enabling business-critical apps to share data and functionality in a standardized, efficient, and secure structure.  

The Use of APIs in Cisco Meraki

Now that you have a picture of how APIs are relevant on the individual consumer level, you can understand the potential of using APIs for improving business processes and streamlining organizational workflows that utilize various applications. 

Organizations today aim to develop modern and agile workflows that are versatile and scalable. A certified Meraki partner does this by designing robust cloud networking and IT infrastructure using Meraki products and software. Cisco Meraki has built cloud-managed networking solutions on an API-driven algorithm, and a knowledgeable Cisco Meraki consultant can design and implement on-site networks that maximize the benefits of all the products (i.e., hardware and SaaS offerings) and apps an organization uses. 

APIs are now central components of technology strategies across industries, but more so for companies that rely heavily on cloud networking for their daily operations and client service or product fulfillment. 

For companies already investing in Cisco Meraki solutions, APIs make integrating a wide range of third-party applications into their Meraki Dashboard easy. Of course, this requires a lot of strategic planning and testing, preferably with an expert Cisco Meraki partner. If the planning and implementation go well, companies can reap many benefits and achieve significant milestones by leveraging APIs into Cisco network automation. 

  • Develop enhanced automation across the IT environment.
  • Strengthen network-wide security.
  • Refine access control permissions and have greater control over bandwidth usage, access points, etc.
  • Empower IT teams to provide timely and effective troubleshooting, network monitoring, provisioning, and other network management responsibilities.
  • Create new, branded experiences for both operations and customers.

APIs Unlock the Full Potential of Cisco Meraki Solutions

Automation, streamlining, and centralization are three characteristics of Cisco Meraki that made its cloud-managed networking solutions famous worldwide, and APIs are crucial to achieving them. 

Here are examples of how APIs enhance Cisco Meraki solutions:

  • APIs make remote network administration more efficient – Thanks to APIs, IT administrators can manage large and multiple networks, optimize network infrastructures, automate routine tasks, provision hundreds of devices without personally visiting an office, extract valuable insights to make informed business decisions, etc. 
  • APIs allow seamless third-party integration – IT administrators can easily integrate other products and systems into the Meraki dashboard. For example, they can use OneLogin API to enable secure single sign-on (SSO) and authentication to Meraki services – meaning users can do away with multi-step authentication SOPs while maintaining high standards for security. 

Another example is PagerDuty. Adding this API into the Meraki Dashboard sends alert notifications to the right people, ensuring that staff-in-charge can quickly respond to questions and solve issues. 

  • APIs enhance network monitoring and visibility – IT administrators can customize APIs to feed real-time and historical data into the Dashboard so they can have an accurate picture of their network’s health. 

The Meraki Dashboard API provides detailed views of an entire cloud network and allows IT administrators to keep track of specific metrics. This is why the Dashboard can give an umbrella report of a network’s overall health as well as a more microscopic view of all devices connected to a network. 

For example, IT administrators can set up APIs to show when bandwidth consumption in a building is abnormally high, if unauthorized devices are trying to connect to a secure network, or if routers are offline. The data is so detailed that IT admins can pinpoint exactly which building, floor, and room offline or unauthorized devices are located.

  • APIs make automation easily scalable – Cisco Meraki administrators use APIs to centralize the management of hundreds, even thousands of devices and facilitate numerous processes across multiple locations, even in offices abroad. 

The most common example is automating firewall rules and granting access levels based on user roles. With just a few mouse clicks, administrators can create custom alerts, mitigate potential risks, and solve network issues across the board. A certified Cisco Meraki consultant can show you more API integrations and their benefits to your business.

APIs have empowered businesses to design their IT infrastructure and deploy processes according to their needs. Thanks to API integration, companies not technologically adept at creating, managing, and making the most of cloud networks can still perform these tasks without hiring coding specialists. By strategically harnessing APIs, businesses can transform their Cisco Meraki infrastructure into scalable and flexible systems that adapt to their evolving needs. 

Learn how you can leverage APIs to maximize the functions and benefits of your Cisco Meraki infrastructure. Stratus Information Systems, a certified Meraki partner, is the best company to discuss this with. Talk to an expert Meraki partner today.