E-Rate Funding and How Cisco Meraki Can Help Your School

E-Rate Funding and How Cisco Meraki Can Help Your School

We continue our transcript series from a recent Cisco Meraki webinar on how a secure, wireless system such as Meraki can help your school.

So, who is Cisco Meraki and what we do? Well, Cisco Meraki is a complete cloud-managed networking portfolio. We have wireless networking. We have switching, security, as well as mobile device management. And we’ve integrated the hardware, the software, and the Cloud services into one easy-to-use interface; that’s Dashboard.

We’re going to talking a little bit more about Dashboard in just a few minutes. I’m going to take you through a live demo. It’s the screen that we see here on the right side of the screen. It’s very intuitive. We’ve integrated it with Google maps, so it’s very simple to see where your network is deployed. It’s easy to see who’s on your network, what traffic is being used. What is your bandwidth being used for? What applications are being accessed? A lot of different, great resources. You can also prioritize certain traffic over recreational applications, or deny access to certain resources if you’re doing things like Common Core or PARCC testing. A lot of great features here.

Cisco Meraki really is a leader in cloud-managed networking. We’re also Cisco’s fastest-growing portfolio and have 100% year-over-year annual growth, with tens of millions of devices connected. Our engineers are consistently thinking of, “What do our customers need?” We like to hear directly from our customers, and then our engineers will actually shape our new features in our new products based on the needs of our customers. That is definitely something that we keep in mind. We are built from the ground up to be managed in the Cloud. So, not only do our engineers develop new features, but they’re always thinking, “Is this the proper way to implement them in this particular platform? Because it is cloud managed. “Is it intuitive? Is it easy to use? Does it gives our customers all of the features and does it address all of their needs?”

Because of this type of research and development, Cisco Meraki has been recognized for our innovation by Gartner Magic Quadrant. We received InfoWorld’s Technology of the Year Award, and have also been named one of CRN’s Coolest Technologies.

Being cloud-based, the Cisco Meraki solution is very uniquely suited to meet the growing needs and demands of this continually-evolving digital era. Not only is there a complete visibility into the network usage, as I mentioned on the Dashboard, but it also supports the challenging high-density environments by making changes to configuration settings very simple and accessible.

Whether it’s locally or on a highly remote network device, any type of change that you want to make and any type of visibility you want to have, can be had in just a few mouse clicks. With Meraki, you really can adapt your network on-the-fly for every need. But not only that. Because of the unique cloud-managed style and the fact that there are all of these different updates and features releases, we push them automatically to our customer networks.

I’ll be talking in a moment, a little bit more about our feature release Velocity, and the fact that all our customers, no matter whether you purchased a year ago, yesterday, tomorrow, or a year from now, all of our customers are always going to be having access to all of the new features and updates we have. Because we’re cloud-based, we can simply push these out to our customers as soon as features become available.

We don’t charge our customers any additional fees to have access to these features. We just automatically make them free and available, instantly benefiting from this. So, it really is a complete future-proof technology that will last you for many, many years.

Now, one of the other great aspects of Cisco Meraki is the fact that we really do bring the benefit of cloud to education networks. So, it’s a highly secure network that we’re deploying here. It runs completely out of band. What that means is that no end-user traffic actually passes through the cloud; only management and monitoring data goes to the cloud.

As you can see from the image on the left side of the screen, you have a user’s information and the traffic from the access point up to the switch, up to the security appliance, and then the end-user traffic actually goes over the WAN or across the LAN to its end destination. It does not pass the cloud at all. As I mentioned, that management data and the monitoring data is about 1 kilobyte per second, per device. So, very minimal impact on your overall bandwidth.

IT Professionals Receive a Free AP

Want to learn more about Cisco Meraki and the opportunity to receive a free Meraki access point? Sign up for our free webinar,that includes a live demo of the Meraki Dashboard and how it works.

* To be eligible for a free access point, participants must be an IT professional. Existing Meraki customers are not eligible. Limit of one free AP per company. For more details, click here.

Posted in Cisco Meraki, E-Rate

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