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Review: Cisco Meraki MR34

The below text is a transcript from a recent Cisco Meraki webinar that reviews the features of the Meraki MR34.

Cisco Meraki MR34 Features

I want to cover a few points here about the Cisco Meraki features. Then I want to take you on a live demo of what the dashboard actually looks like, and the different features and functionality that you have access to.

First, I want to talk a little bit about being able to build capacity using 802.11ac. As I mentioned previously, we do have 802.11n and as well as ac access points. Now the Meraki MR34, which is our new AP, has three times faster performance than the 802.11n access point. And it’s really designed for next generation networks, particularly for more devices and higher throughput applications. Ac is also fully backwards compatible with older standards. It has a dedicated security radio along with automatic RF optimization, as well as channel planning that enables schools to support current needs, as well as future needs and the expansion of devices and applications. Again, the 802.11ac access point really does help future-proof your network needs.

It’s also important to ensure reliability when the network is loaded down with devices. Our access points do this in a few different ways. They have built-in airtime fairness so that client bandwidth is distributed equitably across all of the connected devices. There’s also fast roaming. So, if students and teachers are moving around in the environment, they have a high-quality connection no matter where they are.

Again, this idea of dynamic RF environments. Automatic RF will adapt to the challenging conditions and keep an eye on the networks so that the network-wide performance is going to be continually maximized. There are also built-in rules for traffic shaping and application prioritization to make sure that the applications are performing at their best at any given time.

Also, we have simplified device management and control. We’re going to see this again in the Dashboard demo. You can establish policies by device types. You can set rules based on VLAN tags and users and device types, to make sure that each group of students or teachers is receiving the functionality that they need to operate.

I mentioned on the previous slide, Layer 7 Application Filters. So you can make fine-grain changes based on the whoever is on your network; the identity of the person, the device type, etc. All of this requires your configuration, then integrates with network access control and device-based policy firewalls.

And last, application management. You can deploy applications using our built-in mobile device management which we’ve called Systems Manager. You can deploy applications using VPP. You can also reclaim applications. You can enforce restrictions, set security policies, and monitor hardware and software vitals.

Systems Manager

We have two different versions of Systems Manager. We have a free version that requires no Cisco Meraki hardware. So, you don’t have to have wireless or security or switching to make it work. And it covers and allows you to do all these different things in the application management section. You can enforce restrictions on the devices, deploy applications, monitor inventory; things like that. And now, as of a couple weeks ago, we also have a paid version. It’s a per-device version that includes everything from the standard version, as well as added integration into your wireless network; added integration with things like Active Directory. We do offer a 30-day free trial of this paid version. So if you want to try that out, I definitely recommend doing that. You can access both of those at Meraki.Cisco.com/sm.

Segmented Network Usage

The last thing I want to cover is this idea of segmented network usage. You can have multiple different SSIDs deployed within your network. As I mentioned, you have 15 different SSIDs and they can follow identify-based group policies. So again, based on users or class or testing, you can tag devices and then apply Layer 3 rules that allow or deny access. That permits you to secure different resources. Let’s say, you have students that are doing Common Core or PARCC testing. You can completely segment those devices, enable QoS rules that prioritize the testing applications, block recreational applications or access to the internet. Then, on that exact same device, that same access point, you can also run a separate SSID that permits non-testing students to stream video, and set QoS rules that allow them to stream videos or access internet resources that they need for learning.

You can easily and securely deploy to multiple sites. As I mentioned, it’s very simple to just add a device where you need it to be. It will automatically download all of its configuration settings and instantly become part of the existing network that you had. You can also set-up site-to-site VPN in a matter of mouse clicks, and configure templates for quick deployment. If you have multiple, different sites and you want to completely copy configuration settings for a new site, you can do that. You can do this without any training. You don’t need to know a complex command line interface. You don’t need to have someone on-site to take care of all of this. You can do it remotely, as well as have access to these remote live tools, diagnostics, packet capture, etc.

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.

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