Setting Up RADIUS, VPN & WAN for Cisco Meraki

In the second to last post from our transcript of a Cisco Meraki webinar, we review setting up your Meraki with RADIUS, VPN, and WAN.

Setting up those RADIUS servers is as simple as entering your information in, right here. And that’s it. Once you enter in that information, you will have automatically set up your RADIUS server. It’s that simple. Now, let’s say you have an Active Directory server. It’s just as simple to do. All you need to do, again, is come over to the Active Directory configuration page and enter in your Active Directory server information. That’s as simple as it is to set up Active Directory or RADIUS within the Cisco Meraki Dashboard.

Setting up VPN

I mentioned the fact that you can set up site-to-site VPN if you have a bunch of different locations. All you need to do is install a Cisco Meraki MX device at each one of those locations and come to this page. When you arrive here, site-to-site VPN will be disabled. You simply choose split tunnel or full tunnel, define a topology; whether you want it to connect to all VPN peers, or in a hub-and-spoke model, set your NAT traversal preferences, and then, input your different subnets. Once you’ve inputted the subnets, you simply choose yes or no on whether or not you want those subnets to be broadcasted across the VPN. And that’s it.

WAN Optimization

If I scroll down here you’re also going to see other features like WAN optimization, if you’re sending a lot of data back and forth you can enable WAN optimization, as well as other network-wide settings. In terms of monitoring that information, you can simply come over here to VPN status and monitor the overall status of your VPNs. You can monitor the different locations, the subnets that are being broadcasted, the status, the latency, as well as see the last heartbeat. So, a lot of very useful information here.

Before I go back into our slide deck, I do want highlight a couple things on our switches. One thing that is very different about Cisco Meraki switches compared to other types of switches that you may see out there, is this idea of virtual stacking. No matter how many switches you have deployed in one location or across many locations, you can actually have visibility and management over every single switch port from this one page.

Let’s say, I have 10 different switches deployed. I know that I want ports 1 through 4 and all the switches to be configured the exact same way, and I want port 5 and all the switches to be configured a different way. What I can do is come down here and say, ports 1 through 4. That’s going to pull all of those switch ports. For all the switches that we have deployed in the corporate office, ports 1 through 4 actually comprise over 200 switch ports. I can simply select all of them right here, then edit them in aggregate.

Now, it’s going to show me a warning that I’m going to be modifying an uplink port. For the purposes of this example, I’m going to pretend like we’re not modifying an uplink port. You can scroll down here and see all of the different aspects that you can configure for all of these different ports. You can input different VLANs. You can enable PoE on all them. You can define the spanning tree. Then, simply click “update all of these ports.” And now, all of the ports will have the settings that you have defined. Again, it’s the idea of not having to go on-site, manually plug into all of these different switches in the physical stack. Instead, you can plug into the virtual stack, in actuality here on the dashboard, and edit all of those different configuration settings for the different ports.

There are very powerful reporting structures here. I can see the full list of the different switches and the overall statuses, and tags of the switches. I can come over here on our security appliance and monitor the overall status of our security appliance. We have named ours Godzilla. It’s our MX400 which is one of our larger models. I can see a graphic, here. You’re going to see this graphic on our switches as well. It shows which ports are currently in-use. This section is one of those live tools that I was mentioning that is great for troubleshooting. You’ll see live tools on our access points, on our switches, and our security appliances. It looks exactly like this on every type of device. You going to have different troubleshooting options, different live tools, depending on which device you’re looking at. Again, a fantastic way to monitor everything that’s going on within your network.

In terms of wireless, you can do the exact same thing here. You can simply choose to monitor all of your different access points or have visibility into the organization overview in general. As I said, a lot of very powerful tools available to you. As you can see, we were clicking back and forth between security appliances, switches, and access points, always in the Dashboard. It’s very, very intuitive and it’s very continuous. So, no matter where you are in Dashboard, you can easily navigate through all of the different appliances, devices, and clients that you have deployed.

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* 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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