A network powered by Cisco Meraki equipment doesn’t run itself, but that doesn’t mean that you have to take all of the responsibility. Upgrading your Meraki switches is easy, simple, and can even be automated, rolling out security patches, usability updates, and system fixes even while you sleep. With their powerful Cloud-enabled dashboard, managing and scheduling the firmware update process is a snap.
All Meraki access points, switches, and routers connect with the Meraki Cloud, where all of your configurations and unique settings are stored, ready to be pushed to any new device you add to your network. Through the powerful management dashboard administrators can monitor the health and status of every device on your network, addressing concerns on the fly or preparing for the future with ease.
If “hardware” means the physical circuits and chips within a switch, and “software” means the coding and programs that direct the device’s function, what exactly is “firmware” and why does it need to be updated?
Firmware is very specialized software that allows the hardware and software to talk to one another, a bridge between otherwise wholly separate entities. Much like your computer needs drivers to know how to talk to a printer, networking equipment such as switches require firmware to make sure it is able to perform at its best. From time to time manufacturers release new firmware versions, usually to increase functionality or fix errors that can cause the system to behave erratically. While some switches require arcane command-line codes and custom cables to update, Meraki has done away with all of that complexity and made upgrading as easy as clicking your mouse.
If a firmware update is available, any administrator logging into the Cloud management dashboard will find a message waiting for them letting them know. They will either have the option of applying the update immediately or scheduling it to be installed automatically at a better time. What’s more, an automatic schedule can be configured, where the routers regularly check for updates and, if found, apply them when it won’t disrupt your network, such as after hours or over the weekend.
The dashboard allows administrators to see at a glance when the switches and access points were last updated and when, ensuring that no piece of network equipment is falling behind. If the administrator is feeling adventurous they can enable Beta updates, receiving firmware that is still being tested but which may provide new features or functionality.
A big question we receive is “what happens if an upgrade fails?” Luckily Meraki has you covered. They keep a copy of the old firmware while the new programs are installing, so if anything goes wrong, the switch will automatically revert to a known-good version and reboot. Any failure notifications or pending updates are available in the Cloud management dashboard, where you can easily see the state of your network.
Upgrading your Meraki switch is as easy as clicking the mouse once, to set the automatic update schedule. After that, enjoy your worry-free network as it keeps itself up-to-date around the clock!
Free AP for IT Professionals
If you are interested in a complimentary webinar about cloud networking from Cisco Meraki, please follow this link. The webinar includes a live demo of this cloud management platform and you get a free Meraki access point for attending – quite a few of Team One Solutions’ customers rely on Meraki solutions with its easy centralized cloud management for their entire wired and wireless networks.
*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.