As many of you know, I spent a couple days up at Meraki’s offices during the first week of October, being technically trained on their MX Routers, MS Switches, MR wireless units, and their Systems Manager program. It was an intense 2 days, and really forced me (who’s not actually worked on a switch since 2006) to dig in and remember what I had to do. I trained alongside some great smaller local VARS, as well as a couple of folks from Italy & Japan who flew in for the training. I was the only large VAR present…and it felt VERY weird. I was the slow kid with the switch and router, but the second day with the Wireless and System Manager, I was far ahead of everyone else. It was a great experience to learn directly from them, and now that I’m certified, I can teach and assist my coworkers and their clients when it comes to Meraki.
I also learned that driving to San Francisco from Los Angeles on a time schedule is more stressful than it’s worth. But it was fun to fly along the 5 Freeway at 2am doing 110mph. 😉 Ok on to new stuff!
Announced this past week, Meraki has a couple new products and whole host of features added in their latest software update. Let’s discuss what they have…
First up is the new MX60W. This combo unit of their MR12 wireless & MX60 router creates a complete access & security solution for a branch office, or a home office. It’ll provide the enterprise quality for wired and wireless connectivity, a firewall, site to site vpn, content filtering and the new Intrusion Detection System (see below). MSRP: $845
The next new piece of hardware is designed for the Cloud-managed teleworker. Have some of your staff working from home a couple days a week? How about one of these little guys to help make sure that any resources they are pulling are not compromised? The Z1 is a small form factor unit with 4 ports for printers, phones and other devices (a 1GbE WAN port and 4 GbE LAN ports) and a dual-concurrant 802.11n wireless radio. Looks great doesn’t it? While it’s not a full access point, it’ll definitely be a much cheaper unit to purchase for your teleworkers than a full access point. MSRP $199 (PC Mall price $172.99)
Intrusion Detection System (IDS) – Before you’ll remember that I mentioned Intrusion Detection System. Meraki is now including IDS in their routers/switches, and it should have been pushed down recently to your system. Built on Sourcefire’s Snort, it features signature, protocol, and anomaly based inspection. It’ll deliver some iron-clad security, while allowing it to be monitored from your Meraki Dashboard.
Bounjour Gateway – Yup, they’ve finally added this, and I can hear network admins cheering. (One of my friends just said that sounds a lot like zombies saying, “brains…brains…” but you can’t please everyone.) With all of the Apple TV units, iPods, printers and AirPlay mirroring out there, this will allow you to throttle the Bonjour traffic, much like how you manage your Layer 7 Traffic Shaper. Hooray there!
Traffic Shaper Enhancements – Whammo! This now has a better classification engine, so it’ll have better application insight, and report web browsing activity.
I’ve got a special training with my friends at Meraki next week, in which we’re going to go over these enhancements as well as a few more things for their Systems Manager program.
What??? You’re not using Systems Manager? It’s free, an asset manager, software manager, Mobile Device Manager, can give you deep insight into your desktops/laptops/tablets…and it is FREE. Go here right now and check it out. Download it and test it. If you want, contact me and I will walk you through it on my personal dashboard.
Other than that, have a WONDERFUL Friday & weekend!