I’m Electing Meraki to President of Topology!

Happy Election day everyone!  (For my US readers at least!)

Today I wanted to bring to light something new from Cisco’s Meraki switch products.  I know I’ve been a little lax lately in getting more of this information to you, but I’m doing my best to get back on the wagon. 🙂

So…your network topology is planned out and kept where?  A Vizio document?  Excel sheet saying what is where?  I have to say, 1996 called and they want their technology planning back. 🙂  Why?  Well Meraki’s gear (MS switches, MX security, and MR wireless) all have access to their new Topology feature.  (Click that link for something LONG from Meraki about it.)  What this comes down to is that mapping your network environment is something that either involves expensive software, or a diagramming savant who can track everything.  Do you have the time to do this?  Heck no!  Take a look at this screenshot from their built in tool…


Pretty sweet eh?  Now this does map more than just Meraki networking units, it will see what else is out there and report back to you on them…but in regards to the Meraki product, you can see reports on them from the Cloud tool right in the Topology map.

Say it with me…Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!

Now seriously, this is useful for you and would make a difference.  Get ONE Meraki switch, access point or Security appliance and CHECK IT OUT!  It is live as of October 31 on their Cloud Management tool! 🙂


Oh yes and remember..


Don’t Forget to Vote Today!


Who wants to win stuff and get free stuff???


Yup no lie…I’ve got ways for you to win prizes and get some free stuff.  Not from me, but I don’t mind being a facilitator…so when you win something you’ll think of me right? 🙂

First…Sophos.  This company has come a long way since I came into this industry.  They have a new Sophos Cloud product that has some super fast deployment (no server to install) and like one of my favorites, Meraki, their management console is in Sophos’ Cloud.  One policy – multiple platforms, mobile management and device control…and it’s easy to use.  Watch this video here and download the free trial.  It’s worth a look. 🙂  Also PCM is doing a webcast about Sophos tomorrow September 25…yea I just found out about this today.   Sign up if you have time!

SolarWinds…one of my favorite IT Helper companies.  These folks offer all kinds of basic free tools, and some amazing advanced ones for network, security, optimization and databasing (that we offer for sale).  But here’s something you can win from them…a new Honda Ruckus ($2770 value) and an NPM V11 license ($2675 value).  Just download their Network Performance Monitor v11 software trial.  Build your quality experience dashboard, send them a snapshot and potentially win.   Easy.  If you don’t win and like the software, we can talk about how you can get the full version! 🙂

See?  Two quality things…and all you had to do was read this for less than 2 minutes.  Win! 🙂


Cisco Meraki WiFi and FACEBOOK

Ahh Facebook…both the bane of my existence, and a place where all of my friends are.  Personally it’s a part of most of our lives…professionally that’s always a question, isn’t it?  Does your company have a Facebook page?  If so, is it updated often?  Do people go to it?  Well…how about we get some more traffic to your page…Cisco Meraki & Facebook want to help.

This training coming up TOMORROW (my apologies, I’ve been out of town since Thursday) is worth the hour of your time, for sure.  Connecting with customers over social media…  “Face it, embrace it, and reap it.”  I’m trademarking that. 🙂

More to come this week and month before the next 17 days disappear in the standard summer flurry and I’m gone on vacation-vacation to Alaska for a week. 😉

Best Wishes! 🙂

Because I know you haven’t seen it yet…

Happy Tuesday morning folks!

I’m posting this again after a LONG while, because we had SO many visitors the other day, I think they need to see the Meraki story in 2 minutes. 🙂

And then there’s some Darkest of the Hillside Thickets for your entertainment…(I know the guy who introduces the band below, and he reads this blog! 😉 )

Switch Hitting: Meraki’s newest at-bat

Aw heck, it’s baseball season…forgive me. 🙂  Ok…so You all know I’ve spoken about Meraki’s switches, firewalls and APs for about as long as I’ve run this blog.  (Actually I’ve been championing their products here at PCM for just shy of 4 years)  After over a year of success with their MX Security Appliance line, and their MS Switch line, they’ve opted to add a few new products to the MS setup.

One of the things that customers have asked me for from Meraki was 8 port switches.  Those little guys are necessary items with small branch (1-4 people) offices…and most IT folks incorrectly use consumer units in place of better protected enterprise units when that kind of situation arises.  THAT leads to all kinds of trouble…on the reliability front, and security too…it’s better to put Enterprise level products in and be thoroughly covered/protected.  So, introducing the MS220-8 & 8P!


In both standard and POE versions (hence the P on one version…*wink*) this unit is a part of the 100% cloud-managed setup for all of Meraki’s products.  This kind of flexibility is amazing to have at your fingertips, especially when it comes to switches.  Remoting into the system using their web portal, you can configure ports on the switches and manage them from anywhere in the world. (I’ve actually solved two problems on my network using the Meraki Cloud Controll with my Windows Phone!)  Heck, their cable testing piece on their switches can save you a ton of time rooting out where a cable has gone wrong.

Now the new MS420-24/MS420-48 are 1U, Layer 3 Aggregation switches that use 10Gpbs across each of their ports.  You’ll have all of the abilities above, plus the fact that it’s a layer 3 aggregation switch, granting you access & control to thousands of ports across your network.  One of my favorite things “Zero Touch Provisioning” takes place when you connect the switch to the internet.  It logs into the Cisco Meraki servers, downloads any configuration you’ve pre-loaded for it and BAM…instant happy switch.

It has speed holes! 😀

A little lost?  No worry…attend this webinar with Meraki, and learn all about these awesome switches and how they can help you.  (And if you haven’t got one of their MR12 enterprise units for free, you will after the webinar!)


MobileIron – Strike while it’s hot!

Some days I bask in my own humor…this isn’t one of those days. 😉

Seriously though, I’ve had some good interaction with the folks at MobileIron, and we have a dedicated tech source for them here in my offices at PCM.  If you’re interested in Mobile Device Management, and Meraki‘s Cloud Controller setup isn’t your thing for some reason…then MobileIron might be the solution for you.  I’ve been talking about BYOD and the C0nsumerization of IT for a long time now…longer than most pundits and sales people in this business…and eventually it’s going to catch up to every business out there.  Don’t let it catch you, be prepared for it…develop a strategy…and LET US HELP YOU DO THAT.  We are very good at it.

You can get links to the MobileIron and Meraki trainings online on my Webinar Page here.

Take a look…learning is always worth your time. 🙂

It’s The End Of The Year As We Know It…

And I feel fine…

Here’s  a little tech year in review for you from the  folks at Engadget. 🙂  Really though, I don’t get to toot the Meraki horn enough on this blog…but I get to say in IT this was definitely the year of Meraki and real Cloud Computing.

The notion of Cloud Computing isn’t new, and a lot of the stuff we’re seeing now are actually better envisioned things of the past.  As far back as 1968, developers were talking about a shared data experience…but they had no idea what would occur just over 3o years later.  Many of us now in our daily lives store documents, music and photos in a form of online storage.  (Heck I use Box.net, Dropbox AND SkyDrive!  What can I say, I’ve got consolidation issues.)

But with Meraki’s Cloud Networking model taking off 4  years ago, and then exploding all over the scene in 2011 with their Wireless Cloud Networking, and then expanding into switches and security appliances in 2012…they had hit on something that wasn’t just forward thinking.  You see, Forward Thinking will either put yourself out of business, or get you laughed at until the idea actually catches on.  What they did was to make less work for IT people…a natural way to get a product adopted.  With that mantra of less time spent managing routers, switches and the wireless routers…early adopters of Meraki became its advocates as much as we salespeople are.

Now here they stand, being purchased by Cisco (who wants to maintain their leadership of the IT World by having the best technologies available) for $1.26 Billion dollars…and in all honesty, Cisco is going to make that money back in a year.  Everybody wins.

So this little company that I took a chance on (thanks to my now good friend at Meraki, James Enston) has grabbed the brass ring and held on tightly.  The reason is because through them we can see a glimpse of the future where things were just a bit easier on IT personnel…and they could run things smarter.

I may not be right all of the time…but when I’m right, I hit it on the head with a 10lb sledgehammer. 🙂

Happy New Year!