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June 19, 2017


Why Cloud Managed IT is the way of the future

Still not convinced the cloud is for you? Read on.

If the challenges involved in managing your employees’ bandwidth, security, and mobility needs are keeping you awake at night, we’ve got some tough news: the rapid pace at which technology changes means those challenges won’t go away anytime soon. Implementing a modern IT infrastructure that’s able to support always-connected mobile devices, data-hogging applications, and “bring your own device” (BYOD) practices is no longer a “nice-to-have”—it’s a necessity.

The way forward lies in adopting a scalable solution that can grow as the demands and pressures on a network increase. The best way to achieve this goal is to migrate your IT infrastructure and manage it entirely through the cloud. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Manage and troubleshoot from anywhere

Traditionally, managing networks or troubleshooting a network issue requires someone to be physically present. When dealing with multi-site deployments or other situations in which it isn’t always possible for IT to be on-site, this form of management and troubleshooting cannot scale and quickly proves untenable.

With cloud managed IT, managing and troubleshooting issues from anywhere is finally a reality. An IT administrator can quickly get alerted about a network issue, diagnose the problem, and devise a solution from any computer with internet access. For example, with cloud managed IT, an IT admin can quickly run a cable test on a cable running between a switch and an access point to determine whether the cable or the AP is at fault. Cloud managed IT doesn’t just help save time and resources; it unlocks entirely new capabilities that simply aren’t possible with legacy IT solutions.

2. Easy to set up, configure, and manage

For most IT admins, the thought of installing and maintaining network infrastructure doesn’t exactly inspire joy—even less so when it comes to multi-site deployments. The hassles involved are frustrating, to say the least.

Managing IT infrastructure through the cloud dramatically simplifies ordinarily challenging tasks and cuts down on time and cost. With zero-touch provisioning, devices such as access points, security appliances, and VoIP phones can be pre-configured before they even arrive on-site. Configurations download automatically once the device is connected to the network for a true plug-and-play experience. Furthermore, “virtual stacking” allows IT admins to bulk-configure ports on internet-connected switches, whether these switches are physically located in Berlin or Baltimore. Managing IT infrastructure through the cloud thus requires less investment in on-site setup, significantly reducing staff costs.

3. Superior security

In order to maintain a secure stack that ensures high levels of productivity and uptime, IT needs constant visibility into network traffic, security threats, and device activity. Keeping security definitions and device firmware up-to-date is also crucial. Cloud managed IT makes it simple for IT admins to get a real-time understanding of what’s going on network-wide and to ensure that security threats are kept at bay.

With a fully cloud managed infrastructure, IT admins can look at application usage on a per-client basis and enforce security policies at the firewall or access point level, all from one dashboard. Additionally, when threats arise, admins can rest assured knowing that the latest security updates have already been pushed to firewall devices, silently and automatically, over the Internet. This kind of visibility and automation significantly reduces the burden on IT while ensuring complete network security.

4. Interconnected management unlocks new possibilities

Traditional IT management is a piecemeal affair. Because there are different vendors for different parts of the stack—wireless, switching, security, mobile device management, and more—configuring more than one category of device at a time to accomplish a certain network-wide goal is usually not possible. Even worse, IT admins have to learn how to navigate many different interfaces and deal with multiple support lines if they run into any issues.

The beauty of cloud managed IT is that every part of the stack can be controlled from a single management interface. This enables different elements of your IT infrastructure to work together in new ways. For instance, with every device communicating with one another and with the cloud, IT admins can view a complete network topology, updated live, and instantly troubleshoot issues with any device. As the demand on the network grows and new IT infrastructure is added, every new piece of gear can be managed from the same interface. This easy scalability makes cloud managed IT ideal for growing organizations with ever-increasing numbers of users, devices, and sites.

5. Lower TCO (total cost of ownership)

Of course, one of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing which IT stack to implement is overall cost. And while the cost of the initial hardware is certainly important, too many companies focus only on the hardware cost and ignore ongoing support and maintenance costs. The beauty of cloud managed IT is that the flexibility and ease-of-use inherent in the cloud managed model means much lower management costs over time, resulting in a much lower TCO over the span of a few years.

As mentioned earlier, a cloud managed stack provides your IT team with extensive visibility into network performance, not to mention actionable alerts whenever there’s a hiccup. You’ll be able to proactively diagnose issues and manage problems before they impact your business; as the saying goes, “a stitch in time saves nine.” Additionally, with the cloud managed model, multi-site management is simple and straightforward. All of this means that the TCO of a cloud managed IT stack is much lower than that of traditional IT infrastructure—often by thousands of dollars.

Conclusion

Once upon a time, on-site network controllers, command line interfaces, and manual firewall configuration were enough to keep a network afloat. But a creaky old IT infrastructure can no longer keep up with the needs of modern organizations. Embracing cloud managed IT presents significant advantages for admins who want to implement a forward-thinking IT infrastructure built to last.

Enter Cisco Meraki, a leader in cloud managed IT. Meraki offers a full stack of cloud managed IT solutions—wireless access points, switches, security appliances, enterprise mobility management, telephony, and security cameras—all managed through the Meraki Dashboard. With Meraki, enterprises and SMBs alike have discovered the benefits of adopting a cloud managed stack.

June 09, 2017


Buying Guide for Meraki in the USA

We often find customers are confused when it comes to how to purchase Cisco Meraki hardware and licences in the USA so hopefully this article serves to set the record straight!

Cisco Meraki has a unique distribution model worldwide due to the fact the hardware and licences are assigned to the particular end user that acquires the product.  They haven't quite worked out how to let worldwide distributors look after the assignment of serial numbers and licence codes, and keep track of it all -  so prefer to do this themselves in California still.

This means that ALL products are shipped from California directly to you the end user customer on an order by order basis.  There is NO STOCK held by any reseller in the USA - despite what you might read on our competitor's web sites.  

It's simply not possible to get your hands on a Meraki product within a day in the USA unless you live in California. All hardware products ship via UPS ground by default to you at no extra cost, or by Fedex (which we use for overnight or 2 day shipping) which incurs a charge. 

We often see our competitors offering a better price if you contact them first - we are no different in that we have access to Cisco Meraki's OIP large deal registration program where if an order is over $5000 USD RRP we can apply for some special pricing on your behalf.

Meraki only award this to the partner that brings the deal to them and who has offered some expertise along the way - its a way of thanking the channel by rewarding them with a little extra margin (which helps in this ultra competitive online landscape!).  Please reach out to us and we will pass this discount on to you if we can obtain it.

Remember the team at Cloudmanagedwifi are Meraki experts and this is the only networking hardware vendor we work with.  We turn around orders the same day we receive them (within minutes) and rarely experience a delay in order processing - we have the process of getting an order to ship quickly down pat.

So in summary :

  • The is NO STOCK held in USA by any reseller or distributor.
  • ALL Meraki products ship via UPS Ground from Cisco Meraki's warehouse in California directly to the shipping address in the USA.
  • Minimum delivery time to your door is 1 Day, but usually its somewhere between 2-5 days depending on where its going to in our experience.  
  • Large Deal discount pricing is available to partners that register the deal with Meraki - call us first so we can do this for you!
  • Cloudmanagedwifi are Meraki experts - this is the only networking Vendor we sell and support.

 

 

 

June 02, 2017


End of Sale - MR66 Access Point

Cisco Meraki is announcing the upcoming end-of-sale for the following products:

MODEL NUMBER DESCRIPTION MR66-HW Meraki MR66 Cloud Managed AP

The above products will be replaced with the following products, which are functionally equivalent, respectively: MODEL NUMBER DESCRIPTION MR74-HW Meraki MR74 Cloud Managed AP.

We expect to be accepting final orders for these products through June 9th, 2017. However, the final date will depend on the availability of stock and, at Cisco’s discretion, the actual end-of-sale date may be earlier than June 9th, 2017. End of support date for these products will be June 9th, 2024.

May 08, 2017


Power Cords shipping with products

Currently, Cisco Meraki includes US power cords in the box with all of their MX and MS products. Unfortunately, this leads to a great deal of waste and a poor out-of-box experience for customers in other regions. To correct this, an AC power cord (MA-PWR-CORD-US) will no longer be included with all MX and MS models, as of May 1, 2017.

However, for USA delivered orders - while the power cord is no longer included in the box, we will automatically add it without charge to every MX or MS product that doesn’t have 1 or more cords associated with the order. 

Please note, if you add a cord to the order, we will honor and ship the quantity requested and you will be billed.  For instance, if the order has 50 switches, and no power cords are detected on the order in our system, we will automatically add 50 cords without charge.  However, if the order has 50 switches and only 1 power cord, we will only ship the 1 power cord that is selected and the cost of the cord will be added to the bill.

Please note, MS Switches with support for removable power supplies will continue to ship with one power supply (PSU) included. MX64 and MX65 units will include power adapters, without the AC power cord. The cord should be ordered using the part number listed above.

March 17, 2017


End Of Sale Announcements - MS220 Switches, MR32 and MR72 Access Points

Cisco Meraki is announcing the end-of-sale for the following products, in accordance with their End-of-Sale (EOS) Policy for Meraki cloud managed networking products.

MS220 EOS

The MS220 Cloud Managed Switch product line has been replaced with the following products, which are functionally equivalent:

End-of-Sale Model  Replacement Model
MS220-24-HW MS225-24-HW
MS220-24P-HW MS225-24P-HW
MS220-48-HW MS225-48-HW
MS220-48LP-HW MS225-48LP-HW
MS220-48FP-HW MS225-48FP-HW

 

We expect to be accepting final orders for this product through July 29, 2017. However, the final date will depend on the availability of stock and, at Cisco Meraki's discretion, the actual end-of-sale date may be earlier than July 29, 2017. End-of-Support date for this product will be July 29, 2024.

MR32 EOS

The MR32 Cloud Managed Wireless AP has been replaced with the following product, which is functionally equivalent:

 

End-of-Sale Model  Replacement Model
MR32-HW MR33-HW


We expect to be accepting final orders for this product through July 31, 2017. However, the final date will depend on the availability of stock and, at Cisco Meraki's discretion, the actual end-of-sale date may be earlier than July 31, 2017. End-of-Support date for this product will be July 31, 2024.

MR72 EOS

The MR72 Cloud Managed Wireless AP has been replaced with the following product, which is functionally equivalent:

End-of-Sale Model  Replacement Model
MR72-HW MR74-HW


We expect to be accepting final orders for this product through April 30, 2017. However, the final date will depend on the availability of stock and, at Cisco Meraki's discretion, the actual end-of-sale date may be earlier than April 30, 2017. End-of-Support date for this product will be April 30, 2024.

February 01, 2017


Systems Manager Free Trial Changes

Meraki have announced a new customer-initiated free trial program for Systems Manager, Cisco’s Enterprise Mobility Management solution. This program enables anyone to get started with Systems Manager right away through a more managed and supported experience, and replaces the previous SM Free 100 device program.

After visiting the Systems Manager sign-up page, enter basic contact details and device count and a fully support 30 day free trial will automatically be provisioned. This also includes access to Meraki support for 24/7 questions.

For more information or to get started immediately with a trial, please visit the signup page or contact your Cisco Meraki representative.

FAQ
Q: How do I start a for free trial?
A: Visit https://meraki.cisco.com/form/systems-manager-signup.

Q: How many devices can a customer enroll?
A: 1.25 times the number of employees entered at signup.

Q: How long is the trial period?
A: 30 days

Q: Can the trial be extended?
A: Yes. It can be extended by calling a Meraki rep.

Q: What happens to customers with “SM Free 100” today?
A: There are no changes to existing “SM Free 100” accounts.

December 21, 2016


Meraki First Year on Us Promo

 

 

From now until July 29, 2017, when you purchase a new* Cisco Meraki cloud management license for 3 years or more, Meraki will give you an additional year at no additional cost. How’s that for extending your budget?

Meraki licensing includes 24/7 dedicated support from a Meraki specialist, all future firmware updates, and new feature releases.

Ask your Meraki sales rep or authorised partner about the First Year on Us promotion and enjoy an extra year for free!

*This is for new license purchases only, so license renewals are not eligible for this offer.

Full terms and conditions are available here.