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Cloud Managed Wireless

Now, network equipment that pulls configuration from the cloud! Fast, flexible, and efficient.

Meraki is a cloud-managed network infrastructure company and has been know to be used to build large-scale, distributed wired and wireless networks.  The company was started by two MIT PhD students, and is based in part on the MIT Roofnet project.  On 19 November 2012 Cisco and Meraki announced Cisco’s acquisition of Meraki.  Meraki offers wireless LAN, security appliances, ethernet switches, a teleworker appliance and systems manager software, where all products can be centrally controlled from the cloud using the same management software

Centrally Managed from the Cloud

Meraki provides powerful and intuitive centralized management via the cloud, while eliminating the cost and complexity of traditional on-site wireless controllers. Meraki’s cloud seamlessly manages campus-wide WiFi deployments and distributed multi-site networks with zero-touch access point provisioning, network-wide visibility and control, cloud-based RF optimization, seamless firmware updates and more. With an intuitive browser-based user interface, Meraki WLANs configure in minutes — not days or weeks — without training or dedicated staff.

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Bring Your Own Device

Meraki is the first and only solution that provides everything you need for a secure, reliable, headache-free BYOD network — 100% integrated, without added cost or complexity.

Use integrated Layer 7 client fingerprinting to identify devices and measure their impact. Automatically apply device-specific policies to iOS devices, Androids, PCs, and more. Quickly and easily enable BYOD while maintaining a secure environment, for example by using NAC to require PCs to have antivirus software.

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Control Applications, Users, and Devices

Meraki is the only wireless LAN to include Layer 7 fingerprinting and application QoS. Identify hundreds of applications, from business apps to BitTorrent and YouTube. Prioritize critical apps like VoIP, and limit or block wasteful bandwidth consumption such as P2P file sharing.

Apply policies by group or device type, automatically assigning VLAN tags, traffic shaping rules, bandwidth limits, and firewall policies to iPads and other device types. User fingerprinting with Google-like search allows administrators to easily identify and control individual users, iPads, Androids, and other devices.

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Guest WiFi

Meraki offers secure, easy to manage guest access out-of-the-box – without extra appliances, licenses, or complex VLAN configurations. Meraki’s built-in firewall and DHCP server provide a complete guest WiFi solution, enabling secure, Internet-only access that protects your LAN and other clients from virus or information leaks. Meraki also provides cloud-hosted, customizable splash pages, bandwidth limits, on-the-fly guest logins, and even content filtering, allowing you to customize your guest experience.

Enterprise Security

Meraki provides complete out-of-the-box enterprise class security. Segment wireless users, applications, and devices; secure your network from attacks; and enforce the right policies for each class of users. Meraki’s built-in stateful policy firewall, 802.1X/RADIUS support, and native Active Directory integration deliver fine-grained access control, while Meraki’s Guest Access Firewall provides secure, Internet-only guest WiFi in just one click.

With built-in features like Network Access Control (NAC) and Air Marshal, a real-time scanning intrusion prevention system (WIPS), Meraki enables secure wireless environments without complex setup or systems integration. Meraki WLANs are fully HIPAA and PCI compliant.

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High Capacity 802.11n

Meraki’s 802.11n APs provide high capacity wireless in dense, demanding environments. Meraki APs are custom-designed for cloud management. Built with enhanced CPU and memory capabilities, Meraki APs deliver rich services including Layer 7 Application QoS and NAC at the network edge. Industry-leading 3-stream 802.11n MIMO delivers radio rates of up to 900 Mbps, while cloud-based RF optimization with spectrum analysis ensures that Meraki APs are automatically tuned for highest performance.

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Teleworker VPN

Meraki’s Teleworker VPN solution creates a secure IPsec tunnel from any Internet-connected Meraki wireless access point to your corporate network, providing secure remote access to IP PBX systems, file shares, and internal applications. Teleworker VPN is available on every Meraki 802.11n AP, at no extra cost. Remote APs connect securely and automatically to a Meraki MX Security Appliance or an easy-to-deploy VMWare-based virtual concentrator at HQ, while split-tunneling only routes internal traffic over the VPN, improving performance and saving bandwidth.

High Performance Mesh Routing

Mesh networking – the ability for APs not wired into the LAN to act as repeaters – is included in every Meraki AP. Mesh allows for two powerful use cases: extending coverage to hard to wire areas, and providing a self-healing network that is resilient to cable and switch failures. Meraki pioneered high performance mesh routing, with behind-the-scene technologies such as multi-radio routing and per-flow analysis that makes Meraki’s mesh faster and more reliable.

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Summary and Benefits

As mentioned above there are many benefits for using Meraki Cloud Managed Wireless including managing Meraki centrally from the cloud, high capacity 802.11n for Dense Environments, built-In Enterprise Security and guest Access, Netflix blocking, accelerating VoIP and Securing your CEO’s iPad, Client Control with Mobile Device Management and Client Firewall, and the opportunity to save up to 50% by eliminating hardware controllers.

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