Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN Review

Provides excellent visibility into the network and we can usually resolve the problem online without having to go onsite

What is our primary use case?

We resell it to our customers for networking, wifi, and security.

How has it helped my organization?

For some of our larger clients, it has enabled them to not need to grow staff in order to retain a large 13 access point network has needed a lot of reconfiguration because of the nature of our business. We are able to maintain that and the responses even after hours because we can usually make changes rapidly.

What is most valuable?

Its ability to be cloud-managed is the most valuable feature so if there's a reconfiguration or an issue, we have excellent visibility into the network and we can usually resolve the problem online without having to go onsite.

What needs improvement?

The logging sometimes doesn't give us the granularity needed. Some of the rules are a bit more complicated. The switch ports on the routers are not individually addressable, in the sense that with a switch you can tell what MAC address is on what port but with the security appliances, you can't, which would be beneficial for troubleshooting.

I would like to see more information on what is plugged into each MX switch port. I would also like to be able to see that the templates would be able to be used because we're in MSP, so if I create a template, I have to recreate the template with each of our clients. I'd prefer to create one template and then personalize it for each client which is a little extra work that way. 

The dashboard security is not as good as it could be in terms of provision users. If I provision the user at the high level, I'd like to give them rights to our customers so if I have a new technician, I have to go and touch each customer and add that technician which is kind of silly. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's quite stable. There are relatively few issues we've had with the product. Compared to others, it's more stable than most.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales well up to the larger midsize enterprise. The MX appliances are less scalable than the wifi or the switches. They're a little underpowered and so that's the point where you'd move to a different solution if you needed more scalability if you had more bandwidth requirements. We currently have 150 users. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is good. It's really easy to get someone and they try to help and work to resolve the issue. I'm pleased with their support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We've also used D-Link, Netgear, and other similar solutions and Cisco small business solutions as well. We found Meraki is easier to deploy and easier to maintain.

We also evaluated WatchGuard, SonicWall, and Ubiquiti but we found Meraki to be superior. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup. The deployment was very quick. It takes under half an hour to fully deploy on site.

What was our ROI?

We've definitely had a good ROI. It helps our support resources as well as gives the customer a good product.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Meraki is certainly not the cheapest solution. The coterminous licensing that they do is a challenge with some of the sites where there's corporate and franchise sites. If a franchise is buying in and they want to put them on the same dashboard, it means that their license is going to expire earlier than it should. The fact that if you don't license it, it just stops working has been a challenge. It's not as friendly as would be ideal, where other solutions will not allow you to do any changes but it will keep working. If some of our clients are less organized at renewals this is a little bit adverse. MX appliances are a little overpriced for their power.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten. 

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
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