Meraki MS Switches Review

Trouble-free and easy solution with useful dashboard and great support

What is our primary use case?

I use it in conjunction with Meraki Firewall and Meraki AP as a package. I am using the latest version of this solution.

We mainly replaced a number of Cisco ASA 5505 Firewalls that had PoE on them. The new Cisco ASA 5506 Firewall and Meraki MX Firewall don't have PoE, but we needed ports and PoE. Therefore, we combined the switches with the firewalls. The clients already had Meraki APs, so we just plugged in Meraki switches. 

How has it helped my organization?

The improvements are mainly from the help desk perspective. It has been very useful for the help desk. Previously, the whole setup was Cisco. It was Cisco ASA 5505, so there was no real GUI. We only had the command-line interface to go in and look at it. Now we can look at the entire location in one piece on the dashboard.

A lot of our customers are small to medium businesses, doctors, and lawyers. The Meraki dashboard allows our help desk to quickly view a customer's location.

What is most valuable?

It is easy to deploy, maintain, and update. It has been trouble-free so far.

I am still a Cisco command-line bigot, but the web interface makes it a lot easier for our help desk to interact with a client. When the clients call in and say that they aren't able to connect, it takes the help desk 10 minutes or less to look at everything in the enterprise or location. They can look at the firewall, switches, or access points in the dashboard. That's why I like the dashboard.

What needs improvement?

It would be good to include the command-line access someday.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for a year and a half at the most.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been stable so far. I haven't had any problems. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its scalability is good. It is good for small and medium businesses and locations. They can scale up to good throughput. 

In terms of the number of users, all employees of a client are the users of this solution. All PCs are plugged into Meraki. All wireless devices are coming through them.

How are customer service and technical support?

I had to call them a number of times. I always got great support from Meraki. I would rate them a nine out of ten.

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

We mainly used Cisco products, which could be managed only by using the command-line interface. We switched mainly because of the dashboard. 

If I am going to put something in the enterprise, I'll go with a full Cisco switch. If you buy the full Cisco switch, it comes with a lot of features. I won't put a Meraki switch on top of the rack of a whole enterprise or a whole bunch of blade servers kind of setup. Meraki is great for small and medium businesses and locations.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy. I can send Meraki Firewall, Meraki AP, and Meraki Switch to a client and have them plug these in. They'll pop up in the dashboard as long as you've done a few things correctly. I can customize a switch in England from Upstate New York. This is what is great. You cannot do this with a full-blown Cisco switch. You have to configure it, put it in a box, put the tray, and roll with Meraki.

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

Its price is definitely competitive.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution. It is easy to deploy. You can put it in a box or have it shipped to a client's remote location. Even if they don't know anything, you can talk to them and set it up easily.

I would rate Meraki MS Switches a nine out of ten. I am very happy with all Meraki products that I use. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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