Meraki MS Switches Review

Very useful central dashboard, fantastic documentation and community, and easy to use and configure

What is most valuable?

We are using the MS425 series. We like the ease of use, ease of administration, and central dashboard. Meraki also has fantastic documentation and community.

With its central dashboard, we can deploy a generic configuration across hundreds of switches, rather than doing it in the old school way where an individual or a group of engineers would log onto each device via CLI, which takes a long time. So, everything is connected.

What needs improvement?

It can have better security. It needs more security enhancements, and in particular, a zero-trust element. If we could have external and internal users vetted in the same way as a zero-trust network, that will be handy.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for the last nine months.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is probably not as scalable as Cisco Catalyst 9000 Series, which includes the 9200s, 9300s, and 9500s. Its security requirements aren't as strong as the Cisco DNA portfolio. 

Globally, we have about 3,000 users. We're on a five-year subscription. As and when the business requires more, we will increase its usage. We will no doubt adopt the same solution because that's our LAN standard now. It is the global standard.

How are customer service and technical support?

We didn't need their support, but I do know that for any questions, they're normally very helpful. There are lots of configuration guidelines and best practice documentation. Meraki has fantastic documentation and community.

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

I'm currently trying out Cisco 9000 Series Catalyst Switches because this particular customer was stung by a ransomware attack. So, they're looking to lock down every single portion of the network, and they want everything to fall under the banner of a zero-trust network with lots of security tools, agents, and hosts.

How was the initial setup?

It is very easy to install. You probably could get away with zero-touch provisioning or plug-and-play. All the profiles are pre-configured on the central dashboard, and then a non-technical person could be on-site and plug everything in based on how you've drawn things out in a topology drawing. After that, you just take the reins and just check, and that's it.

What other advice do I have?

A lot of customers deploy it during LAN refresh. When Meraki came out, they were the best cloud-based access point. Everything was centrally managed through the central dashboard. It was a cloud-based wireless LAN controller. Then they started to infiltrate into the LAN switching arena. So basically, everyone wants a single pane to administer their network, and that's what you can get with Meraki. It is a single pane incorporating everything from switches to access points to even routers, which are MX SD-WAN.

I would recommend this solution if security is not paramount. If you're a secure industry or a technology company where you want a bit more security, it is probably not suitable for you. It is suitable if you're in retail or manufacturing where security isn't paramount.

I would rate Meraki MS Switches an eight out of ten because they're really easy to configure.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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