Meraki MX Review

Cost-effective, simplified, easy to manage, and reliable with advanced security features and granular visibility


What is our primary use case?

We have migrated all wide area network (WAN) links from the conventional connection to the cloud-managed SD-WAN. 

We have all ranges. We are using the lowest model MX65 and the highest model MX450. We have deployed on-premises and on the cloud because the hardware requires an on-premises placement and then it works on the cloud.

We have more than 1500 users. We have approximately 1500 employees, and we also have guests who are bringing their own devices. Some of the users have got multiple devices, so the number of users increases. When you look at the dashboard, you might find more than 3,000 end-user devices across the group.

How has it helped my organization?

Meraki MX has not only simplified our wide area network connectivity operations. It also gave us a very cost-effective solution. As compared to the most expensive MPLS and leased-line circuits, it works on a broadband connection.

What is most valuable?

It has the most advanced security features, for example, layer 3 and layer 7 firewall capabilities and the end team and IPS protection. It also has IPS, and it has very good functioning of cloning services.

You don't actually have to touch the device. If you have multiple companies in different countries, you don't really require this device to be touched. You can get it delivered directly to any office of a country, and then you can simply put your configuration over the cloud. It's very simplified and easy to manage. 

It gives a very good granular visibility about your network. Earlier, a lot of things were lacking in the network. We were unable to identify where the problem was, but after implementing Meraki MX, we are able to dig down and identify where is the problem. We can easily and quickly identify the sources and the root causes of the issues.

What needs improvement?

From the improvement perspective, we need more monitoring capabilities. We want to have full-based access visibility, such as, what is happening when something is trying to reach and it is denying. We cannot see some parts of it. 

The integration of active directory with this product is not very fruitful. It has some bugs or lacks in the functionality of active directory integration. We are unable to identify where exactly and whether it has really applied our policy. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Meraki MX for more than two years. We deployed this product two years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is there in Meraki MX. The availability is 99%. We have been monitoring the organization for the past two years, and we haven't got any downtime because of Meraki MX. It is either because of the ISP link being down because of non-payment or maybe some issue with ISP link or power outage. We haven't got any problem with Meraki MX itself. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is satisfactory. I would not say very satisfactory, but it's okay. We are only covered with the support license. 

They are good up to some extent, but because we have been using these devices or this product, sometimes, we know better than their support team. In fact, we had a problem related to active data integration with Meraki MX during the implementation, and the support team was unable to resolve it. We resolved it ourselves. We would expect better support from Meraki MX.

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

We used the conventional Cisco routers.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. Before deploying Meraki MX, we did a POC for three months, and this POC was successful. In fact, we were given only 60 days, but we took over 90 days to do a complete assessment to see whether this fulfills our needs. When we were sure that this is the right solution for us, we deployed it across the group.

What about the implementation team?

Initially, we required an integrator. There was a vendor who deployed this service, but after the first-time implementation, it was very easy because it's a very quick thing to do. We did not require any assistance from any of the vendors. 

We have got in-house resources. When we get a new device, we don't require any implementation or installation support. We do it ourselves. It's very simple. We've been doing this deployment across the group. Initially, we had about 30 sites. Now, we have 40 sites, and the number of sites is increasing.  

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

The license cost depends on the box. We acquired a different product line. We are dealing with MX appliance now, that is, MX6, MX54, MX100, MX250, MX450. Every box has got an identity, and it has got its own specification. Every box has got a different license fee.

We deployed Meraki MX in UAE when it was not a mature product. We took a risk, but we were successful. We saved a huge amount of money after implementing and removing all the MPLS and leased lines. We got a broadband connection because Meraki MX could work on a broadband connection. We have drastically saved a very good amount of money, which was one of the successful things apart from the successful solution.

What other advice do I have?

From the IT perspective, people are more relying on the cloud for cloud hosting. Instead of having the data center on-premises or hybrid, people are moving towards cloud hosting. The integration with cloud managed services is there. We have some services hosted on Azure. We also have some services hosted on Amazon. We have a plugin with the cloud manager, Meraki MX. It has VMS features available so that we can have the security and our own private cloud connected to Amazon, Azure, or any cloud services, which is a future proof solution.

I would, of course, recommend Meraki MX. Everyone should have this cloud management solution. We never had any problems after the implementation. This solution also gave us the confidence to deploy across the group. If we had experienced, for example, sluggishness, slowness, or some unreliability, we would have not continued deploying it. Based on this, I would strongly recommend that any company in the world can deploy this product without any hesitation or doubt. It's very reliable. 

They are continuously updating the firmware and resolving the issues. They're always there to help you out. So, we should not be worried about this product. I would highly recommend that the Meraki MX appliance should be deployed.

I would rate Meraki MX an eight out of ten. It has got pros and cons, but the pros are more.

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