We just raised a $30M Series A: Read our story

Meraki MS Switches OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Meraki MS Switches is the #7 ranked solution in our list of top Ethernet Switches. It is most often compared to Aruba Switches: Meraki MS Switches vs Aruba Switches

What is Meraki MS Switches?
The Cisco Meraki MS brings the benefits of the cloud to networks of all sizes: simplified management, reduced complexity, network wide visibility and control, with lower operational cost for campus and branch deployments. Cisco Meraki access switching is available in both Layer 2 and powerful Layer 3 models. Mission-critical features like deep, Layer 7 application visibility, network topology, virtual stacking, QoS for business critical applications, 802.1X access control, and more are present in all models.

Meraki MS Switches is also known as MS220, MS320, MS420.

Meraki MS Switches Buyer's Guide

Download the Meraki MS Switches Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Meraki MS Switches Customers
Cisco Live Milan, Hyatt
Meraki MS Switches Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Meraki MS Switches pricing:
  • "This product is quite expensive."
  • "Its price is definitely competitive."
  • "The only drawback is the cost — that's what kills them."
  • "They can get the price down for small businesses. The way I bought it, I paid hardly anything, and I got all my licensing with it. The firewall appliance is around $900, and the switches are around $150. This is for the device itself. For licensing, I signed at $70 or something like that for the switch. Technical Support is included in this."

Meraki MS Switches Reviews

Filter by:
Filter Reviews
Industry
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Company Size
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Job Level
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Rating
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Considered
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Order by:
Loading...
  • Date
  • Highest Rating
  • Lowest Rating
  • Review Length
Search:
Showingreviews based on the current filters. Reset all filters
Darren-Sinden
Solutions Specialist - Enterprise Networking & SD-WAN at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
MSP
Top 10
Pushing out policies from a single location is an easy way of leveraging utilities and resources

Pros and Cons

  • "The product provides a single-pane-of-glass in for management of wireless, security, and switching from multiple devices."
  • "Communication of compliance risk is awkward at best and threatening at worst. It needs to be addressed."

What is our primary use case?

When I'm advising customers on solutions I have to know what they need. If they are happy using a cloud management platform and they are looking at running more than a single line of business, then having the web portal with Meraki is a simple solution. It provides a single-pane-of-glass in terms of management. It is easy to switch between the wireless, the security, and controlling the switching if they own all of those different technologies provided by Meraki. With other vendor brands, you might find that the operating cost would potentially increase due to them having to manage different platforms.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for us are the APIs. Development there has been very exciting and now we can actually drill down to client levels. What that means is that when I look at the portal I can drill down to the users that are logged on to the network and see what they are using the network for. It is very valuable to us and the client to have that ease of use and the capability of providing high-level service and service quality on the switches. It is a nice and easy way of leveraging utility and resources by pushing out policies from a single location to wherever my Meraki devices may be.

If I was an IT manager and I had sites globally, Meraki would be a perfect fit. I could reach the devices that are overseas without me or anyone else having to touch them. It is very much like zero-touch deployment, which is fantastic. An obvious bonus is that this capability is still backed by Meraki R&D with talented teams to support it. When changes and new features come out, I don't have to worry about doing software upgrades on devices because it's all done in the cloud. They just load it up and on you go. Of course, many other things are happening with Meraki and other developments that they are working on with Cisco. The whole story will come out in the resolution of what they choose to do on the security side of things and what capabilities you can gain by using Cisco and Meraki together.

What needs improvement?

A complaint that I might have about the services is the compliance risk response. If I or our clients put too many devices on a network, threatening emails get triggered by Meraki saying that we are out of compliance. It can put unnecessary fear into the customer of the product that their services will be curtailed or that they will have to pay escalated fees. The customer in turn then pushes the problem on to the reseller — us — which can create an awkward situation. We are seen as a less-trusted advisor because what we provided was poorly planned. I think there is a major problem with warning clients in that way. I've started hearing customers wishing that they had not gotten into a subscription just because of that policy. It is all well good having a subscription policy but making customers edgy is making some consider switching away from Meraki. Losing customers due to the means of enforcement of the subscription service is pretty ill-advised.

I think one of the things that Meraki started to develop and then held back on is unified communications. Meraki started beating the drum about using Meraki for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and then they suddenly stopped it. It would be nice to actually see that coming to the market, especially in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa). With Cisco's acquisitions such as Broadsoft, Meraki could potentially invest in that technology, so they would be able to provide a voice platform backed by Cisco. It could be an excellent situation and fulfill their promises at the same time.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using this switching solution since Cisco purchased Meraki about six years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There's been a couple of challenges with the stability of the solution. For example, a year ago some of the software products that were going into the switches were not functioning as expected. You cannot really fault the product for that exactly. They are nine out of ten in terms of stability. You turn them on, they work, they get along with other components, and they keep working.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Meraki is scalable but it's only seen as a stackable switch solution. The one thing is the mid-market where obviously Meraki has traditionally had most of their focus on. So, when you buy switches and you want to scale, you have to have them in switch stacks. What Meraki hasn't done — and missed a bit of an opportunity in my opinion — is they've not really developed a low form factor switching solution in the form of a chassis switch. I think that could open up a massive opportunity for Meraki in terms of being seen as more of an enterprise solution.

As far as our own scaling we have seen their numbers grow in terms of selling their solutions whereas we've seen other lines of business that decline. So, I'd say that we've definitely seen exponential growth in sales of Meraki as a solution. More and more customers whom I talk to get to the point of serious consideration and go through the finer processes of discovering what Meraki is all about. People who choose it seem to like it so much that they stick to it. I think the only time I've really seen a compelling reason for not going with Meraki is that the security with regards to firewalls is still Meraki solutions. They really don't quite compete with Cisco and their ASA (Adaptive Security Appliance) technology.

In any case, we do continue to have plans to scale our usage of this solution for us and our customers.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not been in contact with Meraki support directly. I do know that there are lots of different ways to actually reach out to support people. Meraki now sells different levels of supports so that you can choose a level that will fit your needs. Obviously, as partners, I've got all the contact details. There is also the Make a Wish feature within the portal that we can use to ask for a special request. They seem to be switched on in terms of what they do and how they do it. All the technicians seem young and very knowledgeable in terms of their areas of expertise.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is straightforward. There are some simple rules of a sort that you have to use. And, of course, Meraki does make it easy. If the opportunity that an end-user is working on is large enough, then there may be a reason to look into training courses that Meraki offers. They offer these in order to help customers in terms of adopting, managing, and expanding their use of the technology. 

A lot of configuration can be done on the cloud before actually having the switches go live. When the switches go live and the license has been activated, then you actually push the configurations on to the switches. From that point of view, I think it is just a great mentality that Meraki has got now around using the portal.

What about the implementation team?

Of course, as partners, we do our own implementations. Our clients often need assistance from our side or from integrators for the deployments. A lot of the time our position with clients is more advisory. The customers know what they know. What they don't know and understand is what they haven't seen before. Some customers like to just dive in and try and work it out for themselves. I've seen clients on the other end of the spectrum where they need help in terms of redoing IP addressing schemes. What they need is some assistance with regards to making sure that it is all configured correctly and doing testing as they are doing the migration from one type of switch to another type of switch. The depth of our involvement all depends on the customer's skills. But even being trained as a Cisco CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) doesn't necessarily mean you are going to be able to get straight to doing a Meraki installation.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As a reseller, evaluating options is somewhat built into the business structure. I deal with Meraki, Aruba, and Cisco around enterprise networking, security, voice, and wireless.

What other advice do I have?

My experience with Meraki goes back to the MS-1 series. That's when I first took the original Meraki training course and got the CMNA (Certified Meraki Networking Associate) certification. We got to play on the newest series of switches around at that time. Those have already gone past their lifecycle. We participate in ongoing training now and continue to get a look at the latest versions of the Meraki switches and get to know early on what is happening in terms of new development. The product is now becoming more of a hybrid with Cisco and other vendor products rather than just purely focusing on Meraki as a stand-alone solution.

If I have any advice for people considering the product, it is to jump on board and don't look back. If you're after a platform that is completely cloud compatible, a solution that will allow you to manage it from anywhere you need to be, then it's definitely a step in the right direction going forward. Meraki seems to cover most things. It takes away the need for CLI (Command-line Interface) which is obviously an aging technology that people were using a decade ago. Now it is a web-based interface and it is available on many different devices. You can now take management anywhere you go. How you push it out affects what you can do with it. Visibility and control are fantastic from Meraki.

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Meraki switches as an eight out of ten. How good it serves a purpose depends on the use case. For different use cases and different scenarios, I'd give it a different rating. For example, if it is deployed for a data center, then I would rate Meraki very low because the product is not designed to be a data center switch. If I'm using it for total visibility in terms of applications and controls and what is happening on a network, then I rate it very high. For that, I'd give it as much as a 10. Its rating is all about the use case.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Sriman L
Senior Network Engineer at Nipun Net Solutions
Real User
Top 10
Offers the ability to select multiple ports at a time in a checkbox

Pros and Cons

  • "With Meraki, there is the advantage that you have dashboard access via the internet and you can work on it from anywhere."
  • "In terms of troubleshooting, if we get more tools there is an issue."

What is most valuable?

When it comes to troubleshooting, in the past we had to take the console and do configuration changes, and we had to be on location or have a VPN connection to access it. But with Meraki, there is the advantage that you have dashboard access via the internet and you can work on it from anywhere. With Meraki switches, there is virtual stacking. Let's say you have two branches where two different switches are located. I can take a few ports from switch 1 and few ports from switch 2 and I can do a virtual stack between these ports. And there is a port schedule, as well. For example, some customers want to do make budget choices to save power or something. There is a port schedule option to give power for access points through these PoE ports on a schedule you choose, like during office hours. Morning 9:00 to evening 6:30, and it will work only Monday to Friday. I can schedule so these ports will be running those times only. In an annual scenario, this can mean more savings for the customer.

You can select multiple ports at a time in a checkbox, and you can do a port configuration. If uplinks are required, you can configure that, too. There are a couple of tools available in the Tools section where you can do ARP, Ping, LED status, etc. If any network goes down or is getting any warnings, you'll get an immediate amber symbol. We'll get alerts and an immediate email even if one link goes down or anything is wrong. We require some additional integrated tools for when a switch is down, like WhatsUp Gold, or SolarWinds. So on the back-end, we need to integrate our email servers into the process. We need more tools for that. But in the dashboard, it all comes together and gives greater visibility, including the UX pack if you want - everything will be there.

The features part is good. Everything in terms of access and everything else.

What needs improvement?

In terms of what could be improved, there's API. For example, we recently implemented Microsoft Azure. We have it integrated now into the dashboard for authentication. Dashboard authentication includes local users which we are creating in the dashboard itself. We integrated Azure with our local active directory. As the administrator in IT, I can log into the dashboard with my AD credentials only, so we used Xero and SAML with the Microsoft Azure. It's working fine. Similarly in the camera. Generally, the camera is in the cloud. In the camera, every field requires you to enter some information. If you have a cloud archive, it will be directed towards your Meraki cloud based on whatever storage license you have, 90 days or 30 days. But we worked on a different approach. We developed some more internal applications with other partners. We are pitching data from the Meraki camera, and we are putting into our internal storage with the Python script in the back-end.

Another thing is CMX. There is a location tracking for the employees who are inside, and with Meraki there is a Bluetooth option with a separate radio. They have a separate Bluetooth radio, Air Marshal radio, 2.4 and 5 GHz, for all the different radios, but it's all ELM mode in the old access points. It serves the clients as well as monitors the rogue access points. But in Meraki, we have a separate radio for it to monitor all the Bluetooth clients who are coming and who are identified from the dashboard. We will send it through the API to the location-scanning API to a third-party application and it gives you greater visibility. We can customize our own application of the dashboard. For example if you have a retail shop, you can put your store map on there and you can track the clients, like how many clients have visited. We can customize it. We worked on that customization pack.

In terms of troubleshooting, if we get more tools there is an issue. Our pack has some internal access, right? In traditional solutions we can go to the CLI and we can see whatever you want to change and you can play around with it. But in Meraki, if they got additional tools maybe it would help. In terms of MS I see some complications. There are some voice-related services that some customers are expecting, so they want to put an MS firewall in Azure or AWS, and they want to ship the traffic from that firewall. For example, I am at different branches, so the initial firewall will make the decision. They are looking at that kind of scenario. I hear from some of the customers with MS, that there are some voice-related, SIP services. So it's a limitation. If you have a voice service with AmEx, I saw something that SIP ALG will not support AmEx. So that's one limitation here.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Meraki Switches for the past year. I have actually worked with all Meraki products, not only a particular one, as it is a complete stack. I've worked with them for a couple of POC's that we did for the customers. They were implemented mostly in firewalls and access points. A feature we recently implemented for one location was Mindtree.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, it is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can scale it up. You can take any traditional scenario that you have a license for and scale up. I'm working with 200 or so people, so I just bought a few access points and a few switches. If you compare Meraki with the traditional, every switch or every firewall and every access point, every WLCL switch in the traditional way requires some licenses. If that device has a MAC throughput capability, I need to go for another device. If there is a WLCL pack, it requires another device I need to purchase. But with Meraki, there is nothing like that, the license will cover the hardware, RMA, and the licensing plan.

Recently, it converted from the quote elimination to party-wise licenses. If you have a device license, you simply add the licenses and you can play around with it. There are more restrictions, like if you see access points with MR, ENT it will come with an MV, so it's not about the model. For example, today I have an MR42, tomorrow I'll buy some MR53 or MR87. It is independent of the model and you can add whenever you have the API licenses. Similarly, if you have a camera license, you can add. If you have MDM or MV, you can add. It's unlimited. It is scalable, and it gives you flexibility and security. Every device will establish a tunnel with official encryption towards the Meraki cloud and all the devices will be securely connected and it will take less than 1 kbps in terms of configuring data. 

We have worked on the homes of CEO's and directors and up to to hospitals, retail and manufacturing establishments. Everything is supported and scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

They give 24/7 support, so whenever you have an issue, you can write or call directly if you feel that it is higher-priority. You can simply call the toll-free number and they'll immediately come to the call and help. In terms of any troubleshooting, they will do it from their end. Because we have some limited access in terms of troubleshooting, if you want to do some changes like firmware-related bugs or something, they will fix it from their end on the back-end.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very simple. I ordered the devices and immediately the software is loaded and you'll receive a dashboard key so you can start the configuration. Once the device is running you can simply play around with it.

It only takes minutes to set up for basic configuration. If you're looking for integrations you may need to do some registration or back-end coding or something. Apart from that, if it's a dashboard it is a configuration template. If you have multiple branches, you can create one template for other branches.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend Meraki MS Switches. If the user wants more flexibility in terms of configuration and manageability, I would definitely recommend implementing it.

On a scale of one to ten I would rate Meraki MS Switches a nine.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
Learn what your peers think about Meraki MS Switches. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
541,708 professionals have used our research since 2012.
ITCS user
Supervisor of IT Infrastructure & Cybersecurity at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Top 5Leaderboard
Simplifies the management process and allows the granular control of devices

Pros and Cons

  • "Setting up a switch can be performed prior to having your hands on the device. Once you purchase a Meraki switch you will get an email from Meraki with a code to add to your dashboard and then you can start setting up your switch so when it arrives it will download its configuration and be all setup."
  • "Meraki MS switches are great for pretty much all SMB networks and most enterprise networks. However, there are some higher-end functions that larger enterprise networks with full access, distribution, and core switch stack may find limiting."

What is our primary use case?

These switches are best used in mid-size businesses for access and collapsed distribution/core switching. They offer both layer 2 and layer 3 models and have a well-rounded switch feature set for a switch line. Overall, we have found them to meet just about every need we want in a switch. We have them as 10-GB solutions for high-speed SAN connectivity all the way down to 8 port solutions in some high-end homes. They offer ACLs, LACP, port security, access policies, and DHCP security, to name a few options. The methods that Meraki has chosen to implement some of these features via the cloud is amazing compared to locally managed solutions.

How has it helped my organization?

For MSPs, a cloud-managed solution is so much more efficient than a locally managed solution and having a single pane of glass with Meraki's dashboard is an easy to use solution. It is simple to switch between managing wireless, security appliances, and switches on the dashboard if all three Meraki solutions are implemented. This simplifies the management process and allows the granular control of the devices or in some cases global control of all ports. Change management is built-in (who did what) and sorely missing on locally managed solutions.

What is most valuable?

Setting up a switch can be performed prior to having your hands on the device. Once you purchase a Meraki switch you will get an email from Meraki with a code to add to your dashboard and then you can start setting up your switch so when it arrives it will download its configuration and be all setup. It is practically zero-touch deployment. Firmware upgrades on devices are pushed from the cloud and typically only bring the device down for a minute or two while applied. The built-in packet capture on them allows easier troubleshooting even when you are not onsite.

What needs improvement?

Meraki MS switches are great for pretty much all SMB networks and most enterprise networks. However, there are some higher-end functions that larger enterprise networks with full access, distribution, and core switch stack may find limiting.

One of the most challenging things to get used to is the delay in the time it takes for changes to be implemented. With a locally managed switch, you make a change and it is pretty much immediate. With the nature of cloud management, you make a change and it may take 1-3 minutes before that change makes its way to the device and takes effect. It's not a problem once you get used to it but when we first started working with Meraki I found myself making a change and immediately assuming it didn't work so I would change it again. Patience is your friend when making changes. They have a field on the dashboard that lets you know when the config is up to date. I'm not sure if this delay could be reduced or not by prioritizing communications but it is by no means a show stopper.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Meraki MS Switches for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

MS switches have proven very reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not as scalable as Cisco Nexus but not as expensive either. I think Meraki has hit the sweet spot on scaling.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is about 8 on a scale of 10. Meraki techs have additional capability beyond what the dashboard admin has so they can make some adjustments that you can't. Which is probably a good thing overall, but can be frustrating. They use packet tracing rather effectively to troubleshoot.

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

Cisco switches were used previously. The main reason I switched was the cloud management. Ironically, after I switched, Cisco purchased Meraki. I was concerned Cisco would mismanage Meraki when that happened but they seem to have stayed out of the Meraki business model for the most part. Cisco and Meraki are starting to share some backend functions (Umbrella for example).

How was the initial setup?

The dashboard is easy to setup and manage.

What about the implementation team?

In-house.

What was our ROI?

2-3 yrs.

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

The licensing model is hard for some to wrap their heads around and I understand their concerns. Meraki, like numerous other vendors, is too expensive for a lot of small businesses. However, if uptime is critical to your organization, the cloud management, great stability, and performance of the MS line is a powerful combination. Yes, there are other cheaper solutions out there and some of them are quite good. I really like the Meraki solution overall. Their license requirement means you always have support and next day replacement on all your Meraki equipment. 

They co-terminate the licenses so each license you purchase has a prorated impact on the co-termination date. You can choose to not use the co-termination date if you wish. The nice feature about the co-termination date is you don't have to micromanage each device's license. This is across all Meraki devices (security appliances, switches, APs, etc.). Purchase your switch with a 1, 3, 5, 7, or 10-year license depending on your planned use and you might never need to think about a license again as you will be likely replacing the device with something newer at the end of that period. Purchasing the longer license protects from future price increases and also saves money vs adding on to the term later. Meraki is an ecosystem that works best if you are "all in" across your device lineup.

I find that Meraki licensing is a polarizing solution as you are either happy with it or have an allergic reaction to it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

NETGEAR, Ubiquiti, Aruba.

What other advice do I have?

Meraki offers some free equipment if you participate in their webinars. You can get a free security appliance, switch, and AP after watching three webinars and try them out for yourself. The free equipment comes with a 3-year license. Obviously, it will be their lowest end equipment but it still gives you the Meraki dashboard experience.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Devanand PR
IT Support Executive at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Web-based management with everything in a single dashboard, but it is expensive and the registration process needs to be streamlined

Pros and Cons

  • "The dashboard and the interface, in general, are good features."
  • "We had some dashboard licensing issues, maybe because their method of collecting data from the user needs to be more streamlined."

What is our primary use case?

We are using these switches to provide internet access to our users. They connect the access points.

What is most valuable?

The dashboard and the interface, in general, are good features. We can work globally and anybody can log in from our web-based console to use it. Everything from switches to access points can be used from a single dashboard.

What needs improvement?

We had some dashboard licensing issues, maybe because their method of collecting data from the user needs to be more streamlined. It seems that they have collected information from the vendor, but perhaps there is not a proper SOP regarding this.

They collected some vague information that was registered and when it came to us, we found out that they didn't use our proper email address. As a result, licensing became an issue. It was only resolved after we contacted them and changed the details of the registration. Consequently, there was a long delay before we started using it.

When I registered the system in India, there was no problem. However, in the UAE, the vendors were not collecting and properly verifying the details. The need to streamline the licensing data collection process to fix this.

As a manufacturer, or OEM, they might be doing their part correctly, but the vendors might be losing the data. So, they need to be strict on their vendors to collect the information properly. Or, they need to at least contact the people, the end-users, and verify that it is correct. As it is now, they just depend on the vendors' data. Before they register it, they need to contact the customer directly with the data and verify it. Ideally, some kind of SOP should be there.

With no SOP in place, the question becomes one of what happens when Cisco takes the data from the vendor and registers the product, but doesn't verify it by contacting the customer. This can happen in cases where the vendor is in a hurry to sell the product. In fact, they might fill in bogus data and give it to Cisco. Then, once the customer gets the product and starts to configure it, they get the licensing issue like we did, which is the first step in the process. The fails only because the data given by the vendor is wrong, and it's not the fault of the customer.

If instead, Cisco verified the details with the customer again, once they receive the data, it would be better. As I suggest this, it might seem like a slow process, but in today's world, it is not. They can contact the customer directly, using the provided email or mobile number. They can call them, verify the details, and it will be good for both Cisco and the customer.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Meraki MS Switches for approximately six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty stable so far, but we really only just started using it so I may have more comments in another year or so.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is something that we'll determine in the long term. At this time, we have between 30 and 50 users. It can scale up to 60.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not yet dealt with technical support.

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

Previously, we used MR access points and we liked the user interface. We wanted to extend that to our switches. At the time, the switches were web-managed but they were not under the same dashboard. Switching to Cisco and Meraki brought everything together, from switches to access points, into a single dashboard.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the installation and found that it was straightforward. The deployment took between one and a half and two hours, although we still had the problem with the licensing. That was a long wait.

What about the implementation team?

Our deployment team consisted of three people. There was one person on-site, another in India, and one in the UK.

We are just about to do some configuration with these switches.

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

This product is quite expensive. The vendor might be cashing in on the dashboard because it's attractive, and nobody else is providing such a sophisticated dashboard. It has the IP, switches, routers, security cameras, and everything else included in one place. So, while the product is expensive, the features they provide are unmatchable.

What other advice do I have?

This is a product that I recommend for others.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
WM
Consulting Engineer at IV4
Reseller
Top 5Leaderboard
Trouble-free and easy solution with useful dashboard and great support

Pros and Cons

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

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?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
AA
Technical Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Easy initial setup with excellent newer models, but the firewall is not powerful

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is simple."
  • "The firewall is not very powerful. The other week, one of the switches only gave one gigabit of output. It's become a concern for our customers."

What is our primary use case?

There are many use cases for the solution. We implement them mainly for SMEs.

What is most valuable?

The switches, overall, are very good.

The newest switches, in particular, are excellent.

The initial setup is simple.

What needs improvement?

The problem that we saw with some customers is that it's very hard to train them to manage everything on the cloud, and some customers don't want this. 

The firewall is not very powerful. The other week, one of the switches only gave one gigabit of output. It's become a concern for our customers.

It is very difficult to know what we should do. There should be a queue available to connect over the VPN. However, there was a lack of an image in the other queue. Once, when a customer wanted to tour the system, there were issues with connectivity to the VPN, which was offputting. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We've tested it extensively and it's very good. It's also quite fast. A company doesn't have to fear reliability with Meraki. They shouldn't expect to deal with bugs or glitches. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good on the backend. We've even run some stress tests to see how the solution would hold up to expansion and have had great results. If an organization needs to scale up, they can do so with Meraki. It's not a problem at all.

How are customer service and technical support?

The solution offers okay technical support. Users need pretty good access to senior engineers on the technical support team. Sometimes you have really bad errors on the site and you need very advanced help. A more junior technical support staff member will not be able to assist. Meraki needs to continue to work to ensure senior staff is available to deal with those levels of calls as they happen. A user expects to have a senior engineer to take the question from the beginning to the end if big issues arise.

Last week or last month we had an issue where we really needed a senior engineer and the support staff we got originally didn't know how to answer our questions. We had to pay for a more senior engineer.

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

We also use Aruba and HPE switches. We use a combination.

How was the initial setup?

We've found the setup to be very straightforward.

On the promotion side, the marketing team will help when something goes wrong. You can write to someone at the company and they can help troubleshoot any issues as soon as something comes up.

Typically, it only takes about one day to deploy a switch. For a simple deployment, we just take it and connect it to the new port, and then we just connect everything to the computer. It's very easy. We haven't had issues or complications.

What about the implementation team?

We're an integrator; we implement the solution for our clients.

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

We typically sign contracts for years as opposed to yearly. One year might be a bit expensive, but if you choose a long-term contract, it's very good. The pricing is very good. It's quite competitive in the marketplace. There are others that are much more expensive than this product. It's affordable, even for small companies.

What other advice do I have?

We're an integrator. We tend to test things before we send them to our customers.

We are a very small company, we are constantly looking for competitive pricing, as we don't have big budgets to throw around.

The solution is very good. From using the software to deployment, Meraki is good. Even enterprises would benefit from using the solution. Although we typically deal with smaller companies, I'd pick Meraki every time.

I'd rate the solution seven out of ten. I would rate it higher, however, we have unique needs for the VPN, and require complex software features

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
Spencer Malmad
Owner at Tech Exchange
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
A great console that provides high levels of flexibility

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature about Meraki is the console. The second most valuable feature, to me, is the technical support and the infrastructure behind the console."
  • "The biggest area that they fall short on is comparing the performance."

What is our primary use case?

The use case is small to mid-sized offices, under 500 ports.

How has it helped my organization?

The upgrades to the portal made it easier to manage the switches. The flexibility of the configurations is great — there are multiple configuration styles relating to deployment. If you're going to do Layer 3 at the edge, you're going to do Layer 3 at the core. The flexibility of the devices is very good.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature about Meraki is the console. The second most valuable feature, to me, is the technical support and the infrastructure behind the console.

I think their feature set is far better than most

What needs improvement?

The biggest area that they fall short on is comparing the performance. I don't have the articles in front of me, but the performance of a Cisco Meraki Switch versus some of the other devices that are more expensive or are equally as expensive as Meraki, they're falling short on the performance, because you're paying so much more money and they're not performing better.

That is a big problem when you talk to clients who've researched this. If ease of use and flexibility is important, I usually forego the high-end performance for the money. The performance is not bad, but let's say I bought one of the other Cisco switches or Juniper switches — they perform better for the same amount or even less money. That's a big drawback.

They need to work on the performance. Maybe the chipset that they're using is not as good as Juniper, for example. But their goal is not performance, it's consistency. If you're about consistency and ease of use, Cisco is definitely better. If you're about performance, that's where they fall short.

Keep in mind, that's my opinion; someone may argue differently with me — that Meraki is not better. It's not slower or less performance-optimized, but it's something I come up against when I discuss it and offer it as a solution versus Juniper or some other devices.

I want to use Meraki because I want to be able to plug it in and set it up in 15 minutes. Then when I have to troubleshoot something, it's easy. When I have a problem with the network, I call them up and they help. They actually help. You call up some of these other vendors, they're like, "Huh? Oh, you got to do all this stuff." I'm like, "No, no, no. Let's look at the logs together. Then you tell me what you see. And then I'll fix, or I'll adjust, or we'll replace." I don't want to go through this whole story and song and dance as I did with HP. So it's a problem.

Cisco overcomes that, but performance is where they get hurt. When you talk to any of the other guys that do network architecture, they're like, "Well, we're not going to pick Cisco Meraki. We're going to pick the other Cisco switches, or we're going to pick Juniper, or we're going to pick something else, but we're not going to go with Meraki." I'm like, "Okay." But in a small to medium-sized business, you can't beat them. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Meraki MS Switches for four to five years.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give Meraki MS Switches a rating of nine. The only drawback is the cost — that's what kills them.

I am not paying for the equipment; someone else is paying for it. Someone has to be willing to pay the premium for that and they have to see the value. I'm not a salesman, but if I want to go with Cisco, I have to show the client that if they buy Cisco Meraki versus Ubiquiti, they're going to do better.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
IanMacfarlane
ITSM SME at Valencia Advisors IIP
Real User
Top 5
Rock solid, works well, and lets you see port connections and initiate a service request from the device itself

Pros and Cons

  • "Being able to look at every port and see what it is connected to is very useful. Everything seems to be running really well. They've got everything covered. They have a really cool mounting system at the bottom and an access point that you can use to level up your device. It is kind of cool."
  • "It would be great if they can get the price down for small businesses."

What is our primary use case?

I am using it to put it in a secure end-to-end solution in my IT lab. I am using MX65. I have got three Meraki solutions. I have the switch, the access point, and the appliance itself.

What is most valuable?

Being able to look at every port and see what it is connected to is very useful. Everything seems to be running really well. They've got everything covered.

They have a really cool mounting system at the bottom and an access point that you can use to level up your device. It is kind of cool.

What needs improvement?

It would be great if they can get the price down for small businesses.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is rock solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

They are after a certain market, that is, the small business market. You wouldn't put a Meraki solution at an enterprise level. That's not the market that they want to go after. You would probably scale up to full Cisco for that.

How are customer service and technical support?

They've always been really good. To be able to get somebody at the end of the line is the real advantage of having a subscription-based solution. I had to wait for maybe three minutes at the most.

You can initiate a service request from the device itself, which is something that not too many companies do. When you're logged into the interface, you can see who your rep is. You have full connection to support. If you want to learn how to configure VLAN, you just click on the support ticket, it generates a ticket. It figures out your number and other information and sends an inquiry ticket with Meraki, and they call you back.

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

I have used a lot of stuff at the lower end, such as SonicWall, Linksys, and TP-link. I have also used the actual Cisco stuff, but it just never worked together. I haven't worked with Ubiquiti, but I believe that they've got a similar product. I haven't been hands-on with Fortinet, but I understand that they have a quite selective setup as well.

In terms of security and intelligence, Linksys and other such solutions tend to be more for the home business, so they are not really competing with each other. Ubiquiti competes with them, but I haven't worked with Ubiquiti.

How was the initial setup?

Its setup is very easy. A kid could do this stuff. It is cloud-based. There is one interface for all three devices. They are all tied together under a web console.

What about the implementation team?

I configured it myself, and I am not a real techie guy.

You need one person for its maintenance. I pretty much do it all myself.

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

They can get the price down for small businesses. The way I bought it, I paid hardly anything, and I got all my licensing with it.

The firewall appliance is around $900, and the switches are around $150. This is for the device itself. For licensing, I signed at $70 or something like that for the switch. Technical Support is included in this.

What other advice do I have?

I wouldn't try and manage any piece of Cisco equipment by itself. You wouldn't want to just buy a Meraki Switch. You wouldn't be able to access it the same way as your firewall. It is only when you start off with an MS cloud appliance, you can add on the Meraki stuff.

I would rate Meraki MS Switches a nine out of ten. They are a good rig.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
Product Categories
Ethernet Switches
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Meraki MS Switches Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.