What the Meraki? 

Simplify and untangle your networking needs….

“WiFi’s down”.  Who’s ever heard this cry ring out across the office? We certainly have, creating lost productivity and much frustration on a daily basis. So we took the opportunity to take a look at our corporate network as a whole, including interstate offices, with a view to lowering total cost of ownership, and increasing reliability, security, and ease of management. In doing so we have extended our service and solution offering planting both feet within the IT Integration world.

Pairing our simplified and minimalistic approached to technology with our strong partnership with Cisco, we have developed a Meraki cloud-managed network offering that resolved our own wifi peeves and is now available to you via a the hassle-free try before you buy program. The hardest part of the trial was agreeing on how to pronounce Meraki! (We settled on Meh-raak-ee).

Our new network

The brand new switch, wireless access points, and security appliance were promptly delivered in Apple-esq packaging, and the network was created and configured via the cloud portal before the hardware had landed. Once the hardware was connected to the internet, all the network configuration was automatically downloaded to each device, and we were up and running.

We settled on a single 48 port PoE switch and 4 WAP’s to service our entire Sydney office. Sure, it would be nice to have every field data outlet patched to a switch port, but would that be a wise investment? Hardly! By going “wireless-first” and creating a custom field outlet patch panel, we could ensure the cabling in our network rack would be “done once and done right”, and never again deteriorate into a “spaghetti junction”.

The option to turn off the 2.4GHz band on our Meraki SSID was made to utilise the benefits of the 5GHz band, such as increased client capacity and less interference. Our Guest SSID was configured to include the 2.4GHz band, to support any visitors using legacy devices.  Meraki WAP’s come standard with Air Marshal – the integrated Wireless Intrusion Prevention (WIPS) solution, which is managed from the Meraki cloud and detects and neutralises wireless threats and interference. This, combined with AMP (Advanced Malware Protection) being built in to the Meraki security appliance/internet gateway, provides the secure network that Cisco is famous for.

And the result?

Not a single WiFi drop throughout the duration of the trial. Our team couldn’t be happier (or more productive!)

Meraki is now in production, and with our legacy network and WAPs relegated to the lab, we have also deployed our cloud managed network effortlessly around the country.

We continue to simplify too; printers are connected to the WiFi network, telephone handsets are being removed from desks and replaced with Plantronics headsets and softphones, all resulting in a more intuitive, seamless way of working. When travelling between offices, our mobile devices automatically connect to the WiFi network as we walk through the door. Our IT support staff can access remote computers for administration and support via a secure Meraki VPN tunnel that was deployed in minutes. We have even deployed a virtual Meraki appliance on AWS allowing for secure connectivity to our hosted workloads.

If you’d like to untangle your office, we’d love to hear from you.

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