05 December 2012

Grupotel Keeps Visitors Coming Back with Peplink

Grupotel Hotels and Resorts, is a favorite place to stay in Barcelona, Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and other Spanish locations and prides itself on delivering a superior visitor experience every single time. 

Poor local communications infrastructure have hampered Grupotel's site-to-site communications, making it more difficult and expensive than necessary to provide a consist first-class service. 

To solve its communications challenges, Grupotel turned to Peplink's Balance series.
  • Deployment:
    • Balance 580 and 380
    • Connected multiple sites by SpeedFusion Bonding Technology
  • Winning factors:
    • SpeedFusion enables smooth Internet connections where local infrastructure is poor
    • Balance routers are easily compatible with existing network infrastructure
    • Easy but secure access to internal documents for staff and partners 
Deliver Superior Customer Service with Peplink - to learn more about the Balance 580 and 380 at http://www.peplink.com/newsletter/balance/ or call your Cloud Distribution Account Manager on 01635 800 410 or email us:  info@cloud-distribution.com

29 November 2012

Sue Ryder Improves Its Patients’ Experience By Deploying Meraki’s Cloud-Based Wireless LAN | SourceWire

Reading, UK, 29th November 2012- Value Added Distributor, Cloud Distribution, is pleased to announce that through its channel partner, Ecologic, it has deployed 90 MR16 Meraki wireless access points in Sue Ryder facilities all over the UK. Meraki’s cloud-based Wi-Fi solution has provided Sue Ryder with a secure, efficient and robust connection that offers its patients and staff unlimited access to the internet and invaluable contact with the outside world.

Scott Dobson, Managing Director of Cloud Distribution comments:

“Sue Ryder wanted to offer patients wireless internet access whilst undergoing palliative or neurological treatments in its residential care centres and hospices. It also wanted staff and patients to be able to access the wireless network simultaneously, without any risk to secure information or confidential patient records.”

Offering wireless internet access was a central concern for Sue Ryder because the team felt it was important for patients to have outside contact and mobile wireless access; to be able to move around rather than be restrained by a static point. Using Skype and social media channels would allow patients to keep in touch with family and friends Sue Ryder’s solution needed to provide a robust and quick connection- the faster the access the better- to ensure that patients could access the internet as efficiently as possible. It is also essential for the solution to be strong because many of Sue Ryder’s sites are remote and risk dropped connections if the technology is not robust enough. Fin Bavidge, co-founder of Ecologic, comments:

“Meraki’s ease of configuration and management made it a safe and reliable choice for Sue Ryder, as it has these capabilities without compromising on performance. The ability for users to move from site to site without needing to reconfigure the wireless key to access the network was also a strong benefit because many of the charity’s staff transfer between sites which are located all over the UK.”

Initially Sue Ryder purchased 90 Meraki MR 16 access points which are due to be fully deployed by the end of March 2013. It plans to more than double this amount to 200 and is currently working on securing the funds to ensure that every site has wireless access by the end of next year. Sue Ryder is confident that Meraki will help its facilities to sustain staff and patient satisfaction, by providing the former with real-time access to patient records at the bed side and the latter with high quality and reliable internet connectivity. David Ripper, Head of IT at Sue Ryder, concludes:

“Lots of our patients were requesting internet access as it is an invaluable benefit for those that can be with us for days, weeks or even months. Meraki was the right choice for us because patients and staff can access the internet at the same time and it offers the perfect balance between affordability and performance. What sealed the deal was the technology’s security capabilities, ease of use and great value for money.”

Sue Ryder Improves Its Patients’ Experience By Deploying Meraki’s Cloud-Based Wireless LAN | SourceWire

Accelerate revenue in 2013 with "Next Gen" networking & security offerings from Cloud Distribution

Cloud distribution
Cloud Distribution specialises in innovative and disruptive new technologies that VARs can take to market quickly and easily. As a next generation distributor, we focus on adding value with tailored vendor launch support packs to ensure an accelerated go to market. Our portfolio of disruptive networking and security solutions will help resellers to differentiate themselves from the competitor and create new markets to sell in. In short Cloud Distribution can help you to:

Using our new vendor launch packs to build a real pipeline fast and effectively
cloud distribution
Select the vendors and their solutions from our portfolio of disruptive networking
and security solutions
cloud distribution
We have the in-house expertise to help you deliver additional professional
services revenue around our product portfolio
cloud distribution
We'll show you innovative ways to create annual recurring revenues
cloud distribution
We make it our business to help you to sell more easily, quickly and profitably
cloud distribution
Cloud distribution
Any reseller who knows they are a market maker and is looking to take new technologies to
market should contact us for further information on 01635 800410

Channelweb.co.uk - Business news, analysis, comment and reviews for resellers and VARs in the UK computer channel

27 November 2012

Cornell University keeps commuter connected through rural cellular blackspots

Pepwave Helps Keep Cornell University Commuters Stay Connected

Ivy League Cornell University maintains a main campus in Ithaca, New York and a medical campus in New York City. To assist staff and students in travelling the 225 miles separating these campuses, Cornell offers an express bus service. While many commuters would prefer to get some work done during in the just over four-hour ride, the route is very rural and cellular connectivity can be somewhat hit and miss.

To keep the commuters online and productive, Cornell officials knew they needed a solution supporting multiple carriers and offering seamless failover. After considering the options, they chose the Pepwave MAX 700 multi-cellular router with SpeedFusion™ technology.
  • Deployment: MAX 700 (bus) and Balance 380 (main campus)
  • SpeedFusion bonds bandwidth from multiple wireless providers with seamless failover
  • Winning factors:
    • Provides a reliable, high-bandwidth mobile hotspot even in rural areas
    • Eliminates dead zones and provides uninterrupted mobile Internet anywhere
    • Top-level performance with ROI in two months
Learn Why the MAX 700 Gets an A+ in Mobile Connectivity
Fast, dependable, and tough, the MAX 700 is a complete mobile connectivity solution that keeps everyone productive on the road, even when travelling through rural areas. Learn more about the Pepwave MAX 700 or any of the other solutions available, contact your Cloud Distribution Account Manager or take a look here

30 October 2012

A look inside: Meraki intrusion detection

With millions of packets flowing across the network every day, how do you spot potentially harmful traffic? Simple visibility of all traffic isn’t practical since the sheer volume is far beyond what a human could process. An intrusion detection tool, however, can identify malicious activity, categorize potential threats, facilitate reporting, and alert a network administrator when necessary.

Integrated Snort technology

The latest software update for the MX Security Appliances now includes IDS capabilities. We’ve taken Sourcefire’s Snort engine, the industry standard in network intrusion detection, and made it accessible to network administrators everywhere through the Meraki dashboard.

Snort IDS technology has been highly respected in the security community for nearly 15 years. It’s open source, so it’s continually tested, worked-on, and refined by a broad community of security professionals. Most importantly, in a world where new security threats emerge on a daily basis, the open nature of the platform means new threats are identified and added into the engine far more quickly than a handful of developers working in a closed proprietary system could hope to achieve.

Here’s a peek into how the MX’s IDS looks in the Meraki dashboard:

IDS timeline viewed by client

Intuitive, organization-wide reporting

When MXs receive their scheduled over-the-cloud upgrade over the next several weeks, network administrators will find a new reporting tool: Organization > Security report. Note this requires an Advanced Security license for the MX. This provides an intuitive GUI to the Snort engine, enabling organization-wide threat status to be established at a glance. Information is presented in real-time, with a configurable historical view that allows admins to quickly identify the regularity with which threats are being seen. Admins can search their organization by:
  • Threat signature
  • Network
  • Client
  • Source and/or destination IP
For large, distributed networks, the MX’s organization-wide reporting eliminates the need to log in to the security appliance at every site and check the IDS status at each. Potential security threats are ranked and summarized by severity, with details presented in a timeline, a pie chart, and in summary tables. For those digging for even more information, the complete list of events is also shown. The Snort Signature ID links to a detailed description, including suggested actions to remediate the threat. Intrusion Detection typically displays many false positives and negatives, so a detailed description helps the administrator to focus their energy on addressing the real threats as they emerge.
IDS event log
What was once only available to highly trained and expensive security experts can now be seen and analyzed with a few clicks of a mouse. Meraki’s IDS implementation is the latest example of how we’re revolutionizing the world of network administration and helping our customers achieve more with their precious IT resources.

You can learn more about Meraki’s Intrusion Detection and its role in our next-generation firewall here.

15 October 2012

Meraki expands cloud managed networking portfolio with new hardware and enhanced security and management

Meraki, the leader in cloud-managed networking, announced today two new hardware products: the MX60W, a small branch security appliance with integrated WiFi, and the Z1, a wireless gateway for teleworker and remote enterprise users. These products complement Meraki’s large campus and branch offerings, adding flexibility in deployments suited to all-in-one solutions.

Meraki also announced a new software update for wired and wireless product families that adds Apple Bonjour Gateway support as well as enhanced security and network visibility.

All in one wireless, Ethernet, and security simplifies small branch and teleworker deployments

Since its introduction in early 2011, customers from Peet’s Coffee and Tea to Syracuse University have turned to Meraki’s MX series security appliances to secure and simplify their distributed networks. Today, Meraki adds the newest model to the MX family, the MX60W, which brings integrated 802.11n wireless connectivity to the MX platform in an affordable, compact, and easy to manage device. The MX60W is a complete access and security solution for small branches, providing enterprise wired and wireless connectivity, a next generation firewall, Auto VPN for one-touch creation of site-to-site virtual private networks, content filtering, and intrusion detection (IDS). With out-of-the-box PCI compliance, the MX60W is also ideally suited for retail stores adopting mobile point of sale or guest WiFi. The MX60W is available immediately for order through authorized resellers at a list price of $845.

For organizations looking to extend secure enterprise connectivity to employees’ homes, Meraki is introducing the Z1 Cloud Managed Teleworker Gateway. The Z1 integrates networking, security, and high speed wired and wireless access in a compact and silent design. Built in an entirely new form factor, the Z1’s capable hardware platform offers dual-band, dual-concurrent 802.11n WiFi with a 600 Mbps radio rate and four Gigabit Ethernet ports. Feature highlights include Auto VPN, 3G/4G failover, and robust identity-based access policies. Scalable cloud based management and zero-touch provisioning allow IT organizations to extend corporate access to remote users without adding staff or management complexity. The Z1 is available immediately for order through authorized resellers at a list price of $195.

New software brings Bonjour Gateway, new security and management features

Meraki also today announced new software for its wired and wireless product families, bringing dozens of new features and enhancement to new and existing customers. Highlights include:
Bonjour Gateway - Apple’s Bonjour zero-configuration service discovery protocol enables applications like AirPlay and AirPrint on local networks. As Apple devices proliferate, especially with the adoption of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, Bonjour can pose significant challenges for large-scale networks: administrators must often choose between an unmanageable flood of Bonjour devices on a large, flat network, or a segmented network that prevents desired Bonjour access. Meraki’s Bonjour Gateway technology provides administrators with a powerful tool to manage networks used by Apple devices, selectively bridging Bonjour traffic across network boundaries.

Network-Wide Intrusion Detection (IDS) - This latest software update to the MX Security Appliance adds IDS, enhancing administrators’ visibility and control of security threats in branch networks. The MX’s IDS engine is built upon Snort, the industry’s leading IDS / IPS solution featuring signature, protocol, and anomaly-based inspection. Centrally managed through Meraki’s cloud based dashboard, the MX provides an intuitive visualization of security threats, and is easy to administer even in highly distributed multi-site networks.
Enhanced Traffic Shaper with Fine Grained Layer 7 Application Visibility - In 2010, Meraki introduced the industry’s first cloud managed Layer 7 traffic shaper, and is now the leader in application visibility and control for the wired and wireless access layer. Today, Meraki is introducing a dramatically enhanced Traffic Shaper, providing more precise, finer-grained classification over thousands of applications. A completely re-architected classification engine dynamically identifies web-based applications on the fly, giving administrators enhanced visibility over network behavior.

“With the proliferation of BYOD and cloud applications throughout enterprise networks, administrators are looking to cloud management to streamline their architecture,” said Kiren Sekar, V.P. of Marketing at Meraki. “These latest software features and hardware platforms provide administrators with new tools to simplify their increasingly dynamic network environments.”

“The key value proposition of Meraki’s MX series is manageability and simplicity,” said Chris Day, C.E.O. of Fully Managed, a leading managed-service provider in Vancouver that uses the MX line with customers and a beta user of the MX60W. “Meraki’s solutions are so simple to deploy, we’ve saved around $200,000 per year in labor costs and countless hours in training time. The competing products have a laundry list of features on their datasheets, but the implementation is far too complicated to be useful in practice. With a Meraki deployment, our customers get everything they need and everything works right out of the box just like it’s supposed to.”

Both the MX60W and Z1 are available for immediate order through authorized Meraki resellers, at list prices of $845, and $195, respectively. The software update, including Bonjour Gateway and the enhanced Traffic Shaper will be available at no cost for MX security appliances in October 2012 and MR wireless access points in late fall 2012. More information about the MX line can be found atwww.meraki.com/mx.

Meraki Press Releases

05 October 2012

Solved IT scores goal with PFA - 05 Oct 2012 - CRN UK News

Premiership footballers will be among the beneficiaries of a new wireless LAN solution at the offices of the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) rolled out by VAR Solved IT.

Solved IT completed the deployment of a Meraki Cloud Managed Solution for the body in August. It is designed to allow staff using company-issued BlackBerry PlayBooks and bringing their own devices to connect securely to PFA data.

PFA guests, including professional footballers and dignitaries, can also gain secure public access via the connection.

Read more: http://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn-uk/news/2214830/solved-it-scores-goal-with-pfa#ixzz28PtNKOTw
CRN - Essential information for VARs, integrators and converged resellers. Claim your free subscription today.

Solved IT scores goal with PFA - 05 Oct 2012 - CRN UK News

02 October 2012

Cloud Distribution - Reykjavik Partner Incentive

Full Steam Ahead to Reykjavik

NOVEMBER 30-DECEMBER 02 - Put it in your diary !!!


Here at Cloud, we believe in working hard and playing hard. We also believe in incentivising our partners to achieve joint goals. With this in mind, we'd like to introduce our Q4 promotion to Reykjavik, Iceland! The promotion is open to all partners and will run from October 1st to November 16th (inclusive). Contact your Account Manager on 01635 800410 for further details.


Depart Friday 30th November from Heathrow to Reykjavik for a 3 day, fun packed trip of discovery. We'll be staying at the 4* Radisson Hotel Reykjavik - http://www.radissonblu.com/1919hotel-reykjavik. We'll spend 2 nights in the Islandic capital before returning midday Sunday 2nd December.

As part of the all-expenses paid trip, you'll be able to choose between two or three of the following fantastic activities:

Swim in the Blue Lagoon


Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most visited sites with more than 400,000 visitors annually. The lagoon is 5000m2. At each time the lagoon holds six million litres of geothermal seawater all of which is renewed every 40 hours. Blue Lagoon’s guests actually bathe between two continents as the Euro-Asian and American tectonic plates meet at the Blue Lagoon. Blue Lagoon has been awarded the Blue Flag environmental recognition granted to beaches and marinas and displays the Blue Flag on premises all year around. The Blue Lagoon has also been chosen Best Spa in Scandinavia by SpaFinder and the best Best Medical Thermal Spa by Conde Nast Traveller and recently chosen one of 25 wonders of the world according to National Geographic. 

Dog Sledding


Dog sledding is great fun. It's an activity gaining popularity, and is a real treat for anyone wanting an adrenaline rush. Dog sledding does not create any air or noise pollution, and the silence is a true gift – a life enhancing moment to treasure. Dog sledding tours provide a unique opportunity to combine an adventure and sightseeing experience.  Note: You have the option of visiting the dog kennel. 

The Golden Circle


We start out by a visit to the national park at Þingvellir. Þingvellir is a site and place where Icelanders forget their national identity. Þingvellir is a unique geological place where the tectonic plates of N-America and Euro-Asia meet in a very visible way. We drive on over the Lyngdalsheidi, where outlaws used to roam and onwards to the Geysir area, a unique area with numerous wonders of geo-thermal water, and then on towards the Gold falls. A water fall of sheer beauty. Taking a separate route back to Reykjavik we pass by the waterfall Faxi on route to “Kerið”. A crater created in a somewhat different way then we would mostly imagine. With ample time for stops and photo shoots this day-tour contains some of the most popular and beautiful sights Iceland has to offer. Guarantied to leave you with lasting memory for a lifetime.

Authentic Icelandic Cuisine


LOCAL CRITIC'S REVIEW - If you want nouveau or fusion cuisine, look elsewhere. This old-guard restaurant is on the second floor of a century-old gentry townhouse, and the velvety curtains and brass chandeliers are a welcome relief from all the hip, minimalist interiors elsewhere in the fine-dining register. The menu's subtitle of "pure Icelandic" refers to native ingredients, not the dishes, which are honest French peasant fare with decent portions and hearty sauces. Lamb is always a safe choice in Iceland: Locals tend to order the filet of lamb Dijon with mountain thyme crust, lamb shank comfit, and dill glaze; while visitors tend to order the fall-off-the-bone tender lamb shank with creamed vegetables and red wine. The wine list is exceptional, and the spacious bar on the third floor is a wonderful spot for an after-dinner cognac.

Aurora Borealis AKA The Northern Lights


When is the best time to see the northern lights?
The northern lights are visible under dark skies between the months of September to April, preferably under a clear, cloudless sky. Usually seen between 5pm and 2am, it is important to be away from artificial light. No month guarantees better sightings than another but December to February offer the longest hours of darkness, while the months of autumn and spring are likely to offer more stable weather conditions and often see more aurora activity.
We are now in the period known as 'Solar Max'. This means that sunspot activity which produces the aurora borealis is heightened, offering more chances to see the northern lights. The Solar Max happens every 11 years in accordance with the solar cycle.

Cloud Distribution - Reykjavik Partner Incentive

28 September 2012

Meraki releases free enterprise mobile device management for Android

Meraki, the leader in cloud-managed networking, has announced a new version of Systems Manager, its enterprise mobile device management solution for diverse network environments. The latest version of Systems Manager introduces support for Android devices along with a number of powerful new features that enhance Meraki’s already-robust device management for the enterprise.

Systems Manager provides centralized over-the-air administration of mobile devices using the same cloud-based dashboard as Meraki’s enterprise networking solutions. Since its launch in 2010, Systems Manager has been deployed on over 200,000 customer devices running Windows, Mac OS, and iOS, providing a robust set of tools that forms the backbone of device management for companies as diverse as Mimeo and Jefferson County (CO) Schools..

“The introduction of the Android client allows to me to truly manage my multi-platform environment from one pane of glass with no gaps,” said Shawn Winters, IT Director at Mimeo, the innovator of online, on-demand document printing and distribution.

"Since its release, our enterprise customers have found Systems Manager to be an indispensable tool as multiple mobile device platforms have become the norm," Meraki's Chief Evangelist, AJ Goldman, said. "Meraki's integrated solution of wired, wireless, and MDM is unique among vendors and gives administrators unprecedented control no matter how complex their deployment is."

Powerful New Features
The latest version of Systems Manager includes many new features developed in response to changing needs of enterprises confronting the proliferation of mobile devices and BYOD.

Android support — Meraki Systems Manager is now available for Android smartphones and tablets running version 2.2 (Froyo) and above. Like the iOS client, Systems Manager for Android gives administrators fine-grained control over mobile devices, including pushing apps, disabling undesired features, and locking or wiping devices remotely.

Backpack — Backpack is a new feature that simplifies the distribution of content to enrolled devices. Allowing administrators to easily push files wirelessly to client devices, Backpack is completely integrated with Meraki’s dashboard, creating a single point for managing content no matter how many devices are enrolled. Backpack can automatically keep files up to date with changes that occur on the server. (iOS support is coming in Q4)

Systems Manager app — The Systems Manager app is available for download in the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store, making it easy for users to download and self-enroll. (iOS app is coming in Q4)

Meraki Network Access Control (NAC) Integration — Enterprises running Meraki wireless networks can restrict access exclusively to devices enrolled in Systems Manager, preventing unmanaged and potentially insecure clients from accessing sensitive network resources. (Q4 availability)

In addition, the latest version of Systems Manager includes a slew of features designed to make administration of hundreds of devices easier, including WiFi provisioning and improved location accuracy.

The new version of Meraki’s Systems Manager is free for all users. More information and installation instructions can be found at http://www.meraki.com/sm.

Meraki Press Releases

18 September 2012

Tintri Wins “Best of VMworld 2012” Gold Award in Hardware for Virtualization Category

Tintri, Inc., the leader in purpose-built, VM-aware storage solutions, today announced that it won the Gold level award in the hardware for virtualization category as part of the TechTarget “Best of VMworld 2012” awards. The judges recognized Tintri’s VMstore T540 storage platform, which enables organizations to overcome storage-centric bottlenecks and extend the benefits of virtualization from the server side to storage, as the top hardware product for virtual environments. Tintri was recognized in an awards ceremony at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco.

The Best of VMworld 2012 awards winners were selected by an independent team of judges consisting of experts and editors from SearchServerVirtualization based on innovation, performance, ease of integration into environment, ease of use and manageability, functionality, value and whether the solution was able to fill a market gap. TechTarget received over 200 nominees for the contest, which is in its sixth year.

“Tintri won the hardware for virtualization category because it provides end-to-end monitoring that provides IT administrators with visibility into their environment so they know what to fix,” said the SearchServerVirtualization.com editors in an official statement.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized as a ‘Best of VMworld’ winner this year,” said Kieran Harty, Tintri CEO. “We’ve seen great customer response ever since we launched almost 18 months ago, and it’s clear that the market requires storage that is VM-aware. This award is a strong validation to our status as first movers in the VM-aware storage space along with the innovation and tremendous value that we’ve brought to the market.”

Tintri VMstore is the first and only production proven VM-aware storage platform that provides enterprises simplified and intelligent storage for virtual environments. Designed from the ground up to address virtualization storage challenges, Tintri brings intuitive VM-level manageability, simplicity, and flash performance at the industry’s lowest cost per VM workload. The unique approach has allowed the company to grow at an average quarterly rate of 100% since launching in March 2011. Tintri VMstore has helped over 100 enterprise customers in more than a dozen countries run a wide range of virtualized production enterprise applications, including databases, analytics and reporting software, Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint and virtual desktops.

Tintri Wins “Best of VMworld 2012” Gold Award in Hardware for Virtualization Category

17 September 2012

Vyatta Selected to Virtualize Networking for Leading Cloud Provider’s Datacenter - scott@cloud-distribution.com - Cloud Distribution Ltd Mail

Vyatta, the leader in software-based networking for virtual and cloud environments, today announced its enterprise-class virtual networking and security solution is providing the software for NS Solutions Corporation’s newest cloud service, Advanced Business Space on Network (absonne) datacenter.

NS Solutions is a leading IT solution provider in Japan operating a utility computing service called absonne. NS Solutions provides integrated solutions, which address customer needs for both business applications and systems platforms, offering end-to-end solutions including system consulting, planning, design, development, operation and maintenance, as well as total end-to-end outsourcing services. NS Solutions is adept at providing multi-vendor and mission-critical systems solutions as well as incorporating best-of-breed products and technologies to address customer needs.
For the absonne datacenter, which entered production in July 2012, NS Solutions deployed Vyatta Network OS for full-featured, redundant network and security infrastructure on a per-customer basis, ensuring uninterrupted service.

“NS Solutions’ absonne cloud is really a business platform at the core of hundreds of enterprises,” said Satoshi Kitazawa, Director of IT engineering division of NS Solutions. “From its inception, absonne was designed to be completely virtualized for agility and Vyatta plays a key role in enabling NS Solutions to realize that potential.”

Vyatta runs as a virtual machine on the VMware ESX 5 hypervisor and its primary role is to provide network edge routing and security services for NS Solutions’ customers. Within the datacenter, Vyatta runs VRRP and NAT and stateful firewall for redundancy in the event of a hardware failure. Should service be disrupted, Vyatta’s HA functionality will route traffic to another Vyatta instance with no interruption to the customer’s service.

“Vyatta is the only networking and security software solution capable of adjusting to customer and network demands with the agility of applications,” said Sheen Khoury, Senior Vice President of Sales and Field Operations. “With compute and storage virtualization at their respective tipping points, cloud providers, such as NS Solutions, are now focusing on virtualizing the network to further reduce costs and increase flexibility.”

Originally architected and tested with Vyatta Network OS Core, the need for the assurances that come with enterprise-tested and supported software became apparent for the NS Solutions team.

“Even in the event of a disaster, absonne is built to ensure continuous service, and this is what makes NS Solutions a leading cloud provider,” Kitazawa said. “Vyatta’s world-class support team truly simplified the deployment and in many instances worked side-by-side with our engineers to guarantee our service met customer demands.”

In addition to adapting to fluctuating business and customer demands, Vyatta empowers NS Solutions to take advantage of future technologies, such as software-defined networking (SDN).

“NS Solutions’ absonne datacenter is one of the more advanced and agile datacenters in existence today servicing enterprises,” said Kelly Herrell, CEO of Vyatta. “By virtualizing its network, NS Solutions is at the forefront of providers that will be able to quickly deploy and take advantage of software-defined networking advances as they mature.”

For more information on Vyatta’s networking and security software solutions, visit www.vyatta.com.

Vyatta Selected to Virtualize Networking for Leading Cloud Provider’s Datacenter - scott@cloud-distribution.com - Cloud Distribution Ltd Mail

What the iPhone 5 means for your network

After months of rumors, leaks, and speculation, Apple’s product announcements today were impossible to miss. The clear star of the show was the iPhone 5 with its bigger screen, LTE, and upgraded camera. If you’ve been following the hype as closely as we were, not much of this was a surprise, but we did find one upgrade particularly interesting: dual-band 802.11n WiFi.

While we aren’t sure what chip the iPhone 5 is going to use, current speculation is that it’s a new version of the venerable Broadcom BCM4330.The 5GHz capability means faster speed connections, but it also brings a few more benefits for your wireless network and the other devices connected to it. First, the 5 GHz band is less crowded than 2.4 GHz. A lot of other devices like cordless phones and microwaves use the lower band and create interference that gets in the way of WiFi signals. On top of that, the 2.4 GHz band has only three channels that don’t overlap with each other. The 5 GHz band is much roomier with many more available channels and less interference. Overall, 5 GHz WiFi means faster speeds on a much more stable connection. As device density increases, 5 GHz capability will lead to much a more efficient network that can pack more users onto a finite number of radio channels.

The 2.4 GHz band does beat 5 GHz, however, when it comes to distance. The lower frequency band is able to transmit over much longer distances, but you might start to notice the range limitation of 5 GHz just by moving from one room to the next. That’s why the ability to use both bands is so important: that flexibility can select the right band to maintain the best connection under different circumstances.

Meraki wireless APs have cloud-based channel optimization to optimize channel assignment. Until now, the iPhone had no choice but to use the 2.4 GHz band, but its latest iteration is now equipped to take advantage of the flexible technology in the access points it conects to.

According to Apple, the iPhone 5 will deliver a much faster browsing experience than its predecessors, but it will also make use of more of the available spectrum and avoid crowding bands for other wireless devices. If you need an excuse to make the upgrade, don’t do it for yourself. Do it for the greater good of everyone else on your network.

06 September 2012

Empowering SDN – Vyatta’s Networking Products Pave the Way | www.vyatta.com

Vyatta, the leader in software-based networking for virtual and cloud environments, today announced its new Empowering SDN initiative, designed to guide enterprises and service providers in building an enduring software-defined networking (SDN) strategy.

SDN has rapidly emerged as one of the hottest trends in the datacenter because it offers specific and measurable improvements in cost, speed of deployment and the efficiency of operations. As this new set of technologies take shape, many datacenter architects are reluctant to risk transferring critical business infrastructure to technologies still in development.

The significance of the Vyatta Empowering SDN program is the ability to take steps now, using established protocols like OSPF and BGP, to create agile, capacity-on-demand networks for the future. With Vyatta software-based routers, network engineers and architects can:
  • Utilize the Vyatta API to start today, by integrating software-based routers and firewalls into their management tools and server deployment infrastructure
  • Adopt a consistent routing and security approach to span existing production server farms and emerging, trial SDN-enabled server farms
  • Build toward, rather than catch-up to, the new SDN enabled operating environment
“Web monsters are certainly at the forefront of software-defined networking, but the majority of Fortune 1000 companies are looking for a strategy that will guide them toward SDN as it matures,” said Kelly Herrell, CEO of Vyatta. “With an enterprise-class networking and routing solution, Vyatta delivers a clear-cut strategy that enables enterprises and cloud providers to realize many of the benefits of SDN, today.”

One of the exciting promises enabled by SDN in cloud-based datacenter architectures is agility. Networks need to quickly respond to business needs as computing and storage capacity are deployed with just a few mouse clicks. Emerging SDN products allow users to allocate groups of servers on-the-fly – an important advancement in the datacenter.

Vyatta empowers enterprises to fully capitalize on the opportunity of SDN by connecting and securing these groups. Vyatta software-based routers, firewalls and VPNs use mature, stable code and can be operated as virtual machines (VMs). This approach removes the constraints of a fixed device with a finite, predetermined amount of physical ports and other resources. The Vyatta VM can be replicated and positioned where needed, avoiding network congestion due to unneeded trips out to a central router. Additionally, software-based networks can provide significant savings over a large, proprietary router – leveraging the economies of the x86 architecture.

Vyatta software-based networks are built on open source projects, resulting in code that has been downloaded more than a million times and tested extensively in production networks worldwide. Vyatta code has demonstrated interoperability with a wide range of network gear and continues to extend its capabilities, adding to the management and API with a roadmap to include OpenStack, CloudStack and other emerging cloud provisioning tools.

“Empowering SDN is our vision for using Vyatta’s stable and proven technology to aid in the transition to a more agile software-defined datacenter,” said Dan Tuchler, vice president of marketing for Vyatta. “SDN represents an important opportunity for customers and Vyatta is an important building block that can assist in their SDN strategy.”

For more information on Empowering SDN, visit www.vyatta.com/learn/empowering-sdn.

Empowering SDN – Vyatta’s Networking Products Pave the Way | www.vyatta.com

Verizon Wireless & Sprint Certify Pepwave's Multi-Cellular Router - Peplink

Peplink, a leading provider of load balancing and VPN bonding solutions for enterprise networking, today announced that Verizon Wireless and Sprint have certified the Pepwave MAX HD2 Multi-Cellular Router for use with their 3G networks. Available now to distributors, system integrators, and others seeking to take advantage of this high-growth market, the MAX HD2 is the first carrier-grade cellular router to feature multiple embedded modems for bandwidth bonding and failover, dramatically increasing both speed and reliability on the go.

Built to withstand the most demanding mobile-use conditions, the MAX HD2 operates in temperatures ranging from -40 to 65 °C and features industrial-grade shock resistance. The rugged MAX HD2's dual embedded EVDO/HSPA modems and patent-pending SpeedFusion™ bandwidth bonding technology seamlessly fuse multiple Internet connections for stutter-free teleconferencing, HD video delivery, and other bandwidth-intensive mobile applications. In addition to connecting using the MAX HD2's embedded cellular modems, users can also employ Wi-Fi, satellite, and other Ethernet- or USB-based Internet connections.

Widely deployed in diverse mobile networking roles worldwide, the Pepwave MAX HD2 is a favorite in applications ranging from industrial telemetry and surveillance to news unit field broadcast and public safety.

"I'm consistently impressed by the sheer variety of ways our customers are putting the Pepwave MAX HD2 to work in the field," said Keith Chau, Peplink General Manager. "Just when I think I've seen it all, a new customer comes along and tells us how the MAX HD2 has improved operations in an application we'd never foreseen."

In addition to being certified by Verizon Wireless and Sprint, the MAX HD2 is also fully compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile, and other GSM/HSPA cellular networks worldwide. This broad-based network support makes the MAX HD2 a compelling option for any enterprise in the market for a complete, multi-environment mobile networking solution.

"We take great pride in earning Verizon Wireless and Sprint certification for the MAX HD2," added Chau. "We're very excited to see how Verizon Wireless and Sprint customers will use the MAX HD2 in retail, industry, public service, media, and other M2M applications. And we look forward to serving these customers with the commitment to innovation, advanced engineering, and service for which Peplink, and its sister brand, Pepwave, are known around the world."
Verizon Wireless & Sprint Certify Pepwave's Multi-Cellular Router - Peplink

04 September 2012

Meraki named to the CRN list of Coolest Emerging Vendors for 2012

Meraki, the leader in cloud-managed networking, announced today that it was named one of CRN magazine’s Coolest Emerging Vendors for 2012. The Company earned its place on the merit of its enterprise solutions, which combine high-performance networking equipment with Meraki’s powerful cloud management platform. Meraki’s product suite includes wireless LAN access points, security appliances, Ethernet switches, and mobile device management, all centrally managed from its award-winning cloud-based dashboard.

This year’s list recognized companies founded after 2005 that have already made an impact in their respective industries, and CRN highlighted Meraki as one of 25 making particularly cool innovations. These Emerging Vendors are breaking ground in a variety of enterprise technologies including cloud computing, networking, storage, security, virtualization, and software.

Meraki continued to lead the networking category in 2012 with a number of achievements:
  • Created the industry's first cloud-managed Ethernet switch with Layer 7 application visibility
  • Released Air Marshal for ultra-secure wireless LANs
  • Launched iOS support for Meraki's cloud-based mobile device management
  • Grew Q1 and Q2 revenues more than 125% year over year
In addition to technological innovation, CRN stresses the importance of channel strategy in selecting the Emerging Vendors. Meraki’s channel partners have found considerable success selling solutions to enterprises of all sizes across a range of industries. Meraki’s philosophy of deep channel relationships has garnered Partner of the Year honors from multiple VAR 500 resellers.

“It’s great to be recognized by CRN as a leader in next generation networking solutions,” said Peter Atkin, Director of Worldwide Channels at Meraki. “We look forward to continuing to deliver innovative technology to our customers and partners.”

29 August 2012

Meraki upgrades its cloud managed switches with industry-first layer 7 application visibility

Meraki, the leader in cloud managed networking, today announced a major upgrade to its MS-series cloud managed access switches. This upgrade brings a slew of management and security features, including layer 7 visibility, an industry-first feature that provides an unprecedented view into application traffic at the network edge.

Layer 7 application visibility - demystifying multi-use and BYOD networks

As the explosion of devices and applications has changed network usage patterns, Ethernet switches have failed to offer administrators visibility beyond basic host and port information. Meraki, who pioneered application visibility in wireless LANs, is ushering in a new generation of switches with rich, fine-grained layer 7 visibility into the applications, users, and devices. For example, a quick search in the Meraki dashboard reveals how iPad utilization compares to Android tablets, which port the CEO’s phone is connected to, and how much bandwidth is being consumed by video.

Meraki’s layer 7 application visibility comes to the entire line of MS series switches via a firmware update, and requires no additional appliances or management software. Moreover, Meraki’s switches analyze traffic while maintaining full non-blocking gigabit performance (up to 176 Gbps per switch), and ultra-low latency for voice quality.

Meraki’s award-winning cloud-based management dashboard provides near real-time usage information as well as historical reports. Continuous updates of application and device signatures from the cloud enables the MS to classify new devices and applications as they emerge on enterprise networks. Utilizing Meraki’s Virtual Stacking technology, administrators can identify and locate individual users and devices with a simple search from the Meraki dashboard, no matter which switch the device is connected to.

New security and management features

This upgrade also brings a host of new security and management features, including intuitive 802.1x configuration, cloud-based packet capture, and finer grained alerts.
“Administrators now have an unrivalled view into switch performance,” said AJ Goldman, Meraki’s Chief Evangelist. “Only Meraki’s architecture allows features like traffic analysis to be added and we’re thrilled to bring this this to all our customers.”

Available at no cost via seamless over-the-air upgrade
This upgrade is compatible with all Meraki MS cloud-managed switches, and is available at no cost for all Meraki enterprise customers. Customers will be receiving upgrade availability notifications over the coming weeks and may contact Meraki support to have their network upgraded immediately.
About Meraki

Meraki is the recognized leader in Cloud Managed Networking. 100% cloud-based from day one, Meraki’s architecture delivers out-of-the-box security, scalability, and management to enterprise networks. Meraki is trusted in over 20,000 customer networks worldwide, including Stanford University, British Telecom, Sony/ATV Music, Starbucks, and M.I.T. Meraki is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and is funded in part by Sequoia Capital and Google. For more information, visithttp://www.meraki.com.

28 August 2012

Mimeo capitalizes on the evolution of mobile devices

Mobile devices play an essential role in many organizations and at Mimeo.com, a leader in the digital printing service industry, iPods are the bloodline and pulse of the company. Today, Shawn Winters, director of Mimeo’s IT Operations, shares his experience of managing the evolution of devices that are at the heart of his business.


Mimeo.com is the innovator of online, on-demand document printing and distribution. Mimeo.com is headquartered in New York and has production and sales facilities in Newark, NJ, Memphis, TN, and London, UK. Founded in 1998, Mimeo couples great printing quality with a commitment to manage an immaculate workflow: from last-minute typo edits to distributing the printed document to destinations across the world.

The challenge: a broadening range of devices

Mimeo.com operates over 200,000 square feet of digital print capacity and central to its operations are iPods which are used as scanners. The iPods carry real-time information and touch every single product that leaves Mimeo’s facilities. The information from the iPods is fed into an integrated application used to manage the facility’s inventory, production, and distribution.
The iPods are as integral to Mimeo’s impeccable operation as production workstations, but while Shawn and his team were experienced in managing Windows machines, they are tasked to find a solution to manage iPods as well. Beyond iPods, some Mimeo employees are using Mac devices, thus further increasing the need for Shawn to find a comprehensive solution for all their devices. Shawn recalled, “We’ve grown as a company. We have new devices and our needs have changed, but we have not kept up with managing our devices.”

Management under a single pane of glass

Mimeo was impressed with Meraki’s cloud-based architecture, which enables fast deployment of a device management solution — Mimeo’s Systems Manager network scaled to more than 500 devices in 2 weeks. The ability to manage PCs, Macs, and iOS devices under a single pane-of-glass changed Shawn’s perspectives on managing devices, “I have so much visibility with Systems Manager, it makes me want to look at the dashboard.  It was easy and convenient to manage all types of devices that we have, Mimeo is back on track.” Mimeo continued to broaden its range of devices and has deployed iPhones, and iPads to its employees. Its inventory management features enable Shawn to monitor unauthorized app or software installation, as well as manage software or driver version control efforts.

iPods across the globe

The visibility of the device location feature is also helpful to Mimeo’s geographically distributed locations. “We ship devices from one production facility to another. With Systems Manager, we can see which facility each device is in and keep an eye out for devices that walk off our sites.” Lastly, Shawn and his team use Systems Manager on a daily basis for troubleshooting and inventory management. “I have incredible information and this is crucial to our business. I can drill down to a device’s diagnostic information — see which access point it is connected to, which SSID, signal strength, and even battery level at a point in time. Systems Manager provides instantaneous information of all our devices and you can’t get this visibility in any other systems.”

Systems Manager is free for any organization. To get started, simply fill out a short form on our signup page. You’ll then be redirected to your new Systems Manager network, and you’ll immediately be able to start adding managed devices.

22 August 2012

Avoiding the pitfalls of BYOD

With security seemingly the chief barrier to businesses adopting a BYOD policy, we examine the potential sales opportunities for the channel

If hype is a reliable barometer of commercial opportunity, then the sales prospects for the channel stemming from the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend would surely be enough to keep every reseller in the UK in double-digit growth for years to come.

The BYOD trend (if, indeed, there is such a thing) is ubiquitous in the IT industry at the moment. So much so that it is already spaw-ning spin-off concepts - BYOS (bring-your-own-services), anyone?

But while the notion may be hard to escape, examples of enterprise rollouts of BYOD policies and all the attendant technology and services still seem a little thin on the ground.

But market watchers’ data seems to back the assertion that the bring-your-own trend is taking off, at least to some extent. According to a recent Gartner survey of mid-market and enterprise employees in Germany, Australia and the UK, 28 per cent of firms are already supporting user-owned devices. In the BRIC countries, this figure rises to 44 per cent.

Gartner research director Chae-Gi Lee claimed that uptake of BYOD, and concerns held about what the integration of user-owned devices will mean, differ between regions.

"Mature countries consider BYOD programmes as bringing with them legal and technical issues, whereas emerging countries see only technical issues,” he said. “Mature regions are more concerned with security and data privacy regulations for immature MDM [mobile device management] than emerging regions.”

An IDC study of CIOs in the US and Europe found that 45 per cent of IT chiefs provide some form of support for employees’ smartphones, with 42 per cent doing so for tablets. However, a third of CIOs claimed to provide no smartphone support whatsoever, with 44 per cent shunning tablet support.

24 May 2012

Cloud Distribution hires northern sales boss

Cloud Distribution has appointed Tracey Hannan from telecom company KCOM to head up its sales operations in the North, writes Linda Endersby. Tracey will draw on her 15 years' experience in the industry to help lead, drive and manage sales as Cloud Distribution continues to expand.
"I am delighted to be working with Cloud Distribution," said Hannan. "The company is renowned for bringing innovative and disruptive technologies to market and it is a fast paced, agile and exciting organisation to work for."
Hannan will be based in the company's York offices and will report to sales director and co-founder, Greg Harris.
Said Harris: "Tracey is an excellent addition to the team. Right now we are experiencing great traction in the market and rapidly expanding. This is because we deliver a highly specialised and streamlined service based on our deep knowledge of the products, challenges and opportunities that exist within the cloud.
"Tracey's previous security experience combined with her product management and technical knowledge will help to strengthen our capabilities and we are looking forward to working with her," he added.
Hannan was propositions manager for KCOM and has worked as product marketing manager for MIS Corporate Defence Solutions, where she was responsible for products and vendor relationships. She has also served time with InTechnology, Check Point, and a number of other systems integrators. 

23 April 2012

Optimize VoIP on your network with 3 easy clicks

It seems like it was just yesterday that we released a new product to our suite – the MS series Cloud managed switch. Many administrators deploy switches in a VoIP environment, so below are a few tips on how to configure a Meraki switch’s voice, QoS, and port mirroring features.

Voice VLAN
Using the power of  cloud-managed networks, it is extremely easy to configure a voice VLAN on the MS series switch. What is a voice VLAN, you may ask? Often times, you may not have enough ports to connect each employee’s workstation and VoIP phone to your network. For this reason, most VoIP phone manufacturers add an extra port for workstations to connect to. However, your infrastructure may have a separate VLAN for data that the phone is not automatically configured for. In this scenario, configuring a voice VLAN may be crucial as it allows the switch to communicate with the VoIP phones and properly tag voice data.

The option to configure a voice VLAN is available in the pop-up menu to update the port(s). In the Configure > Switch Ports page, choose the ports to which you’d like to assign a voice VLAN, and then click “Edit selected items” button on the upper left corner. The menu shown below will appear, and this example assumes VLAN 200 is the voice VLAN.

Read more


12 April 2012

Capital FM Arena Streamlines And Enhances Coverage With Cloud-Managed WiFi

Reading, UK, 11th April 2012 - Value Added Distributor, Cloud Distribution, announced today that Capital FM Arena Nottingham, the East Midlands premier entertainment venue, has implemented a Meraki Wireless LAN. Enabling anytime, anywhere network access via any mobile device, the new cloud-based network has simplified, streamlined and delivered increased network performance to the Arena’s wireless connections and WiFi access.

Through Cloud Distribution, the UK distributor for Meraki, the Arena has implemented 12 Meraki high performance 802.11n internal access points in total – three MR24s and a mixture of MR16s and MR12s. Each access point provides built-in enterprise-class features including a stateful policy firewall 802.1X/RADIUS support, Network Access Control, and Wireless Intrusion Detection and Prevention (WIDS/WIP).

12 March 2012


Here at Cloud Distribution we believe that WAN Optimization has become a technology which is far to complex for most end users to implement, manage and control. Meraki's MX range of Security Appliances collapse WANOP into the edge security device allowing you, the reseller, to sell it quickly saving time and money. Why sell a point solution which takes 60-90 days to sell when you can sell a complete edge device solution (including L7 Firewall, Packet Shaping, Content Filtering, VPN, NAC etc. etc.).

Here's how easy it is to enable WAN Optimization to a Meraki MX Security Appliance network:

Figure 1: WAN optimization configuration

After that, the MXs that are part of the site-to-site VPN network will accelerate the FTP, HTTP, Windows file sharing (CIFS/SMB) and TCP-based traffic between them. There’s no additional cost to roll this out, and WAN optimization is available on the MX for customers with both the Enterprise and Advanced Security licenses.

Here’s a look at the WAN optimization of traffic between Meraki’s branches and San Francisco headquarters. At the time of this snapshot, the amount of data transfered across the WAN was reduced by 95.2%.
Figure 2: WAN optimization and bandwidth reduction
WAN optimization is available on all MX Cloud Managed Security Appliances. The MX80, MX90, and MX400 include a 1 TB hard drive for local caching, and the MX600 includes a 4 TB (RAID) drive. The MX60 doesn’t include an internal hard drive, but it still benefits from WAN optimization’s compression and protocol optimization.

By using WAN optimization technology built in to the Meraki MX, administrators can dramatically reduce bandwidth costs and accelerate application performance for traffic that flows between sites of a distributed network. Slow, high latency WAN links that connect branches can be accelerated, making the WAN feel like the LAN for users at remote sites.

17 February 2012

Meraki’s resilient out-of-band cloud management (or how to combat the FUD Aerohive push out..)

We recently had a great discussion with the networking gurus from wireless field day about our cloud managed architecture, and how it works under the covers. There was a lot of interest in our out-of-band cloud management: which parts of the network require connectivity to Meraki’s cloud, how customer networks are affected during a WAN failure, and what engineering advancements went into our design. We thought we’d recap the conversation for all of our customers:
At a 10,000 foot level, communication between your network and Meraki’s cloud is for management and configuration data, so if your connection to the cloud is interrupted, your network continues to function and end users won’t notice a difference. All of the features that affect data flow continue uninterrupted. For example:
  • Users stay authenticated
  • New users can authenticate
  • Firewall policies continue to be enforced
  • Data encryption/decryption is maintained
  • Layer 7 traffic shaping rules continue to be enforced
  • Wireless mesh routing operates with full functionality
  • Users can roam between wireless APs
  • VPN tunnels (site to site, teleworker, and client VPN) continue to operate
  • RF features like Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) continue
  • Performance remains at 100%
How does Meraki’s out-of-band cloud management work? This functionality would not have been possible 10 years ago, but thanks to Moore’s Law and clever engineers at Meraki, we’ve packed enough computing power and memory on every wireless access point, Ethernet switch, and security appliance to do all of the required packet processing internally, without any back-and-forth communication with the cloud. The packet processing software is also very tight, optimized to run efficiently on Meraki devices (similar to how engineers at Apple and Google write advanced applications for iOS and Android devices.) For some features, such as wireless mesh routing, the Meraki devices even communicate between one another on your local network (bypassing the cloud) in order to configure and optimize.
The traffic separation looks something like this:
Meraki runs multiple datacenters around the world, and every customer network is served by at least three independent datacenters. So if a natural disaster were to take out a datacenter that served your network, we’d simply fail over to another datacenter in a different part of the world. All of the configuration data, historical logs, etc. are mirrored in near-real time (at most 60-second lag, typically much less), so in these unlikely events, everything is the way you left it.
Of course, if you lose connectivity to Meraki’s cloud (say because your ISP has an outage), you will temporarily be unable to access reports or make config changes. But if your network is anything like ours, if your WAN link goes down, you’re in fire-fighting mode, not tweaking your wireless config.

As an aside, if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to improve your WAN availability, check out our MX security appliances – they’ve got built-in WAN link balancing and failover, so you can run 2 WAN connections into your network (e.g. cable + DSL, and even 3G) and the MX will balance traffic between them. If one goes down it’ll simply move all traffic to the healthy connection. Turns out this approach can save cost too…

If you do suffer a WAN outage, there are a small hand-full of end-user facing features on our wireless products that are affected if your connection to the cloud is lost. These are all convenience features, most of which you don’t get with a traditional wireless LAN. If you like the convenience and can tollerate limited functionality in the rare event of a WAN outage, enjoy them! If you’d prefer that there is zero end-user impact if your WAN connection is interrupted, don’t enable them (and use the alternatives listed below instead.) Features that are impacted by WAN failures include:
  • Native Active Directory/LDAP integration (without RADIUS)
    This is a handy feature that allows users to authenticate against your AD/LDAP server without running RADIUS. This is super-easy to configure, and is a feature that isn’t available with traditional solutions like Cisco.

    This feature does require connectivity to the cloud, so if you want to integrate with AD or LDAP but not require cloud connectivity, simply use a traditional RADIUS configuration:
Fault Tolerant AD/LDAP Authentication using RADIUS
  • Meraki-hosted splash pages and captive portal
    Meraki hosts snazzy, mobile-friendly, and customizable splash pages that wireless users can click through (or sign on from) before accessing your network. Since these are hosted on Meraki’s servers, they are super-easy to deploy, without any additional infrastructure in your environment. Since they’re hosted by Meraki, they require WAN connectivity to function, but you can control how new user authentication will be handled in the event that you lose WAN connectivity:

    Controlling Splash Page Behavior in Disconnected Environment
  • Built-in anti-virus scan (aka NAC)
    While Meraki’s LAN-isolation firewall always ensures that untrusted clients cannot spread viruses or compromise your LAN, Meraki offers an extra layer of protection by optionally scanning clients for antivirus software before allowing them onto the network. If a client isn’t protected, they are placed in a quarantine, from which they can download AV software but can’t access any other parts of the network. This feature is unique to Meraki – no other wireless systems, cloud-managed or otherwise, offer it. We find that for many customers, a full-blown, dedicated NAC system is overkill (lots of configuration complexity, 5-6 figure price tag) but Meraki’s built-in solution offers 1-click peace of mind.

    If you run Meraki’s NAC and lose WAN connectivity, you can choose how the network will behave: allow clients on without a scan, or block clients until WAN connectivity is restored. Clients already on the network will be unaffected, and other access control features remain in place (firewall rules, identity-based group policies, etc.) Most of our customers didn’t run NAC at all before they deployed Meraki, so rare interruptions aren’t a major issue. But if antivirus scans during WAN outages are mission-critical, we recommend a dedicated NAC appliance (also be sure to host a downloadable antivirus package behind the firewall, since users won’t be able to go out onto the network if they fail the scan.)
  • Meraki-hosted RADIUS server
    Most enterprise (and even SMB) environments already have a RADIUS server – Microsoft Active Directory, LDAP, FreeRADIUS etc. The vast majority of our customers who use RADIUS authentication (i.e. 802.1x) authenticate against their own server, so that they have one central user database for email, calendaring, wireless LAN authentication, etc. However, Meraki also offers a cloud-hosted RADIUS server for lightweight use. This requires connectivity to Meraki, so if access during a WAN outage is mission-critical, those user accounts should reside on your internal directory server.
There’s a lot of detail about what is affected by loss of connectivity, but in the scheme of Meraki’s features, this is a short list. Our customers find in practice that Meraki’s out of band management significantly improves the reliability and resilience of their networks, combining the centralized management of controller-based systems with the fault-tolerance of a distributed architecture. If you’re already a customer, how has Meraki’s out-of-band architecture benefited your network? What else would you like to know about how Meraki works under the covers? Let us know!