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.