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Cisco Updates Meraki Lineup with Management Service

June 03, 2016

Before Cisco acquired the company late in 2012, Meraki developed and manufactured hardware for large wired and wireless networks. Cisco has since moved the company in the direction of its so-called “Internet of Everything” – where of course all hardware and software can link to each other in the cloud – and made the recent move to expand the Meraki set of products with new Ethernet and fiber switches that compliment its new umbrella service, a cloud-based management software to handle the inner workings of those hardware units.

The management software will be available in the Meraki MC74 phone that comes with a touchscreen display to show all the switching, security, and wireless management capabilities of the platform. Todd Nightingale, a software engineer for Cisco Meraki, commented in his blog post about these releases that Cisco’s blend of hardware and software offers a “single pane of glass” that shows every device and application within a network.

“Managing more with fewer systems will free IT groups to focus on what really matters to them instead of another cumbersome management platform,” Nightingale said. “We know this is what users around the world have been asking for. I can’t wait to see what they do with it.”

He further pointed out that the phone arrives as an SIP endpoint and uses a cloud license and SIP service to connect to all other network elements. It is now available in the U.S. for commercial use by any interested businesses and is expected to soon make its way to other countries through local SIP licenses that Cisco is working to gain with other service providers across the globe.

The future of this management tool and phone is also expected to gain the ability to integrate with other Cisco services such as its Spark team communication service.

For now, customers will have to settle with the immediate availability of the new multi-gigabit Ethernet switch and multiple 10 Gbps fiber switches. Two indoor wireless access points have also joined the Meraki line to give businesses a more effective way of connecting their various devices to a local network. The expectation is that users will see a growth in traffic by gaining an easier method of connecting and managing their own devices and applications. The access points and switches mean to boost their bandwidth so an entire business can work freely without bottlenecks.

Cisco has reported that its Meraki portfolio works for a base of customers that represent about $1 billion in annual revenue. With these new products in its lineup, that number is poised to jump even higher.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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