Introduction to Cisco Meraki
Cisco acquired Meraki in 2012, expanding its wireless LAN (WLAN) product portfolio. Cisco Meraki™ offers a cloud-based network management solution to manage enterprise network equipment that has expanded from Wi-Fi access points, to switching, routing, firewall, security cameras, phones, SD-WAN appliances, and more. Although enterprise IT was hesitant to use cloud-based network management, the simplification and feature set it offers ultimately won, and Cisco now has a significant install base from small and medium enterprises up to the Fortune 500 that leverage the solution.
The Cisco Meraki solution is described as a Software-Defined Networking (SDN) solution since it provides software control of the underlying network through the Meraki Cloud Portal (a cloud hosted controller). It removes the ability to configure the underlying devices through their command line interface (CLI) like traditional networking devices. The Meraki Dashboard is accessed through the public internet. The network device WAN ports must be connected to the internet, and essentially are plug-and-play to connect, be configured and managed.