Hi folks,

I've traditionally been a Cisco Catalyst shop for my switching gear.

I am doing a significant hardware refresh in one of my offices, which will entail replacing about 20 access switches and a couple core devices. Pretty simple L3 VLAN environment with VRRP/HSRP, on the physical end I have 1G fibre/copper and 10G fibre. My core switch of choice will likely be the Cat 4500 series.

I'm considering Cisco's Meraki platform for my access layer and I'm looking for deployment stories of folks that have deployed Meraki in the past...good/bad/ugly kinda stuff.

I know Meraki hardcores were upset when Cisco acquired them, but not exactly sure why.

Anyway, any thoughts would be useful. Thanks!


I've used them on a bunch of field deployments. Love'em. When clients have them it makes documenting any part of the experience a technician level task.

Need a pcap? Built into the GUI. Want the switch to SMS you when ports get knocked out? Built into the GUI. Do you like visuals that actually make some goddamn sense? Meraki has it.

I never had to go into the command line for any reason, at least not so far.

I can say they had some issues detecting the ubiquiti access points at a client site but I think that had more to do with faulty internal wiring than anything else.

Anyways, I like'em.


+1 for Joshua's comments. Used them in a small rollout (~20k sqft of
office space across two buildings), was extremely pleased.
Authentication can tie into OAuth (Google Apps) or LDAP/AD. Email or
SMS alerts for *everything*.

Would highly recommend them.


We used to use the 3Com wireless kit before it became H3C, and then HP, which worked ok but the engrish in the UI was horrid.

We've since purchased 25 Ubiquity wireless access points, specifically the 300N Pro access points, they work really well, pricing is competitive priced and the management is nice.

I've setup a Debian VM, installed their management software from their APT repo and just go from there. The version 3 software also supports multi-site which is really nice.

It's a huge upgrade over our previous wireless though.


I started to look into them for personal and limited small business use, but stopped short when I realized their cloud management platform is subscription-based. Unless I've missed something, you cannot deploy your own internal management platform. It's all licensed through Meraki/Cisco, which means if you lose your Internet connection, you lose management access to your gear. That could be a deal-killer in certain environments. Maybe someone with more experience on the platform could correct me there.

They give you a free ap for listening to their pitch.. We love them. Expensive.. But responsive and responsible.. Which is pretty hard to find in Wi-Fi land. Pretty interface and lots of little bells and whistles.. They have my vote from what we evaluated (ubnt, Blahblahblah).

so you just decide: "How many may we have to deploy?"
then schedule that many pitch meetings with them? :slight_smile:

If you have one of their routers, etc. you cannot lock yourself out of the
device. You can always web to the 'inside' interface and make basic
configuration changes. It's not going to let you do policy stuff, etc. but
will let you do enough to establish / re-establish network connectivity.

I'm curious if any of you guys have compared Meraki and Xirrus? We are
currently in the process of picking new WAPs and have narrowed it down to
these too. We are leaning towards Xirrus due to it's modular structure.
It also has a great user interface.

Anyone else evaluate Xirrus?

Did you check out ubiquiti's UniFi?


Check out their forums first.. Look for my name.. :wink:

Ubnt has a cool price point.

Haha! Don't give up the secrets!!

Just finished a project doing an entire convention center with Xirrus. Awesome results and many more options than Meraki. I would say that it was one of those signature projects that had to happen in a very short schedule and we had to provide support for the event. Onsite engineers stated that it was the most boring support event they ever went too. In the four days that we provided turn-up support there wasn't a single issue and only alcolades from the event center and attendees.

We have previously deployed Meraki in large environments as well the Xirrus. The Xirrus product is superior in so many ways. I am not a big fan of cloud based network management, I think as network providers in rapidly changing environments there are times when equipment is decommissioned and put on a shelf for a rainy day or emergency project, I don't see that really happening with the Meraki model unless you want to keep dumping money into them.


Dustin Jurman
Rapid Systems Corporation
1211 N. West Shore Blvd. Suite 711
Tampa, FL 33607
Ph: 813-232-4887
"Building Better Infrastructure"

Meraki did not work for me in a high density office environment, with
heavy wireless usage. Kept dropping clients at peak times. We went with

I'm very interested in other user experiences with Ubiquity for smaller
deployments vs. traditional Cisco APs and WLC. Especially for a collection
of rural areas. The price point and software controller are very

Anyone running a centralized controller for a lot of remote sites?

I've never used the software controller but we use a lot of Ubiquiti
kit in rural Scotland. We use it mostly in transparent bridge mode
with more capable routers speaking ethernet - FreeBSD on Soekris boards
and Mikrotik mostly. In general the RF part is great, but the software
part is buggy. We have been extensively bitten by transparent bridge
not being transparent enough and eating multicast packets which of
course completely hoses OSPF. Using NBMA and being very careful about
which firmware version mostly works. Don't try to make them do
anything sophisticated.


Heh. No. It's not supposed to work like that. They want a verifiable company for the free (cheapest, most basic) AP. And you (and the associated company) get one, and only one, freebee.

(As it's the basic 2.4Ghz model, I've been less motivated to get my schwag.)

If we had cheerios.. You just urinated in them. :frowning:

Sometimes a joke should be a joke to laugh at.. Not discredit. Next time we will beat Morrow for not being funny enough.. :wink:

If we had cheerios.. You just urinated in them. :frowning:

Sometimes a joke should be a joke to laugh at.. Not discredit. Next time we will beat Morrow for not being funny enough.. :wink:

you CAN spin up a new LLC for less than their cheapy AP... so it might
actually work out to do that for each of your employees :slight_smile:

Okay.. Get me my stick.. Morrow is in for it.