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Integrating Catalyst and Meraki Cloud

Meraki is evolving their cloud architecture to meet changing workforce demands. Hybrid options are desired by 47% of employees and 13% are more productive when working from home1.

Network operators are searching for ways to automate with the adaption of the cloud. And it’s clear to see this with the latest feature releases coming to Meraki.

Managing a full-stack network in the cloud brings productivity and efficiency improvements not seen with the Cisco Catalyst infrastructure. But now, customers will be able to manage their Catalyst switches and access points in the Meraki Dashboard.

To start, Meraki is supporting the following switches:

  • C9200
  • C9300
  • C9500

It will require DNA Advantage or Essentials licensing. The difference between the two licenses is Application Visibility. The minimum firmware version required is IOS-XE 17.3 and higher.

Network administrators will be able to add these Catalyst switches to the Meraki dashboard for ease of monitoring (and soon – configuration).

C9500 Catalyst switch monitored in the Meraki dashboard

If you’re looking for the Catalyst line of access points to join the Meraki dashboard, the following are supported:

  • CW9162
  • CW9164
  • CW9166

These new access points, prefixed with CW-, will provide 6 GHz support and are highly flexible.

Catalyst wireless access points can be configured to join a Cisco wireless LAN controller or to the Meraki cloud dashboard, giving you full flexibility based on your preference and existing network environment. Customers can easily plan their migration from on-premises controllers to cloud-managed.

CW9166 Catalyst wireless access point managed in the Meraki dashboard

Thoughts

Cisco has always provided many options to their customers, allowing for flexibility in their deployments. The popularity of the Meraki cloud has Cisco focusing on merging other infrastructure to the cloud.

While it will not displace DNA Center, we do believe Meraki cloud management to gain wider adoption due to simplicity and cost.

Reach out to us today if you’d like to learn more about how you can integrating the Catalyst infrastructure to your Meraki dashboard.


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