Meraki

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by UncleDavid218, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. UncleDavid218

    UncleDavid218 2[H]4U

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    Does anyone have experience with the cloud managed Meraki enterprise APs? I'm looking at buying 3 for a small SMB. We currently have old Ruckus hardware and it is crap. I'm thinking of picking up 3 MR16s. What kind of experience do you have with them?
     
  2. dave99

    dave99 2[H]4U

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    I setup 1 that they gave me for free with several vlans, easy enough to do. Seems reliable. Wifi in a SMB seems generally like a set it and forget it item, not sure I'd like the recurring annual fee for something I'm not touching that often. Something like ubiquiti might be an option also.
     
  3. UncleDavid218

    UncleDavid218 2[H]4U

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    I did a poor job explaining what we do. We are an engineering and manufacturing firm, and will be growing from 60 employees to 300+, so I need something that is scalable. I don't really mind the yearly fees especially because it keeps firmware up to date which I'd need a contract for anyway (Ruckus). I save quite a bit by not having to buy a ZoneDirector as well, so that helps.
     
  4. /usr/home

    /usr/home [H]ardness Supreme

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    Check out Ubiquiti Unifi.
     
  5. marley1

    marley1 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I don't see how you can call Ruckus crap. One of my large sites is 6 condo building all with ruckus tied back to the main office. In summer 100-180 people always on it with no issue.

    It isn't cheap but is it a leader for a reason
     
  6. MikeTrike

    MikeTrike [H]ardness Supreme

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  7. UncleDavid218

    UncleDavid218 2[H]4U

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    We have single band circa 2007 stuff. On the 2.4GHz band it just doesn't cut it. If it was newer stuff of course it would be great. I'm open to Ruckus but I don't know if I can justify spending that much. Our ZD is a 1006 with 3 7942 APs currently. We are currently experiencing random disconnects and really slow throughput. Everything is on the latest firmware, and I've swapped out radios with no success. RF doesn't look bad either.
    That looks cool. I will check it out.
     
  8. Langly

    Langly Only Three Midgets

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    So this post has a lot of my personal opinion... take it with a grain of salt as my mileage with some products may not be the same as some others in these forums.

    How many users will actually be on the wireless and what type of activities will be done on the wireless? Do you need to be PCI compliant at all?

    The Ubiquiti Unifi stuff is nice for soho and out if wireless isn't critical. After using some handheld scanners with them and having them used heavily by 10+ users per AP... I dumped them for Aruba instant AP's. When the controller based Unifi's come out and if they can better do roaming between APs without constant disconnects then I'd say peak into that.

    Mission critical and you want stability go with Aruba. I bid out Cisco and Aruba on our new warehouse and Aruba beat Cisco out on price and performance for the trials we did.

    The "cloud" based meraki's are decent from the demo I did with them but now that cisco owns them I would be leery of buying them imo.

    Just some feedback from someone whos been bidding out 30+ Ap locations the past 6 months. I have Cisco at one office from 3 years ago that are great. And we put Aruba at 2 more locations we just opened. Aruba just handles things better than Cisco in the wireless game I feel.
     
  9. /usr/home

    /usr/home [H]ardness Supreme

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    Version 3 beta has "zero wireless handoff". It works pretty good but there are still some bugs to be worked out.
     
  10. UncleDavid218

    UncleDavid218 2[H]4U

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    Well, right now we don't use handhelds in the warehouse but that is a DEFINITE possibility going forward. With BYOD being so prevalent, we usually have 35 devices connected. Anything mission critical is on the gigabit LAN, but there are about 10 laptops that are important to be always connected and reliably so. Namely, the conference room needs to work all of the time every time. We partner with a Fortune 50 company and when the big wigs are in town, I don't have an option of it not working. They visit once a month or so.

    On wireless it's a lot of VPN connections, a lot of Outlook, and a lot of ERP stuff. No big files or transfers for the most part. Super high speed transfer is less of a priority for me.

    I see what you are saying about the cloud based Meraki stuff. I guess CISCO could stop supporting that in the future forcing me to upgrade again.

    I am lucky enough to work for a company and for people that will spend the $$ if there is a justifiable need. This is one of those cases. I'm not wanting to half ass this.
     
  11. UncleDavid218

    UncleDavid218 2[H]4U

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    Another thing to note. Right now I'm just needing to cover the office, but in the future I have 100,000 square feet of warehouse and assembly line that may need to be covered. Again, I have plentiful amounts of network drops everywhere, but you know how people are with their wireless...

    A picture I snapped today of the assembly line we're finishing building:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/p1qhkf8ct4gbfk1/2013-03-18 16.55.36.jpg
     
  12. Langly

    Langly Only Three Midgets

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    If they are willing to spend money, buy two Aruba 105 Instant Ap's and go that route. It'll cost you a little under a grand but imo its money well spent. The Unifi's will be a lot cheaper per AP though so you could do the version 3 beta and buy 12 AP's for $800 or less.

    It all comes down to the needs and future needs of your deployment. If you are going to be doing inventory and you have the hunch you'll be using scanners with your wireless, go Aruba. Most warehouse scanners are picky with wireless and ours didnt even play nice with my Cisco ap's :/.

    Call some vendors and have them bring demo units. And then buy a Unifi to test out on your own as well. They are cheap enough to buy one and see how they work for you :).

    Edit:

    Oh shit just saw your warehouse. Bid out a system with some of the larger vendors. Going the cheaper route may bite you in the ass later with that setup. Dependent on how you fill out the floor and racks you may have some trouble with signal in certain areas. Have a vendor come and do a site survey to plan placements of AP's on their dime :)
     
  13. UncleDavid218

    UncleDavid218 2[H]4U

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    I do have someone coming on Wednesday for a site survey. I actually used to work for the MSP that's quoting the install. I just always like getting outsiders opinions! They are a Meraki reseller so I'm sure that's what they're going to quote me. What you see is only 60,000 square feet. I have a warehouse and fab area as well.
     
  14. R3d

    R3d Limp Gawd

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    i'm running some of the Meraki ap's at my office, i used to work through a MSP as well and we were heavy into Cisco and Juniper. I got one of the demo ap's from Meraki and found it could do everything the Cisco/JP's were capable of doing but with a lot more ease of setup.

    the mr16's have a good solid coverage in our shops. I have 1 located centrally in our mechanics area that is 6 bays wide and will hold 4 garbage trucks in each bay. we're running Cisco voip 7925 wifi phones, tablets and a few laptops off the one and i haven't had any issues with it.
     
  15. Tee

    Tee Limp Gawd

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    Aerohive

    That is all.
     
  16. R3d

    R3d Limp Gawd

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    aerohive? how come? i've been testing one of their AP's and have had nothing but issues with the device.
     
  17. green91

    green91 Limp Gawd

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    I second the Aerohive vote. They also have hardened APs and outdoor models as well. I'm very happy with them as a product and company.
     
  18. feffrey

    feffrey Gawd

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    Unifi is really good imho. It works really well and is affordable. It is not enterprise quality yet, but for SMB to medium sized it works good.
     
  19. Nate7311

    Nate7311 2[H]4U

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    The company I used to work for was an Aruba VAR, and was being courted by Meraki to be a regional VAR. When the announcement that Cisco was buying them came out, we droped any interest. Cisco has a bad habit of acquiring companies and then completely tossing their existing VAR network out and only allowing existing Cisco partners access to the product. Been through that twice now. Not excited to do it again.

    To answer the OP's question, the test gear they sent me seems to be VERY functional and easy to configure, but there are a few things on the portal that are hidden and they ARE building their functionality out. I wouldn't fear buying them, but beware they utilize the recurring license model. There's no such thing as "dropping support" because your portal access stops as well. The product should contiinue to function, but you will be barred from any changes.

    That being said, I'd second the Aruba Instant APs (IAP-105). The Aruba channel on Youtube has some GREAT walkthroughs on the functionality and setup of these. And like all Aruba stuff, bulletproof.
     
  20. shade91

    shade91 Guest

    I concur on the Aruba vs. Cisco opinion. Aruba just does things better than Cisco in the wireless world. They always have however Cisco is quickly making ground on them. I come from designing/implementing/supporting million square-foot and greater buildings and we use strictly Cisco and their line of wireless infrastructure hardware/software products. The price point of Cisco though is far greater than Aruba so if the business you're supporting can't absorb the cost, Aruba is where I'd go next. I always like to say, "There's a reason the folks who operate the Defcon wireless network use Aruba".

    For SoHo, Ubiquiti simply can't be beat for the features and price point.
     
  21. Eickst

    Eickst [H]ard|Gawd

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    We have 200 access points covering over 10 locations, some buildings larger than 100k (but not in any one single area of the building)

    We had Aerohive out, took a look at cisco, and in the end went with Aruba.

    We decided against Aerohive because their support was too slow. That was pre-sales, and if they are slow while trying to get my money I can't imaging how slow they'd be after they had it in hand.

    The aruba engineers were a thrill to work with, I still talk with them from time to time as they check in now and again even though they have nothing to do with our account anymore.

    We actually didn't even use them for the install, the equipment was so easy to set up I never needed them.

    For a enterprise wireless discussion I wouldn't even include Ubiquiti in the discussion.

    Can't say much for Meraki or Ruckus as they never really got back to me when I inquired about their product. They must have thought I wasn't going to buy anything :(
     
  22. Metraon

    Metraon Limp Gawd

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    I landed in a medium-large business with Ruckus deployed and I enjoy it, solid stuff. I haven't worked with another enterprise grade wireless infrastructure but I have a lot of colleagues who absolutely loves Aruba.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  23. green91

    green91 Limp Gawd

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    Interestingly enough, I've had the exact opposite experience. I manage 400+ WAPs with Aerohive. Their support is fantastic, I've worked directly with engineers on issues and product suggestions. They also have provided access to beta versions of new software and great training.
     
  24. Eickst

    Eickst [H]ard|Gawd

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    They must have resolved their support issues, good for you. We looked at them about a year and a half ago and I guess they were just too new.

    What was weird to us also is they were more expensive than Aruba even though they don't need any controllers.....
     
  25. Tee

    Tee Limp Gawd

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    I do not know what to tell you.

    They are affordable and have a million features. Plus they just upgraded there cloud management software.

    I have Aero hive networks using 700 devices with only 14 AP's, with no slowness.

    I've used Meraki to, they are okay, I am just all about my Aerohive's, I control about 400 AP's. I have no returned or replaced any of them in a 3 year span. That is why I am chucking it in the hat.

    I do not believe anyone can touch the hardware, software, and support Aerohive "currently" provides. They are just on-top of there game right now.
     
  26. green91

    green91 Limp Gawd

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    I just got done hanging another 37 Aerohive APs this week!
     
  27. R3d

    R3d Limp Gawd

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    it's odd, i can see the ssid's from the aerohive ap but no traffic will pass through it. I can authenticate and connect to the ssid but no traffic is passing, can't get dhcp or anything from our dc going. any thoughts or suggestions?

    i'm waiting to hear back from the sales rep to get a tech involved.
     
  28. artbird309

    artbird309 [H]Lite

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    This is just my personal opinion from reading and what my organization is doing so take it with a grain of salt.
    I work for a big ten university and we spent 5 months of testing in two different trials over at least 5 vendors. I am far down the chair of command but they selected Aruba and are in the process of deploying it across the state. There will be at least 500+ on the large campuses and my campus the smallest we are going to be deploying more than a 100.

    I have not had any hands on experience with them yet my my employer has picked them and pushing them out everywhere.
    Just my two cents.
     
  29. Langly

    Langly Only Three Midgets

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    arubas are stupid easy to deploy. just did a 6 ap.small office with them and dang they just work. No more unifis for us, just too weak of units that couldn't handle the stress we put on them
     
  30. HoppyChris

    HoppyChris Limp Gawd

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    While the price has been creeping up at the top end of the Ruckus APs, I can say that the new 7982s are QUITE nice, aside from the mounting options, which are rather lacking, though they do say that there is a new bracket coming soon, so that might not be a problem (or it might be already resolved).

    I know that for a current wireless project I'm waiting on a Ruckus 802.11ac product to come out, since the dormitory they'd be going into got wireless a year ahead of the other dorms and has been single band since. We'd prefer to not have them be great for a year and then behind everyone else for the next 4 again.
     
  31. feffrey

    feffrey Gawd

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    What were you doing to the unif that stressed them out?
    When I was testing Unifi I had one AP deployed in a lecture hall with our crappy SonicPoints still running. Came in one morning and had 90 students connected to the one Unif AP as the 2 SonicPoints in the area both died. They were doing testing with BlackBoard and it was working good, no complaints.
     
  32. Langly

    Langly Only Three Midgets

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    working in a highly saturated 2.4gz area. The radios couldn't out power the interference and the roaming between aps causing disconnects sealed their fate.
     
  33. feffrey

    feffrey Gawd

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    Thanks, that is good to know. Were you using the standard model or the Pro?
     
  34. Langly

    Langly Only Three Midgets

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    Standard. Pro would of probably handled the situation better, but the biggest issue was disconnects while roaming on APs. Our 2.4ghz range is pretty much barely usable due to certain activities the company does at that location.
     
  35. R3ckless

    R3ckless [H]Lite

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    I am little surprised noone has mentioned juniper wirelesss (formally trapeze. ) Its been working flawlessly once we got it setup. And junipers support always get back to you immediately. Check them out.
     
  36. kubisaw

    kubisaw [H]ard|Gawd

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    I work for oil&gas telecommunications provider in Canada.

    We actually moved from Ubiquiti equipment to a full network deployment of Meraki (1000 APs) total spread across about 50-60 individual sites.

    Meraki has been absolutely amazing. Extremely feature rich and has solved many issues with truck rolls due to cut lines, etc with it's meshing and network healing abilities. Expensive yes, but it works.

    Also if anyone is looking for brand new Unifi UAP-3 packs, I have about 30 of them in stock.
    http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1718044&highlight=ubiquiti
     
  37. corge

    corge Limp Gawd

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    I manage a large Aruba network and they have been solid on controllers and access points, both indoor and outside.
     
  38. /usr/home

    /usr/home [H]ardness Supreme

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    I manage a large Belkin router/AP network. They are amazing. I highly recommend them.
     
  39. green91

    green91 Limp Gawd

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    Sounds very much like a VLAN issue to me.

    1) make sure on the switch your port is untagged/tagged properly. Most of the time your management network will be untagged, and the vlan associated with the ssid is tagged.

    2) check the vlan setting in the user profile, under the network policy.

    You can use the VLAN probe under the monitor tab to tell if the VLAN is tagged properly to the AP. It can be found under Monitor -> Check the AP's Box -> Utilities -> Diagnostics -> VLAN Probe