Pro's/Con's about the Meraki solution for Firewall/Switches/APs solution

Dan
Dan used Ask the Experts™
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I am looking at switching from my physical old Cisco switches to a Meraki solution.  Anybody has any thoughts about Meraki, I'm planning to use their Firewall, switches and APs.

I currently am using Sophos for my firewall and the renewal cost for my subscription is a bit more than if I were to just outright purchase a Meraki hardware and subscription for 3 yrs.

Any major pros/cons?  The demo looked great for Meraki, but how does it work when it's actually in production and not just demo mode?

The other option is to purchase new Cisco physical switches, but those are more expensive than the Meraki solution.
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Jeremy WeisingerSenior Network Consultant / Engineer

Commented:
I like the Meraki WAPs a lot. But know that they will stop working if you don’t renew.

The firewall leaves much to be desired. VPN is especially lacking.

I don’t have much experience with the switches so I can’t speak to them.
DanNetwork Engineer

Author

Commented:
I have one vendor that is steering me away from Meraki, as they are saying they have a 20% failure rate.  
Not sure what to believe.   So you like the APs.
I have a friend that has tried a few APs, and he's not very fond of them either.

Ok, so the firewall is lacking, good to know.  The sales pitch from Meraki is that if you have all three, Firewall, Switchs and APs, it's tightly integrated system, and you have a lot of visibility into the system.   The demo was good, I did like all the data the APs have to offer compared to Ruckus.
the "lot of visibility into the system" was what scared me off.
the demonstration showed just how easy the traffic in my network can be captured ... in front of the management website ... good for the network admin ... but am i really the only one who can handle this cloud function?

please correct me if I have misunderstood something.
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Senior Network Consultant / Engineer
Commented:
I have one vendor that is steering me away from Meraki, as they are saying they have a 20% failure rate.
Not what I experienced with a few hundred but YMMV.

the demonstration showed just how easy the traffic in my network can be captured ... in front of the management website ... good for the network admin ... but am i really the only one who can handle this cloud function?
Is your concern that the vendor will have access to capture traffic? Or just the amount of trust in general we need to place in the cloud vendor?
DanNetwork Engineer

Author

Commented:
Interesting points, it's true that if they want, Cisco has FULL access to my internal network, I mean, they have ALL the access, which most likely they probably won't use, but I guess it's a huge whole that is open.  

The firewall is very limited.  I think I'm going to skip on the firewall, but now I have to think about the switches, as they are easier to manage, but again the security concern, and I'm not sure about the reliability vs the traditional switches.

With the APs,  I guess they still would have full access to our wifi traffic if I were to go with the AP options.
 decisions, decisions.....
DanNetwork Engineer

Author

Commented:
Thanks guys for your input, since we're saving over 65% going with Sophos, I've decided to go with Sophos new Enterprise APs, so they will seamlessly integrate with our firewall.
Jeremy WeisingerSenior Network Consultant / Engineer

Commented:
Glad to help. :)

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