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Product Review: Cisco Meraki Switches for SMBs

Product Review: Cisco Meraki Switches for SMBs

Cisco Meraki cloud-managed switches are the next generation of network switching for small to mid-sized businesses. And you can believe the industry hype.

The cloud architecture of these switches has the features needed to handle high-performing networks at the largest enterprises but is still being simple enough for small IT departments and single-network engineers to easily deploy.

Small businesses rely on network switches to connect all their devices together to send, receive and process important data. Cisco Meraki switches provide best-in-class cloud-managed network connectivity that makes management and deployment easier than ever for SMBs. Network managers have everything they need — wifi, switching, security and complete management of all mobile devices — all in one centralized cloud platform.

The Cisco Meraki MS Series cloud-managed switches are a great choice for SMBs because as soon as the switch is plugged in and connected to the network, users are up and running. There are no time-consuming command line-based configurations or additional IT personnel required to build out the network.

These switches provide centralized management that gives you a real-time deep view into your network, so you can see how it is being used and manage it remotely. Diagnostics and reporting can also be done remotely, making it easy to pull information from anywhere at any time, without the need for dedicated IT resources to manage your connectivity hardware.

What Makes Meraki Different?

Cloud-managed and supported hardware is a growing technology market that is especially attractive to SMBs. Cloud networking provides centralized management, visibility and control without the cost and complexity of controller appliances or overlay management software. With a Meraki switch, businesses can manage their entire network from a single dashboard, controlling users, applications, devices and sites.

These switches can be configured entirely from any web browser, making it easy to remotely diagnose and troubleshoot network issues in real time. It is also easy to deploy, use and manage guest networks.

Firmware and feature updates are offered every quarter, so keeping devices secure, up-to-date and performing optimally is not a chore. All switches come with a lifetime warranty.

Meraki for SMBs

There are a wide range of Meraki MS Series Switch families for businesses of all sizes — from small offices to enterprise or campus networks — but the “sweet spot” for these switches is businesses that have 25 or more users and more than one physical location.

Smaller businesses with fewer users and single offices can still benefit from Meraki's smaller, more compact wifi solution, which also offers the ability to manage your network environment and hardware from anywhere and with any device.

Meraki network solutions do not require extensive equipment such as controllers for all devices or additional management software and can be accessed and managed from anywhere. All you need is internet access.

Switches can be physically stacked to create a reliable connection to the network using all available bandwidth. "Virtual stacking" enables thousands of ports to be managed and configured simultaneously, no matter where the switches are physically located. Switch ports are easy to configure for both security and quality, and because the cloud management is built in with all these switches, the cost of a full Meraki solution is generally much lower than other on-premise options.

The cloud-based Meraki MS Series of switch families includes a solution for businesses of all sizes:

Meraki MS220 Series – Ideal for small businesses and branches looking for a cost-effective connectivity solution, these simple Layer 2 switches have enterprise-class features such as two to four additional SFP ports and lower power consumption.

Meraki MS225 Series – With standard stacking capabilities, this series of Layer 2 switches is perfect for small offices or branch locations that need enterprise-level connectivity at the right price. Features include brand and campus access, application layer visibility, network security through administrative roles and policy management and network troubleshooting and automation.

Meraki MS250 Series – This series was created for mid-sized offices and branches, as well as small campus networks. With Layer 3 static routing, stacking and 10Gb SFP+ Uplinks, these switches enable simple cloud-based management instead of management through complex command line and configuration files.

Cisco Meraki MS350 Series – This powerful series is designed for any size enterprise or campus network. Ultra fast Layer 3 routing capabilities and high switching capacity is combined with 10GbE SFP+ Uplinks on every switch, bandwidth for stacking and support for up to eight members. All this provides the redundancy and performance that enterprises need, while still being easy to manage and deploy.

Layer 2 switches come in 8, 24 and 48 port options. Layer 3 switches are available with 24 or 48 ports. Aggregation switches are also available with the option of 24 or 48 ports.

To learn more about the Meraki MS Series Switch Families and to get help determining which solution is right for you, call us today at 1-855-AVENTIS.