Cisco Meraki recently released a new product called the Meraki MG Cellular Gateway which Cisco SVP Todd Nightingale believes will be the fastest-launching Meraki product of all time (https://www.crn.com/cisco-takes-aim-at-cradlepoint-enters-new-market-with-meraki-cellular-gateway). We at Clearpath think that Meraki's new line definitely solves a problem with remote network connectivity that a lot of our clients have. With that being said I’ll now cover the following: what does it do, what is its significance, and should your organization be considering it?
There are literally thousands of enterprise security solutions on the market. Yet, 82% of enterprises want an integrated security solution and 62% are considering consolidating their security vendors (ESG Research Report). There are many benefits to this approach, but only one company is building it: Cisco.
According to Enterprise Strategy Group, Cisco leads the pack in enterprise-class security across network, cloud, internet, email, and endpoints. But more than relying on a single anchor product surrounded by rudimentary products, Cisco is expanding and upgrading its leading products across the board and applying automation, machine learning, and threat intelligence to stop threats at the edge, protect users wherever they are, and stop threats faster.
Consider this scenario: Your network is growing. More and more people and devices are connecting to it. You’ve thrown money at optimizing and maintaining it. Security policies and sensor equipment are deployed to secure it.
Data is an asset to your business, but it’s also a threat. Your employees are demanding access to your work resources from more devices, and more outside networks than ever. This puts pressure on IT, increases your attack surface, and exposes your corporate network to threat vectors.
As part of Cisco’s commitment to securing access for the network perimeter, late last year it added Duo Security to the Cisco family. Duo is a leading provider of unified access security and multi-factor authentication delivered through the cloud.
If anything is true in IT, it’s constant change. Every few years—a new evolution happens. While there are always incremental improvements in technologies such as chip designs, network speeds, and storage technologies, sometimes these small changes synergistically align on multiple fronts into something that’s new and exciting.
Intent-based networking is such a combination. It’s a new way to conceptualize and interact with the network that may fundamentally alter the foundation of networking in your organization. But what is “intent-based networking”? And how does it differ from the day-in, day-out networking that’s been running your enterprise for years?
According to the analyst firm ESG, “The concept of intent-based networking is that the network team could simply describe, in plain language, what they wanted to accomplish (the intent) and the network would be able to translate the intent into the numerous policies that would establish the appropriate configuration and settings changes across a complex and heterogeneous environment leveraging automation.”¹
It’s getting harder to define the boundaries of your enterprise nowadays. It used to be as simple as “inside and outside” the network and the firewall—but the distributed nature of today’s IT is rapidly changing the edge of your network. Your wide area network (WAN) needs to be able to easily expand and adapt to encompass not only branch offices—but also the resources and applications that are moving to the cloud. Can your network easily handle that? The sad answer is most can’t – because many networks have remained tied to the physical metaphor of perimeters, walls, and equipment. You need to be thinking about the edges and expansion of your WAN—not necessarily the physicality of it.
Don’t misunderstand, there’s no denying the physicality of the network. After all, it’s put together with cables, wireless routers, and other networking equipment inside your buildings. The fact is, the demand for increased bandwidth, optimized connectivity for the cloud, and improved security postures to tackle next generation threats can be difficult to meet with traditional WAN architectures. Add to this, the increasing use of cloud-based applications and the emergence of the Internet of Things, and your WAN may be inadequate for the future. Even now, existing wide area networks across businesses and organizations of all sizes and across all industries are struggling to cope.
Many organizations have moved to the cloud in some fashion—yet security stillremains a concern. When asked about top security concerns with the cloud— data loss protection, data privacy threats, and confidentiality breaches are the top concerns.1 Yet, surprisingly, many CIOs don’t have solid plans on how to handle these concerns. They rely on the cloud service providers themselves to guarantee their protection. While major providers take great measures to protect themselves and you from breaches and data loss—the wise CIO should also take measures on their own end to guarantee the security of their cloud strategy. Yet, surprisingly, only 27% of organizations plan to implement software to do this.1 With the potential risks the cloud may represent—and with more and more organizations adopting as-a-service solutions, you’d expect that to be higher. Perhaps many don’t know there are perfect solutions available from recognized vendors like Cisco that can help guarantee their security.
Cisco Cloudlock is a cloud access security broker solution that’s perfect for organizations using multiple cloud-based applications and moving their data to the cloud. This solution tackles some of the most pressing cloud security concerns for CIOs such as user security, data loss prevention, and cloud app security.
There’s little doubt that CIOs are interested in hyper-convergence. In fact, according to IDC, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions are the fastest growing segment in storage solutions today.1 The promise of hyper-convergence is simplifying the operation and management of on-premises infrastructure through custom-built appliances that combine compute, network, and storage functions - all united through virtualization.
The concept has been a glimmer in many a CIO eye for awhile now—but the application of HCI was often limited to specific use cases such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) initiatives. However, the latest generation of hyper-converged solutions like Cisco ‘s Hyperflex has really expanded to be a scalable platform for databases, commercial applications, collaboration, file and print services, and more.1 That’s got enterprises of all sizes wanting to adopt HCI.
The real promise of a future-forward data center also needs to incorporate cloud, and many HCI vendors are partnering with both cloud-providers and software providers to build a total end-to-end software-defined data center that extends from the physical data center and out to the cloud. One such vendor that’s providing valuable multi-cloud integration with HCI solutions is Zerto.
Cisco Meraki products are 100% cloud managed - It’s IT that simply works. The new portfolio of networking devices is feature-rich with easy-to-use cloud architecture that enables your company to solve new business problems and reduce operating costs. Cisco recently announced the expansion of the Meraki portfolio to include more options and price points to meet the needs of even more customers in this highly-specialized market. These easy to use and powerful switches provide the backbone for networks of all sizes. They combine secure, scalable, robust performance with an elegant, intuitive management experience. Below, we outline the best features of two new Meraki models.