Over the recent years, the hospitality industry or hotel trade sector, has been in constant search of a makeover. The traditional business model was deeply struck owing to the emergence of « Pure Players » and collaborative business models.
Technology changes, the transformation of the digital ecosystem, and the rise of new trends among users have all had a hand in this market turmoil. For all players in the hospitality industry, it soon became a must to initiate and successfully achieve their digital transformation as a way to defend their competitive edge.
CLUB MED is a French Brand of the hotel trade industry. Here is one of the paradisiac location in the Maldives.
The number 1 access and marketing solution for any wifi device - Ucopia now in Viet Nam.
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See version numbers and patch notes, schedule upgrades to beta firmware, roll back to previous versions, and more!
At Cisco Meraki, our fundamental goal is to bring simplicity to IT management. It has always been important to us that we extend that simplicity to the firmware management process, so over the years we’ve tried to strike the right balance of automation and control so that our customers know that their devices are always up to date with the latest bug fixes, security patches, and features. While our approach has worked well for many of our customers and partners, it has also created challenges for some who felt they would benefit from a greater degree of visibility and flexibility when it comes to firmware. Today we are excited to announce some significant advances in the firmware management capabilities of the Cisco Meraki dashboard. These new tools and processes add deeper visibility and empower administrators to be more self-sufficient when it comes to our firmware without sacrificing our consistent, reliable update model.
These new capabilities come in the form of an update to the Firmware Upgrades page in the Cisco Meraki dashboard. The new page starts users out on the Overview tab, which includes a variety of information: a list of recent upgrades within the dashboard organization, a list of any currently scheduled upgrades that are pending, and a list of the current approved stable versions of code for each hardware product line in our portfolio. This list of stable firmware versions is one of three major changes represented by this new tool, as it includes not only firmware version numbers but also detailed patch notes for each version. The second major change is that any upgrade performed in the last 14 days can be rolled back directly from the recent upgrades list, which will return the network and its devices to the firmware version that was in place before the upgrade. This allows administrators to react faster and more freely to any issues encountered after a new firmware is applied – even if those issues are with other devices in the deployment.
Clicking over to the “All networks” tab presents administrators with a searchable list of all dashboard networks in the organization and their firmware status. Based on the current status of each network, certain upgrade options will be available to put networks on the latest stable firmware, a release candidate firmware (which is a version that is currently undergoing final testing before becoming the new stable version), or the latest beta. The statuses a network can have are as follows:
This represents the third and final major change included in this new tool: administrators can now upgrade to beta firmware themselves, without the need to contact Cisco Meraki Support or their Sales representative. This makes it easier for customers to access new features and bug fixes as quickly as possible. In addition, when upgrading a network to a new firmware version administrators will be able to view patch notes not only for the new firmware, but any versions in between the current and upgrade firmwares, to get a clear picture of exactly what is changing in the code.
To perform an upgrade, simply select one or more networks from the list and click the “Bulk upgrade” button at the top right of the page.
These new capabilities are a big step forward in firmware visibility and control for our customers, and we hope they will make it easier for all Meraki users worldwide to get access to new features, resolve issues, and keep their networks secure. This new page will be available today for all Cisco Meraki dashboard organizations via the Organization>Firmware upgrades menu option, so take a look for yourself and, as always, let us know what you think!
One question that often arises when talking about hyper convergence is one around whether organizations have to take an all or nothing approach to the technology. Do you need to jump in feet first and rip and replace your existing services, or is there a middle ground somewhere between rip/replace and maintaining the status quo?
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Industry-leading dynamic threat analysis and cloud sandboxing for Meraki MX
Whenever a file is downloaded through a Meraki MX with Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) enabled, that file’s signature will be looked up against AMP’s extensive cloud database; however, the file’s evaluation may return as “unknown”. AMP is capable of retrospectively alerting administrators if such a file is later determined to in fact be malicious with the help of the global AMP cloud. This provides security teams with the necessary insight to take action to quarantine a threat before it spreads.
With our newly released support for Threat Grid, administrators now have the powerful option to send these unknown file types directly to the Threat Grid cloud for immediate analysis. Once received, Cisco Threat Grid will execute the file in a virtual environment and will then analyze the file for over 825 behavioral indicators that may suggest whether or not the file is malicious. If a file is in fact determined to be malicious, Threat Grid will immediately alert all network administrators, and armed with a new signature, AMP will also block any new attempts of the threat from being downloaded. What’s more, if the file is malicious, Threat Grid’s analysis results will also be distributed via the global AMP cloud so that all other subscribers around the world receive the new threat signatures. With record-breaking threats like the recent WannaCry outbreak, this is an important, powerful tool to have in any organization’s arsenal, and instrumental in contributing to the prevention of zero-day exploits around the world.
We’re incredibly excited to announce the availability of Threat Grid on the Meraki MX as it provides the absolute latest in dynamic malware analysis and a deep, beneficial integration with Cisco’s broader security services. Threat Grid for MX is available as an additional subscription to any Meraki MX* with Advanced Security license. To find out more, please contact your Meraki sales representative and ask about Threat Grid sample packs.
*Threat Grid is not currently available on MX400 and MX600 models.
Click here to know more about Meraki MX devices.
Still not convinced the cloud is for you? Read on.
If the challenges involved in managing your employees’ bandwidth, security, and mobility needs are keeping you awake at night, we’ve got some tough news: the rapid pace at which technology changes means those challenges won’t go away anytime soon. Implementing a modern IT infrastructure that’s able to support always-connected mobile devices, data-hogging applications, and “bring your own device” (BYOD) practices is no longer a “nice-to-have”—it’s a necessity.
The way forward lies in adopting a scalable solution that can grow as the demands and pressures on a network increase. The best way to achieve this goal is to migrate your IT infrastructure and manage it entirely through the cloud. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Manage and troubleshoot from anywhere
Traditionally, managing networks or troubleshooting a network issue requires someone to be physically present. When dealing with multi-site deployments or other situations in which it isn’t always possible for IT to be on-site, this form of management and troubleshooting cannot scale and quickly proves untenable.
With cloud managed IT, managing and troubleshooting issues from anywhere is finally a reality. An IT administrator can quickly get alerted about a network issue, diagnose the problem, and devise a solution from any computer with internet access. For example, with cloud managed IT, an IT admin can quickly run a cable test on a cable running between a switch and an access point to determine whether the cable or the AP is at fault. Cloud managed IT doesn’t just help save time and resources; it unlocks entirely new capabilities that simply aren’t possible with legacy IT solutions.
2. Easy to set up, configure, and manage
For most IT admins, the thought of installing and maintaining network infrastructure doesn’t exactly inspire joy—even less so when it comes to multi-site deployments. The hassles involved are frustrating, to say the least.
Managing IT infrastructure through the cloud dramatically simplifies ordinarily challenging tasks and cuts down on time and cost. With zero-touch provisioning, devices such as access points, security appliances, and VoIP phones can be pre-configured before they even arrive on-site. Configurations download automatically once the device is connected to the network for a true plug-and-play experience. Furthermore, “virtual stacking” allows IT admins to bulk-configure ports on internet-connected switches, whether these switches are physically located in Berlin or Baltimore. Managing IT infrastructure through the cloud thus requires less investment in on-site setup, significantly reducing staff costs.
3. Superior security
In order to maintain a secure stack that ensures high levels of productivity and uptime, IT needs constant visibility into network traffic, security threats, and device activity. Keeping security definitions and device firmware up-to-date is also crucial. Cloud managed IT makes it simple for IT admins to get a real-time understanding of what’s going on network-wide and to ensure that security threats are kept at bay.
With a fully cloud managed infrastructure, IT admins can look at application usage on a per-client basis and enforce security policies at the firewall or access point level, all from one dashboard. Additionally, when threats arise, admins can rest assured knowing that the latest security updates have already been pushed to firewall devices, silently and automatically, over the Internet. This kind of visibility and automation significantly reduces the burden on IT while ensuring complete network security.
4. Interconnected management unlocks new possibilities
Traditional IT management is a piecemeal affair. Because there are different vendors for different parts of the stack—wireless, switching, security, mobile device management, and more—configuring more than one category of device at a time to accomplish a certain network-wide goal is usually not possible. Even worse, IT admins have to learn how to navigate many different interfaces and deal with multiple support lines if they run into any issues.
The beauty of cloud managed IT is that every part of the stack can be controlled from a single management interface. This enables different elements of your IT infrastructure to work together in new ways. For instance, with every device communicating with one another and with the cloud, IT admins can view a complete network topology, updated live, and instantly troubleshoot issues with any device. As the demand on the network grows and new IT infrastructure is added, every new piece of gear can be managed from the same interface. This easy scalability makes cloud managed IT ideal for growing organizations with ever-increasing numbers of users, devices, and sites.
5. Lower TCO (total cost of ownership)
Of course, one of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing which IT stack to implement is overall cost. And while the cost of the initial hardware is certainly important, too many companies focus only on the hardware cost and ignore ongoing support and maintenance costs. The beauty of cloud managed IT is that the flexibility and ease-of-use inherent in the cloud managed model means much lower management costs over time, resulting in a much lower TCO over the span of a few years.
As mentioned earlier, a cloud managed stack provides your IT team with extensive visibility into network performance, not to mention actionable alerts whenever there’s a hiccup. You’ll be able to proactively diagnose issues and manage problems before they impact your business; as the saying goes, “a stitch in time saves nine.” Additionally, with the cloud managed model, multi-site management is simple and straightforward. All of this means that the TCO of a cloud managed IT stack is much lower than that of traditional IT infrastructure—often by thousands of dollars.
Once upon a time, on-site network controllers, command line interfaces, and manual firewall configuration were enough to keep a network afloat. But a creaky old IT infrastructure can no longer keep up with the needs of modern organizations. Embracing cloud managed IT presents significant advantages for admins who want to implement a forward-thinking IT infrastructure built to last.
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Ensure the entire team gets notified when there’s a network event by integrating Meraki alerts with your favorite collaboration app
Lots of teams are making use of new collaboration tools and services in place of email to help increase productivity and transparency. Of course these tools also make it far easier to share our favorite GIFs, a feature paramount to a productive work day. In this post we’d like to share a quick and easy method for integrating Meraki network alerts with your collaboration tool to help everyone stay on top of events. In this example, we will be using Cisco Spark, although the method is also possible with other popular services such as Slack.
Select an automation engine
Popular services include Zapier and IFTTT. For this example we will be using Zapier. Create a new account, or sign in if you have an existing one.
Create a new rule
Automation rules consist of a trigger and at least one action. In Zapier, these are called Zaps. We’re going to use the Zapier “Email” trigger, which provides you with a custom email address that you can begin sending new email alerts to. Once you have selected Email as the trigger, choose New inbound email and create a new custom email address:
Enable and configure Meraki alerts
Once you have created a new email trigger, you should have a new mail-to email address provided in the step above. You will now want to go to dashboard.meraki.com and configure your Meraki network alerts (Network wide > Alerts & administration). Be sure to add the newly created trigger email address under other email addresses, and configure which alerts you would like to receive. Meraki offers a variety of alerts for each of our products. In this example, I have enabled alerts for any switch port that goes down.
Connect your collaboration app
Zapier fully supports Cisco Spark, along with several other communication platforms. When prompted to Choose your Action app, search for your app by name, and select it. You will now be prompted to connect and authorize access. Once you have granted Zapier access, you can now create an action.
Create an action
Choose the option to Post a message. You can now choose to create a new channel (room) in Spark, or just post to an existing one. In this example we are using an already-created channel named “Meraki-alerts”. Once you have selected the desired channel (room ID), you can now specify the text you would like to be sent whenever a new alert is produced. You will likely want to include the object Body plain as this will ensure the full contents of the network alert are sent. Now for the fun part – go ahead and test the action to ensure a new test message gets posted successfully:
Select finish and rejoice – your team will now immediately be notified of any network events that you have enabled
There are lots of possibilities with automation engines. Some in our developer community have even created a bot that lets you generate new networks or make configuration changes to an existing network via message instructions. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
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Simplified Mobile Technology, Rapid Growth and Scalability, and a Digital Teacher’s Assistant
Most administrators are aware of the challenges that come with managing mobile devices: the sheer number, the lack of visibility and security, and the difficulty provisioning or configuring them, to name a few. As we approach the end of another school year in the US, let’s review some of the reasons tens of thousands of customers in education chose Systems Manager to manage millions of mobile devices and PCs.
Before talking about a specific feature, it may help to know some of the general reasons people choose Systems Manager. For one, it takes something as complicated and cumbersome as navigating a flood of mobile devices and makes it manageable while keeping the advantages of mobility. Simplifying powerful technology to free passionate people to focus on their mission is at the core of the Cisco Meraki vision. This is fundamental to how Systems Manager addresses enterprise mobility management (EMM) and mobile device management (MDM).
People also love SM because it continues to grow. For years, Systems Manager has flexed its cloud-managed and software-only muscles by rapidly iterating on ideas and support. This isn’t just about Systems Manager’s consistent zero-day support for new OS versions. It’s also about its consistency in adding brand new features and functionality. A great example of this is the Systems Manager Teacher’s Assistant.
A real life teacher’s assistant (TA) can make a difference by reducing stress, workload, and disruption in the classroom. Unfortunately, TAs are not always available for all teachers and classes, and they’re not necessarily able to help with everyday tasks for a large number of devices or complex digital technology. When automation, scalability, and simplicity are needed, SM has many solutions. There have been quite a few tools for education added since the May 2015 launch of the Systems Manager Teacher’s Assistant, and for those interested in a free trial check out the link at the bottom.
Stayed tuned in the coming weeks to learn more about the specific tools that make Systems Manager so popular in education.
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Virtual MX is a virtual instance of a Meraki security appliance, dedicated specifically to providing the simple configuration benefits of site-to-site Auto VPN for customers running or migrating IT services to an Amazon Web Services Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). A virtual MX is added as an instance on EC2 and then configured in the Meraki dashboard, just like any other MX. It functions like a VPN concentrator.
Learn more about our virtual MX here.
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