Upgrading network switches is often a significant financial and technological commitment. Switches are the foundation of any network. They are expected to last anywhere from 5 to 10 years or more. Yet today’s modern networks switches must be highly reliable, easy to manage at scale, and compatible with the latest technologies for the foreseeable future.
As networks grow in size and complexity, decision makers are beginning to look beyond the upfront hardware costs to include operational expenses, which can become a significant, recurring cost. Initial configuration, network complexity, troubleshooting, security, and revision management can add up to a substantial cost each year. So selecting the right solution can pay massive dividends and often significantly recover the costs of network refresh over it’s lifetime.
Meraki switching offers real cost savings that customers love. Here’s some of the savings customers have seen by leveraging the ease of management and unique technologies that are inherent to the Meraki cloud-managed solution.
Zero-touch cloud provisioning
Meraki switches can be configured even before they are delivered. You can do this by adding them to the cloud and then using powerful Meraki features such as Virtual Stacking and Configuration Clone to seamlessly replicate settings. Once connected, the switches will automatically update their software and configuration without anything but an internet connection. As a result, staging is a thing of the past! Because of this unique approach to this process, you reduce the time it takes to initially provision network switches. This can lead to cost savings of between 60% and 80% when compared to traditional command-based solutions.
Cost Savings: Traditional vs Meraki Switching
There are many components to installing and maintaining a healthy switching network, and each requires dedicated resources. Cloud networking technologies can drastically
reduce the amount of time and effort necessary to maintain a modern network. As well as this, it can still provide a secure, efficient, and reliable enterprise solution. Here’s 6 cost differentiators that show why Meraki switching is top dog …
1. Staging & Deployment
Command-based configuration of network switches can require both expertise and substantial labour hours. Various overlay platforms are now available to streamline this process, yet still require a significant time investment for training and initial setup.
With Meraki cloud-managed switches, it is not necessary to pre-stage hardware, even for thousands of switches or ports. This provides significant cost savings and reduced complexity in the deployment stages of a network refresh. You also get automatic cloud updates.
2. Network Monitoring & Maintenance
Configuration changes and network monitoring are both a vital part of any network team’s operations. Changes are made by connecting to a switch via IP, authenticating, and then making command-line changes to the desired ports and/or settings. Monitoring is often a manual process or requires sophisticated add-on systems that aggregate device logs and alerts setup.
The intuitive Meraki dashboard with features like Network Topology make it easy to quickly locate devices, users, and troublesome spots in the network. Summary reports can be delivered via email to provide an overview of how the network is being used and even highlight how much energy is consumed by devices, helping to guide reductions in operational costs.
Supporting end users is a substantial portion of a network team’s day-to-day responsibilities. Most user reported issues are caused by faulty configuration, but narrowing down root causes can be difficult and complex, particularly in remote locations.
The Meraki Dashboard includes powerful remote troubleshooting tools that are easy to access and understand. These include dynamic network topology, cable testing, remote packet captures, and many other tools, all of which significantly enhance multi-site troubleshooting even in locations where IT is not present.
4. Revision management
Software updates, security patches, and revision management for switches are a vital part of keeping a network secure and efficient, but can also be time consuming to enforce. These changes often require a manual upgrade process per switch with additional servers for log collection and software image hosting.
Meraki switches securely upgrade via the cloud during a convenient time window. This ensures they are always running the latest and safest software while saving considerable amounts of time. Automatic change logs capture every change and make it easy to revert a device’s configuration.
Implementing and managing wired security can be a daunting task that requires per-switch configuration of access servers, as well as a timely training process each time a newemployee is hired.
Wired security is easy to manage and configure with network-wide access policies that can apply to thousands of switches and ports. Extend security to your endpoints with an MDM solution that seamlessly integrates with Meraki MS.
6. energy Consumption
Energy costs associated with power consumption of networking hardware and connected peripherals can add up but are often underestimated as an operational expense. Plus, additional platforms for reporting and control are available but require time and expertise to set-up.
Reducing power consumption through intelligent PoE energy budgeting and port scheduling features reduces the annual energy costs of running switches and powered devices like phones and access points. As a result you can save on average 60% of your total energy costs.
There are many factors to consider when updating your network. While most solutions claim cost savings, only Cisco Meraki offers cloud-managed switches that truly deliver zero-touch configuration, with a refreshingly simple approach to networking.
It’s time to take control of your network in a way you never have before – are you ready?
Looking to benefit from meraki switching?
We offer free demos and free trials to clients who think they may benefit from the versatility and cost savings of Cisco Meraki Switching. It’s simple to deploy and gives you real-time results that we’re confident you’ll love. Don’t believe us? Why not try it for yourself?