Combining an appliance/wireless template with a switch-only template

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Combining an appliance/wireless template with a switch-only template

I have an appliance/wireless template with a lot of networks on it, but none of these required a switch until now.  I cannot add a switch unless the template allows it, so I have to manipulate my templates to make this happen.


For anyone who has done this, I would like to know how it went for you, if you had any problems, or any gotcha's to watch out for.


I did identify a couple of issues, which I'll explain at the end.


Suppose I have two templates:

  1. OriginalTemplate
    1. Combined template for appliances and wireless devices
    2. Contains 250 networks
    3. Mostly MX67 and MR33 devices
    4. Uses 6 VLANs, which have auto-generated subnets
    5. Site-to-site VPN with the datacenter, hub and spoke, no mesh.
  2. NewTemplate
    1. Combined template, created new.
    2. No networks on this template


I want the OriginalTemplate to begin supporting MS switches.  Can't do that without combining templates.

So, if I split NewTemplate, I get:

  1. NewTemplate - appliance
  2. NewTemplate - switch
  3. NewTemplate - wireless


Now, I want to combine OriginalTemplate with New-Template - switch.


I am prompted to create a Network enrollment string.  No idea why, what this will do, or if it even matters what I plug in.  So I enter something so I can proceed.


Now, I run into my first problem (when doing this in a test environment).  When I attempted to add a MS120-24P switch, I received this error: "A bound combined network may only contain bound networks."  Someone else in the Meraki community had this problem (but with MV cameras) with the solution to unbind the network from the template, add the device, then rebind to the template.  This worked, but I lost all my VLANs and subnets on the unbind, and during the rebind, I received a new set of subnets for the VLANs.  Plus, all the DHCP reservations were lost.  No big deal as long as I document these first and plan for the downtime if in production so I can re-apply what was lost.


From what I can tell, the above paragraph is the only gotcha to expect.  Nothing changed in OriginalTemplate, other than also having a new Switch section.


Anyone else have any success/failure they would like to share?


If it was only a few networks, I would just go for it.  But, I have more than 250 tied to the production template, and I have no desire to have a separate template to manage.

5 Replies 5
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

I've had to go through this pain.  The first bit about creating the combined template is correct.


Even thought you have a combined template existing networks stay as they are.  Only new networks created that are attached to the template are created as combined.


So I normally rename the original network and add "-old" to its name.  I change the subnet to something temporary (if using AutoVPN).  I create a new network.  I move all the kit from the old to the new network.  Configure the subnet back again.  Delete the old network.

Just to add to that. The network enrollment strings have to do with systems manager:


Nothing to worry about in your case, and not necessary.

Thanks for that info.  I was suspecting some sort of bug during testing.  If not a bug, it would be nice if I could see that a network does not have all elements of its template applied.  When I received the "A bound combined network may only contain bound networks" error in testing when I tried adding a switch, I figured that some sort of flag was not being set on networks already on the template when the template was modified.

Getting noticed

I ran into the same issue when trying to add an MG to a network and opened a case:



This is actually expected behaviour. Bound networks are unable to add new device types without being rebound to a template

Unfortunately, we only have a single fix for this which is documented below. I'm afraid it's considered disruptive configuration change and is recommended to be done during a maintenance window.
Could such an action be executed by an piece of software that uses API calls? 
Anybody aware of such an application?

The last part of the doc is actually incorrect. You don't need to unbind anything to add a MG into a bound network. Steps to get it done are this. I also created a video walking through it.


1. Ensure your template supports the MG device type which is outlined in this section of the doc. More recently created combined templates should already have MG, MV, MT device groups in them.

2. Create new MG network

3. Bind that MG network to your template (requires step 1 to be completed)

4. Optional, combine the previous MX, MS, MR network with the new MG network into one bound combined network

Ryan / Meraki Solutions Engineer

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