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Meraki test Lab suggestions

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Zak
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Meraki test Lab suggestions

Hello Good folks,

                           I am very new to Meraki equipment and have worked with HP and Ubiquiti before (Successfully manged to stay away from relatively complex networking setups up until now). I was just wondering what type of test lab environment folks here have setup to test configurations before pushing them out to production?

Or do you just go direct to production? Or is there a software ( I googled and found packet tracer for cisco) that I am not aware of?

 

Whats the minimum recommended gear/model that can be used to test most of the Meraki features?

 

Our production environment will roughly have:

1 x MX100 or MX250

50 x MR45 or MR 55

30 x MS125

 

Some of the features we will use:

Content filtering, RADIUS authentication, Windows DHCP, port scheduling, VPN, traffic shaping etc.

 

Thanks

 

 

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Re: Meraki test Lab suggestions

I have been told by Meraki SE and evangelists that the MX is not intended to be used as a primary routing device, especially not in an environment with a lot of traffic. Most recently during ECMS2, so... I trust them.

 

You've got 4-5 buildings in a campus arrangement, it sounds like? Is that correct? What's your planned architecture? One FW with ISP uplink(s), with all buildings' WAN traffic flowing through it?

 

How many client devices does that represent? Because if you're pushing 400, I'd absolutely get the MX250 for your firewall. Review the sizing guide, especially page 5.

 

If the campus situation is correct, I'd buy some L3 switches right now. Later may not happen. It's also much more complicated to move all your routing once everything is "settled". If you're already doing new equipment installs, it's easier imho.

10 REPLIES 10
Highlighted
Kind of a big deal

Re: Meraki test Lab suggestions

Minimum you should need

MX64
One of the MR45 or MR55 since you want to exact same model AP. AP models are more finicky than anything else
Two MS125, although you might want to verify if that is the switch model you want as they don't support physical stacking (if that is something your going to be doing).
Nolan Herring | nolanwifi.com
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Zak
Here to help

Re: Meraki test Lab suggestions

Thanks @NolanHerring 

 

So seems like MX64 is a no brainer. I think our environment will have more MR55 than 45, so I should stick with 55. So I am not going to pretend I 100% understand the utility of physical stacking in our environment, but so far there are no such plan. Since this is educational org, we mostly have students and classrooms to deal with.

 

With that being said, I am hoping I don't need the same exact model when it comes to switches and can just get by with an 8 port MS120?

Kind of a big deal

Re: Meraki test Lab suggestions

What's your plan for a core switch in that environment? If you're looking at enough equipment to need 30 MS125 switches, you should be looking at segmenting that network into multiple vlans. In which case, you need L3 switches both a) for your setup there and b) a lab if you want a permanent lab.

 

Friends don't let friends use MX to route in large environments. 🙂

Kind of a big deal

Re: Meraki test Lab suggestions

I'm with @Nash .  If all (or many) of those switches are going at one location you need a core switch.  Perhaps these are going at 30 different branches.

 

If you plan to use the 10Gbe ports on the MS125s then check out the MS425-16 or the denser MS425-32.  A stacked pair of these would be a good addition.

https://meraki.cisco.com/products/switches/ms425-16 

https://meraki.cisco.com/products/switches/ms425-32 

Zak
Here to help

Re: Meraki test Lab suggestions

Thank you @PhilipDAth I actually read a lot of your answers as a lurker before joining community and purchasing equipment.

 

MS425-16 were exactly what was on my radar, we will be going roughly 3-4 switch in roughly 4-5 buildings. I have same question for you actually, would it be less hassle to get started with just mx and then some time next year we add MS425-16?

Zak
Here to help

Re: Meraki test Lab suggestions

@Nash  lol @ "Friends don't let friends use MX to route in large environments."

So this means Meraki sales personnel weren't my friends? so we had design discussion also, it was one of those scenarios where we had to meet certain budget and L3 switch was going to add a lot of additional cost. Minimum, we will go is 25 switches and yes, as of now, the plan is to use just MX.

 

In your experience, would it be terribly difficult to start with MX and then add L3 switch when we get more money/grants etc?

Kind of a big deal

Re: Meraki test Lab suggestions

Are you planning on having VLANs with high inter-vlan data flows?  If so, you really want the MS425's now.

 

If you only have a small number of VLANs or the inter-vlan requirements are low you could add MS425s later as aggregation switches.

 

Personally, I would want to add them now ...

Zak
Here to help

Re: Meraki test Lab suggestions

Good to know!

 

If I just continue our current setup, we will have just 6 VLANs to cover our requirements for now. The only time we see heavy inter VLAN traffic is when we are pushing images to client machines, which we are also working on to make image deployments thinner and add on applications later. Other times, it will be just providing internet to everyone and basics like dhcp relays, DNS etc.

Kind of a big deal

Re: Meraki test Lab suggestions

I have been told by Meraki SE and evangelists that the MX is not intended to be used as a primary routing device, especially not in an environment with a lot of traffic. Most recently during ECMS2, so... I trust them.

 

You've got 4-5 buildings in a campus arrangement, it sounds like? Is that correct? What's your planned architecture? One FW with ISP uplink(s), with all buildings' WAN traffic flowing through it?

 

How many client devices does that represent? Because if you're pushing 400, I'd absolutely get the MX250 for your firewall. Review the sizing guide, especially page 5.

 

If the campus situation is correct, I'd buy some L3 switches right now. Later may not happen. It's also much more complicated to move all your routing once everything is "settled". If you're already doing new equipment installs, it's easier imho.

Zak
Here to help

Re: Meraki test Lab suggestions

Thanks @Nash !

I read through the document you linked and we definitely need MX250.

 

You guessed campus situation correctly, that is the plan for now but I will get something going for L3 switches also. Really appreciate your input!

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