I'm trying to set up cellular fail-over on the Meraki MX devices and I can't believe the ***tshow that this has become. Meraki's documentation is very clear - in order to use the cellular fail-over, a USB modem from the certified list must be used.
My suppliers have told me that all of the certified modems are EOL. Skydus DS is one of the modems on the list and Inseego had this comment:
"The Skyus DS platform is now EOL. ...the newer device is the Skyus DS2.... If connecting with a Meraki appliance, the DS2 will not work. Meraki has not / will not certify us on their platform any longer."
I opened a support case with Meraki and got the response that "Engineering is already working on adding more devices to the list of compatible USB modems." Timeframe? - Nope.
The support engineer, wanting to do something to help me, found some of the old modems on eBay. Points to the rep for wanting to help, but that Meraki engineering and product management let it get to this point is disgraceful.
Some of the devices I'm looking to add 4G failover to do have both Ethernet connections in use (same carrier for both circuits), and others don't. But I would like to set up cellular-specific rules and the MX has to know the circuit is cellular (e.g. be a supported USB modem) for that to be an option.
I'm guessing you're using the Verizon 730L with older MX devices as the compatibility list indicates support was dropped for MX deviecs released after 2017.
It's my general preference to prefer external modems. In theory, that makes it easier to upgrade the modem in the future.
I have to operate as if the Meraki list is accurate. It sounds like you might be thinking the list is out-of-date and that true modem support is really much larger. But I don't have any confidence that is the situation. All the evidence I've seen leads me to believe that support is as poor as the list indicates. That the USB ID needs to match means there's more going on than just Meraki officially testing the equipment. It indicates there is special code that activates only when the applicable USB IDs are detected, and the real problem is likely lack of engineering resources to write the code for the newer devices.
Although not listed, most Huawei modems work. I suspect this is because they mostly have the same interface. I would get one to try and verify it works fine for you.
The team ordered a modem from one of the eBay links Meraki support provided. When it arrived, we noticed it was marked "engineering sample - not for resale". But when connected to the MX, it was recognized. So, we tried to activate service with Verizon and the sales rep could not do it. He got an error "ESN IS NOT E911/NETWORK COMPLIANT". Now this only happened because all of the Verizon modems on the Meraki compatibility list are EOL and can't be purchased new anywhere. I would have rather bought new from a reliable vendor. I keep having to tell myself that Meraki is a major brand owned by Cisco and that I didn't buy firewalls from some guy building them from open source software in his basement. It is an embarrassment that the product team is content with being equivalent to that.
Anyone heard anything new on this? 5 Months latter and there are still no supported modems listed in the documentation. Should Meraki stop advertising 4G cellular failover as an option until this is fixed?
The problem is @StevenJ that the capability varies by country - and mostly by countries that have banned certain vendors. Outside of those vendors, there are very few manufactures.
I would say that in some countries like the USA, you probably can't get a 4G USB modem that will work anymore. No-fault or Meraki's. Just a political issue.
These markets will now be forced to use cellular routers with an Ethernet interface, and you'll have to devote one of the two WAN interfaces to it. Or stick to using MXs with a built-in cellular modem.
It would be good if Meraki could update the compatible modems list to make this more clear. Perhaps just state that this feature is no longer supported in certain countries.
I can purchase a Connected IO CM4NA in the USA. It won't work with the MX because Meraki doesn't support it. To me, this looks like this situation is the fault of Meraki.
And they've added text to the compatibility page admitting as much:
"New USB modem approvals are currently on hold until further notice. All ongoing evaluations for USB modems will be updated on this page as soon as completed. We recommend to upgrade to the integrated/MG models for cellular connectivity and reach out to your sales contact."