All 4G Modems Certified by Meraki are EOL

MarcAEC
Getting noticed

All 4G Modems Certified by Meraki are EOL

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. 

 

https://documentation.meraki.com/MX/Cellular/3G%2F%2F4G_Cellular_Failover_with_USB_Modems

 

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. 

6 REPLIES 6
KRobert
Head in the Cloud

Re: All 4G Modems Certified by Meraki are EOL

@MarcAEC, are you using both ethernet internet uplinks and the cellular failover? While I agree that they should increase their list of 3rd party USB devices, I would say these are the "official devices." There are a couple options I have found to assist in the 4G backup space.

I have used Verizon's 730L on my Meraki MXs/Z3s.
https://www.verizon.com/internet-devices/verizon-global-modem-usb730l/

If you aren't using the secondary ethernet connection, on the MX appliances, we purchased the Skyus 140/160 modems. They provide a direct ethernet connection to 4G cellular and is, what I believe a better solution to cellular backup. It has immediate failover and a lot more features than the cellular back up setup.
https://inseego.com/products/enterprise/skyus-160/.

Honestly, Meraki has been digging deeper in the cellular connection space with the integrations of SIM cards in their MX and Z3 lines (MX67C and Z3C devices). Additionally they recently introduced the MG21 cellular gateway that is just like the Skyus 140/160, but much more ideal since it integrates with the dashboard.
https://meraki.cisco.com/product/security-sd-wan/teleworker/z3c/
https://meraki.cisco.com/product/cellular/integrated-antenna/mg21/

This doesn't make up for Meraki's lack of updating their list of devices, but they do offer a number of solutions.

CMNO, CCNA R+S
MarcAEC
Getting noticed

Re: All 4G Modems Certified by Meraki are EOL

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.

KRobert
Head in the Cloud

Re: All 4G Modems Certified by Meraki are EOL

I've used it on the MX65(W), Z1 and Z3 appliance and they all have worked within the last year. If you are looking for cellular failover specifically, then down the road, I'd budget for the "C" options (if you are looking at the Z3, MX67, or MX68 appliances). Not ideal, but good to note so that the 4G is built-in rather than the USB. I'd say if you can, buy a few different USB 4G dongles and try them out. Skyus, Verizon, Sprint, or whatever provider you have. They might work. All-in-all I still agree the list needs to be updated.
CMNO, CCNA R+S
MarcAEC
Getting noticed

Re: All 4G Modems Certified by Meraki are EOL

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.

PhilipDAth
Kind of a big deal

Re: All 4G Modems Certified by Meraki are EOL

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.

KRobert
Head in the Cloud

Re: All 4G Modems Certified by Meraki are EOL

That's a good point as well @PilipDAth. Huawei will also work, unless you are in the following countries:
Sweden, United States, Australia, the U.K., and France. These countries have banned Huawei.
CMNO, CCNA R+S
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