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Best practice to install remote MX's in HA

Getting noticed

Best practice to install remote MX's in HA

Hi folks.

We're starting our roll-out of around 25 sites across Europe who will all be receiving a HA pair of MX's (64, 100, 250 depending on site size). The hardware is being shipped directly to site by Meraki and we have a varying level of IT support on each site, from dedicated IT staff through to the guy who fills the coffee machine.

We're configuring all the sites ready to support dual internet feeds for future expansion (a task you need the local status page for on an MX64/MX100) and then configuring them for HA. It's a relatively simple task if all the hardware's sat on your desk but a little trickier to achieve on a remote site.

A quick Google this afternoon returns a selection of links but none that really walk through the process in enough detail to make it easy to explain to someone remote.

Does anyone have a handy guide that we could use to help simplify the process and make it easy to follow?

6 REPLIES 6
Head in the Cloud

Re: Best practice to install remote MX's in HA

I would usually send these to me configure the IPs and add everythind to the dashboard as it ships to me. Then unbox and prep them and then send out to sites for the easiest plug and play. That doesn't seem to be an option for you.

 

My pick would be get access to the MX local page. To do that depends on what you have at the site. If you have a router/UTM/Firewall device that handles DHCP on local devices I would have the users plug the MX WAN port to the LAN on the existing router. That will give you a local IP. Then get connected remotely to a device (Windows) on the local network and access the local status page. Configure the WAN settings the way you need it. Wait for the device to get updates and possibly reboot. Then do a physical swap. I would also make sure you do some level of setup in the dashboard before doing this so you have some basic settings you want. Also do this at one site and you will find out things to make the process easier on the next sites.

Getting noticed

Re: Best practice to install remote MX's in HA

Hi @SoCalRacer that's the approach we've been considering as the best fit so far. It does involve an amount of cable swapping by the local guys but I think with a bit of Friday afternoon brainstorming we've found a process that should work.

Getting noticed

Re: Best practice to install remote MX's in HA

Hi @Pugmiester 

 

We faced almost same situation, and we were able to create a small guide for the users to deploy the MXs (HA pair too), get similar devices and you should be able to do it yourself, try to be in their shoes, here are my very high level points

 

1- First make sure the cabinet/rack is able to accommodate the devices and has enough power sockets

2- Second make sure the Internet Modems have enough Ethernet ports and can supply DHCP IP

3- Create a small Diagram of the actual devices using visio, like this one, with the cabling details

4- Your staff should identify the devices for you by Serial number, so you understand what you are doing when configuring them remotely, you can even prepare the config before the devices even gets online

5- For the setup page, just take that part from this documentation, (it worked for us): https://documentation.meraki.com/MX/Installation_Guides/MX64_Installation_Guide

MX connectivity.jpg

 

Getting noticed

Re: Best practice to install remote MX's in HA

Thanks @ali_abbass85, I really like the simple diagram idea. One of the many challenges we have is as part of our company reorganisation, we're now becoming centrally responsible for all of these remote sites without having any idea what's on the site yet.
Kind of a big deal

Re: Best practice to install remote MX's in HA

@SoCalRacer and @ali_abbass85 give good answers.

 

This wont help you with this deployment ...

 

An approach we use is to only use MX with dual WAN uplinks on them (so don't use an MX64 - use MX68).  Then you ask the site to plug in the WAN1 port into any Internet connection that provides DHCP.  Once it comes online in the dashboard you can click on the pencil and configure the WAN2 port (under the uplink tab).  Then get them to plug in the WAN2 to the actual ISP circuit - and repeat the process for WAN1 port.

 

Sometimes the savings in staging costs justifies the upgrade from an MX64 to an MX68.

 

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Getting noticed

Re: Best practice to install remote MX's in HA

Thanks @PhilipDAth, not a bad idea at all, especially if there's not a big difference in cost to begin with.
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