I'm getting frustrated with "phantom options" in Meraki

A model citizen

I'm getting frustrated with "phantom options" in Meraki

Don't get me wrong, Meraki has a lot of things to love, but WHY DO WE HAVE TO CONTACT SUPPORT TO ENABLE CERTAIN THINGS?  




To fix that, we have to contact support.  Oh, but after DH 14 is turned on client VPN quits working.  There is no way to know when you look at the client VPN page that DH group 14 is turned on.  


Why is this so hard.  Just show us the options that are enabled and let us control it.  


Quit wasting your helpdesk time (and our helpdesk time) with options we can't control and your support doesn't understand the significance of.


End of my rant, thanks for listening.

4 Replies 4
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

@lpopejoy : I understand what you are saying 🙂 

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My favorite part is that there's no way for us to audit this stuff over time. Support doesn't appear to have an easy way to do this either - try asking some time.

Meraki Employee
Meraki Employee

Hey @lpopejoy !!!


I can totally understand the spirit of your comment. ...likewise, I was saying similar things back in the day!


(And now brace yourself for my employment bias... O:) 


To your specific call out about MX14 firmware and older, the reality is that it's harder than most think to support a vast array of MX products/chipsets/models/etc AND at the same time maintain a congruent dashboard experience across almost all platforms! ...consider an older MX60 (released in 2012) all the way to MX450!

Likewise, the other balance is maintaining Meraki Simplicity. Meraki has built a legacy of quick, simple, yet powerful configurations via a beautiful dashboard. In doing so, there will potentially be some concessions as we can't know all the nuances of what customizations each and every customer might potentially like/want/etc. Some might then call all our options to daunting and complicated where another would say just right... or vice versa.


One of the most important elements of this... is the seamless flow and logic of the dashboard. While we do develop features quickly, we're always keeping in mind the look, feel, and dashboard experience. We would hate for our dashboard to start to feel cluttered, overly complicated, or unintuitive. So there can definitely be a delay in feature to dashboard visibility too.


**But wait there's MORE!**
Fortunately, we have savvy dashboard DJs like yourself who call in and ask for things via support or use the "Make a Wish" button... those things come to life! Literally, we try to develop directly for the customer needs as they grow!

-->Dashboard things that USED TO BE "Support enable only certain things"...
Wireless RADIUS Auth - Wireless VLAN tagging - Wireless VPN tunneling - Bonjour forwarding - Wireless Minimum bitrate bar - Band Steering - URL Based Walled Garden Domains - Mandatory DHCP - MX WAN2 (small desktop MXs) - WAN2 local status page only... now on dashboard! - 1:Many NAT - MX OSPF/BGP - Inbound Firewall Logging - Umbrella integration - AnyConnect - RADIUS 2.0 timers (Check out this DOC updated today!!!)... and many many many more... 

So keep hammering that dashboard and bubble up all the ideas, thoughts, and ways we can make your experience better because not only do we listen but we have pivoted in product trajectory based on direct feedback from customers like yourself!

and yes... support would love to get some things off their plate too! 😉



I appreciate you taking a stab at answering, and also can appreciate that you have once felt my pain before being brainwashed.  😉


Listen, I know it isn't easy; and I understand the Meraki MO of "simplicity".  But I think you have to ask "simple for who"?  I can tell you there is nothing simple about a 60 min call (on hold) to get Meraki to enable DH 14.  There is nothing simple about the fact that none of my engineers can tell that DH 14 is enabled on a firewall without ANOTHER 60 min call to Meraki support.  There is nothing simple about the fact that most of us don't even know WHICH phantom options even exist - no publicly documented list that I'm aware of.  


I know managing features across different hardware models isn't easy.  But have you ever heard of a little company called Ubiquiti?  They have figured it out.  ...AND they don't even charge a licensing fee.  ...AND their hardware is a fraction of the cost.


So, with all due respect to someone who was once in the trenches with me...  I have two points:

1.  Meraki may look at feature requests, but until that feature request dashboard is public and we can all vote on them and see the rankings, I don't believe that it has the development weight that it is proclaimed to have.   There are too many features that people have had to beg for too long to have implemented (or are still waiting for).

2.  You have the budget to figure this out.  Simple doesn't have to mean "dummy proof".  Simple doesn't have to mean "one size fits all".  It isn't like you are Apple selling an iPhone to a wide audience from senior citizens to children - needing to assume there is no IT knowledge.  You ONLY sell through resellers.  Most of your equipment goes to large enterprise or goes through some IT consultant channel.  I'm trying to tell you what "simple" looks like for us - and I think that should influence your development decisions!  

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