So, I've sat through a few webinars and sales pitches. Now we've purchased the equipment to swap all our Cisco devices out with Meraki.
What's the best way/practices for getting started? Should I be creating templates for each device and then binding it to the hardware?
Any tips on streamlining the process of configuring multiple devices?
Best practice would be to devide your sites up into types (e.g. small, medium and large). Then you can create and configure templates for each of these types.
Then you add all your devices to your inventory and start creating networks linked to the templates you created earlier.
If you're new to Meraki, you may want to just start experimenting a bit without rollout. Try to repeat the things you saw in the webinars and get familiar with the features you want to use.
Take your time and start with a POC. Don't go all-in live and in production on day one.
Create a test environment network. Play around with it and see what you like and don't like. That way you have lets say your initial feel of it.
Absolutely agree with others here, feel free to take your time. The beauty with dashboard is you can configure equipment before plugging it in, and once you go live can easily see any changes you make via the change/event logs
One thing to remember is the hierarchy.
You have your Organisation which sits as the 'logical warehouse' for your inventory and licensing.
Under the Organisation you will have your Networks, which personally, I like to class as groups of devices.
For instance you can have all of your MR access points under one Network, and all your MV Cameras in another
(and all of these devices can be at the same site!)
So it is up to you how you want to class your sites/'Networks'
Before you explore templates you can also assign any new Networks to mimic the settings of other deployments:
Good luck with your Meraki Deployment!
I've played around with the dashboard for the past week or so to try and familiarize myself with it. Now I'm deploying a few devices.
So far just a couple around the IT office so that they are in a controlled area. I'm working on configurations for the rest of them. I'm confused if it would be better to create a templates or just use the clone feature.
Also, can you create a template from a configured device? This would be used for backups or hardware failure.
There are two types of templates. Network Templates and Switch templates. The later is the only one you create from a configured device.
Here is documentation outlining Network Templates:
These are based on groups of devices, so you could have a combined 'Network template' of the full stack of devices or a 'Network template' for just AP's
And here is a good doc for Switch Templates:
With templates you can make changes across multiple networks really quickly but for all intents and purposes they work the exact same way. Unfortunately, you don't really get that with the clone feature, but you do get quick Network provisioning.
When cloning, there is no permanent link between the two networks, so changes on one won't influence the other. The idea of templates is that changes you do in the template are rolled out to all networks based off that template.
It's important to understand that the templates are built on a "network" level, not a device level. So it would contain the configuration of the MX, the switches and the access points for that network "type".
You can indeed create a template from an existing "network", not device.
This is why many create an network and use it as the template, to clone it and do specific configurations on each network.
thats why i haven´t used a real template, as it would affectthe networks linked to it.
important point from Brecht.
We use templates as we have thousands of networks, but beware that some functions are not allowed on a child override basis. An example is with traffic shaping. I'm not able to go in on an individual basis and change those settings. That said we have to do what works when managing a large number of networks in multiple orgs.
I have about networks and don't use templates for fear of (at least when I created them) configurations being overwritten that are not the same between networks. It may be better now but when I created them cloning worked very well. Any changes I need made to all of them; unfortunately, has to be done per network.