CRN Exclusive: New Integration Bridges The Gap Between Traditional Cisco, Cisco Meraki Cloud Environments


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Cisco Systems is making it possible to have single-pane-of-glass management for Cisco Meraki and its traditional on-premises offerings through new integration with DNA Center, the compay’s centralized network monitoring and management dashboard.

"This is bridging the gap between Cisco traditional and Cisco Meraki cloud environments," said Todd Carriker, founder and managing partner for Rhino Networks, an Asheville, N.C.-based solution provider and Cisco partner. "It's more of a simple, single-pane-of-glass management for your core network – from security and firewalls to your switching to your wireless, then on to software. They're trying to refine the integration and components together as a collective whole. It's great news."

San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco unveiled the integration of Meraki with DNA Center at Cisco Partner Summit 2017, being held in Dallas this week.

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Cisco said a significant number of enterprise customers use both Meraki and traditional Cisco products in their networks. Approximately 173,000 customers have purchased some Meraki products, generating more than $1 billion in annual sales for the company, according to Cisco Meraki leader Todd Nightingale.

Nightingale, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Meraki, told CRN that the DNA Center integration will give customers one place to manage and visualize all of their Cisco networks.

"It's the first time we've done anything like this," said Nightingale. "As more customers transition to Meraki, this gives them the power to really manage and visualize hybrid networks in a much easier way. It's an enormous opportunity for partners."

For example, Nightingale said one of Cisco's largest hospitality customers has Meraki in its hotels globally but a traditional Cisco network inside its headquarters, including Cisco Catalyst switches and Aironet access points.

"This is going to allow partners to have a tool that can monitor that whole combined network in a single platform. DNA Center is able to manage both sides of the portfolio. It's a huge step forward," said Nightingale.

The first integration of Meraki into DNA Center will become available later this year and will provide visibility into integrated networks, according to Cisco. The integrated management capabilities will be available with future updates of DNA Center. 

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