Noah Pettit | September 5, 2017

A Fresh Approach to Managing Meraki Firmware

Managing firmware doesn't have to be complex; Cisco Meraki continues to find ways to improve reliability and decrease network downtime.  

Introduction

At Interlaced, we strive every day to make IT management processes easier and less stressful for our clients. This also extends to firmware management, where we strive to find the perfect balance between control and automation so that you will have peace of mind knowing that your macOS and iOS device fleet is current with the most recent security patches, features, and updates.   

New Meraki Dashboard Capabilities: Three exciting new features

While most of our clients find the process easy and intuitive, some have voiced concerns over issues of flexibility and transparency within the Cisco Meraki framework. To this end, we would like to outline some of the capabilities you can find in the newly updated Meraki dashboard that provide solutions to problems that were evidently of concern to the wider community of Meraki users. In the new dashboard configuration, IT admins will have more control and deeper visibility of the firmware update process without the worry of compromising the reliability of the update engine. The first thing you’ll notice in the updated Meraki dashboard is a new configuration of the Firmware Upgrades page. You’ll begin, as always, by accessing your Overview, where you will be able to see all of your recent updates, any scheduled or pending updates, and a complete list of current stable code versions for each and every product in their line, along with complete details for each new patch version. The next thing you’ll see is that you’ll be able to roll back to the previous firmware version within 14 days of a new update. This will return all devices on the network to the version that was most recently in effect prior to your last update. This, in effect, allows IT admins to respond more quickly to issues that may have been caused by the new firmware update, even if the devices with firmware issues are grouped with others in your deployment scheme. Clicking on “All Networks” gives you a complete, sortable catalog of every network in your company and their individual firmware versions. You will then be able to update each network to “release candidate” (a firmware version still in testing prior to being deemed stable), “latest beta version” (self-explanatory), or “latest stable firmware version”.
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The network will show the firmware status, which will include:

1. Upgrade available Your network is ready to be updated to the appropriate release candidate firmware, if a new version is available. 2. Up-to-date (stable release candidate available) You are running the latest version, but eligible to be updated to a beta firmware version or a stable release candidate. 3. Up to date (beta available) You are running the latest version, but can update to newer beta firmware. 4. On Beta (beta available) You are already running a version of the beta firmware, but that there is a more recent version available. 5. Up to date As you might assume, this means that you are running the most recent versions available and cannot currently be upgraded. The third change to the Meraki dashboard is that admins can now self-upgrade to the current recommended firmware versions without having to contact support. This streamlines the process and makes it much easier for clients to gain fast access to bug fixes and new features as soon as they are available. Plus, once the network is upgraded, admins can now access detailed notes for any new or alternate versions in addition to any interim versions in order to gain perspective on what changes to expect going forward.  

Simplified Upgrade Initiation

To initiate the upgrade, you will simply select the network or networks you want to update and click on “Bulk Upgrade” at the top of the page. With these exciting new features, we are confident that you will enjoy greater upgrade transparency, and that they will simplify the firmware update process for end-users. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Interlaced today.  

Noah Pettit|

Currently serving a Vice President at Interlaced, Noah is a brand visionary and growth guru, tightly integrating various aspects of our company culture.

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