Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cisco Meraki Announces New MS Switch Features

Cisco Meraki has announced several new features for their MS line of switches.  All of the new features are available for the MS320 and MS420 families of switches and some are available for the MS220 family.  The new features will come to existing customers via the upcoming summer firmware update.  We'll go over them briefly in this blog post.

New Features 

New functionality for all of Cisco Meraki's MS switches include:
  • IPv4 Access Control Lists (ACLs)
  • IPv6 visibility and tracking
New functionality for the MS320 and MS420 switch families include:
  • Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) dynamic routing
  • Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) support
  • DHCP server

Redundancy and Availability

The need for increased uptime has lead to the demand for warm failover options.  VRRP support enables MS320 and MS420 switches to make use of a warm spare.  Basically, if a switch goes offline for some reason, the VRRP can seamlessly route traffic through the spare switch, minimizing network downtime.

Both switches will handle layer 2 traffic during normal operation with the primary switch handling layer 3 traffic.  The switches will share a virtual IP address so that if the primary has a disruption and the change is made to the spare switch, other devices on the network will not need to change addresses as the spare takes over the layer 3 responsibilities.

OSPF dynamic routing and DHCP service address other potential network failures.  OSPF dynamic routing ensures that the network can re-route traffic around a blocked pathway when possible.  DHCP service can address the failure of an existing DHCP server.

Large Deployments and Distributed Sites

As we continue to add complexity to our networks to accommodate the ever expanding numbers and types of devices we need to serve, we have new security and management needs.

Support for IPv4 Access Control Lists is now available on all of Cisco Meraki's MS switches.  This allows the switch to filter and control traffic on the network without a separate firewall.  The switch will now be able to:
  • Prevent communication between hosts on different network subnets
  • Restrict access to internal resources by clients on a guest network
  • Prevent Internet access for certain hosts
  • Ensure that only clients using proper protocols and ports have access to internal servers
  • Prevent use of undesirable protocols and services
If you would like more information about Cisco Meraki MS switches, you can visit us at

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