Thursday, September 3, 2015

Meraki Systems Manager gets a Functional Boost in "Sentry"

A mobile culture isn't just alive and well these days, it's a thriving dependency. From cell phones, to laptops, to tablets, internet access on the go has grown from a trendy luxury to an essential utility. The phenomenon comes new challenges at the enterprise level when it comes to device management, tracking, and security.

For every time you've needed to ask a friend or spouse to call your lost phone in the hopes of learning its whereabouts, an IT administrator has stressed over protecting the sensitive material a suddenly lost device has access to. It's not just missing equipment network admins need to worry about, though. Most of the population carries a smart phone and looks for a free WiFi network to join when visiting businesses. In today's mobile world, administrators need to not only provide seamless internet access for everyone from the CEO to customers, but also secure corporate network access based on who someone is and their role in the company. Never mind figuring out how to remotely wipe the laptop a sales guy left in a rental car and GPS tracking for the hand-scanner a 3rd shift worker never remembers to hang up.

The time for mobile device management solutions has never been more needed, whether an employee needs an iPhone provisioned for corporate network access or guests a simple WiFi connection to browse cat memes.

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Meraki is working to alleviate these headaches in their MDM solution, Systems Manager, and for small to medium sized networks with less than 100 devices, they're even doing it for free. What's more, a slew of new functionality has been extended to Systems Manager this summer in Meraki's latest feature set, called Sentry. Where Systems Manager handles general tracking and monitoring functions, Sentry automates device adoption, authentication, and access control. Oh, and it's still free up to 100 devices. 

Systems Manager drilled in client view

System Manager and Sentry features include:
  • Unified multi-platform device management
  • Robust security policy enforcement (NEW with Sentry)
  • Scalable endpoint configuration
  • On-device content management
  • Secure support for BYOD initiatives
  • Automatic device classification
  • Automatically apply network policies by device type (NEW with Sentry)
  • Analyze network activity with automatic reporting
Getting started is pretty simple. Just follow these steps or check out the video below: 
  1. Login to your Meraki dashboard account via If you already have a dashboard account, go to the Network drop-down menu at the top of the Meraki dashboard page, select "Create a network," and create a Systems Manager network.
  2. If you are a brand new user, sign up for a dashboard account and follow the on-screen instructions at: Select "Create a network" from the Network drop-down menu.
  3. If you are planning to manage iOS devices, you will need to set up an Apple push notification certificate. Instructions for obtaining this certificate can be found on the Organization > MDM page. To complete this process, you must have a valid Apple ID.
  4. The various methods for enrolling iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS X clients can be found on the MDM > Add devices page.
  5. You're good to go - happy enrolling!

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