Catalyst and Meraki – World’s Collide!

Sep 1, 2022 | Networking, News, Wireless

Some of you may have seen one of the big announcement’s out of Cisco Live 2022 was the announcement that the Cisco Catalyst portfolio can now be managed via the Meraki Dashboard. Customers will be able to choose to use either DNA Center or the Meraki Dashboard. From CRN:

Cisco is making the conversion capability available in three different ways for customers. The first, said Gregory Dorai, vice president of product, is through common hardware. Instead of a customer having to choose between Meraki or Catalyst devices, the company is introducing universal hardware that will allow customers to choose which management platform is right for them — Cisco DNA Center, the traditional Catalyst management platform for premise-based deployments, or the Meraki dashboard for customers that are further down the cloud path, he said.

Today, the Catalyst 9200, 9300 and 9500 switching platforms will be supported in the Meraki dashboard with two options:

  • Cloud Monitoring (monitor only)
  • Cloud Management (monitor and configuration)

Some other key notes:

  • The minimum firmware version to run on these switches is IOS-XE 17.3 or higher.
  • Fully managed Catalyst switches will need to have DNA Advantage (DNA-A) or DNA Essentials (DNA-E).
  • Monitored Catalyst switches will use a Meraki license.
  • The difference between the two switching licenses is that DNA-E will not include application visibility or client usage data.

INW has many customers that have a mix of Catalyst for “core” switching with Meraki at the “access” layer. This currently requires two management planes and we’re looking forward to the developments in this space as we take a “cautiously optimistic” approach to this and will monitor the development and stability of this integration before endorsing a full integration. This is certainly a welcome devlopment that shows that Cisco is listening to customers and partners alike.

Before I leave you, please check out this great session reviewing the current functionality: