Meraki Health – Your Wireless User Watchguard

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If you have ever worked in a technical position, it’s no secret that not every company can be privileged enough to have a 24/7 staff or even a large daytime staff at that. Meraki from Cisco is upping the game yet again to combat this problem with Meraki Health. Whether you are a large or small enterprise, the goal is to receive the maximum amount of productivity from every employee. That is where Meraki Health comes in.

This new feature-set being brought the Meraki ecosystem of tools is meant to reduce the time troubleshooting wireless client performance and connectivity issues. There are so many places that an admin can gather data to troubleshoot wireless issues that Meraki set out to automate the process to save time in the long run. Within the Meraki Health dashboards, you are able to see a health snapshot of exactly where (and on which device) your users might be seeing performance issues:

Meraki Health Monitoring

The key here though is the logs and user data are kept in the cloud, and they are kept for 30 days. Use that historical data to trace user issues that may have also happened last week for instance. All that means is MORE DATA to help solve the issue. That was one of my main questions with this: what type of retention we were going to be able to expect. Data is great, historical data is better. I work in a healthcare environment with repeat patients coming in weekly for instance. If they are having network issues I want to troubleshoot, realizing that they were having the same issue last week and having the logs to support that, means a lot to me. Comparing multiple occurrences helps build a case when troubleshooting.

Meraki Health isn’t just a tool to look at the wireless network for issues though. As shown in the photo above, the troubleshooting spans from the AP to the Switch to the MX Security Appliance and beyond. Each of these devices in your Meraki network can provide data to help troubleshoot the issues at hand.

Everyone Blames the Network

Everyone loves to blame the network as the root of all evils. Okay, that’s just my past network engineer experiences coming out, sorry. The truth is, it’s not always the network (OBVIOUSLY). A lot of the time it might be the web application that your users are connecting to. This is where Meraki Smart Thresholds and Web App Health come into play.

Each application in the cloud runs differently based on what it is doing and therefore, there are different expectations from latency, throughput, etc. Meraki has both prebuilt and customizable web app profiles that you can use to monitor for performance:

Whether using the Smart Thresholds Meraki has included or using your own, I think this is a worthwhile way to quickly determine if the problem is on your end or with an application in the cloud. Nothing is worse than wasting time troubleshooting on your network when the problem is 1,000 miles away in all reality. With the new Web App Health tool, multiple performance samples are taken from different points along the traffic path to determine which device is causing sub-par performance for a specific web app. Again, another feature gathering data for you to save time in the troubleshooting process: something I think we can all appreciate.

See More for Yourself

I was recently lucky enough to be part of the¬†Tech Field Day Virtual Cisco Live Experience where the Meraki team presented these new features. If you missed the webcast, you’re in luck! It was recorded and is available to watch below:

If you are looking for even more information, there is a great outline of Meraki Health available here: https://documentation.meraki.com/zGeneral_Administration/Cross-Platform_Content/Meraki_Health 

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