My team at 74bit, Inc. and I have been deploying Meraki with almost all our clients over the last 2 years. We truly enjoy the products, just like many other admins. Meraki's ability to put information we need and want at our fingertips is mind-blowing compared to the way we had been working up till this point. Visibility of your network is Meraki’s main draw, but when it comes to see seeing what’s going with Meraki gear itself they really leave a lot to be desired.
Meraki’s flow seems to be to pre-announce things on their blog https://meraki.cisco.com/blog/, which they mix in with other non-gear related posts, and then at some point just upgrading their “server nodes’ (see this wireless tech day video) for the new feature prompting network admins for firmware updates if required. The most current example of this is the firmware update that includes Automatic MPLS to VPN failover, MX Configuration Templates, MX Splash and Intrusion Prevention (IPS).
Our team manages quite a few Meraki MX Security Appliances for different organizations. As expected, the first of these update devices was my personal MX60 on March 18th. I have the “beta” option checked to “yes”, so I expect to see things first on my network. On May 23rd and May 29th we received notification about two other clients. Today we still have a number of devices without this update.
I decided to try requesting a firmware upgrade for a client on May 30th via a support case with Meraki. We received a reply on June 2nd that our firmware had been scheduled.
Another odd case relates to a customer for whom we deployed two MX60’s over the week of June 7th. On June 23rd we received a “Scheduled maintenance” notice via email that they could now upgrade to the new firmware with support for the above features. So, a brand new, never configured device doesn’t get the newest firmware?
I am really not sure what the strategy is with this, but I know that my team and I would really like more transparency around it. A few questions my team and I would like answered are:
- Is beta really a beta, or just the first group to get updates?
- Do we need to be more vocal with support to get the firmware updates sooner?
- Should we just not care unless it’s a feature we are dying to have?