Meraki Releases Cloud-managed Router, Introduces NaaS Program

Meraki Releases Cloud-managed Router

San Francisco-based cloud networking company Meraki unveils the Meraki MX series cloud-managed routers, the company said in a press release. The new models MX50 and MX70 feature cloud-based centralized management, a firewall, internet gateway service, and application traffic shaping. The new routers are a step forward toward an easy-to-use cloud-based environment providing an intuitive browser-based user interface, which does not require trained specialists to operate the system The MX series is designed to offer automatic security, signature and feature upgrades as well as network-wide monitoring.

The key features of the MX series include cloud-based centralized management, layer 7 application firewall and traffic shaper, site to site VPN, routing, DHCP, and a firewall. Additionally, the new hardware devices are able to automatically detect and monitor printers while tracking and showing printer ink levels across remote divisions. At present, Meraki’s cloud management system is implemented in over 17,000 networks worldwide and the new devices are based on the same system. Therefore, MX series routers can be installed in single standalone networks and in large distributed networks alike.

The MX series comes in two editions: Enterprise Edition and Advanced Security Edition. The first one provides cloud-based centralized management, routing, and application traffic shaping. The Advanced SecurityEdition provides additional functionality like site-to-site VPN and next-generation firewall capabilities.

Meanwhile, the company announced the introduction of Networking as a Service, a new pricing model for cloud-managed network infrastructure products. The company offers the NaaS pricing model for all its wired and wireless products.

“Meraki’s Networking as a Service program provides a cost-effective and convenient way for organizations to obtain a Meraki system on a ‘pay as you go’ model. Networking as a Service eliminates upfront capital expense, gives you the option to upgrade your hardware for no cost at any time, and removes the financial risk of owning too much infrastructure,” Hans Robertson, VP of Product Management and Co-Founder at Meraki, said in a company press release.

The MX series routers are also available via Meraki’s new NaaS program, and customers can purchase devices through an annual subscription. The company claims that the all-inclusive price includes the cost of the hardware, software licenses, ongoing, upgrades, maintenance, and support provided by Meraki.

Inevitably, the news will boost company’s financial performance although Meraki boasts partial funding by Google and Sequoia Capital. In January 2008, the company received  USD 20 million in series B funding. Other investors in Meraki, include DAG Ventures and Northgate Capital.

Meraki started as an MIT research project in 2006 and relocated to California once the project turned commercial. Its core business is related to providing wireless networks controlled in the cloud and has 17,000 networks deployed worldwide, according to Meraki. The company offers various products including its flagship Enterprise Cloud Controller, a product allowing wireless access to corporate LAN for offices, industrial firms, retailers, educational institutions, and multi-site locations.

By Kiril Kirilov

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