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Cisco Meraki discovery and visibility
Updated: September 2, 2021

Cisco Meraki discovery and visibility

The Cisco Meraki is a unique network equipment vendor that decided to move all management related functions to the cloud. It may sound not completely secure or unusual to some, but in 2020 the market seems ready for that.

With Cisco Meraki, you can build pretty much any type of standard network infrastructure including wireless Access Points, switches, routers, or firewalls. Some might say that moving the management of any network behind the perimeter is insecure. But on the other hand, we live in times where whole data centers are moving to the cloud and no one is protesting against that.

Discovery of Meraki's API

The Meraki is a complete shift from the command-line interface (CLI) to the Dashboard in the cloud. The network administrator managing the Cisco Meraki infrastructure is supposed to interact only with the Meraki Dashboard, nothing else. So how can we pull the network inventory?

Well, one way or another would be to go to the Dashboard and export the data manually. But that doesn't scale. The Cisco Meraki offers its application programming interface (API). The current version is Version0 and it offers enough information already to collect at least the basic data.

Cisco Meraki inventory in IP Fabric

The discovery of Cisco Meraki equipment is available in IP Fabric starting with version 3.5.0. That is to say, IP Fabric uses API to connect to the Meraki Dashboard and collect data.

Adding Meraki API to IPF

If you already have your API URL and key, you can add it to IPF under “Settings – Advanced – Vendors API”. Further, you can limit the scope of discovery by setting your organization IDs. This makes the discovery process faster.

But you can even use the generic API URL without any organization filter to discover as much as possible.

Cisco Meraki and API settings in IP Fabric

Initiating Cisco Meraki discovery

The equipment discovery starts as any other discovery for legacy equipment, apart from using API instead of SSH or Telnet.

Cisco Meraki in IP Fabric's inventory

IP Fabric is more than just a basic inventory. Apart from the obvious, it provides very detailed information for many of supported technologies. The Meraki technology discovery is limited by the Dashboard's API capabilities.

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