Monitoring the Wireless Network
The Meraki Cloud makes it easy to monitor the status of many Access Points within a network as well as the traffic passing on the wireless network. Larger distributed customers will likely have multiple organizations. Meraki offers a number of Organization level monitoring tools in addition to the monitoring tools available at the network level that are discussed in this article.
Wireless Summary Report
A network administrator can obtain rich network analytics from the Summary Report page under the Monitor tab. This report provides information about the Meraki wireless network since its inception, including some of the following statistics:
- Top 10 APs by data consumption and number of client logins
- Top 10 clients by data consumption
- Usage breakdown by SSID and AP model
- Top client device manufacturers and OS types by number of client logins and data consumption
The report can be customized and viewed for statistics over a certain time period to allow for statistical analytics for a specific day, week or month.
The report can be e-mailed on a configurable schedule for constant visibility. Administrators can configure one or more e-mail addresses under the ‘Schedule monthly e-mails’ tab if they wish to send the summary report to multiple people. They can also add their organization’s logo to the report.
The Clients page shows how the network is being used and by which client devices.
The page includes the following features:
- Displays clients that have associated on any SSID advertised by the wireless network, or only those clients that have associated on a given SSID. This can be selected using the SSID drop down menu at the top of the screen.
- Search for clients by MAC, OS, device type or NetBIOS/Bonjour name.
- Zoom control, which enables the administrator to see only those clients that have associated within the specified time span.
- The administrator can also click on the “blocked list” to view only those clients on the MAC blacklist.
- Like the Access Points page, the Clients page has a list that can be customized (adding, removing, and reordering columns) and resorted (by clicking on a column header).
- The “Description” column shows the device name, if it can be determined (i.e., through NetBIOS); otherwise, it simply displays the device’s MAC address.
- The “Operating system” column shows the operating system of the device, which is determined through OS fingerprinting (the unique pattern by which a particular operating system requests an IP address via DHCP).
- An administrator can mouse over a row in the device list to see a new line appear in the usage graph, which depicts the fraction of total bandwidth that the highlighted device used.
Access Point List
The Access Point list is a convenient way to make it easier to find, sort and filter APs in a large network with hundreds or thousands of APs is using AP tagging.
lphanumeric tags can be assigned to access points to create groups of APs by location (e.g. Building_1, Floor_4, West_Campus, etc.) or by other criteria. The Access Points page is searchable by tag to make filtering for specific groups of APs fast and easy.
AP’s can be tagged individually on the AP details page, or in the AP page by selecting multiple AP’s and choosing Action->Add Tags.
Export Access Point Data
List data on the Access Points pages can be exported in XML format for further processing and analysis. An administrator can click on the “Download as XML” link to retrieve the data. Most spreadsheet programs, such as Microsoft Excel, can open an XML file.
Maps and Floor Plans
The aerial map shows the latest information about the APs in the network. The options in the upper-right corner enable an administrator to view the APs on top of a graphical map, a satellite image, or a hybrid view. In the upper-left corner, the arrow controls enable the administrator to pan. Panning can also be achieved by clicking-and-dragging the map. Below the arrow controls, a scale control enables the administrator to adjust the zoom level. The zoom level can also be controlled with the magnifying glass next to the arrow controls, or by double- clicking on a particular region to zoom into.
An administrator can click on an AP to get its name, its mesh mode (mesh gateway or mesh repeater), the number of users that have associated to it in the last 24 hours (also indicated by the number inside the AP), and the amount of data that it has transferred in the last 24 hours. Gray lines between APs represent mesh links. Mousing over a mesh repeater highlights a line that shows the path that the AP is taking through the mesh network to reach a mesh gateway (and the LAN).
AP Color Codes
On the map and in the list the status of the AP is indicated by its color:
- Green: The AP is not reporting any problems.
- Yellow: The AP is up, but experienced a problem recently. In some cases,
the administrator may be able to clear this alert on the Access Points page.
- Red: The AP is currently down.
- Gray: The AP has been down for more than 7 days
MR access points can be configured to send syslog data to any server that accepts Syslog traffic on the Configure > Network-wide settings page. Currently, the following information is supported:
- Event logs
- URL logs
- Traffic flows