New Cisco Meraki MREye for Wi-Fi performance Monitoring
During Mobility Field Day 9, Cisco offered a sneak peek into a new feature called “MREye” to be released soonish – in the second half of 2023 (2H23). A quick grounding to understand “marketing dates”: whenever a vendor offers a delivery date of 2H23, for example, customers hear July 1st, 2023, while the vendor commits to December 31, 2023.
As part of Cisco’s strategy for Proactive Wi-Fi Service Assurance, MREye allows MR/CW APs (those supporting Wi-Fi 6 / Wi-Fi 6E with MR30+ firmware) to connect to neighbouring APs to perform continuous connectivity and experience monitoring.
Leveraging the scanning radio, available in all supported APs, one AP is used to test connectivity to neighbouring APs. As a result, no overlay is required as the solution makes use of your existing AP and cloud investment. This means MREye allows Wi-Fi Practitioners to monitor their WLANs 24/7 and proactively alert on connectivity or performance issues.
MREye monitors and evaluates the following aspects of the Wi-Fi experience:
- Client onboarding
- DHCP address
- Captive portal on-boarding pages load
- Wireless continuity
- DHCP address
- Access to critical business applications
- Network Services
- Firewall rules
While this type of testing in not new to the industry, alternate solutions have required overlays in one form or another. Cisco brings value to your investment by leveraging the wireless hardware and cloud infrastructure you have already installed and licensed without the need for additional hardware or license subscriptions. As Wi-Fi is often blamed for any and every poor user experience, MREye provides WLAN Practitioners with a better perspective to focus on root cause issues leading to reduced time to resolution.
As this is the initial release of MREye, additional features and support will be added to increase MREye capabilities and workflow. At present, some features to make MREye more useful in an enterprise environment are on the roadmap. The features include:
- * EAP-based authentication leveraging certificates
- Defining which neighbouring APs (all neighbouring APs, specific neighbours, or just the loudest)
- Defining radios which radios to test (“best” radio, specific bands, all bands)
It’s true, measurements are limited to quantifying the AP-to-AP experience, not the client to AP experience; however, this is still reflective of what clients could be experiencing and easily allows remote verification of issues reported in trouble tickets.MREye visibility is already fully integrated into the Meraki dashboard allowing holistic views from the network-level along with the ability to drill down in AP-level troubleshooting while focusing on timeline specifics.
Now, thinking ahead, just imagine the insights that could be gleamed with all of this MREye data fed into an AIOps engine to synthesize and trend performance anomalies across your network…
I am sure more details will be made available next month during Cisco Live, June 4-8, in Las Vegas, NV. Will I see you there?
Cisco Live US 2023 – Details / Registration
Cisco Presents at Mobility Field Day 9
Applied AI: Evolution of Cisco Wireless