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Cisco Meraki

Meraki System Maintenance Overview and FAQ

To maintain the health and stability of the Cisco Meraki dashboard and cloud, there are occasions that servers on the backend must re-balance their data and computational load. These planned maintenance operations are referred to as system maintenance and occur as-needed to mitigate potential performance issues that the backend servers could face without remediation. This document is intended to serve as clarification for common questions and concerns regarding this maintenance.

Meraki System Maintenance - What, Why, When

Meraki system maintenance is an integral part of maximizing the reliability and performance of the Meraki dashboard and cloud. At certain operational thresholds, the performance on the backend begins to degrade, which can lead to slowness and poor performance while navigating the dashboard. 

To address these issues with minimal impact to customers, system maintenance is performed. This operation offloads a portion of the data stored on that individual backend server, and all associated tasks and operations involving that data, to a new backend server.

This maintenance is announced via banners on the dashboard of each organization that resides on the server undergoing maintenance; in addition, the window for this maintenance is always scheduled to be "off-hours" for the region the server is hosted in - generally between 9 PM and 5 AM for the region as a whole. The announcements for the maintenance will always be at least 36 hours prior to the downtime and will include the maintenance window, typically three hours in length. 

Below is an example image of the maintenance banner in its current form, for maintenance occurring in the Americas region, along with the link to the out-of-band control documentation.

Note: The times indicated for the maintenance window are in 24-hour format, and will appear in both the local network's time and UTC.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How will upcoming Meraki system maintenance be communicated?

At present, this type of maintenance is intended to be completely transparent to the end customer experience. Banners which indicate the maintenance window are displayed on all organizations that reside on the server to undergoing maintenance. During this planned downtime window, the ability to access the dashboard as well as configuration options and services that rely on the Meraki cloud may be affected, as detailed in the following section.

What is the impact of Meraki system maintenance on an organization? 

System maintenance has no impact on the operation of Meraki devices that are deployed in an active network in regards to their ability to pass traffic. During the maintenance window the maintenance occurs in, there is an expected brief period of planned downtime where the Meraki dashboard will be unavailable to administrators; attempts to login will result in a redirection to a server maintenance page instead. Once maintenance is complete, devices will resume communicating with the Meraki cloud, and administrators will be able to login to the dashboard to configure devices and manage their organization.

What is the impact of Meraki system maintenance on device operation?

All devices will continue to function per their last downloaded configuration during this maintenance downtime; however, anything that relies on the Meraki cloud for functionality will be briefly impacted during this planned downtime. While the backend server is being worked on, the following functionality may be affected:

  • Meraki cloud authentication - this can impact client VPN, if configured to use Meraki cloud authentication instead of Active Directory or a custom RADIUS server
  • Splash pages - both Meraki-hosted and self-hosted, as the dashboard handles the redirection from clients to the self-hosted splash page
  • WPA2-Enterprise with Meraki authentication - clients will not be able to authenticate against wireless networks configured in this manner

Once the Meraki backend server maintenance is complete, all of these impacted services should be available without any need for reconfiguration or remediation on the customer's part.

Is there anything customers can do to plan around or mitigate the potential impact of this maintenance?

This planned downtime is essential to the continued health and stability of the Meraki dashboard and Meraki cloud. As such, there is no way to opt-out or avoid the brief downtime caused by this maintenance.

Is there any event log or email alert generated by the maintenance as a result of device-based reporting?

This maintenance should nor generate any email alerts from the Meraki dashboard. Additionally, devices should not report any abnormal event log messages under the Network-wide > Event log section as part of this maintenance.

Will Meraki server maintenance have to be requested if a customer is expanding into a new region?

No. Meraki server maintenance is performed to maximize the reliability and performance of the Meraki cloud, and is not something that can be requested by a customer, nor is it required for a customer that is expanding into other global regions. When expanding into a new region, the customer will need to create a new organization in the appropriate region as outlined in our article, Creating a Dashboard Account and Organization. Note that multiple organizations can be linked together under a single login by using the same username and password when creating a new account/organization.

How does Meraki server maintenance impact an organization's GDPR compliance?

Meraki server maintenance will not have any impact on an organization's GDPR compliance status. This maintenance does not have an impact on the contents of an organization - it only serves to offload some of one backend server's data to another, within the same geographic region. This offloading occurs solely between the paired data centers in the region of the original server. In short - the compliance status of an organization will be the same as it was before the maintenance.