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Getting Started

Welcome to Cisco Meraki! This guide will walk you through how to get started in Dashboard, the Cisco Meraki cloud management platform. It is intended for network administrators who will be monitoring and managing Cisco Meraki products.

Device Setup

If you have Cisco Meraki devices in-hand that have not yet been installed, please refer to our quick start guides for first-time setup. These will provide information about mounting and initial configuration. 

Once the device is installed and online, it is ready to communicate with Dashboard to receive its configuration and download the latest firmware.

For information about setting up Cisco Meraki's mobile device management platform, Systems Manager, please refer to our Systems Manager Quick Start guide.

Creating a Dashboard Account

In order to manage and configure devices, you'll first need to create an account in Dashboard, if you don't have one already. For more information about how the Dashboard is organized, please refer to our documentation on the Meraki Dashboard Organizational Structure.

  1. Navigate to https://dashboard.meraki.com.
  2. Click Create an account.
  3. Provide the requested information.
    • Email - The email address that will be used to log in to Dashboard, and for administrator communication.
    • Full Name - The name will be displayed for your account in logs, selection fields, and when contacting Support.
    • Password - Passwords must be at least 8 characters long. We recommend using a mix a lower and upper case letters, numbers and special characters.
    • Company - The name of your company or organization. Ex. Cisco Systems, Inc.
    • Address - An address that can be used as the default for network locations and maps within Dashboard.
    • Region - Used to determine where your account will be primarily hosted. Select the closest region for best performance.
  4. Click Create account.

Congratulations! You've successfully created an account in Dashboard. Before continuing, check your email and click the confirmation link that was sent.

Creating a Network

Now that you have a Dashboard account, it's time to create a network. Networks are used to contain devices and their configurations. It's common practice to create a network for each physical location. For example:

  • NYC - Wireless and Security Appliance
  • SF - Wireless and Switches

To create a network:

  1. Log in to https://dashboard.meraki.com using the account created earlier.
  2. Click create a new network.
  3. Provide the requested information.
    • Name - The name that will be used to identify this network in Dashboard. Ex. "NYC - Wireless"
    • Network type - Choose which type of Cisco Meraki device(s) will be managed in this network.
      • Wireless - Wireless access points (MR Series).
      • Security Appliance - Security appliance (MX Series) or teleworker gateway (Z Series). Only one per network.
      • Switch - Access and aggregation switches (MS Series).
      • Phone - VoIP endpoints (MC Series)
      • Camera - Security cameras (MV Series) 
      • Combined hardware - Can contain a mix of the above three, but only a single security appliance.
      • EMM - Systems Manager, the Cisco Meraki Enterprise Mobility Management platform.
    • (Optional) Devices - If an order number or device serial number is available, it can be added here.
      1. Enter an order number (e.g. 5Sxxxxxx) or serial numbers (e.g. Qxxx-xxxx-xxxx) in the box next to the blue Claim button, one per line. 
      2. Click Claim.
      3. Click the checkbox next to any desired devices, and they will be added to the network once created.
  4. Click Create network.

You've successfully created a Dashboard network. This is where you'll be able to configure and manage your Cisco Meraki devices.

Adding Devices and Licenses

While a network can be configured without any devices in it, adding a device to a network allows it to download its configuration. You'll also need to add the licenses for those devices. This can easily be done using the order number associated with your devices and licenses.

  1. Within Dashboard, navigate to Organization > Inventory using the left-side navigation bar.
  2. In the box next to the blue Claim button, enter any order numbers, one per line.
    • If this box does not appear, devices were added already. Click Claim in the upper right corner of the page to bring up the dialog.
    • If an order number is not available, serial numbers for devices can also be entered.
  3. Click Claim.

At this point, a list of devices should appear in the inventory. These devices can then be added to networks, like the one created earlier.

  1. Click the checkbox next to any devices that should be added to the network.
    Note: Remember that only a single MX or Z series device can be contained in a given network, unless a secondary MX is to be used as a warm spare. To configure two MX appliances for warm spare functionality, follow these instructions to add the first MX appliance, then refer to our documentation on MX Warm Spare for more info.
  2. Click Add to above the inventory list.
  3. Under Existing network select the network that was created earlier.
  4. Click Add to existing.

The device(s) selected will now be located in the network and are ready to be configured.

Manually Adding Licenses

If the order number associated with a license is not known, or the license was ordered separately from the devices, it may be necessary to add a license manually. This Enterprise Cloud license key should have been received via email from shipping@meraki.com or your authorized Meraki distributor.

  1. Within Dashboard, navigate to Organization > License info.
  2. Click the link to Add another license.
  3. For the Operation choose "License more devices".
  4. Enter the License key in the box provided. Enter the key exactly as provided.
  5. Click Add license.
  6. On the following page, confirm the accuracy of the details show. Then click Add license.

The license will now be added to the organization. If additional licenses need to be added, at this time, repeat the steps above.

Next Steps

At this point, you're ready to start configuring and setting up your network. This section will help direct you toward the right documentation to keep moving forward. For more information Dashboard and any Cisco Meraki devices, check out our documentation.

Adding More Administrators

Now that you have an organization with a network and devices, we recommend that you add at least one other administrator to the organization. This provides redundancy in the event one administrator is locked-out due to failed password attempts, or otherwise unable to access Dashboard.

Configuring a Network

To begin configuring your network, simply navigate to the desired configuration options in Dashboard and make your changes. Once your devices are online, they will automatically download any configuration changes. For more information about the configuration options available, refer to the respective product manuals below. 

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