One of the major benefits of using the Cisco Meraki Dashboard is an admin's ability to monitor the status of any network device, without the use of 3rd party management tools or solutions. A device's status page contains a lot of useful, up-to-date information about the device and connected hosts, including a number of "Live Tools" that can be used to see current information about the device. Live Tools include real-time usage statistics, client visibility, ping, throughput, and the ability to blink the LEDs on a switch. This article details the features and functions of the Live Tools available for the MS switch series.
Note: The information generated via the Live Tools will only be accurate if the device is online and communicating with Dashboard. For more information about troubleshooting a bad connection to the Cisco Meraki Cloud Controller, please refer to the following KB article - Connection Loss to Cisco Meraki Cloud Controller
Accessing the MS Live Tools
The MS Live Tools provide information relevant to a specific switch, therefore the Live Tools are available on a switch's overview page. The following instructions describe how to reach a switch's overview page and find the Live Tools for that device:
- In Dashboard, navigate to Monitor > Switches.
- Select the switch you would like to use (by clicking on the switch's name, not the checkbox).
- On the overview page, scroll down to the Live Tools section, which should look like the image below:
Using the MS Live Tools
Each of the Live Tools can be used to perform remote troubleshooting on the device. This section details each tool that is available, as well as some use cases for each.
Cable Test Live Tool
This tool allows an admin to test the cables connected to ports on the switch. In the top box, enter a port number, multiple port numbers (separated by commas), or a range of port numbers (e.g. 1-24). If there is a cable plugged into the port(s), this test will determine the link speed, cable length, and twisted pair status of cable(s) connected. This test can be a quick way to determine if a faulty cable needs to be replaced, therefore narrowing down possible causes of a network issue.
For more detailed information on his test, please refer to the following KB article - Using the Cable test Live Tool
This table shows MAC addresses that the switch is currently aware of, and which port/VLAN their traffic is being forwarded through. There is also a search bar at the top, which can be used to search for a specific mapping. If traffic from a particular MAC does not appear to be tagged with the appropriate VLAN, this table can be used to quickly determine if the switch's VLAN tagging rules are misconfigured.
If a client machine has been configured with Wake-on-LAN enabled, an admin can specify that host's MAC address to send a magic packet and wake the host machine. An admin can also specify a VLAN, and broadcast a magic packet out on that VLAN. This tool can be useful in a network environment that utilizes Wake-on-LAN for remote power management.
By specifying a locally connected device's MAC address or client name, this tool uses ARPing to determine if the host device is online and responding to network traffic. An admin can have multiple ping tests running at the same time, which can be useful for comparing results. This tool can be a quick way to check a device's status on the network, as well as latency between this switch and the device.
For more information on the Ping live tool in Dashboard, please refer to the following KB article - Using the Ping Tool on dashboard
This tool will determine the approximate throughput between this device and the Cisco Meraki Cloud Controller. To use this tool, click on the play button and wait approximately 10 seconds. The device will send traffic to the cloud controller and report the approximate calculated speed on the tool. This can be used to get a general idea of throughput for upstream traffic from this device, which can be helpful in the event of a suspected bandwidth issue.
Note: Reported speeds may be less than actual speeds, as the test will be affected by other switch behaviors and functions. For a more accurate throughput test between two nodes, please use iperf or another throughput test.
For more information on using the Dashboard throughput test, please refer to the following KB article - Throughput Test to the Web from Cisco Meraki Devices
By clicking the play button, this tool will cause all LEDs on this switch to blink. This can be a quick way to identify unlabeled switches in a rack. This tool can also be used to scare a colleague once you've convinced them the switch is haunted.
This tool can be used to soft reboot a switch. This tool will temporarily disconnect all clients, so it is advised only to reboot the device during scheduled maintenance hours or in the event of an emergency. Because this reboot is only a soft reboot, it will retain its current configuration upon rebooting. For information on returning a Cisco Meraki device to factory settings, please refer to the following KB article - Resetting Cisco Meraki Devices to Factory Defaults