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Recommended Configuration for Trunk Link to Non-Meraki Switches

The default configuration on most enterprise switches will work out-of-box as vendors tend to use a default switch port config of "trunk all, with native vlan 1". It is important to note that if connecting a Meraki MS switch to another vendor's switch, the other end of the link must be identically configured. If this is not the case, the link may not operate as expected due to VLAN or Native VLAN mismatch. Common misconfigurations include:

  • switchport mode
  • trunk encapsulation type (must be dot1q)
  • native VLAN mismatch
  • allowed VLAN mismatch


In the following scenario, we have a Cisco Meraki access switch uplinked to an other (non-Cisco Meraki) switch. The network administrator has configured the Cisco Meraki uplink port as TRUNK Native VLAN1 with allowed vlans 1,10,20,30, and left the other side configured at defaults (trunk native vlan 1):


In this scenario, users connected to the Meraki switch on VLAN 20 are not able establish a connection due to a non-similar configuration on the trunk links. The recommended configuration is to have both side of the trunk configured identically:


Cisco Meraki switch configuration example (assuming connection is on port 13)

Recommended Configurations

The following configuration examples outline how a non-Meraki peer switch's trunk link should be configured, to best operate with the example above.

Cisco Catalyst

Assuming connection is on port 1:

interface GigabitEthernet1/0/1
 switchport mode trunk
 switchport trunk encapsulation dot1q
 switchport trunk native vlan 1
 switchport trunk allowed vlan 1,10,20,30

Dell PowerConnect

Note: Dell PowerConnect switches have LLDP disabled and Transparency enabled by default. In order to make use of the topology feature in Dashboard, LLDP must be enabled and Transparency must be disabled. The topology will not update immediately and may take some time and is not real-time.


Assuming connection is on port 1:

  interface ethernet 1/g1
    switchport mode general
    switchport general allowed vlan add 10,20,30 tagged 

HP ProCurve

Assuming connection is on port 1:

switch1(config)# vlan 1
switch1(config)# vlan 10
switch1(config)# vlan 20
switch1(config)# vlan 30
switch1(vlan-1)# untagged 1
switch1(vlan-10)# tagged 1
switch1(vlan-20)# tagged 1
switch1(vlan-30)# tagged 1

Other Devices

Since Cisco Meraki VLAN tagging operates on the 802.1q tagging standard, any standard-compliant switch can be configured to operate in tandem with an MS switch. The best practice/examples outlined above should be used as a reference. For vendor-specific recommendations, refer to your switch vendor's documentation for 802.1q tagging and trunking.

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Last modified
10:04, 10 Jul 2017


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Article ID

ID: 1155

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