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Firmware Updates on MV Smart Cameras

The Cisco Meraki platform enables centralized deployment and management of firmware upgrades for both your networking stack and your security cameras. Gone are the days of rigorously downloading firmware and installing plugins to upgrade your cameras. The Meraki MV smart cameras tackle the complex firmware narrative by leveraging the power of Meraki’s cloud-based dashboard to automate firmware updates and scheduling. This article will discuss the easy-to-use process for updating the firmware on your Meraki MV smart camera.

Meraki Firmware Overview

From a security perspective, the benefits of the cloud are unparalleled. New security vulnerabilities are announced on a weekly basis. To contain threats at this scale, flexibility and rapid software remediation are paramount. Meraki cloud security has the power to immediately react to discovered exploits, patch the vulnerability, and make this firmware immediately available for customers to leverage. Check out other Meraki documentation to learn about best practices for Meraki firmware and see the answers to firmware-related frequently asked questions.

Meraki MV Firmware

If you are familiar with how firmware upgrades work with the rest of the Meraki stack, you are already prepared for using MV cameras. Meraki MV firmware changes occur very similarly to the updates of other Meraki products. Updates are automatically downloaded directly from the dashboard and automatically installed on your cameras. The release notes for each release provide information on the changes made for that version, and can easily be viewed on the Organization > Monitor > Firmware upgrades page by clicking on Release notes in Latest firmware versions. Example changes which are made within a firmware upgrades include the following:

  • Feature updates such as integrated wireless support, temperature logging, and live stream audio functionality in select cameras

  • Increased accuracy within the person detection model to improve MV analytics

  • Improved audio syncing with the video feed

  • Bug fixes to improve functionality and user experience

Check the Current Firmware Version

Check the current version of firmware your camera is running directly on the dashboard by navigating to Cameras > Monitor > Cameras. Next, select the camera on which you would like to check the version of the currently running firmware and go to the Network tab. Identify the current version your camera is running on, and if it is up-to-date. If it is not up-to-date, a clickable link will appear which will lead you to schedule your next upgrade.

 

Updating your Firmware

If a camera firmware upgrade becomes available, Meraki will automatically schedule the upgrade to occur during your next upgrade window. To check or edit your current upgrade window, navigate to Network-wide > Configure > General. A notification banner for any upcoming maintenance will appear at the top of the Cameras page every day beginning a month prior to the scheduled upgrade.

 

 

Upgrades can be rescheduled to coincide with periods of limited activity, such as a weekday at 3:00 am. Reschedule the upgrade by following the link present in the above banner, or following the steps:

  1. From the Meraki Dashboard, navigate to Network-wide > Configure > General

  2. Scroll down to find the section titled Firmware upgrades

  3. In Camera firmware, select either option available to reschedule the upgrade to a desired time, perform the upgrade now, or upgrade as originally scheduled

 

 

 

The camera upgrade time will vary depending on your internet connection speed and will typically range from five to fifteen minutes. This upgrade will not affect the current recording of the camera. Once the firmware downloads, the camera will reboot and will temporarily lose streaming capabilities for approximately three-five minutes.

Installing Beta Firmware

Firmware is made available for production use at first under "Beta". Often Beta firmware builds are enabled to take advantage of new features and bug fixes. Beta firmware has already gone through internal regression, stability, and performance testing to limit risks when applied to production networks. However, Beta firmware may be unstable and is not recommended as the main build for a production network. To enable your devices to install beta firmware when it become available, please follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Navigate to Network-wide > Configure > General

  2. Scroll down to Firmware upgrades

  3. Select “Yes” on the Try beta firmware dropdown

  4. Save changes

 

With this option checked, the latest Beta will be automatically installed as developers push changes to the public. This means once installed, you will only be updated to the Beta version once the next push is enabled by developers. If you recently enabled Beta and want to access the latest Beta release immediately, please follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Navigate to Organization > Monitor > Firmware upgrades.

  2. Go to the All networks tab.

  3. Select the checkbox of the camera(s) you wish to install Beta and click Schedule upgrades.

Firmware Upgrade History

There are a number of ways to check firmware upgrade history to keep tabs on the camera’s status and available features. The first option, ideal for reviewing recent history, is to check on Firmware upgrades for Most recent changes:

  1. Navigate to Organization > Monitor > Firmware upgrades

  2. From the Overview tab, view the Most recent upgrades section, and find the applicable upgrade entry of interest

 

Firmware upgrades are also tracked in the organization’s change log, ideal for viewing more historical firmware changes. To view, follow the steps:

  1. Navigate to Organization > Monitor > Change log

  2. Select the search bar dropdown and type “firmware” into Labels as shown below

 

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