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Behavior during Connection Loss to Cisco Meraki Cloud

Connectivity loss can occur for several reasons: your WAN connection goes down, a Meraki data center experiences an outage, or there is an Internet routing issue between your site and Meraki.  This article describes the behavior of your wireless network under this "connectivity loss" state.

The Meraki Cloud is an out of band architecture, meaning that no client data flows through the Cloud.  The system is also designed to handle connectivity failures gracefully.

 

If a Meraki data center experiences an outage, your network will automatically fail over to another Meraki data center. During the fail-over time your network will experience connectivity loss as described above.

Assuming you have setup email alerts, you will receive an email when a Meraki node loses connectivity to the Cloud, allowing you to take corrective action if necessary.

For more information on local device management, see Using the Cisco Meraki Device Local Status Page.

Overview

Safe Configuration 

Safe configuration means that “the device has connectivity to cloud and hasn't rebooted for 30 minutes following a configuration change.” That is, the safe configuration is the last configuration the device received from the cloud that was not followed by a reboot within 30 minutes. 

MR

  • If the configuration is safe and all SSIDs are configured in NAT mode
    • MR will reboot every 4 hours
  • If the configuration is safe and at least one SSID is not configured in NAT mode
    • MR will never reboot
  • If the configuration is not safe 
    • MR will revert to previous safe configuration (stored locally)

MS

  • If the configuration is safe
    • MS will never reboot
  • If the configuration is not safe
    • MS will try to obtain an IP address on an alternate VLAN and then connect to the cloud through that alternate connection
    • MS will revert to previous safe configuration 2 hours after lost connectivity
    • After reverting to a safe configuration, the former configuration will be marked bad

MX

  • If the configuration is safe
    • MX will reboot every 4 hours (this default behavior can be disabled on request)
  • If the configuration is not safe
    • MX will revert to previous safe configuration

MV

  • MV will continue to record/store the video on the local disk. The live stream will not be available on the Dashboard

MC

  • If the MC does not have dashboard connectivity (If it has a red banner on the top indicating connectivity issues)
    • MC will not reboot and will retain latest configuration from dashboard, regardless of time held
  • If the MC does not have SIP registration (If it does not have a green dot next to the name of the phone on the phone's screen)
    • MC will not reboot and will retain latest configuration from dashboard, regardless of time held

Note: As we guarantee 99.99% of availability (52 minutes maximum outage per year), the “simultaneous cloud outage + not safe configuration” scenario is very unlikely to happen.

MR/Wireless APs Details

When a Meraki AP loses connectivity to cloud, the exhibited behavior is based on the SSID configuration for the AP.

  1. All SSIDs configured in NAT mode: In this case, AP will reboot every 4 hours. The timer for 4 hours starts from the last time AP was able to reach dashboard and run a successful DNS query. AP will continue to broadcast the SSID until internet connectivity is restored.
  2. SSID is not configured in NAT mode: In this case, AP will never reboot and continue to broadcast SSID.

When an AP operates on a configuration for 30 minutes or more without any reboots the configuration is marked as "safe configuration".

In general, wireless clients will continue to be able to use the WLAN during a connectivity loss.  Clients will continue to be able to access local LAN resources (e.g., printers and file shares) and, if an internet connection is available, the Internet as well.

When your network is in the "connectivity loss" state, you  will notice the following changes:

  • Network configuration changes will not take effect
  • Usage statistics will become out of date
  • Channel spreading and other optimizations will not run
  • The Rogue AP list will not update
  • If you are using Meraki-hosted RADIUS for authentication and Controller Disconnection Behavior is set to "Restricted", new clients will not be able to authenticate.  By default, all new clients are denied.  You can also select for all new clients to be allowed (Open).  Clients who have already authenticated continue to function normally.
  • Newly associated clients will not see Meraki-hosted splash pages.  Clients will be given access without seeing the splash page. (depends on settings on Configure -> Access Control -> Controller Disconnection Behavior)
  • If you have Meraki Billing enabled, new clients will not be able to purchase network access.

These services will automatically resume functioning once connectivity between the wireless network and the Meraki network is restored.
 

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