Cisco is committed to helping you simplify network management. Now you can support the most challenging use cases in a simple, cloud-native way using your Cisco Catalyst™ infrastructure and the Cisco® Meraki® Dashboard. This FAQ focuses on questions related to Meraki cloud monitoring and management of Cisco Catalyst hardware. If you have questions about on-premises network management, refer to the Cisco DNA Center FAQ.
Q. What does it mean to have cloud management for Cisco Catalyst hardware?
A. In June 2022, Cisco introduced cloud management for Catalyst. Network managers can now monitor and manage select Catalyst devices using Meraki management mode, which uses the Meraki Dashboard to manage the device from the cloud. Capabilities will be introduced over time, starting with cloud monitoring of select Catalyst switches and cloud management of select Wi-Fi 6E Catalyst access points.
monitoring for Catalyst: Provides comprehensive network visibility; device, client, and traffic observability and insights; issue diagnosis; and troubleshooting.
management for Catalyst: Provides extended network visibility; device, client, and traffic observability and insights; issue diagnosis; and troubleshooting. Added capabilities include automation, zero-trust security, and programmability through APIs and ecosystem integration.
Q. Which Catalyst products are included in the cloud management for Catalyst offer?
A. The following Catalyst 9000 switches and access points are included in the cloud management for Catalyst offer:
● Cloud monitoring for Catalyst switching: Catalyst 9200, 9300, and 9500 Series switches
● Cloud management for Catalyst access points: Catalyst 9162, 9164, and 9166 Series access points
● Additional Catalyst 9000 switches and access points will be added to the offer over time
Q. Which Cisco products are not included in the cloud management for Catalyst offer?
A. Cisco network devices that will not be managed by Meraki management mode include:
● Switches: Catalyst 2000, 3000, 4000, and 6000 Series switches; Cisco Industrial Ethernet switches
● Access points: Aironet® access points; Catalyst 9105, 9115, 9120, 9130, and 9136 Series access points; Cisco outdoor access points
● Routers: Cisco routers and edge platforms
Cloud monitoring for Catalyst switches
Q. Which Catalyst devices are currently supported for cloud monitoring?
A. The following switch families are supported: Catalyst 9200 and 9200L; Catalyst 9300, 9300L, and 9300X; and Catalyst 9500. Cloud monitoring is not currently available for wireless platforms.
Q. Can I use the Meraki Dashboard with Catalyst devices if I do not have Meraki gear?
Q. Can I simultaneously monitor a Catalyst switch with Meraki management mode and Cisco DNA management mode?
A. No. You must choose to monitor the switch with either Meraki management mode or on-premises Cisco DNA management mode. You cannot monitor one switch with both management modes at the same time.
Q. What firmware is required for cloud monitoring?
A. Meraki cloud monitoring for Catalyst switches is supported in Cisco IOS
® XE Software Release 17.3 through 17.7.
Q. What licensing is required for cloud monitoring?
Cisco DNA Software subscription
, either Cisco DNA Essentials or Cisco DNA Advantage, is required. Customers who do not have an active Cisco DNA Software subscription may use a free Meraki license until June 2023.
Q. Do I have to reimage every Catalyst switch to shift to Meraki Dashboard monitoring if I use the Meraki software license?
A. No. You do not need to reimage when onboarding eligible Catalyst switches onto Meraki Dashboard for cloud monitoring.
Q. Will I still be able to access the command-line interface (CLI) on my Catalyst switch if I pull it into the Meraki dashboard?
A. If the device is enrolled only in cloud monitoring, yes. With access to the CLI, you can continue to use the advanced features available with Cisco IOS XE Software while just in monitoring mode. If the switch is migrated to full cloud management, it becomes a Meraki switch, so you will not be able to access the CLI.
Q. Can I upgrade Catalyst switches from the Meraki Dashboard when in monitor-only mode?
A. No. For monitored devices, continue to use your existing tools to manage your device software.
Q. How do I stay up to date on software when using cloud monitoring?
A. Use your existing tools to manage software on your Catalyst devices.
Q. Is there a difference between what Cisco DNA Center provides with monitoring and assurance of a Catalyst device versus what the Meraki Dashboard can provide?
Yes, there are differences; however,
many use cases
can be handled with the Meraki Dashboard.
Q. Where do I get support if I have an issue when onboarding a device into cloud monitoring?
for issues with the onboarding process. If you open a case with the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC), the TAC team will connect you to the right resources to assist you.
Q. Where do I get support if I have an issue using cloud monitoring?
A. If the issue is specifically with the cloud monitoring capability, support will be provided by Meraki Support. If the issue is with device functionality or Cisco IOS XE capabilities, support will be provided by Cisco TAC. In either situation, opening a case with your support organization will cause it to be routed appropriately.
Q. If this capability is only for monitoring, why is there a “cycle port” tool? Doesn’t that affect the device configuration?
A. The goal of cloud monitoring is to provide visibility, observability, and troubleshooting for Catalyst networks through the cloud. Common troubleshooting actions that touch configuration may be included in that. In the case of the cycle port tool, while it does temporarily affect the configuration of the port, we consider it to be a troubleshooting operation rather than a configuration operation. This is because the configuration is the same before and after you perform the port cycle.
Q. Will I see NetFlow/IPFIX data within the Meraki Dashboard when using cloud monitoring?
A. Yes, if you have a Cisco DNA Advantage license on your switch.
Q. If my Catalyst 9300 is running the Cisco ThousandEyes agent, will I lose that capability when I move to Meraki cloud monitoring?
A. No, you will not lose this capability. The Catalyst switch has an embedded agent that communicates directly with the ThousandEyes dashboard regardless of management mode.
Cloud management for Catalyst access points
Q. Which Catalyst access points are currently supported for cloud management?
A. The Catalyst 9166, 9164, and 9162 Series access points are currently supported for cloud management. These are indoor, internal-antenna Wi-Fi 6E access points. All prior Cisco access point models, including the Catalyst 9136 Wi-Fi 6E access point, are not eligible for cloud management with the Meraki Dashboard.
Q. Can I manage the newest Wi-Fi 6E access points with both modes, either Cisco DNA management mode or Meraki management mode?
A. You can manage the Catalyst 9166, 9164, and 9162 Wi-Fi 6E access points using either mode, but you can use only one mode on an access point at one time.
Q. Will the Catalyst 9130 and 9120 Series access points (Wi-Fi 6 or prior) be able to migrate between Cisco DNA management mode and Meraki management mode?
A. No. Only the Catalyst 9166, 9164, and 9162 Series access points can migrate between management modes.
Q. Will the Catalyst 9136 or Meraki MR57 Wi-Fi 6E access points be able to migrate between Cisco DNA management mode and Meraki management mode?
A. No. The Catalyst 9136 and Meraki MR57 Wi Fi 6E access points cannot change management modes.
Q. What access point product IDs (PIDs) do I order for Meraki management?
A. Order the Meraki PID, which includes “-MR” at the end of the PID name. Specifically, you will order CW9166I-MR, CW9164I-MR, or CW9162I-MR.
Q. How will serial numbers be used on the Catalyst access points?
A. Two serial numbers are listed on each access point. Use the Meraki serial number when using the access point in Meraki management mode. Use the Catalyst serial number when using it in Cisco DNA management mode.
Licensing and warranty
Q. What are the licensing requirements to use cloud management?
For cloud management, you need to buy appropriate Meraki licenses based on your requirements. There are two types of licenses: Enterprise and Advanced. If you are an existing Cisco DNA Software customer, you will have access to a
that enables you to try Meraki Dashboard.
Q. For cloud
monitoring, are there any differences between Cisco DNA Essentials and Advantage functionality for cloud monitoring?
A. Yes, traffic and application visibility will be available only on switches with a Cisco DNA Advantage license.
Q. For cloud
monitoring, I have an active Cisco DNA Essentials or Advantage license. What should I do to get access to Meraki cloud monitoring?
Q. Can I use cloud management without an active Cisco DNA Software license?
management is available only with a Meraki license. Cloud
monitoring for switching may use the Cisco DNA Software license under the following circumstances: For all current Catalyst 9200, 9300, and 9500 Series customers, the minimum requirement is a Cisco DNA Essentials or Advantage license. However, traffic analytics is available only with a Cisco DNA Advantage license.
Q. Is the same software used on the access point across the different management modes?
A. No. For Meraki management mode, the access point uses Meraki firmware. For Cisco DNA management mode, the access point uses Cisco IOS XE Software. The access point will boot up the appropriate software based on the chosen management mode.
Q. What happens to software support?
A. For software-specific support, please follow the respective guidelines for Meraki firmware and Cisco IOS XE.
Q. What if I do not have an active support contract?
A. Meraki management mode (cloud management): When you buy a Meraki license for the Catalyst 9166, 9164, or 9162 access points today, support is automatically available for cloud management. Cisco DNA management mode (on-premises management): This continues to work as before, as software support is included in the Cisco DNA Software license.
Q. How will support/TAC work?
A. Customers using access points in Meraki management mode should call Meraki support. A valid Meraki license is needed for support. Customers using access points in Cisco DNA management mode should call Cisco TAC for support. A valid Cisco DNA Software license/support agreement is needed.
Q. How do I stay up to date on software when using cloud management?
A. Using cloud management, you can leverage the Meraki firmware rollout process to stay up to date on software.
Q. What code version is needed to support the access points?
A. In Meraki management mode, access points are supported with MR28 GA firmware and beyond. In Cisco DNA management mode, access points are supported beginning with Cisco IOS XE Software Release 17.9.x.
Q. Will I be able to use the same USB applications across management modes?
A. The access points use different software, depending on the chosen management mode; hence the applications supported will be aligned with the software support. Please refer to the Meraki firmware and Cisco IOS XE documentation for more information.
Q. Will Intelligent Capture be supported in Meraki management mode?
A. No. Intelligent Capture is not supported in Meraki management mode.
Q. How will site survey mode work in each management mode?
A. The site survey feature is dependent on the software used for the mode. When used with Meraki management mode, you can access the local status page for site survey. When used in Cisco DNA management mode, you can keep using the same functionality offered by Cisco IOS XE.
Q. Will I be able to use the console port in Meraki management mode?
A. No. Console access is limited to Cisco DNA Center management. There will be no console access in Meraki management mode.
Q. How will dual 5 GHz work on these access points?
A. On the Catalyst 9166I access points, the dual 5 GHz architecture is like that of the MR57. You can use the low band on 5-GHz radio 1 and the high band on 5-GHz radio 2. You will not have access to the full 5-GHz spectrum on both 5-GHz radios. This architecture is different from the dual 5 GHz architecture on the Catalyst 9136 Series access points, which is the micro/macro architecture.
Q. What are my warranty entitlements when migrating to cloud management?
A. Warranty entitlements are bound to a device at point of sale, effectively guaranteeing that the device is free of manufacturing defects. This warranty will not change when converting to a different management mode.
Migrating access points between management modes
Q. Can I migrate an access point from Cisco DNA management mode to Meraki management mode and vice versa if I need to change my approach?
A. Yes, but this migration is allowed only on hardware designed for this flexibility, specifically the Catalyst 9166, 9164, and 9162 Series Access Points. Software licensing will also need to be adjusted if the management mode is changed.
Q. How do I migrate from Cisco DNA management mode to Meraki management mode?
A. Migrate an access point from Cisco DNA management mode to Meraki management mode via the Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller. We recommend using the WebUI/GUI.
Q. How do I migrate my access point’s licensing from Cisco DNA management mode to Meraki management mode?
A. A qualified promotion will be available for customers with existing Cisco DNA Software licensing to receive the equivalent Meraki license at no cost, without a commercial transaction. If you are migrating to a Meraki Advanced license and you are using Cisco Umbrella
®, please refer to the Meraki documentation on setting up manual integration of Umbrella with the Advanced license.
Q. How do I migrate from Meraki management mode to Cisco DNA management mode?
A. Contact Meraki Support to migrate devices from Meraki management mode to Cisco DNA management mode. For a device to be migrated, the access point should be assigned to a network with the organization in good standing with appropriate licenses. Start the license conversion process after converting the access points.
Q. How do I migrate my access point and licensing from Meraki management mode to Cisco DNA management mode?
will be available for you to get credit that can be used to buy Cisco DNA Software licenses.
Q. How will licensing work when migrating between management modes?
A. Migrating from Cisco DNA management mode to Meraki management mode will require an active Cisco DNA Software subscription and support contract for the access point. You will receive an equivalent Meraki license for the remaining term of the Cisco DNA Software subscription. Conversion from Meraki to Cisco DNA management mode will require a debook and rebook with a new Cisco DNA Software license purchase required. Cisco DNA Essentials customers will receive Meraki Enterprise, and Cisco DNA Advantage or Premier customers will receive Meraki Advanced Security. Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers can use value shift to convert Cisco DNA Software entitlements to Meraki.
Q. Can I use embedded/environmental sensors in Meraki management mode?
A. No. The embedded/environmental sensors are included only in the Catalyst 9166I Access Point and will not be supported in Meraki management mode. Embedded/environmental sensors are supported in Cisco DNA management mode.
Q. Should I change my RF design when migrating modes?
A. The RF patterns on the access points should be the same across modes, but it is always recommended that you evaluate the design and features being used to ensure that no changes are needed for the design.
Q. How will regulatory domain enforcement work when migrating access points?
A. Cisco DNA management mode: For any PID ending in –A, –B, –E, –F, –Q, –R, – Z, or –ROW, regulatory domain enforcement is unchanged. For –MR PIDs that are migrated, the access point will retain the country information from the Meraki Dashboard and use this to determine the correct regulatory domain on the Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller. Meraki management mode: The access points will use the regulatory domain setting in the Dashboard when converting from Meraki management mode to Cisco DNA management mode. If there is a regulatory domain mismatch, the migration will be blocked until the mismatch is resolved.
For more information:
● Review the benefits of cloud-managed networking
● Explore Catalyst cloud monitoring and cloud management in the Meraki instant demo
● Read the Meraki quick start guide: Getting started with cloud monitoring for Catalyst
● Read the Meraki Cloud Monitoring Overview and FAQ for Catalyst switching
● Read product data sheets:
◦ Catalyst 9200 Series switches
◦ Catalyst 9300 Series switches
◦ Catalyst 9500 Series switches
◦ Catalyst 9100 access points
◦ Cisco DNA Center
◦ Cisco DNA Software for Switching
◦ Cisco DNA Software for Wireless
● Contact your sales account manager