Unboxing and initial setup of a Meraki MX Security Appliance

Meraki is a pretty well known company, and has been a part of Cisco since 2012. There are a multitude of cloud based managed Wi-Fi solutions, but Meraki is one of the most prolific and has a variety of cloud managed products to suit most any size company’s needs. Several of their devices have similar setup steps, but today we will cover the initial out of the box setup of a Meraki MX64 security appliance that will have your MX appliance online and configured in your dashboard in no time.

Logging into the Meraki offline setup page

By default, the MX security appliance is set to send a DHCP request on it’s internet port right out of the box. This allows for quick and easy setup if your ISP’s internet connection is configured to hand out dynamic addresses, but for our case we will be using a static public IP address.

Meraki has a quick and easy GUI setup tool to allow you to do this. After you power up the MX appliance, you simply connect an ethernet cable from your computer to ports 1-4 on the MX appliance and ensure your Wi-Fi adapter is turned off. This will allow you to browse to  http://setup.meraki.com in your web browser. You do not have to be connected to the internet to reach this URL.

You will be prompted for a Username and Password to log into the device for the first time. The default credentials are the serial number of the device (all upper-case with dashes) as the username, and a blank password. The serial number can be found on the sticker on the back of the device.

Once logged in, you will be presented with the following page.

Initial IP Configuration

From this screen above, you will click the Configure button and then from the drop down menus in the Uplink Configuration section you will leave the defaults for VLAN Tagging set to ‘Don’t use VLAN tagging’, and Connection Type set to ‘Direct’. For the ‘IP Assignment’ drop down menu choose ‘Static’. (These settings will vary depending on your handoff type from your ISP. These settings are for an untagged handoff with static IP addressing.)

Once you select ‘Static’ in the IP assignment heading, enter the static IP information and DNS servers provided by your ISP.

Accept the default settings for the remaining items, and once the IP information is set, don’t forget to click the ‘Save’ button at the bottom left of the page to apply the new changes to the MX’s configuration.

Adding the MX device to your Meraki dashboard

If you’ve made it to this step, you’ve successfully configured your new MX device with a static IP, and it is starting the process of reaching out to the Meraki cloud. There’s just one more step to let Meraki know that this device belongs in your particular dashboard. This process involves claiming the serial number of the device and assigning it to a unique network in your organization. We will cover the steps to do this below.

Claiming your new MX security appliance

To claim the new device and have it show up in your dashboard, after logging into your Dashboard click the ‘Organization’ button, and choose ‘Inventory’.

You will click the ‘Claim’ button to the right, and enter the serial number in the pop up window to add the device to your Inventory list. Once you have the serial number entered, click ‘Claim’ to add it to your inventory.

Assigning the MX device to a network within your dashboard

Once you have claimed the device it will now show up in your inventory page, and allow you to add it to a Network. To do so, select the checkbox beside the new MX device.

Click the Add to … button

Then click the radio button to either add the MX appliance to an ‘Existing Network’ or to a ‘New network’

Final Thoughts

Once you have completed these steps you will be able to navigate to the specific network that you assigned the MX appliance to, and then click on the ‘Security & SD-WAN’ button in the Meraki menu and then proceed with further configuration on the new MX appliance.

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