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Cisco refreshes Meraki switches, adds access point for hotel industry

Cisco has released the first Layer 2 Meraki switches with 10 GbE uplinks. The vendor also introduced an access point designed for the hotel industry.

Cisco has unveiled two access switches and an equal number of access points under the Meraki brand. The switches and one AP are refreshes of older products. The second AP is designed for the hospitality industry.

The hospitality-focused MR30H and the general-purpose MR33 APs support Wave 2 of the 802.11ac  standard, which has a theoretical maximum throughput of 7 Gbps. The MS225 and MS250 Meraki switches have 10 GbE uplinks, a first for the brand.

The MR30H has an integrated four-port Ethernet switch that simplifies deployment, according to Pablo Estrada, Meraki marketing director at Cisco. The ports are for IP-enabled devices, such as voice over IP phones and IPTVs.

The device also has an integrated iBeacon that emits Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) pulses for indoor positioning. The AP also supports Cisco's Connected Mobile Experiences, or CMX, service for delivering location-based services over Wi-Fi. CMX also provides reports on where and when visitors arrive in a hotel or another facility.

The MR33 does not have an integrated switch, but it does have the integrated iBeacon and BLE technology, as well as the location-based analytics. The device is a refresh of Meraki's MR32.

Meraki AP users manage the devices through Cisco's cloud-based software. Along with the price for the device, companies choose a one-, three- or five-year cloud license. Meraki APs are for small and medium-sized businesses or large enterprises with geographically dispersed offices.

The MR30H costs $600 and the MR33 is $650.

Meraki switches

The MS225 and MS250 are the first Layer2 Meraki switches with 10 GbE uplinks, Estrada said. Previous models had 1 GbE uplinks.

The MS225 and MS250 differ in power supplies. The MS225 has redundant power systems, while the MS250 has hot-swappable power supplies.

The MS225 and MS250 are refreshes of the MS220 and MS320, respectively. Cisco sells the latest Meraki switches for the same price as the older models, Estrada said. The MS225 sells for $2,155 and the MS250 costs $4,515.

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