Meraki is a "cloud-managed network infrastructure company," whose products are designed to provide large-scale, distributed wired and wireless networks. The company was started by two MIT PhD students, Sanjit Biswas and John Bicket, along with Hans Robertson. The company is based in part on the MIT Roofnet project.
Business profile 
Meraki was funded by Google and Sequoia Capital. The organization started in Mountain View, CA, and is currently located in San Francisco, CA. Meraki employs many people who worked on the MIT roofnet project.
Target Market 
Meraki mostly targets organizations with a couple hundred to ten thousand employees. Meraki tends to appeal to organizations with a large number of sites, e.g., branch offices, schools in a school district, clinics, manufacturing facilities, or retail stores.
Management software 
Meraki management software (called the "Enterprise Cloud Controller") allows Meraki networks to be set up and controlled through the internet. The same management software is used for all of their product lines (wireless LAN, security appliances, switches, and Systems Manager).
When a Meraki device boots, it establishes a tunnel to two Meraki data centers. A configuration file is then pushed down to each of the devices. The device uses the same tunnel to report management information to Meraki.
Wireless LAN 
In 2009 Meraki introduced their cloud-controlled wireless LAN line. Meraki currently has a number of wireless access points, including indoor (MR12, MR16, MR24) and outdoor (MR62, MR66, MR58) units. A limited number of accessories are also available. Meraki provides a free access point to anybody interested in learning more about their cloud-controlled wireless offerings.
Security appliance 
In 2010 Meraki launched their MX series of security appliances. The MX provides bandwidth shaping, content filtering, WAN acceleration, client VPN, and variety of other services traditionally found on edge routers. The MX is primarily intended to be used as the single device that attaches to a site's internet connection. Current MX models include the MX60, MX60W, MX80, MX90, MX400, and MX600. The MX60-90 are intended for branch offices and remote sites, while the MX400 and MX600 are intended for data center use.
Ethernet switch 
In January, 2012 Meraki launched a line of Ethernet switches, the MS line. They currently offer 24 and 48 port versions, with or without PoE. The product competes against high-end managed switches from companies like HP and Cisco. Like other Meraki products, the switches are controlled using Meraki's hosted management software.
Teleworker Appliance 
In late 2012 Meraki launched the Z1, a small teleworker appliance. The Z1 combines consumer-style hardware, VPN functionality, and wireless.
Systems manager 
In 2010 Meraki introduced Systems Manager, a cloud-hosted PC, MAC, and Mobile Device Management product. The product is currently available at no charge, and anyone can sign up for free. Features include centralized management, remote monitoring, remote software and app installation, remote wipe, and security audit.
While Meraki networks continue to serve clients if connectivity to the Cloud Controller is lost, configuration changes are queued until connectivity is restored.
Community projects 
In 2007, Meraki selected San Francisco to launch their community-based Free the Net campaign. They started by seeding the Lower Haight with gateway devices to directly provide the Internet bandwidth and giving away repeaters. In the first year of the project, growth of the network was primarily into the Mission District. As of October 2007, they claim 20,000 distinct users (ever connected) and about 5 terabytes of data transferred in this network. In July 2008, Meraki claimed 100,000 people in San Francisco used its 'Free the Net' service. Since then, Meraki has discontinued this public service, though many access points remain active, but with no connection to the Internet.
After initially acting in support of open-source development of software on Meraki Mini units, in early 2008 the company introduced a more restrictive EULA covering sales of new equipment requiring that, "Meraki Hardware may only be used with Meraki Software" and prohibiting reverse engineering, adding, removing or otherwise altering the software on the device. The previous license agreements contained no restrictions on replacing the software on the device. Shortly after the new EULA was imposed, Meraki sent an unsolicited firmware update to their units in the field which disabled future firmware updates by customers. This has dismayed mesh network enthusiasts, some of whom have questioned the legality of such restrictions being imposed involuntarily and without advance notice. In 2008 Open-Mesh began offering similar software with fewer licensing restrictions. In 2012 Tanaza started offering a similar software that is not restricted to work with Meraki hardware, as a Cloud Management Software for multi-vendor Wi-Fi Access Points.
Acquisition by Cisco 
On 19 November 2012 Cisco and Meraki announced Cisco's acquisition of Meraki. The key reason for this acquisition is Cisco's interest in Cloud Networking solutions offered by Meraki.
See also 
- Official website
- Sequoiacap.com: list of funded companies
- Meraki Cooks Up Wireless Mesh Router August 2, 2006
- Theregister.com: Google-funded startup to offer free Wi-Fi in San Francisco August 15, 2007
- Meraki to Build Free Community WiFi Network via San Francisco March 4, 2007
- Free the Net (San Francisco wireless community)
- Free the Net - San Francisco Forum
- Sharing the Internet with the World 2007
- Startup promises free wireless web in SF AP, January 4, 2008
- Meraki to Build Free Community WiFi Network via San Francisco July 2, 2008
- Meraki End User License Agreement
-  Wayback machine license agreement on July 2007
- From "happy hacking" to "screw you"
- Slashdot article with commentary March 24, 2008
- DSL Reports article on creation of Open Mesh March 11, 2008
- Tanaza Releases Cloud Control 1.7.0 Solution for Network Management July 19, 2012
-  November 19, 2012