Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Notes on monitoring Meraki access points with SNMP

Originally, I was confused about how to correctly set up direct SNMPWALK access to MR access points. But after some research, trial-and-error, and some dialog with Meraki support, I finally got my act straightened out.
There are a few details that you need to know of regarding SNMP and Meraki:
  1. As long as your MR series access points have the latest firmware update (Aug 27, 2012), you will be able to configure direct SNMP access to them. You can check for the latest firmware version under Configure >> Network-Wide settings >> Firmware Upgrades. If you need the firmware update, contact Meraki support.
  2. At this moment in time, direct SNMP access only applies to MR access points and not the OD2 (Outdoor), Wall Plug access points, MX routers, and MS switches. However, I believe this will be enabled in a future software release.
    **I have an OD2 and am not able to configure direct SNMP access. I contacted Meraki support about this and I will update this article after I receive an answer if it will be added or not.
Now that the notes are out of the way, here is the information that you need to know. There are two places in the Meraki Dashboard where you can configure SNMP access:
  • Organization >> Settings >> SNMP
  • Configure >> Network-Wide-Settings >> SNMP
Organization >> Settings >> SNMP enables SNMP monitoring for the Meraki Cloud Controller itself and will report back data only for your devices in your organization. This is not the ideal way to monitor your access points as you will need to select specific OIDs to grab the info you are looking for in your network monitoring system (NMS).

The Network-Wide-Settings is where you set up direct SNMP access to your devices and is the preferred way to monitor APs in an NMS such as Nagios or SolarWinds Orion. For more details about what SNMP OIDs are supported for monitoring MR access points, see this article.

Finally, here is something that is not well known in the community:

**Meraki devices that can be directly monitored using SNMP as of 2012-09-25:
  • The Meraki Cloud Controller itself
  • MR Series access points
**Meraki devices that cannot be directly monitored using SNMP as of 2012-09-25:
  • OD2 access points
  • Wall plug access points
  • MX series routers
  • MS series switches
I hope this info helps you out. I know that the ability to directly monitor devices via SNMP is a feature request for most all of Meraki's product lines. If you have a need to monitor other devices beyond the MR access points, always submit your request to Meraki support. Let me know if you have any questions!
-Joe

UPDATE (2012-09-25: 9:00pm EST): Direct from Meraki support, it appears that the OD2 and wall plug access points do not support direct SNMP access regardless of the type of licensing used. Here is a direct quote from Meraki support for the reason why "The OD2 does have hardware limitations that sometimes preventing the use of certain features whether it is in a licensed Enterprise network or not." In all honesty, this makes total sense. OD2s are designed to be "hotspot" devices and they are not designed for explicit Enterprise use (which is debatable but I am sticking to this opinion). If you want Enterprise features, then you need to buy the MR series access points instead.