As a Managed Service Provider (MSP), you are responsible for helping to ensure that customer environments function smoothly, with both visible and behind-the-scenes elements operating seamlessly. While network outages and website downtime may be attention-grabbing issues, managing the licensing requirements for Meraki networks are equally important.
Let’s explore the significance of licensing and how MSPs can leverage the Meraki Dashboard API to efficiently manage licenses at scale.
Licensing challenges faced by MSPs
For MSPs who manage many networks, relying solely on email notifications from the Meraki Dashboard can be burdensome. With the Meraki Dashboard API, MSPs can automate monitoring license expiration dates, track license usage, and perform other essential tasks. These tasks include renewing licenses, allocating licenses to devices, and meeting network compliance requirements. The API empowers MSPs to drive scale and efficiency in license management, freeing up valuable time and resources.
Benefits of API-driven license management:
- Streamlined operations: The API allows centralized license management, eliminating the need for manual tracking and reducing the risk of oversight or human error.
- Proactive monitoring: MSPs can receive real-time notifications about licenses nearing expiration or any other license-related issues, enabling swift action and preventing disruptions.
- Scalability and efficiency: The Meraki Dashboard API supports the management of multiple networks, enabling MSPs to handle licensing requirements at scale without compromising efficiency.
- Enhanced customer satisfaction: With automated license management, MSPs can support uninterrupted network functionality, enhancing the customer experience and preventing business interruptions.
Understanding Meraki licensing models
Meraki offers two licensing models: Per-Device and Co-Term. With the Per-Device model, each device in the network is licensed individually. If a license expires, only the associated device is affected. Conversely, Co-Term licensing groups all licenses together, determining the expiration date based on the time frame covered by all licenses. This method simplifies license management by aligning expiration dates.
Co-Term licensing is very popular with MSPs. Because an entire organization can be shut down if it is out of compliance, it is critical to keep licensing current. The following content covers how to use the Meraki Dashboard API to manage this licensing model.
Organizational licensing overview
To manage Co-Term licensing, access the getOrganizationLicensesOverview API. Doing so returns the three following objects:
1) status:string—Current organization licensing status.
Status is one of the following:
- OK: There are at least as many license types as devices in the organization, and the license is not within 30 days of or past the expiration date.
- License required: There are more devices in the organization than licenses.
- License expired: Licenses have expired.
- Trial expiration: The trial license has expired.
- License expires soon: Co-Term license expires in the next 30 days.
2) expirationDate:string—The date on which the combined organization licensing expires. (Note: This does not include any grace periods that are currently in effect for other licensing issues.)
3) licensedDeviceCounts:array—List of applied license types and counts.
In the first example provided below, the organization is under-licensed; there are more devices than active licenses. To correct this situation, you must query getOrganizationDevices and compare the output to the licensedDeviceCounts array to see which devices are under licensed. Then, you can either remove the extra devices or purchase more licenses. You must collect this data daily and log the date you first see the “License Required” status to determine when the 30-day grace period ends, and your devices will no longer function.
“status”: “License Required”,
“expirationDate”: “Mar 16, 2023 UTC”,
In the second example, the license has expired, and you must purchase new licenses for all devices. After purchase, you apply them using the claimIntoOrganization API.
“status”: “License Expired”,
“expirationDate”: “Oct 15, 2022 UTC”,
In the third and last example, your organization’s licenses will expire within 30 days. If you do not apply new licenses by Nov 14, all the devices in the organization will no longer operate.
“status”: “License Expires Soon”,
“expirationDate”: “Oct 15, 2023 UTC”,
Efficiently managing Meraki network licenses is an essential task for MSPs. While critical issues such as network downtime may create concern, neglecting license status can have severe consequences. By leveraging Meraki Dashboard APIs, MSPs can automate license management, monitor expiration dates, and perform necessary tasks efficiently. This proactive approach helps ensure network compliance, enhances customer satisfaction, and streamlines operations for MSPs managing networks at scale.
Cisco Partner Managed Services offerings and benefits
If you are a Cisco partner and want to learn more about Meraki APIs, please register for the upcoming session of Managed Services Voice of the Engineer. During the October 2023, session, the Americas Partner Organization (APO) will offer an overview of the Meraki Dashboard API, review how to use it as part of a partner-enabled managed services offering, and explore the benefits for Cisco partners and your customers. Each month, our team focuses on a different MSP-relevant topic. If you are interested in becoming a Cisco Partner, you can learn more by visiting Cisco’s Partner Program and Cisco Partner-Enabled Managed Services.
Register for the Managed Services Voice of the Engineer
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