In the world of enterprise networking, manufacturers are at war to produce the best tools. Cisco has been an industry leader for decades, and for good reason. Among the best switches available from Cisco is the Meraki 390 series.
They are switches built for enterprise applications, WiFi 6 integration, easy management, and rapid deployment. With a range of options, they can form the backbone of any high-speed Ethernet system.
Take a look at the design, specifications, and use cases for Meraki 390 to see if these switches might be right for your network.
Meraki 390 Overview
Meraki 390 switches are built for high-performance networking. Specifically, they are designed to support WiFi 6 deployment, using high bandwidth and features like UPoE to make it easier than ever to put access points wherever you need them.
The 390 switches are stackable, multigigabit, modular, and layer 3. On top of that, the Meraki Dashboard simplifies remote management with zero-touch remote provisioning and push notifications.
Meraki 390 switches are built for performance. They are all multigigabit switches. While there is some variety among the models, they come in 24- or 48-port configurations. Those configurations have PoE options, including UPoE, providing a maximum power output of 740W.
The switches support physical stacks of up to 8 units, achieving a maximum stack bandwidth of 480 Gbps. The switches also support virtual stacking, allowing you to manage thousands of switches from a single dashboard. Management is controlled via the Cisco Meraki Dashboard.
Depending on the configuration, Meraki 390 stacks can quarterback large networks that simultaneously support thousands of users.
Meraki 390 Pros
Meraki 390 switches are not perfect for all occasions, but they are popular in many enterprise applications because of the compelling pros they bring to the table. At the top of the list are performance and bandwidth. They can support large networks with heavy traffic demands, and they work great as backbone switches.
Meraki is designed specifically for easy management, utilizing the dashboard, and the 390 series lives up to this expectation. Additional pros include PoE design, cloud features, and push notifications for remote monitoring. These are switches that offload many IT support duties through automation.
Meraki 390 Cons
Still, Meraki 390 is the wrong switch for plenty of jobs. Most of that boils down to price. If you don’t need Meraki 390 power, then it’s hard to justify the cost.
Another downside to this series is the switch size. Even for their power class, they are not the smallest switches, which can complicate some network stack designs.
Lastly, there is a drawback to the Meraki Dashboard. It is optimized for Meraki switches and does not always integrate nicely with other Cisco systems and platforms — especially when dealing with older or legacy hardware.
Considering the features, cost, raw power, and management style, Meraki 390 switches are designed specifically for large enterprise applications.
Specifically, the bandwidth and PoE capabilities make them great for deploying WiFi 6. They can cover very large WiFi networks, for applications on the scale of stadium access.
Meraki 390 is also useful for IoT applications. With SFP connectivity, these switches can handle long-range support, and Meraki’s cloud monitoring is ideal for IoT networks.
Regardless, these switches are built to serve as critical networking nodes for the most important systems and deployments in large organizations.
Considering Meraki 390
Clearly, Meraki 390 switches are powerful and reliable as a networking solution for enterprise applications. Combining power, ease of use, and adaptability, they can serve many high-end deployments more than adequately. When these features are what your network needs most, you’ll have a hard time finding a better option.
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