Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Meraki's LittleTable Isn't So Little Anymore #MFD3

Way, way back in 2013, I attended Wireless Field Day 4 and I heard a presentation by Sean Rhea of Meraki about their backend database LittleTable, how it was developed, how it worked and how it grew. A few highlights of Sean's presentation covered the server redundancy with data-center redundancy, service provider redundancy and location-redundancy. At that point, the scale per server was a few thousand Meraki devices (switches, wireless Access Points, MXs), hundreds of thousands of clients and hundreds of Gigs of data. The presentation was fascinating to say the least. Recently I had the opportunity to be brought up to date on the status of the Meraki LittleTable database by Jeevan Patil (PM for wireless) and I was a delegate at Mobility Field Day 3 (MFD3).

Meraki has a new (beta) feature in their dashboard called Wireless Health. It is a new feature they enabled in their dashboard that supports all of the Meraki access point models and didn't require their customers to add any additional licensing (or costs) to get this data. Approximately 750,000 networks worldwide now have the ability to see data on poorly performing client devices and access points in a single click. I powered on my older Meraki MR34 access points and added two new MR42 access points to my home (it is a 1928 Florida Faraday cage) and waited for the metrics to trickle into my dashboard.

Now I can see which of my client devices are behaving badly (authentication failures and latency issues). The LittleTable database is so efficient that over 250 billion rows written and one trillion rows queried to the database per day and millions of network devices deployed across 230,000 customers check-in to the dashboard daily. serves 800 million pages to 100 million clients who connect to the dashboard every day. The data in the dashboard is refreshed every second, this makes it extremely useful for troubleshooting. Now I know it is my iOS device is having the worst experience, which makes sense because my apple watch is often left on the charger and not on my wrist. It probably is having a hard time talking to my phone. They're rarely in the same room and my phone rarely has bluetooth enabled.

The Meraki dashboard is amazingly responsive (usually within a second of a click). The responsiveness of the dashboard is pretty amazing considering how many queries are being called every second to the backend database, all across the globe at any given time.

If you want to be brought up to date on what's happening at Meraki, I suggest you check out their video from MFD3 if you haven't already.

Cisco Meraki Mobility Updates from Stephen Foskett on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Mobility Field Day 3 Approacheth #MFD3

Mobility Field Day is coming sooon. September 12-14th I will gather with 11 other MFD delegates in San Jose to take part in Mobility Field Day 3! I haven't taken part in a full length Tech Field Day event since Wireless Field Day 8 (and that was a long, long time ago!). A lot has changed since then and I'm looking forward to hearing the latest news from the participating sponsors: Arista, Aruba, Cisco, Fortinet, Mist, Netscout and Nyansa.