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Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW: A Comprehensive Guide




4:29 AM


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch. In this article, we’ll dive deep into this versatile network hardware and its capabilities. If you’re looking for a reliable, cloud-based networking solution, you’ve come to the right place.


Brief Overview of Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW Switch

The Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch is a powerful, high-density networking solution designed for businesses of all sizes. It features 48 ports, Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching capabilities, cloud-based network management, and much more. This switch is an ideal choice for those looking to upgrade their network infrastructure and optimize performance.

Purpose of the Guide

This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch. We’ll cover everything from installation to troubleshooting, as well as offer insights into how this switch can benefit various industries.

What Readers Can Expect to Learn from the Guide

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a deep understanding of the MS120-48-HW switch and its features, as well as best practices for installation, management, and troubleshooting. You’ll also learn about integrations, APIs, and use cases for this versatile switch.

Key Features

Port and Power Specifications

The MS120-48-HW switch boasts 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports, with four of these being dedicated SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) ports for fiber connectivity. The switch also supports non-blocking performance, ensuring smooth data transmission across all ports.

Layer 2 and Layer 3 Switching Capabilities

This Cisco switch offers robust Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching capabilities, including support for VLANs, DHCP, and static routing. This flexibility enables you to build a scalable and efficient network infrastructure.

Cloud-based Management

One of the standout features of the MS120-48-HW is its cloud-based network management. Through the Meraki Dashboard, you can configure, monitor, and troubleshoot your network from anywhere, at any time.

Quality of Service (QoS) Settings

The MS120-48-HW switch provides advanced Quality of Service (QoS) settings, allowing you to prioritize specific traffic types and ensure optimal network performance.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) Capabilities

While the MS120-48-HW does not support PoE, the MS120-48LP-HW and MS120-48FP-HW models offer PoE and PoE+ capabilities, respectively. This allows you to power devices such as IP cameras, access points, and VoIP phones directly through the switch.

Installation and Setup

Preparing for Installation

Before installing your MS120-48-HW switch, ensure that you have a suitable location with adequate ventilation, as well as access to power and network connections. You should also have the necessary mounting hardware and a Meraki account for managing the switch.

Physical Setup of the Switch

Mount the switch in your desired location, connect it to power, and plug in your network devices. For fiber connections, use the SFP ports and compatible SFP modules.

Configuring the Switch through the Meraki Dashboard

Log in to your Meraki Dashboard account and add the MS120-48-HW switch to your network. From here, you can configure VLANs, QoS settings, and other network parameters.

Best Practices for Setting Up VLANs and QoS

When setting up VLANs, create separate VLANs for different types of network traffic (e.g., data, voice, and video) to improve network performance and security. For QoS, prioritize mission-critical traffic and latency-sensitive applications, such as VoIP and video conferencing, to ensure optimal performance.

Management and Monitoring

Navigating the Meraki Dashboard

The Meraki Dashboard is a user-friendly interface that provides a comprehensive view of your network. It allows you to monitor the health and performance of your MS120-48-HW switch, configure settings, and troubleshoot issues.

Setting Up Alerts and Notifications

Within the Meraki Dashboard, you can set up alerts and notifications for various events, such as device downtime or high utilization. This helps you proactively address potential issues and maintain optimal network performance.

Monitoring Network Performance

The Dashboard provides real-time statistics and historical data on network performance, including throughput, latency, and packet loss. You can also view port status, device details, and network topology to ensure smooth operations.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

The Meraki Dashboard offers built-in troubleshooting tools, such as packet captures and cable tests, to help you diagnose and resolve issues quickly. Additionally, the Dashboard provides event logs and detailed error messages for further analysis.

Integrations and APIs

Overview of Meraki APIs

Cisco Meraki offers a robust set of APIs that allow you to integrate the MS120-48-HW switch with third-party applications, automate tasks, and gather valuable insights. These APIs enable seamless communication between the Meraki Dashboard and other software platforms.

Integrating with Third-Party Software

You can integrate the MS120-48-HW switch with various third-party software solutions, such as network monitoring tools, IT management platforms, and SIEM systems. This enhances your network management capabilities and provides a more holistic view of your IT environment.

Automating Tasks with APIs

By leveraging Meraki APIs, you can automate tasks such as network configuration, monitoring, and reporting. This streamlines network management and allows you to focus on more strategic initiatives.

Use Cases

Small to Medium Business Networks

The MS120-48-HW switch is an excellent choice for small to medium-sized businesses that require a reliable, high-performance network infrastructure. Its cloud-based management and robust feature set make it easy to deploy, manage, and scale.

Hospitality and Entertainment Venues

For hospitality and entertainment venues, the MS120-48-HW switch offers a reliable and flexible networking solution that can support high-density environments, such as hotels, restaurants, and stadiums.

Educational Institutions

Educational institutions can benefit from the MS120-48-HW switch’s ease of management, security features, and scalability. It is an ideal choice for campus networks, classrooms, and libraries.

Healthcare Organizations

Healthcare organizations can rely on the MS120-48-HW switch to support critical applications and devices, such as Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, medical imaging equipment, and telemedicine solutions. The switch’s robust security features help protect sensitive patient data.

Comparison to Similar Products

Comparison to Other Meraki Switches

The MS120-48-HW is part of Cisco Meraki’s MS120 series of switches, which cater to different network requirements and budgets. While the MS120-48-HW is an excellent option for many businesses, other models in the series, such as the MS120-24P-HW or MS120-48LP-HW, may better suit specific needs, such as PoE support.

Comparison to Non-Meraki Switches

The MS120-48-HW switch stands out from non-Meraki switches due to its cloud-based management, ease of use, and advanced features. Competitors, such as Netgear, Fortinet, and Ubiquiti, may offer alternative solutions, but the MS120-48-HW provides a unique blend of performance, scalability, and management capabilities that make it a top choice for many organizations.


Summary of Key Takeaways

The Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch is a powerful and versatile networking solution that offers a comprehensive set of features, cloud-based management, and robust performance. Its flexibility makes it suitable for a wide range of industries and use cases, from small businesses to large enterprises.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

If you’re looking to upgrade your network infrastructure or implement a new solution, the Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch should be at the top of your list. Its ease of use, advanced features, and scalability make it an excellent investment for businesses of all sizes.


1. What is Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch?

The Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch is a high-density networking solution designed for businesses of all sizes. It features 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports, Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching capabilities, cloud-based network management, and advanced network optimization features.

2. What are the benefits of using Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch?

Some benefits of using the MS120-48-HW switch include simplified network management, robust performance, scalability, and advanced features, such as QoS settings and Layer 2/3 switching capabilities.

3. How do I set up Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch?

To set up the MS120-48-HW switch, mount the device in a suitable location, connect it to power and network devices, and configure the switch through the Meraki Dashboard.

4. What are the key features of Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch?

Key features of the MS120-48-HW switch include 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports, Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching capabilities, cloud-based management, Quality of Service (QoS) settings, and support for SFP fiber connectivity.

5. How do I troubleshoot Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch?

Troubleshoot the MS120-48-HW switch using built-in tools in the Meraki Dashboard, such as packet captures, cable tests, and event logs.

6. How do I manage the Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch?

Manage the MS120-48-HW switch through the Meraki Dashboard, where you can configure settings, monitor network performance, and troubleshoot issues.

7. What are the best practices for using Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch?

Best practices for using the MS120-48-HW switch include setting up VLANs for different types of network traffic, configuring QoS settings for optimal performance, and regularly monitoring network performance through the Meraki Dashboard.

8. What are the use cases for Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch?

Use cases for the MS120-48-HW switch include small to medium business networks, hospitality and entertainment venues, educational institutions, and healthcare organizations.

9. How does Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW compare to other Cisco switches?

The MS120-48-HW switch is part of Cisco Meraki’s MS120 series, which caters to different network requirements and budgets. Compared to other Meraki switches, the MS120-48-HW offers a unique blend of performance, scalability, and management capabilities.

10. How does Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW integrate with other Cisco Meraki products?

The MS120-48-HW switch can seamlessly integrate with other Cisco Meraki products, such as access points, security appliances, and cameras, through the Meraki Dashboard.

11. What are the deployment scenarios for Cisco Meraki MS250-48LP-HW?

Deployment scenarios for the Cisco Meraki MS250-48LP-HW switch include enterprise branch networks, data centers, and organizations that require advanced Layer 3 features and PoE support for devices like access points, IP cameras, and VoIP phones.

12. What are the licensing options for Cisco Meraki MS250-48LP-HW?

Cisco Meraki offers several licensing options for the MS250-48LP-HW switch, including 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10-year licenses. These licenses cover the switch’s cloud management features, software updates, and technical support.

Additional Resources

To learn more about the Cisco Meraki MS120-48-HW switch and other Meraki products, visit the Cisco Meraki website.

For further assistance with installation, setup, and troubleshooting, consult the Cisco Meraki documentation and support resources.

To explore more about Meraki APIs and integrations, visit the Meraki Developer Hub.

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