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Cisco Meraki MS120-48LP-HW: A Comprehensive Guide




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The Cisco Meraki MS120-48LP-HW switch is a powerful, versatile piece of network hardware designed to simplify and optimize network management. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the key features, installation, setup, management, and use cases of this switch. By the end, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the MS120-48LP-HW and how it can benefit your network infrastructure.

Key Features

Port and Power Specifications

The MS120-48LP-HW switch features 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports, offering fast and reliable connections for your devices. It has a total non-blocking throughput of 104 Gbps, ensuring smooth data transmission. Additionally, the switch supports 370W of Power over Ethernet (PoE) power, allowing it to power connected devices such as IP cameras or wireless access points.

Layer 2 and Layer 3 Switching Capabilities

This switch supports Layer 2 features like VLANs, Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), and Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP). Additionally, it offers Layer 3 features such as static routing, making it an ideal choice for organizations requiring advanced network functionality.

Cloud-based Management

Cisco Meraki’s cloud-based networking platform enables you to manage your MS120-48LP-HW switch from anywhere with an internet connection. The Meraki Dashboard provides a user-friendly interface for monitoring and configuring your network, simplifying network management and reducing the need for on-site IT support.

Quality of Service (QoS) Settings

The switch supports QoS settings that allow you to prioritize specific types of network traffic, ensuring optimal performance for mission-critical applications.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) Capabilities

The MS120-48LP-HW offers PoE support, allowing you to power connected devices such as IP cameras, wireless access points, and VoIP phones without the need for additional power sources.

Installation and Setup

Preparing for Installation

Before installing your MS120-48LP-HW switch, ensure that you have a Meraki account and the necessary licensing. You’ll also need to gather your switch’s serial number and claim it in your Meraki Dashboard.

Physical Setup of the Switch

  1. Mount the switch in your network rack or cabinet.
  2. Connect your switch to power and your network’s uplink.
  3. Connect your devices to the switch using Ethernet cables.

Configuring the Switch through the Meraki Dashboard

  1. Log in to your Meraki Dashboard.
  2. Navigate to the “Switches” page.
  3. Click on the MS120-48LP-HW switch in your network.
  4. Configure your switch settings, such as VLANs, STP, and LACP, as needed.

Best Practices for Setting up VLANs and QoS

  1. Create separate VLANs for different types of traffic, such as voice, data, and management.
  2. Implement QoS settings to prioritize critical network traffic, like VoIP or video conferencing.
  3. Avoid overloading your network by properly managing VLANs and QoS settings.

Management and Monitoring

Navigating the Meraki Dashboard

The Meraki Dashboard offers an intuitive interface for managing your network. Key features include:

  • Live network topology visualization
  • Traffic analysis and reporting
  • Device status and configuration
  • Alerts and notifications

Setting up Alerts and Notifications

  1. Go to “Network-wide” > “Configure” > “Alerts” in the Meraki Dashboard.
  2. Configure your preferred alert settings, such as email notifications for device offline events or network performance issues.

Monitoring Network Performance

Use the Meraki Dashboard to monitor your network’s performance, including bandwidth usage, application traffic, and overall health. Key monitoring tools include:

  • Traffic analytics: View real-time and historical data on network traffic and application usage.
  • Device health: Monitor the status and performance of connected devices, such as switches, access points, and security appliances.
  • Event logs: Review detailed logs of network events for troubleshooting and analysis.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

The Meraki Dashboard provides built-in tools to help diagnose and resolve common network issues, such as:

  • Connectivity problems: Use the “Packet Capture” tool to analyze network traffic and identify potential issues.
  • Device misconfigurations: Check the configuration history and compare configurations between devices to identify discrepancies.
  • Network performance: Analyze traffic patterns and bandwidth usage to determine if network congestion is impacting performance.

Integrations and APIs

Overview of Meraki APIs

Cisco Meraki offers a robust set of APIs that allow you to automate tasks, integrate with third-party applications, and customize your network management experience. Key API capabilities include:

  • Network configuration: Automate the creation and management of networks, VLANs, and devices.
  • Device monitoring: Retrieve real-time and historical data on device status and performance.
  • Event notifications: Set up custom alerts and notifications based on specific network events.

Integrating with Third-Party Software

The Meraki APIs enable seamless integration with a variety of third-party applications, such as:

  • Network monitoring tools: Integrate with platforms like SolarWinds, PRTG, or Zabbix for enhanced network visibility and reporting.
  • IT service management (ITSM) systems: Automate the creation and management of network-related tickets in systems like ServiceNow or Jira.
  • Custom applications: Develop your own applications to interact with your Meraki infrastructure, tailoring your network management experience to your unique needs.

Automating Tasks with APIs

Automate common network management tasks using Meraki APIs to save time and reduce manual effort. Examples include:

  • Automating network deployment: Create and configure new networks and devices with a single API call.
  • Bulk device configuration updates: Update multiple devices simultaneously using API-based scripting.
  • Automated backups: Schedule regular backups of your network configurations to ensure data integrity and disaster recovery.

Use Cases

Small to Medium Business Networks

The MS120-48LP-HW switch is an excellent choice for small to medium-sized businesses that require a reliable, easy-to-manage networking solution with advanced features like cloud-based management and PoE capabilities.

Hospitality and Entertainment Venues

Hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues can benefit from the switch’s high-performance capabilities and PoE support, enabling the deployment of wireless access points, IP cameras, and digital signage.

Educational Institutions

Schools and universities can leverage the MS120-48LP-HW switch to support high-density networks with advanced management and monitoring features, ensuring reliable connectivity for students and staff.

Healthcare Organizations

Healthcare facilities can rely on the MS120-48LP-HW switch for secure, reliable networking, supporting critical applications like Electronic Health Records (EHR) and medical imaging.

Comparison to Similar Products

Comparison to Other Meraki Switches

The MS120-48LP-HW switch is part of Cisco Meraki’s broader line of network switches, each offering different capabilities and features. For example, the MS210 and MS250 series switches provide more advanced Layer 3 functionality, while the MS350 and MS410 series switches offer higher performance and scalability.

Comparison to Non-Meraki Switches

Non-Meraki switches, such as those from Netgear or Ubiquiti, may have different feature sets, management interfaces, and price points. When comparing switches, consider factors like:

  • Management interface: Meraki’s cloud-based management offers ease of use and remote accessibility, whereas other vendors may use traditional on-premises management tools.
  • Performance: Evaluate the switch’s throughput, PoE capabilities, and Layer 2/3 features to determine if it meets your network requirements.
  • Integration with other products: Consider the compatibility of the switch with your existing network infrastructure and whether it can integrate seamlessly with other devices and applications.


The Cisco Meraki MS120-48LP-HW switch is a powerful, versatile, and user-friendly network hardware solution ideal for various organizations and industries. With its cloud-based management, advanced features, and PoE capabilities, the MS120-48LP-HW can help you optimize your network infrastructure and improve performance and security.


What is the Cisco Meraki MS120-48LP-HW switch?

The Cisco Meraki MS120-48LP-HW is a cloud-managed network switch with 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports, Layer 2 and Layer 3 capabilities, and support for PoE.

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

The MS120-48LP-HW switch offers several benefits, including ease of management through the Meraki Dashboard, advanced features like VLANs and QoS, and PoE support to power connected devices.

How do I set up the Cisco Meraki MS120-48LP-HW switch?

To set up the switch, mount it in a network rack, connect it to power and your network’s uplink, and configure the switch settings through the Meraki Dashboard.

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

Key features of the switch include 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports, Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching capabilities, cloud-based management, QoS settings, and PoE support.

How do I troubleshoot the Cisco Meraki MS120-48LP-HW switch?

Use the Meraki Dashboard’s built-in tools to diagnose and resolve common issues, such as connectivity problems, device misconfigurations, and network performance issues.

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

Manage the switch through the Meraki Dashboard, a cloud-based platform that provides an intuitive interface for monitoring and configuring your network.

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

Best practices include setting up separate VLANs for different types of traffic, implementing QoS settings to prioritize critical network traffic, and properly managing VLANs and QoS settings to avoid overloading the network.

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

Use cases include small to medium-sized business networks, hospitality and entertainment venues, educational institutions, and healthcare organizations.

How does the Cisco Meraki MS120-48LP-HW compare to other Cisco switches?

The MS120-48LP-HW is part of Cisco Meraki’s broader line of network switches, each offering different capabilities and features. Higher-end Meraki switches may provide more advanced Layer 3 functionality and higher performance.

How does the Cisco Meraki MS120-48LP-HW integrate with other Cisco Meraki products?

The MS120-48LP-HW integrates seamlessly with other Meraki products, such as access points and security appliances, through the Meraki Dashboard, providing a unified management experience

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

Deployment scenarios for the Cisco Meraki MS250-48LP-HW include:

  • Branch offices: The MS250-48LP-HW can provide reliable, secure, and high-performance networking for remote branch offices.
  • Campus networks: The switch can be deployed in large campus environments to support high-density networks with multiple devices and users.
  • Data centers: With its advanced features and scalability, the MS250-48LP-HW is suitable for data center networks, providing reliable connectivity for servers and storage devices.

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

Cisco Meraki offers various licensing options for the MS250-48LP-HW switch, including:

  • Enterprise License: The Enterprise License provides access to all Meraki Dashboard features, such as cloud-based management, monitoring, and troubleshooting.
  • Advanced Security License: The Advanced Security License includes all Enterprise License features, plus advanced security features like intrusion detection and prevention, content filtering, and malware protection.

Licensing terms range from 1 to 10 years, with longer terms offering cost savings.

By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to make the most of your Cisco Meraki MS120-48LP-HW switch. With its advanced features, ease of management, and versatile use cases, this switch is an ideal choice for organizations looking to optimize their network infrastructure and improve performance, security, and reliability.

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