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Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW: A Comprehensive Guide

User Story: April 18, 2023

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Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW switch, designed to help you make the most of this powerful piece of network hardware. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of the MS120-24-HW and explore its key features, installation and setup process, management and monitoring capabilities, and much more. Get ready to level up your enterprise networking game with this handy guide!


Brief Overview of Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW Switch

The Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW is a cloud-managed Layer 2 access switch designed for small to medium-sized businesses and organizations. With its 24 auto-negotiating Gigabit Ethernet ports and powerful management capabilities, this switch helps you create a reliable and high-performing network infrastructure that is both scalable and secure.

Purpose of the Guide

This guide aims to provide you with detailed information about the MS120-24-HW, helping you understand its features, installation process, and best practices. By the end of this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision about whether this switch is the right fit for your organization and how to maximize its potential.

What Readers Can Expect to Learn from the Guide

In this guide, you can expect to learn about the following topics:

  • Key Features
  • Installation and Setup
  • Management and Monitoring
  • Integrations and APIs
  • Use Cases
  • Comparison to Similar Products
  • FAQs

So, let’s dive into the world of the Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW and explore everything it has to offer!

Key Features

Port and Power Specifications

The MS120-24-HW comes with 24 auto-negotiating Gigabit Ethernet ports, offering a non-blocking switching capacity of up to 52 Gbps. It also features two SFP ports for uplink connectivity and a single power supply unit.

Layer 2 and Layer 3 Switching Capabilities

As a Layer 2 access switch, the MS120-24-HW supports standard Layer 2 protocols such as 802.1Q VLAN tagging, Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), and Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP). Additionally, it offers Layer 3 features like static routing and DHCP server functionality.

Cloud-based Management

The Meraki MS120-24-HW leverages Meraki’s cloud-based networking platform, allowing you to manage, monitor, and troubleshoot your network from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes it easier to maintain and optimize your network infrastructure.

Quality of Service (QoS) Settings

The MS120-24-HW switch supports Quality of Service (QoS) settings, enabling you to prioritize specific types of network traffic to ensure optimal performance for critical applications and services.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) Capabilities

While the MS120-24-HW does not offer native PoE capabilities, there is a separate PoE model (MS120-24P-HW) available, which provides PoE and PoE+ support for devices such as IP phones and access points.

Installation and Setup

Preparing for Installation

Before installing your MS120-24-HW switch, you’ll need to ensure you have the necessary hardware, such as mounting brackets, screws, and cage nuts. You should also make sure you have an active Meraki cloud license for your switch.

Physical Setup of the Switch

  1. Mount the switch in your desired location using the provided mounting brackets and screws.
  2. Connect the power cord to the switch and plug it into an electrical outlet.
  3. Connect your devices and uplink connections using Ethernet cables.

Configuring the Switch through the Meraki Dashboard

  1. Log in to your Meraki Dashboard account or create a new account if you don’t have one.
  2. Add the MS120-24-HW switch to your network by entering the serial number found on the back of the device.
  3. Configure your switch settings, such as network configuration, VLANs, QoS, and security settings, through the Dashboard.

Best Practices for Setting up VLANs and QoS

  1. Plan your VLAN structure beforehand, considering the various departments and services within your organization.
  2. Assign appropriate VLAN IDs and names to each VLAN for better organization and management.
  3. Enable QoS settings and prioritize traffic for critical applications and services, such as VoIP or video conferencing.

Management and Monitoring

Navigating the Meraki Dashboard

The Meraki Dashboard is your central hub for managing and monitoring your MS120-24-HW switch. Through the Dashboard, you can access features like:

  • Device status and health
  • Port configurations
  • Network traffic analytics
  • Security settings
  • Firmware updates

Setting up Alerts and Notifications

  1. Navigate to the “Alerts & administration” section within the Dashboard.
  2. Configure alert settings according to your preferences, such as email notifications for device up/down events or configuration changes.
  3. Save your settings and ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner.

Monitoring Network Performance

The Meraki Dashboard offers various tools for monitoring network performance, such as:

  • Real-time traffic analytics
  • Port status and utilization
  • Network health overviews
  • Historical data and trends

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  1. Use the Dashboard’s built-in troubleshooting tools, such as event logs and packet captures, to diagnose issues.
  2. Check for firmware updates and apply them as necessary.
  3. Contact Meraki Support for further assistance if needed.

Integrations and APIs

Overview of Meraki APIs

The Meraki platform offers a range of APIs that allow you to integrate your MS120-24-HW switch with third-party software and automate various tasks. These APIs include:

  • Configuration management
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Location-based services
  • Security settings

Integrating with Third-Party Software

  1. Obtain API keys from the Meraki Dashboard by navigating to “Organization > Settings > API access.”
  2. Use the API keys to authenticate and interact with third-party software or custom applications.
  3. Leverage the API documentation and resources to build integrations that meet your organization’s needs.

Automating Tasks with APIs

  1. Use the Meraki APIs to automate routine tasks, such as creating new networks, configuring devices, or generating reports.
  2. Leverage programming languages like Python, JavaScript, or Ruby to build custom scripts that interact with the APIs.

Use Cases

Small to Medium Business Networks

The MS120-24-HW is a great fit for small to medium-sized businesses, offering reliable performance, scalability, and ease of management through the Meraki Dashboard.

Hospitality and Entertainment Venues

The switch is ideal for hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues, providing robust network infrastructure for guest access, POS systems, and other critical services.

Educational Institutions

Schools and universities can benefit from the MS120-24-HW’s powerful features, ensuring a reliable and secure network for students, faculty, and staff.

Healthcare Organizations

With its cloud-based management and high-performance capabilities, the MS120-24-HW is an excellent choice for healthcare organizations, ensuring secure and reliable access to patient records, telemedicine services, and other critical applications.

Comparison to Similar Products

Comparison to Other Meraki Switches

The MS120-24-HW is part of the Meraki MS120 series, which also includes models with different port counts and PoE capabilities. When compared to other Meraki switches, such as the MS210 or MS250 series, the MS120-24-HW offers an affordable option for smaller networks while still maintaining core Meraki features like cloud-based management and reliable performance.

Comparison to Non-Meraki Switches

When compared to non-Meraki switches, the MS120-24-HW stands out due to its cloud-based management capabilities and the ease of deployment offered by the Meraki Dashboard. While other switches may offer similar performance or features, the MS120-24-HW’s simplified management experience can save time and effort for IT teams.


Summary of Key Takeaways

The Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW switch offers a powerful and reliable networking solution for small to medium-sized businesses and organizations. With its cloud-based management, robust features, and ease of installation, the MS120-24-HW is an excellent choice for those looking to optimize their network infrastructure and enhance their overall network performance.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

If you’re in the market for a scalable, easy-to-manage switch that offers robust performance and security features, the Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW is an excellent option to consider. Its cloud-based management and powerful capabilities make it a valuable addition to any network infrastructure.


What is Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW switch?

The Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW is a cloud-managed Layer 2 access switch with 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports, designed for small to medium-sized businesses and organizations.

What are the benefits of using Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW switch?

Benefits of using the MS120-24-HW switch include its cloud-based management, ease of installation, scalability, robust performance, and security features.

How do I set up the Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW switch?

Setting up the MS120-24-HW involves physically installing the switch, connecting devices and uplinks, and configuring the switch through the Meraki Dashboard.

What are the key features of Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW switch?

Key features of the MS120-24-HW include its 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports, Layer 2 and Layer 3 capabilities, cloud-based management, Quality of Service (QoS) settings, and optional PoE support with the MS120-24P-HW model.

How do I troubleshoot Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW switch?

Troubleshooting the MS120-24-HW involves using the Meraki Dashboard’s built-in tools, checking for firmware updates, and contacting Meraki Support if necessary.

How do I manage the Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW switch?

The MS120-24-HW switch is managed through the Meraki Dashboard, which allows you to configure settings, monitor network performance, and troubleshoot issues.

What are the best practices for using Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW switch?

Best practices include planning your VLAN structure, prioritizing traffic using QoS settings, and regularly monitoring network performance through the Meraki Dashboard.

What are the use cases for Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW switch?

Use cases for the MS120-24-HW include small to medium-sized business networks, hospitality and entertainment venues, educational institutions, and healthcare organizations.

How does Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW compare to other Cisco switches?

The MS120-24-HW offers an affordable and reliable option for smaller networks, while still providing core Meraki features like cloud-based management and robust performance.

How does Cisco Meraki MS120-24-HW integrate with other Cisco Meraki products?

The MS120-24-HW seamlessly integrates with other Cisco Meraki products, such as access points, security appliances, and cameras, through the Meraki Dashboard. This allows for a unified management experience and simplifies network administration tasks.

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

The MS250-48LP-HW is a larger, more advanced switch compared to the MS120-24-HW. Deployment scenarios for the MS250-48LP-HW include larger business networks, data centers, and organizations with higher port density requirements and more advanced Layer 3 routing needs.

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

Cisco Meraki offers various licensing options for their switches, including 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10-year options. These licenses include access to the Meraki Dashboard, software updates, and technical support. It is important to choose the appropriate license duration for your organization to ensure uninterrupted access to the switch’s features and management capabilities.

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