Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI) vs. Cisco Meraki MX

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cisco ACI
Score 8.5 out of 10
N/A
Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is network virtualization technology.N/A
Cisco Meraki MX
Score 8.8 out of 10
N/A
Cisco Meraki MX Firewalls is a combined UTM and Software-Defined WAN solution. Meraki is managed via the cloud, and provides core firewall services, including site-to-site VPN, plus network monitoring.
$595
per appliance
Pricing
Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI)Cisco Meraki MX
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
MX64
$595
per appliance
MX67
$695
per appliance
MX68
$995
per appliance
MX84
$1,995
per appliance
MX100
$4,995
per appliance
MX250
$9,995
per appliance
MX450
$19,995
per appliance
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Cisco ACICisco Meraki MX
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI)Cisco Meraki MX
Considered Both Products
Cisco ACI
Chose Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI)
LAN, Storage network and compute were already Cisco so we moved from Nexus to Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure as natural alignment and simplified the dc operations.
Cisco Meraki MX

No answer on this topic

Top Pros
Top Cons
Features
Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI)Cisco Meraki MX
Firewall
Comparison of Firewall features of Product A and Product B
Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI)
-
Ratings
Cisco Meraki MX
7.7
85 Ratings
10% below category average
Identification Technologies00 Ratings8.081 Ratings
Visualization Tools00 Ratings8.482 Ratings
Content Inspection00 Ratings7.381 Ratings
Policy-based Controls00 Ratings7.379 Ratings
Active Directory and LDAP00 Ratings7.071 Ratings
Firewall Management Console00 Ratings7.783 Ratings
Reporting and Logging00 Ratings7.185 Ratings
VPN00 Ratings8.281 Ratings
High Availability00 Ratings8.481 Ratings
Stateful Inspection00 Ratings8.076 Ratings
Proxy Server00 Ratings7.044 Ratings
Best Alternatives
Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI)Cisco Meraki MX
Small Businesses

No answers on this topic

pfSense
pfSense
Score 9.3 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Cisco Catalyst Center
Cisco Catalyst Center
Score 8.4 out of 10
pfSense
pfSense
Score 9.3 out of 10
Enterprises
Cisco Catalyst Center
Cisco Catalyst Center
Score 8.4 out of 10
Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Score 9.4 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI)Cisco Meraki MX
Likelihood to Recommend
8.4
(63 ratings)
8.2
(114 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.6
(5 ratings)
8.2
(5 ratings)
Usability
8.6
(6 ratings)
9.2
(7 ratings)
Availability
9.1
(2 ratings)
9.1
(1 ratings)
Performance
9.1
(9 ratings)
9.1
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
9.1
(9 ratings)
8.0
(15 ratings)
In-Person Training
8.2
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Implementation Rating
8.0
(3 ratings)
7.0
(1 ratings)
Product Scalability
8.6
(9 ratings)
8.9
(81 ratings)
User Testimonials
Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI)Cisco Meraki MX
Likelihood to Recommend
Cisco
Well suited to data center deployments with storage and compute to host applications. When deployed with VMWARE and/or hyperconverged infrastructure you get a good solution that is reliable and robust and can support a vast array of solutions. Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure works on any sized solution however, it's more appropriate to mid to large scale deployments.
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Cisco
Small office, small business, medium business even larger enterprise can work on Cisco Meraki MX if they can sacrifice some of the functionality that Cisco Meraki MX can not provide. To enhance security, I would advise combining with cloud delivered firewall.
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Pros
Cisco
  • The REST API allows your to programmatically interact with the network and make massive changes very quickly when needed.
  • The API allows you to tie together Server Provisioning tools, storage provisioning tools, into an orchestration platform such as Ansible to streamline new deployments and builds.
  • New Deployments are extremely simple once you've worked out your programatic deployment process. We can deploy new clients/tenants in seconds rather than days or weeks like it used to take.
  • Replacing failed switches/apics/etc is also extremely easy.
  • Tightly couple the underlying Network Infrastructure to VMWare Deployments to allow VMs to move anywhere in the datacenter at the drop of a hat.
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Cisco
  • The management is the best. I'm an old-fashioned networking guy, so I'm used to going to the site itself and connecting. For example, a console cable and start and start configuring. Now since the management is so easy on Meraki I can configure everything from the headquarters from where I sit in Israel and then just go to the site and connect and basically, it's plug and play. After I configure everything from my office in Israel, I can just go to the site for a few hours, and connect everything. Just the magic happens.
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Cons
Cisco
  • The APIC web UI is slow. Even on the newer UCS systems it is laggy.
  • The terminology for some of the objects is really confusing for someone that never used Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure. It would be at least helpful if there would be a link to a reference of the "classical" terms in the web UI.
  • The cost of the hardware, together with the management platform, is high. It is difficult to convince my management layer why the ease of manageability outweighs the high price.
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Cisco
  • Map and floor plan area is clunky.
  • The way you need to segment devices by network causes you to need to go to different dropdowns to see everything at a single site. They have improved this and now allow you to add firewall, switches and wireless to create a single site, but still a bit clunky.
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Likelihood to Renew
Cisco
Cisco ACI is doing exactly what was intended for it to do, that is support our next generation data centre, improve security, and increase resiliency. Migrating to another platform would be a waste of time, resource and energy, which could be better spent migrating more legacy applications into the Cisco ACI fabric.
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Cisco
As we have it in place now, we will continue to keep it at our remote sites. Future expansion is something we are reviewing, and may well start with some of the larger switches as they seem to offer good performance and management at a reasonable price. Wireless is also something we're investing in and their devices are great for that.
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Usability
Cisco
Cisco ACI has changed the traditional data center model into a new era of automation and agility. The product was considerably easy to deploy met all the expectations. In terms of usability, ACI provides a unified interface for managing the whole infrastructure in one place which is the main benefit for users (admins)
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Cisco
The Cisco Meraki MX series is very easy to use. Setting up user VPN access, site to site VPN to tie multiple locations together and managing all your devices. You can even download the latest firmware and install without ever leaving the dashboard. Meraki is the very definition of easy to use
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Reliability and Availability
Cisco
no outages
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Cisco
No answers on this topic
Performance
Cisco
I do not give it 10 because the platform evolves more and more every day in the data traffic of the datacenter. But the implementations that they carry out for different clients of the platform are very happy with the result of the same over time. Another point that you notice about the platform, despite its good performance, is the low use of energy used by this 24x7 on, it is a good fact to take into account for our environment.
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Cisco
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Cisco
Cisco provides users and partners with a multitude of data for you to consume. I think that the stuff in the public domain goes a long way to assisting you find any answers you may need, plus insights and information from areas such as DevNet provide you with access to more than just the traditional release notes and the like
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Cisco
I haven't ever had a bad experience with Meraki support. On the few occasions where I wasn't understanding the UI or needed some clarification about what a setting actually would do, I contacted them and they were very quickly able to provide help. Returns are simple and fast, too. We had to return a defective device one time and they shipped the replacement before we had even un-racked the one that was faulty. Unlike many other vendors, they didn't ask use to a do long list of scripted diagnostics, they just took my word for it that the device was broken and sent out a replacement immediately
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In-Person Training
Cisco
The Cisco ACI training provided by Cisco was in depth, covered all of our requirements, and allowed us to implement and maintain the platform without issues.
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Cisco
No answers on this topic
Implementation Rating
Cisco
Not applicable
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Cisco
Good product and simple to use.
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Alternatives Considered
Cisco
NSX-T and ACI both are definitely awesome products. I tend to use ACI in networks that have more barebone and/or alternative hypervisors. NSX still works best in VMware heavy networks. Another consideration is where the network is managed, by which team. If the network is solely managed by the network team ACI tends to be a better fitting solution. Also since ACI is a complete solution you don't need any other products. If you implement NSX you will still need a physical network.
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Cisco
Overall, for a new network admin or a non-IT person, the Cisco Meraki MX is much easier to configure for a single site than the Cisco ASA Firewalls. ASA can be quicker for those with a background in Cisco command line OS.
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Scalability
Cisco
Cisco ACI scales well and is suited in scenarios such as multi-cloud or large data centre implementations. It is not suited to smaller deployments as the efficiencies that it provides are not fully realised. It is well suited in large environments that contain both virtual and bare-metal machines allowing a great deal of flexibility. It is also perfect to support multi-tenancy platforms.
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Cisco
The Cisco Meraki MX is basically a good product, but not perfect. If you compare the Cisco Meraki MX with a Fortigate or Cisco Firepower, you quickly realize that this system can do less than the reference product. The Cisco Meraki MX can be used in small environments, but in large environments you have to check carefully whether it really makes sense to use it.
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Return on Investment
Cisco
  • Positive impact moving off of legacy to ACI has shorten costs of operations.
  • Native support for automation makes deployment easier and takes few mins than large amount of hours that can bring costs (OT over time) since it takes minutes to deploy this OT cost has decreased.
  • Troubleshooting made easier, this gains customer trust, therefore we get to spend less time trying to solve an issue and less operations costs.
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Cisco
  • VPN tunnel between locations has been up 99% of the time in the 7 years that I have used the Cisco Meraki MXs in my current position. That does not include ISP issues because, in my mind, that shouldn't dictate the performance of the Cisco Meraki MXs.
  • Sometimes we get phishing emails with malicious links in them. We are able to block the URLs on our network using the Cisco Meraki MXs, and the appliance configuration sets in less than a minute. Blocking that link for anyone over VPN or on the LAN.
  • The interface is really simple and configuration is a breeze, which makes deploying a new Cisco Meraki MX really fast and easy. Replacing an Cisco Meraki MX is even easier, Just remove the old and add the new and all the configuration stays for the new appliance to use. Saves so much time and money.
  • The biggest thing is we have not had really any issues with any of our Cisco Meraki MXs going down in the past 7 years. The reliability with these devices are amazing.
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