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The acquisition of Meraki by Cisco Systems, if and when it’s a done deal, will be the smartest action undertaken by Cisco of late. Cisco reigns over networking hardware enterprise market, but has made significant inroads in the consumer wireless networking space with its acquisition of Linksys back in 2003.

Recently, the networking titan has made moves to integrate the cloud with its very capable networking hardware, but that integration hasn’t always gone so well. Case in point, the awkward rollout of the Cisco Connect Cloud platform, which was forced on owners of Cisco Linksys Smart Wi-Fi routers and caused some eyebrow-raising over privacy issues with the Terms of Service, and rendered some users’ Cisco routers’ unmanageable.

Meraki, meanwhile, has focused primarily on the SMBIcon 1, making decent, although not killer, access points for business networks. We’ve tested Meraki products over the years, including Meraki’s Enterprise Wireless LAN AP.

What stands out with Meraki networking equipment is not so much that it offers top-performing hardware. What is great about Meraki, is that the company’s been ahead of the pack as far as integrating cloud capability with its products. The aforementioned AP included Meraki’s Cloud Controller—software that allows administrators to manage multiple online Meraki APs in a single interface and efficiently configure the APs in a mesh network.

Bringing Meraki into Cisco’s fold is good for consumers as Cisco will be able to pad its cloud management capabilities in its Smart Wi-Fi line of routers and add a real SMB core that has eluded Cisco for a while. Cisco’s dominant in the enterprise and has made great inroad into the consumer networking market.

— this aricle is an abstract of an original article by Samara Lynn