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Using Batch Network Creation

Deploy and provision hundreds of networks in a few clicks.
BD
Written by Boundless Digital
Updated 5 months ago

Overview

The Batch Network Creation tool is an advanced network creation workflow.

In other words, this feature allows you to massively deploy new networks in a just a few minutes automatically, powered by the Meraki API.

Follow this article to learn about how this feature works.

Prerequisites

  • Initial setup
    Before using the Batch Network Creation tool, you must have previously setup your Boundless account and synchronized the Boundless Platform with your Meraki organization.
  • Pre-populated CSV or Excel file
    You'll also need to have prepared a pre-populated .csv or .xls file. This document should include all the necessary information you need to successfully create and provision your new Meraki networks.

Using the Batch Network Creation

Step 1 | Prepare your .csv or .xls file

The Batch Network Creation tool uses the data you upload to automatically create and provision new networks. In order to successfully upload your data to the platform, you'll need to prepare a spreadsheet including all the information you’ll want to use when creating your new Meraki networks.

The file formats currently supported by the Boundless platform are .csv and .xls.

What data should I include on the spreadsheet?

The Batch Network Creation tools lets you granularly configure your Meraki networks. From naming, to configuring associated SSIDs, or even creating new VLANs, you can do a full setup in a matter of minutes.

But first of all you must ensure that you enter the right parameters and data. These are the parameters that you can include:*

Config step Parameters Tag Format
Create Network Network name name Alphanumeric
Create Network Network type type Individual /or/ Combined. If combined, items must be separated using semicolon (;) characters.
Create Network Network timezone timezone Tz Database Name
Configure SSID Name of your SSIDs SSID name Alphanumeric. Only accepts one SSID per Column. For multiple SSIDs, duplicate the Column as many times as SSIDs you want to create.
Add Network Tags Network tags  tags Alphanumeric. If multiple tags, Items must be separated using semicolon (;) characters.
Claim an Order Order Number order number Alphanumeric
Add Devices Network devices' serial numbers serials Alphanumeric
Create a VLAN VLAN Name vlan name Alphanumeric
Create a VLAN VLAN Subnet vlan subnet Numeric
Create a VLAN VLAN Mx IP address vlan ip Numeric
Create a VLAN VLAN ID vlan id Numeric
Bound Network to Template Template name template name Alphanumeric
Remember that the first line of your file should always contain the headers for each column (column header).
IMPORTANT: The way you format the values within your spreadsheet matters. If not correctly formatted, parameters may not be recorded or could lead to errors down the line. Please take a look to the spreadsheet formatting guidelines. {{link to article}}
For more information, download the sample csv file.
Note: You'll need to be logged on the platform to download the file.

Step 2 | Create a new flow and upload your file

Once your file is ready you can go ahead and upload it to the Batch Network Creation tool.

For that, you need to go to the Network Management Dashboard and click on DEPLOYMENT (on the left side bar).

This will open an initial page, where you can find a summary of your previously deployed workflows and also create new ones.

Note that if you are using the application for the first time, the summary will look empty.

Since in this exercise we are going to create a new flow, you'll need to click on New flow. This will open a file selector where you can easily upload your .csv file.

Step 3 | Set up your flow

Once you've uploaded your file to the platform and after this has been processed, the only thing left to do is to choose your configuration steps. Now, this is really simple.

  • Create Network 
    This step is mandatory as it will serve you to configure the name of your network, device type, and timezone. It is necessary to include this data on your spreadsheet, otherwise the networks will not be created.

    To configure it, you just need to click on the dropdown menu for each parameter and select the corresponding column title.

    All options proposed correspond to the columns you've included in your spreadsheet. To simplify the process, we strongly recommend you use the csv sample template available on our platform.

  • Additional steps
    If you want to add additional steps when configuring your network, you can easily do so by clicking on Add step.

    Here is a list of additional steps you can choose to configure with Batch Network Creation*:
    → Configure one (or multiple) SSID(s)
    → Add tags to your networks
    → Claim an order
    → Add devices to your network
    → Add tags to your network devices
    → Create a VLAN
    → Bound your network to an existing template

    If you have to configure a step several times (for instance, if you want to create multiple SSIDs on your network), you just need to Add the Step as many times as the number of SSIDs you want to create.

Step 4 | Execute and go grab a coffee

Have you already finished setting up your config steps? Then click on EXECUTE and let the Meraki API and Boundless do the rest.

The networks will be automatically created and deployed both on Boundless and on the Meraki Dashboard.

Take advantage of the time you saved to grab a coffee and focus on next steps 😉.

* As of December 2020. If you'd like us to include any additional parameter or config step, please contact us.

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