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Cisco Defense Orchestrator

Managing Meraki with Cisco Defense Orchestrator

About Meraki

Meraki MX is an enterprise security and software-defined wide-area-network (SD-WAN) next-generation firewall appliance designed for distributed deployments. It is managed remotely using the Meraki dashboard; at this time, CDO supports L3 firewall rules only. 

After you onboard a Meraki device to CDO, CDO communicates with the Meraki dashboard to manage the device. CDO does not communicate with the MX directly. See Meraki Next-Gen Firewall Technologies and Meraki product documentation for more information. CDO securely transfers configuration requests to the Meraki dashboard which then applies the new configuration to the device. CDO does not communicate with the MX directly.  See How Does CDO Communicate With Meraki for more information.

 CDO helps you optimize your Meraki environment by identifying problems with objects and policies and gives you ways to fix them. This applies to policies that are associated to both devices and templates. Use CDO to:

  • Onboard one or multiple devices and simultaneously manage them.
  • Monitor and manage Meraki devices or templates alongside your FTD and ASA devices in an all-encompassing environment.
  • Use an Meraki template to manage multiple networks. 
  • Customize access rules with objects that are compatible across other supported platforms, such as FTD and ASA devices. 
  • Troubleshoot policies.  

Onboard Meraki

You can onboard either a Meraki MX device or a Meraki template to CDO. To onboard a Meraki MX device or a Meraki template, see Onboard a Meraki device to Defense Orchestrator and Onboard Meraki MX Templates to Defense Orchestratorfor more information. 

Meraki Layer 3 Rules and CDO

Layer 3 rules enforce policy at the Network Layer of the OSI model. See Using Layer 3 Firewall Rules for more information. 

The Meraki environment allows you to create Layer 3 outbound rules in the Meraki dashboard. CDO reads in the Layer 3 rules you have defined in the Meraki dashboard when you onboard a device into CDO. You can then manage these rules just as you would manage FTD or ASA rules in CDO. See Manage Meraki Access Control Policy for more information.


Fine-tune your new access control policy with objects. The Meraki dashboard uses protocols and groups of IP addresses or IP address ranges; in contrast, CDO uses a variety of objects to manage rules. To understand how CDO transfers Meraki protocols into objects, see Objects Associated with Meraki Devices for more information. The following objects can be created in CDO and translated into IP groups in the Meraki dashboard:

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