How to deploy new Meraki sites in bulk: Configuration Management and Batch Deployment tools

Deploying new sites and managing network configurations can be a challenging task, especially when you’re dealing with multiple branches or locations. Cisco Meraki, a leader in cloud-managed IT solutions, provides a range of integrated tools that simplify this process, making it more efficient and less error-prone. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore different methods to deploy new Meraki sites using batch deployments and configuration management tools, including the Bulk Network Creation Tool, Meraki templates, and the Meraki API.

Table of Contents

Overview of Meraki Integrated Solutions

Cisco Meraki offers an array of tools designed to streamline the process of deploying and managing networks across multiple locations. These tools are built into the Meraki Dashboard, providing a unified interface for managing all aspects of your network infrastructure. Some of the key tools include:

  1. Bulk Network Creation Tool: This tool enables you to create multiple networks simultaneously, significantly reducing the time and effort required to deploy new sites.
  2. Meraki Templates: These are pre-configured settings that can be applied to new networks, ensuring that all your sites share a consistent configuration.
  3. Meraki API: The application programming interface (API) allows you to automate network deployment and management tasks, integrating Meraki with other IT systems and tools.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these tools and how they can help you deploy new Meraki sites quickly and efficiently.

Bulk Network Creation Tool

What is Meraki's Bulk Network Creation Tool?

The Bulk Network Creation Tool is a feature within the Meraki Dashboard that allows you to create multiple networks at once, using a CSV file to define the necessary parameters. This tool is particularly useful for organisations that need to deploy multiple sites with similar configurations, such as retail chains or branch offices.

How does it work?

To use the Bulk Network Creation Tool, you’ll first need to create a CSV file containing the details of the networks you want to create. This file should include the following information:

  • Network name
  • Network type (e.g., wireless, security appliance, switch, or a combination)
  • Address (optional)
  • Latitude and longitude (optional)

Once you have prepared the CSV file, you can upload it to the Meraki Dashboard, and the Bulk Network Creation Tool will create the networks based on the information provided. You can then configure and deploy the new networks as needed.

Use cases

The Bulk Network Creation Tool is ideal for organisations that need to deploy multiple networks with similar configurations, such as:

  • Retail chains with multiple stores
  • Franchise businesses
  • Distributed branch offices
  • Educational institutions with multiple campuses

Benefits and limitations


  • Saves time and effort when deploying multiple networks
  • Reduces the risk of configuration errors
  • Streamlines the network deployment process


  • Requires some manual intervention to create and upload the CSV file
  • Not suitable for networks with unique configurations that differ significantly from one another

Meraki Configuration Templates

What are the Meraki Templates?

Meraki templates are pre-configured network settings that can be applied to new networks, ensuring that all your sites share a consistent configuration. Meraki’s templates provide a powerful way to standardise your network configurations, making it easier to manage and troubleshoot your infrastructure.

How do they work?

To create a Meraki template, you’ll first need to configure a “master” network with the desired settings, such as SSIDs, VLANs, firewall rules, and security policies. Once you’ve configured the master network, you can create a template based on its settings, which can then be applied to new networks. Alternatively, you can also create a “blank” template.

When you apply a template to a new network, the Meraki Dashboard will automatically configure the network with the settings defined in the template. You can also make changes to the template, and these changes will be propagated to all networks associated with the template (bound networks).

Use cases

Meraki templates are ideal for organisations that need to maintain consistent network configurations across multiple sites, such as:

  • Enterprises with standardised IT policies
  • Managed service providers (MSPs) managing multiple customer networks
  • Organisations with strict security and compliance requirements

Benefits and limitations


  • Streamlines network configuration and management

  • Ensures consistent settings across all sites

  • Simplifies troubleshooting and support tasks


Using the Meraki API

Automating network deployment using the Meraki API

The Meraki API allows you to automate network deployment and management tasks by integrating Meraki with other IT systems and tools. By leveraging the API, you can create custom scripts and applications that interact with the Meraki Dashboard, eliminating manual steps and reducing the risk of errors.

Endpoints available and requisites

The Meraki API provides a wide range of endpoints for interacting with your network infrastructure, including:

  • Network creation and management
  • Device configuration and monitoring
  • Security policy enforcement
  • Event logging and reporting

To use the Meraki API, you’ll need to generate an API key from the Meraki Dashboard, which provides authentication and access control for your API calls. You’ll also need to familiarise yourself with the API documentation, which outlines the available endpoints, request parameters, and response formats.

More Information and Alternative Solutions

To find out more information, there are plenty of resources on the Meraki website. Below are a few links to helpful guides.

Bulk Network Creation Tool and Templates:

Meraki API:

Meraki Marketplace Apps:

Meraki Marketplace is their offering of prebuilt apps and features for over 40 different business categories. It also includes off-the-shelf solutions, such as Boundless Automation, for Meraki which can help you streamline and standardise the deployment of large network infrastructures.


Deploying new Meraki sites using batch deployments and configuration management tools can significantly streamline the process, saving time and effort while reducing the risk of errors.

The Bulk Network Creation Tool, Meraki templates, and the Meraki API each offer unique advantages and capabilities, catering to different use cases and organisational requirements. By leveraging these tools, you can create a more efficient and consistent network deployment process, ensuring that your organisation’s infrastructure remains reliable, secure, and easy to manage.
If none of these tools are suitable for your needs, you can also have a look at the Meraki marketplace, where you’ll find advanced deployment solutions for more complex deployment needs.

Whether you’re deploying networks for a retail chain, a franchise business, or a distributed enterprise, Meraki integrated tools and Ecosystem Apps provide the flexibility and automation needed to scale your IT infrastructure effectively.

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