Support Apple Bonjour Services – AirPrint, AirPlay and more
Apple iOS devices use a protocol call Bonjour to communicate between each other using services such as AirPrint and AirPlay. While this works fine in simple network environments such as the home, Bonjour does not traverse IP network (subnet) boundaries. This poses implementation challenges when supporting Apple devices in enterprise class networks that typically use multiple subnets. Xirrus Wireless Arrays support Bonjour Director – a gateway function for managing Bonjour services in an enterprise network.
Bonjour uses the Multicast Domain Name System (mDNS) protocol for device discovery and service advertisement across a network, enabling devices such as iPads, iPhones, AppleTV, and printers to communicate with each other. By monitoring Bonjour advertisements, clients can learn the location of any service and then connect to it. However mDNS is a multicast protocol and will flood networks with traffic if simply forwarded freely between subnets. Xirrus Bonjour Director selectively filters and forwards Bonjour traffic as configured to the correct subnet or VLAN.
Bonjour Director increases performance of Apple dense environments by controlling Bonjour service messages that can otherwise slow wireless networks. An iPad which may be on a separate VLAN or subnet from the printer or AppleTV can now see these devices. If the iPad initiates a print job, this traffic will only be broadcasted to the correct VLAN. The function operates entirely on the Xirrus Wireless Arrays – there is no need for a separate appliance just to manage Bonjour services.
Flexible - Supports bi-directional service advertisements without multicast loops
Scalable and Secure – Limits broadcasting of unnecessary Bonjour traffic across entire network and adheres to enterprise security policies
Fully Integrated – Xirrus Arrays come with Bonjour Director built in with no need for a separate appliance
Bonjour Director Application Note
Bonjour is Apple's "Zero Config" networking solution, that facilitates simplified deployment of Apple devices in a Local Area Network (LAN), such as typically used in the home or small business.