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Mobility Print manual

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Mobility Print architecture

When planning to set up Mobility Print in large or complex environments, questions often pop up about what the best architecture is and how many servers will be needed. This section covers several architecture designs to help you with your roll out.

Single Mobility Print server with a known host

For use in environments:

  • that have one or multiple subnets
  • without an internal DNS or configurable DNS.

When you configure Mobility Print to use a known host address, clients are pre-configured with the address of the Mobility Print server. This means that clients don’t need to discover any servers—they connect directly to the Mobility Print server and get the printer queue details from there.

On the right, two printers are connected to a Mobility Print server in the middle of the image. As soon as the client on the let connects to the server, the server can reply with the printer details. The client can then send print jobs straight away.
Single Mobility Print server with a known host

Single Mobility Print server with mDNS

In cases where there is a simple flat network with only one subnet, just install Mobility Print on the print server.

By default, mDNS broadcasts the printers in the local subnet. Devices outside of the subnet will not see the broadcast.

On the left is subnet A above subnet B. Subnet A includes the mDNS server and Mobility Server and can see the two printers on the right. Subnet B has no mDNS broadcast so it can't see the printers.
Single Mobility Print server with mDNS

Single Mobility Print server with mDNS, patched into multiple networks

When there are multiple subnets on the network, for example a wired network and a Wi-Fi network, just plug the Mobility Print server into both networks. You can do this by adding a network interface (such as a Wi-Fi dongle) to connect the Mobility Print server to the second network.

The Mobility Print server will automatically broadcast printers on both interfaces, and clients on both subnets will be able to discover the printers.

This is a handy deployment method if there are a couple of subnets in the network, but no internal DNS server.

On the left is subnet A above subnet B. Both subnet A and subnet B are plugged into the mDNS server and Mobility Server and can see to two printers on the right.
Single Mobility Print server with mDNS, patched into multiple networks

Single Mobility Print server with mDNS, with a network configured for Bonjour Forwarding or mDNS reflectors

This scenario is rare, but if the networking hardware supports Bonjour Forwarding, then it is possible to configure the router or wireless access points to forward mDNS traffic from the Mobility Server VLAN to the user VLANs.

Another way to achieve this is with an mDNS reflector appliance. However, it is best to set up the DNS records if there is a DNS server.

On the left is subnet A above subnet B. Subnet A is plugged into the mDNS server and Mobility Server. It also contains a mDNS repeater listening for any mDNS broadcasts on this network. Subnet B has only an mDNS repeater that picks up the details from the subnet A repeater and rebroadcasts them in subnet B.
Single Mobility Print server with mDNS, with a network configured for Bonjour Forwarding or mDNS reflectors

Multiple Mobility Print servers with mDNS

If each site already has its own print server that serves the local subnet, then simply install Mobility Print on each server and use the built in mDNS. Even though there are multiple Mobility Print servers, clients will only see the printers broadcast from the Mobility Print server in the same subnet.

This isn’t recommended if the print servers are all located at one data center and all the mDNS broadcast traffic has to squeeze through a WAN connection.

On the left is subnet A above subnet B. Both subnet A and subnet B have their own mDNS server and Mobility Server. Subnet A can see printers A and B on the right. Subnet B can see Printers C and D on the right.
Multiple Mobility Print servers with mDNS

Single Mobility Print server with DNS-SD records set up

This is the trusty, tried, and true method. Just follow the steps on the Mobility Print server to set up the DNS records.

Instead of the Mobility Print server broadcasting the printers, clients check with the DNS server to discover the printing services and are then redirected to the Mobility Print server.

PaperCut NG/MF customers can use this solution in tandem with Find-Me printing, allowing users to send print jobs to the Find-Me Print queue from any device, from anywhere in the network, with the ability to release the print job at any MFD.

On the left is subnet A above subnet B. In the middle is a DNS Server above a Mobility Server. On the right, next to the Mobility Server, are Printer A and Printer B. Both subnets ask the DNS server about available printers. The DNS Server checks with the Mobility Server to get the printer details.
Single Mobility Print server with DNS-SD records set up

Multiple Mobility Print servers with DNS-SD records set up

There are plenty of other ways to set up Mobility Print for extremely large environments; however, managing the DNS records can get extremely complicated. Take a look at Configure printer discovery using DNS.

On the left is subnet A above subnet B. To the right of them is a DNS server. To the right of that are two Mobility servers, one above the other. The top Mobility server is connected to Printer A and Printer B. The bottom Mobility server is connected to Printer C and Printer D. Subnet A asks DNS for printers on this network. The DNS server replies 'yes' and asks the Mobility servers for the printer details.
Multiple Mobility Print servers with DNS-SD records set up

Hybrid — a Mobility Print server with mDNS enabled and the DNS-SD records set up

In most networks, clients can discover the Mobility Print server using DNS-SD, because they are pointed towards the organization’s internal DNS server. However, what if there is a Guest Wi-Fi network that uses an external DNS server instead?

Fortunately an easy solution is to patch the Mobility Print server into the Guest Wi-Fi network and re-enable mDNS broadcast on the Mobility Print server.

Clients pointed to the organization’s DNS server will be able to discover the printers, and clients pointed towards an external DNS server would still be able to discover the printers because they are in the same subnet as the Mobility Print server.

On the left is subnet A above subnet B. Subnet B contains an mDNS server and Mobility server.To the right of subnet A is a DNS server. To the right of subnet B are Printers A and B. When subnet A asks the DNS server if it has any printers, is replies 'yes' and asks the Mobility server in subnet B for the details.
Hybrid—a Mobility Print server with mDNS enabled and the DNS-SD records set up

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