Mobility Print Architecture

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Help! How should we set up Mobility Print? Should we use mDNS or DNS? What if we have multiple print servers?

When setting up Mobility Print in large or complex environments questions will often pop up about what the best method will be, and how many servers will be needed.

Below is a list of questions that should be asked before setting up Mobility Print, and further below is a table with the best setup method depending on the answer to each question.

  • How many subnets are in the network?
  • Is there an internal DNS server?
  • How many print servers will need Mobility Print?
Mobility Print Architecture Quick Reference Chart
# of Subnets?Is there an internal DNS Server?# of Mobility Servers?Recommended Setup method
1  1. Single Mobility Print server with mDNS.
2  2. Single Mobility Print server with mDNS, connected to multiple networks.
> 2No internal DNS13. Single Mobility Print server with mDNS, with router configured for Bonjour Forwarding or mDNS repeaters.
> 2No internal DNS> 24. Multiple Mobility Print servers with mDNS.
> 2Yes internal DNS.15. Single Mobility Print server with DNS-SD records set up.
> 2Yes internal DNS> 26. Various methods to have Multiple Mobility Print servers (large scale deployment).
> 2Internal DNS for some networks 7. Hybrid, a Mobility Print server with mDNS enabled and the DNS-SD records set up.

1. Single Mobility Print server with mDNS.

In cases where there is a simple flat network with only one subnet, then just install Mobility Print on the print server. By default mDNS will just work to broadcast the printers in the local subnet. Devices outside of the subnet will not be able to see the broadcast.

2. Single Mobility Print server with mDNS, patched into multiple networks.

When there are is more than one subnet on the network, such as a wired network and a WiFi network then just plug the Mobility Print server into both networks. You could do this by adding an additional network interface (such as a WiFi dongle) to get the Mobility Print server connected to the second network. The Mobility Print server will automatically broadcast printers on both interfaces, and devices on both subnets will be able to discover the printers. This is a handy deployment method if there are a couple subnets in the network, but no internal DNS server.

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

This scenario is a bit 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 would be with mDNS reflector appliance. This setup method is fairly uncommon though, and it would be best to set up the DNS records instead if there is a DNS server.

4. Multiple Mobility Print servers with mDNS.

If each site already has it’s 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, devices will only see the printers broadcast from the Mobility Print server in the same subnet. However, this wouldn’t be recommended if the print servers were all located at one datacenter and all that mDNS broadcast traffic had to squeeze through a WAN connection.

5. 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, devices will check with the DNS server to discover printing services and will be redirected to the Mobility Print server. PaperCut 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 copier.

6. 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. Read this article closely to understand the various options: https://www.papercut.com/kb/Main/MultipleMobilityPrintServerswithWindowsDNS.

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

In most networks clients will be able to 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 WiFi network that uses an external DNS server instead?

Fortunately an easy solution would be to patch the Mobility Print server into the Guest WiFi network and re-enable mDNS broadcast on the Mobility Print server. Clients pointed to the organizations 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.

Still have questions?

Let us know! We’re definitely happy to chat about how Mobility Print works. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions at all. Also make sure that you check out our Mobility Print Help Center.


Categories: Mobility Print


Keywords: Mobility Print, Architecture, Design, BYOD, mDNS, DNS, secret squirrel

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Article last modified on August 29, 2018, at 03:52 PM
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