Mobility Print Deployment Options
There have been a number of questions in relation to the best way in which to deploy mobility print into different types of networks. The following is a brief look at some of the more common scenarios and deployment options for each. This is not a complete list of all possible ways in which Mobility Print can be deployed within your network, but rather an overview of the common deployment types and ways in which you may be able to configure it within your network.
- Small Network at a single site with an External DNS server (eg: Google)
- Small to medium network with a single site using internal and external DNS server with Subnets
- Single Search domain with Multiple sites and multi subnet
- Single Search domain with Multiple sites and single Subnet
- Multiple domain with Single site
- Multiple domain with Multiple sites
- Single site, Multi subnet using mDNS
- Co-Working environment
We have John, who is an office manager, in charge of a small company network. Users connect to a single subnet with their own devices and use Google as their DNS server. The issue that John has is that he has no control over the DNS server entries or the ability to configure shared print queues on the users machines, as they are not members of the local workgroup. John wants to provide his users with the ability to print in the office, but wants to be able to track the print jobs. He decides to implement PaperCut into his office environment to achieve this solution. As the users want to be able to use their computers, tablets and mobile phones for printing, he decides that Mobility Print could be the solution he needs.
As he is running a single subnet John configures the PaperCut Mobility server to run using mDNS. This allows all users connecting to the local network the ability to find the advertised printer in the office. John uses “Internal Users” in PaperCut to create the user accounts and assigns each user a username/password for printing. He can now accurately report on the printing conducted in the office and ensure that the correct user is charged for the costs related to their printing.
Site Explanation / Problem
Here we have Mel, who is an I.T Administrator at a small/medium company that works out of a single site. Mel manages a range of servers including an Internal DNS server and multiple subnets through his network switches. The issue is that Mel wants to be able to provide all users within the company to be able to use his new PaperCut Mobility Print solution on both the work computers and BYOD hardware. The problem is that Mel is not sure how he can configure the network to allow this to occur.
There are a couple of different ways in which Mobility Print can be implemented into these scenarios. Mel has the option of deploying via mDNS or DNS-SD. Which option he chooses is dependant upon how he wants to manage the system and what his Infrastructure supports.
mDNS: If he chooses to deploy with mDNS then the network switches would need to be able to support the ability to apply DNS reflectors. A DNS Reflector will allow a mDNS request to be reflected from one subnet to another.
DNS-SD: If this option is chosen then the Internal DNS server would be configured with the relevant mobility DNS entries to allow internal clients to be able to find the Mobility Print server. NOTE: Reverse DNS entries will be required in this scenario if they are supporting iOS devices or have a .local domain for their internal DNS resolution.
Site Explanation / Problem
In this scenario we have Julie, a systems administrator in charge of the I.T services for a company with a single domain (search domain), but multiple sites connected via VPN. Each site has a single Subnet, Client computers, and printers. Site 1 also houses the company servers in the server room. Julie has recently purchased PaperCut MF and would like to provide all three sites with the ability to use the Mobility Print solution. As a new PaperCut user, she is unsure how to accomplish this in her environment.
Julie has three potential ways in which she can implement the Mobility Print solution within her environment.
Option 1: Single PaperCut server at Site 1 implemented using DNS-SD
Julie could install the Primary PaperCut installation and mobility print solution on her Print server at Site 1. Then using DNS-SD she would be able to configure her DNS servers to advertise the Mobility Print server at Site 1 to all users in her network. If she wanted to, it would also be possible to apply subnet filtering in order to limit which printers could be viewed at each site. The benefit of this solution is: Julie can allow all users in her network to be able to find the local printers to their site through a single Print server. The Print server can be located in the server room at Site 1. There is a single print server to be maintained. The drawbacks from this solution include: All print jobs will be sent across the VPN link to Site 1. When the job is printed the job will be sent back across the link to the printer onsite. Potential single point of failure (assuming PaperCut Application Server is not configured in a H.A. environment).
Option 2: Install a Print Server at each site and implement using DNS-SD
Another option for Julie would be to set up a print server at each site. She could then configure the Mobility Print solution on each server, configure her DNS servers to advertise all three Mobility Print servers in her network and set each mobility print server to only advertise the printers locally for the site the server resides in via Subnet Filtering. This option builds upon the first solution by now allowing Julie to keep the print jobs local to the site in which the printers reside. Benefits include: Print jobs are printed to the local print server, thus reducing VPN traffic Multiple print server are being used on the network to spread the print traffic and avoid a single point of failure for domain printing Drawbacks: A print server would be required to be configured at each site There would be multiple subnet filtering config files to setup (1 per server)
Option 3: Install a Print Server at each site and implement using mDNS
The other solution Julie could investigate, would be to run a print server at each site and implement mDNS. Upon installation the Mobility print server is configured to use mDNS and automatically advertises the printers on the server to the local subnet. Benefits: Easiest setup procedure. Configure a print server onsite and install Mobility Print. No DNS server configurations required No Subnet filtering configuration files to configure Print jobs are kept local to the site in which they are printed. Drawbacks: A print server would be required to be configured at each site Limited to advertising the local site printers only, there is no way to allow printers from the other sites to be shown cross site via Mobility print (if required).
Site Explanation / Problem
Michael has been called in as a contractor to design and implement PaperCut and Mobility Print into a customers single domain, multi site environment. He is having some issues determining the best way to deploy PaperCut Mobility Print, as each site has a separate subnet, BUT the WiFi network subnet extends across all three sites. Therefore any WiFi users will obtain a 10.50.x.x IP address across all three sites.
The solution that Michael employs would be determined by if Michael wanted the Mobility Print queues to be searchable by each of the local subnets or just to be available for the Wifi clients. If Michael only wanted the WiFi clients to be able to use the Mobility Print solution then he has three options. Install a single Mobility Print server at one of the sites on the 10.50.x.x subnet and use mDNS. The result of this would be that all users in the 10.50.x.x subnet would be able to find the print queues advertised by this print server. When a user prints at any site, their job would be sent to this Mobility Print server. The recommendation for this option, would be to advertise a single Find-Me print queue to the end users and allow all printers in the network the ability to release the print jobs. This will then ensure that print jobs can be released at all sites by all users and jobs do not get “lost” between sites. Install Multiple Mobility Print servers (1+ per site) on the 10.50.x.x subnet and use mDNS to advertise the print queues. Again it would be recommended to use Find-Me print queues with all printers being allowed to release jobs from these queues at all sites. The added benefit with this solution however, would be that when a user selects the printer to print their job to, they could choose the local server name queue to attempt to keep jobs onsite. A print queue is advertised as \\servername\printqueue_name. Therefore, the server name could identify the site at which it resides. Eg: site1_printserver\Find-Me, site2_printserver\Find-Me, site3_printserver\Find-Me Alternatively, Michael could use DNS-SD to advertise either a single or multiple print servers. This would then work the same as mDNS for users to find their print queues.
If Michael wanted to be able to advertise the Mobility Print queues to both the WiFi and the local subnets then he would need to use DNS-SD. Using DNS-SD would allow subnet filtering to be applied to the local subnets for restricting advertised queues, but there is no way to filter the advertised print queues to the WiFi clients. Therefore, Michael should recommend that users print to the local print server when choosing their print queue to attempt to keep their jobs onsite. He would also need to look at a Find-Me print queue and allow all printers in the network to be able to release the print jobs from each Mobility Print queue. This will then ensure that print jobs can be released between sites, in the event that a job is sent to another site.
NOTE: For all listed solutions above a good VPN connection is recommended for these scenarios to ensure that jobs can be processed between sites quickly and effectively, to prevent delays in print jobs being released.
Site Explanation / Problem
Mel’s company has been undergoing a number of changes, they have recently expanded and purchased another company to enhance their current capabilities. Mel has therefore had to create a new domain within the company. Depending on a users role their devices could be joined to either of the domains in the AD forest. Mel would like to ensure that users in both domains are able to access the PaperCut Mobility Print solution.
Mel has a few different options available to him for the setup and configuration of the PaperCut Mobility Print solution. These options include the following:
mDNS If the company is using a single Subnet then Mel could look at using PaperCut Mobility Print in mDNS mode. This would then advertise the printers to all users within the subnet, regardless of which domain they are a member of. If there were multiple subnets, Mel could look at using DNS reflectors to advertise the Mobility Print queues across all subnets in the network. Whilst this is a possible solution, depending on the number of computers and network traffic, this could get quite “loud” on the network.
DNS-SD The most likely best solution for Mel would be to implement DNS-SD. Mel will need to configure the DNS records under both of his listed domains. During the configuration process in the Mobility print server, Mel can specify both of his search domains and his multiple subnets. If using Windows DNS Mel can then use the commands provided by the configuration process to run the required commands on the DNS server to configure both domains with the required entries to advertise the Mobility print server to every domain and user in the network.
Site Explanation / Problem
Alfredo has been asked by his manager to investigate how to provide mobile printing solutions to all users within the company. The company is already using PaperCut for their printing needs across multiple sites and domains. Each site runs a Print server, which advertises the printers for that site to their Windows Desktop users. Alfredo therefore has been investigating the PaperCut Mobility Print as a possible solution to their needs.
As each site has a single subnet associated with the site there are a couple of options Alfredo has for providing the mobility printing solutions to the end users. These include:
mDNS As each site already has a print server, which lists the local printers for that site, one option for Alfredo would be to install the PaperCut Mobility Print application on each print server. He could then configure the software to use mDNS to advertise the printers. As a result the printers for the local site would then be advertised to all users at that location.
DNS-SD If Alfredo wanted all printers to be available to all users regardless of the site that they are located at then he could use DNS-SD to advertise the Mobility Print servers across all sites / domains. He would need to ensure that entries are put into his DNS servers for each domain to allow users in every domain to locate the print servers correctly. He would also have the ability to configure Subnet Filtering in order to restrict the advertised printers if he wanted at each site.
Site Explanation / Problem
Maria is an IT Manager at a small single site company that has separated their network into multiple subnets for easier management of their Guests, internal staff and resources. This site does not run a DNS server, but Maria wants to provide printing options for all users within her network. Maria considered using DNS reflectors, but as a small company there is no internal network administrators and the company does not want to pay for an external party to reconfigure their network switches to use DNS reflectors.
Maria decides that she will implement her PaperCut server with multiple Network cards installed into it. She will then connect her PaperCut server to each subnet that she wants to provide printing services to and configure the system to use mDNS. The result is that the PaperCut Application server will broadcast the printers via all three NICs to advertise printing services to all 3 subnets. With PaperCut handling these print requests it will redirect jobs to the printer on the correct subnet to allow print release.
Site Explanation / Problem
David is an IT manager for a company called “My Shared Space”, that rents out office space in a building and provides a Co-Working environment. Each company working in the building requires access to the printing services offered by “My Shared Space” and obtains their Internet Access in different ways. David wants to provide all users in the building access to the printing facilities, but needs to be able to accurately track and charge users for their printing costs.
The solution for deployment of the PaperCut servers and Mobility print can be complex in these environments and requires a strong understanding of the services offered, network configurations, VLANs, Firewalls, etc. Scenarios may include: WiFi network used by all customers provided by “My Shared Space” Each customer provided with their own VLAN/subnet on the network, but DNS / DHCP is managed by “My Shared Space” Each customer provided with their own VLAN and run their own network behind a Firewall. A customer may rent the office space only, but have their own Internet Connection to their offices, with no connection to “My Shared Space’s” network. Due to the complexity of these scenarios we recommend contacting the Technical Services team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs and how best to set PaperCut Mobility Print in your environment.
Keywords: Mobility , Mobility Print , Scenario , Topology
Last updated August 3, 2023