Cisco answers user questions about upcoming Apple Bonjour Gateway

By , Network World |  Mobile & Wireless, Cisco, wireless LAN

In the initial release, the VLAN of wired Bonjour devices must be trunked to the [WLAN] controller so that their advertisements can be seen. We recognize this presents a challenge for customers with distributed networks -- so we are exploring the capability for the [Aironet WLAN] access point to also snoop Bonjour traffic. With this flexible solution, a "Bonjour Detector" AP can be placed anywhere in the network and snoop Bonjour for all of the devices on that wired segment while sending relevant service entries back to the controller's master database.

In the future we are also looking at leveraging other Cisco devices in the network that can perform wired-side snooping and improve the reach of the solution.

Does Cisco have any plans to incorporate the Bonjour GW in their IOS firmware running on their Catalysts?

This is a logical place for wired-side Bonjour snooping. However we cannot comment on official roadmap positions.

In the webinar, Cisco said it will use filtering to restrict which clients can see which services (Apple TV's, etc). What will Cisco use to filter Bonjour requests?

The filtering options are: · Per WLAN/SSID · Per VLAN or AP Group · Per Interface Group (which is a group of VLANs pooled together).

A Bonjour service policy can be created and applied on any one of the above criteria. In the future, we will support per-user Bonjour service policies which will come as a RADIUS attribute from the AAA server.

Will Cisco support location-aware service discovery to limit the number of, for example, Apple TVs that might show up on an iPhone or iPad in response to a discover request?

We are actively investigating how the physical location of the wireless client can be used to provide a pin-pointed service list with only the Apple TVs, printers, etc. which are nearby. No comment on availability yet.

Does roaming work with the Gateway, and if so how?

Yes, Layer 3 roaming across controllers works to ensure users moving amongst access points on different controllers continue to see the devices they saw on the original controller. The Bonjour services on the anchor controller will be displayed to the client included both wired and wireless devices.

There was some confusion about whether the Gateway actually use multicast to deliver Bonjour services to clients. One person said it does not. Is this correct?

This is correct, the controller sends the response back to the client via unicast so that other clients do not hear any services they are not supposed to see. For subsequent connections after service discovery (such as an iPad mirroring the screen to the Apple TV) these are unicast, and between the two end devices, using Apple's own protocol.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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