16 printer limitation with iOS Bonjour Printing

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  • Updated 4 months ago
I have searched for this issue and didn't see it in the forums.  if this is a double post I apologize up front.  Anyway, we have a large campus with around 30 copiers that have bonjour enabled.  What we have found is a iOS limitation with bonjour that only show 16 print devices.  Seeing that the latest iOS doesn't resolve it, I was wondering if there was a work around.  Maybe a policy that allowed you to only show certain printers only on certain AP's.  currently, our staff is on a dedicated network, printers are on a dedicated network, and bonjour routing turned on between these two networks.
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Ben Swaby

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Posted 9 months ago

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Ben Swaby

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Is there a way to limit bonjour routing on each access point in the area that they are in?  If so, then that would allow me to get past the 16 printer limit on iOS.  
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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Hi Ben,

Are VLANs available in the environment to limit this?

Cheers,

Nick
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Ben Swaby

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Yes, it's a layer 3 network. Switches and ap's are aerohive. Core is brocade.
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Ben Swaby

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Just checking to see if you had any more thoughts on this or if I need to open a case?
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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Hi Ben,

My suggestion would be to:

1) Talk to Apple.

2) Consider using VLANs to limit the scope of the mDNS packets.

Regards,

Nick
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Brian Powers, Champ

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A very barbaric way to work around this (I think - I've not attempted this, but it theory it sounds logical in my head) might be to split your printers into VLANs based on areas in your facility. 

From an Aerohive perspective, you'd have to create multiple Network Policies, Hive object & Boujour Gateway profiles and assign the respective configuration to the APs and printers local to their respective areas.  Not very clean from a HM GUI standpoint, but would give you the ability to prune out the printers on the far sides of the building (assuming the users want to print to a printer close to where they are physically located). 

For instance, assume your building is square and has 4 quadrants.  The printers in their respective quadrants (A, B, C, D) are all on 4 unique VLANs.

You now have 4 Network Policies (same SSIDs across them all) and Bonjour Gateway Policies.  Each BG policy is only configured to traverse the printers from its quadrant to the user.

Actually, thinking more about this, since the BG device simply dumps traffic from one VLAN to another, this may not actually work since the BG device (AP) selected for BG Policy would still be simply dumping the mDNS traffic into the same user VLAN.  

Some variant of this could work though, hopefully without having to also segregate users in particular areas onto separate VLANs (although that seems the simplest approach assuming users arent very nomadic and would need to roam frequently across L3 boundaries).

Seems like a whole lot of reconfiguration of LAN & WLAN to overcome an iOS shortcoming...

Good luck!  And I'd really like to know what your solution is if you're able to implement one.
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Ben Swaby

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Brian, thanks for the suggestions. I’m right there with you on lot of work (and work-arounds) to resolve this. I think it’s to a point where I need to consider ditching workarounds to ensure the integrity of the overall WiFi. One work-around that I think will work is just limiting what printers bonjour is turned on. If I do that, then I can be under the 16 device limit.
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Ben Swaby

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Removed many of,the personal copiers today and discovered that many of the canon copiers are not showing up. AirPrint is set to be on, along with Bonjour, but nothing shows up. wondering if we have a firmware issue or something else with hive manager not configured.
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Alan Stephen Davies

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I prefer getting users to use the printer manufacturer printing app.  Stick a QR code on the printers.  Users just point the device at the QR code to connect to it.  Works across VLANS provided there is correct routing - without bothering with bonjour  (which is great for home use...but useless in schools where there might be 50 or more printers....