Windows file servers not being advertised across VLANs via Bonjour gateway

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I've got a Windows Server 2008 R2 system hardwired on VLAN 1 and a bunch of OS X users connected wirelessly on VLAN 3, and have set up what I think are appropriate Bonjour gateway rules to let the Mac users discover the Windows file server. But the discovery doesn't work.

Would anyone who has such a configuration working be willing to share your Bonjour gateway configuration?
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KatInTX81

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Posted 4 years ago

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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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Bonjour is Apple's multicast discovery protocol. Why are you expecting it to allow discovery of the Windows file server? Windows doesn't use this protocol.
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KatInTX81

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Bonjour is simply Apple's trade name for Zeroconf (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonjour_(software)), and Aerohive chose to use that trade name for their multicast discovery gateway. I currently have several non-Apple protocols that are being passed through the gateway correctly (some by defining a custom service in the Bonjour Gateway Settings UI), so I'm guessing that I simply don't have the correct service included for discovery of Windows servers.
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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Yes, but... I do not believe Windows supports Zeroconf or Bonjour out of the box though - which is what I meant by saying Windows doesn't use this protocol.

If you install iTunes, it installs a Zeroconf/Bonjour handling service that should allow resolution and discovery to occur.
(Edited)
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KatInTX81

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Mmmm... I haven't found that to be true in my experience on many networks with mixed OS environments.

To verify my suspicions, I connected my MacBook Pro via Ethernet to VLAN 2 (where all of the Windows machines connect) and checked the discovered servers ... the Windows systems appear. To the best of my knowledge, iTunes isn't installed on those Windows systems.

Here are screenshots showing the OS X discovery results on VLAN 2 and VLAN 3 (WiFi). Note that LOBBY-1, LOBBY-2 and PRESCHOOL-4 are actually Raspberry Pi systems running OpenELEC / XBMC, and I've added services definitions to support the discovery of those systems through the gateway.

Ethernet:


WiFi:
(Edited)
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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If you Google for a bit, other sources confirm that Windows doesn't have native support:

"Windows doesn’t have Zeroconf support out of the box, but a few popular applications slip it in for their own needs, including Skype, Apple’s iTunes and Adobe Photoshop CS3 or later. So you might not need to add anything at all!"

https://learn.adafruit.com/bonjour-zeroconf-networking-for-windows-and-linux
(Edited)
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KatInTX81

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OK, so let's say that the machine "accounting" that shows up in the first screenshot above does happen to have iTunes, Skype or some other program installed that under the hood installed Zeroconf / Bonjour support. That might explain why it appears in the OS X network discovery UI when connected on the same VLAN via Ethernet. But it doesn't explain why it doesn't appear when connected on a different VLAN via WiFi. That behavior would seem to be impacted by the way the Aerohive Bonjour Gateway is configured.

For completeness in this thread, here's a screenshot of how I've configured the Bonjour gateway:

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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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Discovery in the same broadcast domain (VLAN) goes on via other protocols too, such as NETBIOS etc:

http://sourcedaddy.com/windows-7/how-windows-finds-network-resources.html

These are definitely not handled by the Bonjour gateway feature in HiveOS. It is completely outside of the scope and nature of that feature.

If you installed iTunes on your server and all Windows clients, it would additionally add a Bonjour / zeroconf support. That would then be under the pervue of the Bonjour gateway. However, I don't think it will work as you expect as it is not functionality implemented by the OS.
(Edited)
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KatInTX81

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I've installed the Bonjour Print Services 3.0.0.10 (64 bit) on the Windows Server 2008 R2 server, waited quite a while to allow broadcasts to propagate, and still no joy.

It would be great if someone from Aerohive would chime in and confirm that their gateway service handles only a limited set of protocols (and specifically not SMB), or if it is more akin to a intra-VLAN port forwarding mechanism.
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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It definitely doesn't handle the discovery protocols Windows uses, it handles Bonjour that operates with mDNS... Honestly, I think you're confusing things conceptually.

NETBIOS and Network Discovery/Function Discovery/SSDP aren't handled.
(Edited)
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KatinTX81,
As of HiveOS 6.2, the Bonjour Gateway is essentially an mDNS broadcast helper. Earlier versions were stateful proxies, but there were operational and performance issues, so we changed it. We now ONLY act as an intra-VLAN mDNS broadcast helper. We do not proxy the services advertised via mDNS.
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KatInTX81

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Mike, thanks for the additional details.

Are you familiar with any way to set up an mDNS proxy on a server that is able to talk on multiple VLANs?
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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Taking a step back: What is it that you need discovery for? DNS in a managed environment is usually sufficient to avoid the need for this.

All I am asking really is what end objective are you trying to achieve here.
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