Wireless network firm Aerohive is adding a new feature to its Cooperative Control access point platform, effectively extending Apple's Bonjour zero-configuration network technology so that it can function across multiple network segments in a corporate environment.
Called Bonjour Gateway, the new support will enable seamless support for users of Apple iPad and iPhone devices to access services such as AirPrint for wireless printing anywhere on a campus that has an AirPrint capable printer.
The new development is designed to help organisations meet the demands of users bringing devices such as the iPad into the office, as part of the growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend.
Bonjour is Apple's implementation of Zero configuration networking, which allows for devices to automatically discover and connect to services such as printers or devices supporting Apple's AirPlay for wireless display of content.
However, Bonjour uses layer two network protocols and so cannot be routed beyond the network segment a device is attached to, according to Aerohive.
The company said it is addressing this limitation by adding native Bonjour awareness into its products, allowing an access point to selectively relay information on available Bonjour services to Aerohive access points on other segments.
Bonjour Gateway builds on the distributed intelligence and service-aware capabilities of Aerohive's Cooperative Control architecture, the company said.
The end result is that users of Apple iOS devices should be able to see and connect to any Bonjour device advertising an available service, from anywhere on the wider network.
The technology will be available for beta trials in the second quarter of 2012, and is slated to ship mid-year, according to Aerohive.
A video demo of Aerohive's Bonjour Gateway is available on YouTube.
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