Bill Arlofski's blog

FOG Snapin to Deploy Ruckus Pre-Shared Keys (PSKs) to Windows 7 Laptops

The Problem...

At one of our clients' sites where we installed FOG (An open-source, networked computer hard drive imaging solution), there was only one thing preventing them from reaching the goal of having practically hands-free deployments of their Windows 7 images to their laptops: The wireless profile configuration.

End-user Control of Wireless Networks Using Open-Source Software

The Request:

We recently had a client come to us with a very specific, albeit an unconventional request with regards to the type of wireless solution they envisioned. Due to concerns from some parents and faculty members, they wanted to limit the amount of RF signals the children were exposed to while at their school.

To meet this goal, they wanted the ability to enable and disable individual wireless access points so that they could provide wireless connectivity only when and where it was necessary for teaching specific classes, and then disable it all other times. They also wanted the process to be as simple as possible so that teachers would be able to easily manage the state of the wireless access points.

In an age when everyone expects 24/7/365 Internet access everywhere, they wanted to do the opposite.

Part II: Apple iPads, Apple TVs, Bonjour & AirPlay Across Subnets Using Open-Source Software

In my previous post HERE, I gave a brief description of Apple's implementation of the mDNS protocol which they named "Bonjour". I explained why the protocol does not function in a segmented (subnetted) network and described the open-source solution that we deploy for our clients which is comprised of a free, open-source Gentoo Linux (virtual) server running the open-source implementation of the mDNS protocol called "Avahi."

My goal in this post is to describe in detail exactly how to implement your very own virtual "Bonjour Gateway" in a VMware vSphere environment.

Apple iPads, Apple TVs, Bonjour & AirPlay Across Subnets Using Open-Source Software

As more schools implement wireless networks, BYOD programs, and Apple TVs, they are quickly finding that on properly configured and subnetted networks they are unable to locate their wired Apple TVs with their wireless iPads, iPhones, Andriod devices, etc and therefore are unable to use Apple's "AirPlay" to stream music or videos to their Apple TVs, and are also unable to mirror their iPad's screen to the Apple TVs.

This is because the protocol by which Apple devices announce themselves and locate other Apple devices on a network does not work when these devices are on different subnets.

To find other Apple devices on a network, Apple devices use a protocol called "multicast DNS" (mDNS), and Apple has named their implementation of the mDNS protocol "Bonjour."

AppleTVs and other Apple devices on home networks don't have any problem locating each other. All the devices appear to magically "just work"(TM) together because all the devices are on the same subnet (broadcast domain) and Bonjour works perfectly fine in this type of small, non-routed network.

However, Bonjour is a multicast (broadcast) protocol, and as such does not traverse across routers to other subnets. When Apple devices are on a larger, properly segmented (subnetted) network, Apple devices on one subnet will not be able to locate Apple devices on another subnet.