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For those of you who are not familiar with the technology, Bonjour is a multicast DNS(mDNS) based protocol used to advertise and connect to network services such as printers, file servers, TV’s. With the BYOD explosion and increased use of mobile devices for work in the office and classroom, Bonjour is applicable not only at home, but also in enterprise. Last Christmas with the 7.4 release, Cisco introduced the Bonjour Services Directory optimized for enabling enterprise campus environments to share Bonjour services across Layer 3 networks.  In this blog, I will share some details about how a K-12 school successfully deployed Cisco wireless solution to provide Bonjour Services. As a special treat, I will also discuss some details on Bonjour enhancements included with the upcoming 7.5 release.

St. Margaret’s Episcopal School (SMES) is a K-12 school based in Orange County California serving about 1200 students. The wireless deployment consisted of 30 Cisco 1140 Series Access Points , a Cisco 1260 Series Access Points and some Cisco 1130 Series Access Points managed by a Cisco 5508 Series Wireless LAN Controller. The wired access deployment included various Catalyst 3750, 2960 and 2950 Series Access Switches. Cisco Networking Assistant(CNA) allows them to keep a bird’s eye view on all the equipment.

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To optimize the wireless experience for the school environment, SMES configured several different WLANs. One of the WLANs uses 802.1x EAP authentication, which authenticates against a backend radius server, while the others use WPA2 with Mac Filtering. To secure the network, SMES also uses MAC based filtering.

Apple iPads were popular on campus with both faculty and students. In addition, multiple Bonjour based services popped up on campus over the last year, such as AirPrint, AppleTV and iTunes. This prompted Chris Craddock, a technology support specialist engineer from SMES, to upgrade from Cisco wireless code 7.2 to 7.4 in order to take advantage of the Bonjour Services Directory functionality.

Chris said:

the new mDNS snooping feature is amazing! It works absolutely like a dream. I want to congratulate Cisco on making this happen, it is so easy to implement and I am now able to completely separate all my WLAN’s while still providing bonjour services to them. The fact that I can now keep all my bonjour devices on their own VLAN while still allowing other VLAN’s to see the traffic is invaluable. …

Nothing makes you happier more than hearing that customers has successfully deployed and using your solution.

In the upcoming 7.5 release, Cisco will introduce several Bonjour enhancements. The following table captures differences between functionality available in 7.4 and 7.5 supported on the 5508, WiSM2, 2500, Flex7500 and 8500 in Centralized(Local) and Flex central mode


For more information about Bonjour Services Directory please reference the deployment guide:



Jeevan Patil

Director, Product Management

Wireless Network