As more iPads enter corporations, IT support folks are understanding their limits of what can be accomplished in terms of a business computing device. I am not talking about the lack of support for Flash, although that is frustrating. How about printing?
Yes, Apple has included its Bonjour protocol for printing from their tablets, but until today it hasn't been a routable one. That means if you are lucky enough to be on a network segment with a printer that supports AirPrint, you can print. If you have a large network with several routers, you are out of luck.
Today Aerohive changes that game with its Enterprise Bonjour Gateway (PDF available here). It is more of a bridge or a router, but basically you can purchase some hardware from them and set it up to support all kinds of Bonjour networking, including the ability to send video from your iPad across a network (AirPlay) too. Bonjour is Apple's services protocol and the way other networking hardware can easily configure themselves.
Aerohive is known for its wireless networking products, but this represents an interesting expansion for them. Their gateway can be used with existing network security policies, too.
Phil Hardin is the Executive Director of Technology for the Rowan-Salisbury School System and an early user. "Our programs use these mobile devices to improve the teaching and learning environment in the classroom by enabling teachers and students to share information and multimedia projects through AirPlay. Aerohive's new technology will enable us to use AirPlay and AirPrint with multi-subnet network architectures and will preserve the ease of use we have and expect from our Apple devices."
You can watch this video demonstration of how it works across two simple network segments.
Each Access Point sells for $449, and you will need at least one AP to enable the gateway feature. It should be available midyear.