Workspaces are great – Until you have to control the printer / scanner in the office, the answer to this can be a challenge. The issue only exists if the client wishes to really use their printer, e.g. scan, change paper size, duplexing, stapling etc. To do this is a challenge. And A challenge we are happy to offer you our solution for.
If you have set up your client’s office as a VPN, and the client’s router is set up for this, you may already have this option. But for many companies, we are changing routers and modems due to the current speed of internet change that we are all facing. However, this problem we have found a really easy solution for and we are happy to share this with you.
How we solved this?
We are using a simple Programmable VPN box on the device called a MikroTik. There are two models that can be ordered from Telephones online: MikroTik hAP 2.GHz AP (Home Access Point) and MikroTik RB951G-2HnD 2.4 GHz Wireless SOHO Gigabit Access Point. It is low cost, easy to install, delivered by Telephones online to your door. The VPN is set up at Amazon and links to the MikroTik that you have on site. Now, if you have a switch, you would have the MikroTik installed between the Modem and the Switch. If you do not have a switch, you would install the MikroTik between the modem and your printer.
Now each PC can control the printer from Workspaces as if the printer is connected directly to the PC, as it was when they had a local server and local printing.
Step by Step instructions
This setup assumes that you have an existing cloud server that the workspaces can access – e.g. for shared drives.
- Identify External IP address of the office being installed at
- On Amazon create a new customer gateway using the office external IP
- Create a new virtual private gateway and attach to the VPC
- Create a new VPN connection using both the customer gateway and VPG
- Set a static route on the VPN for the new office internal network (e.g. 126.96.36.199/24)
- Enable route propagation for the VPC
- Allow access to the internal network on the security groups in Amazon
- Download configuration file for VPN
- Using the configuration file and a script we have created we configure the MikroTik (Do a link here to telephones online) to use the new AWS VPN , if you want a copy of this script please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “MikroTik VPN Script”
- The script does the following:
- Create a new IPSEC proposal matching Amazon specifications
- Add an address for the customer gateway for each tunnel
- Create an IPSEC peer for each tunnel
- Create 2 IPSEC polices for each tunnel
- Add 2 firewall filter rules for each tunnel
- Add 2 firewall NAT rules
- Create a static route for each tunnel
- Once the script is run I test each tunnel connection via pinging the cloud server and disable the tunnel that is not up
- Install the MikroTik between the existing modem and the switch (or network computers/printers)
- Set each network PC or printer to use the DHCP server given by the MikroTik, set printer IPs to static
- Fix the local PC’s printer drivers to new printer IP
- Setup the local printer using the correct printer driver onto the cloud server
- Share the new printer to each workspace
If you have any problems, feel free to email us at email@example.com for assistance. As we have now installed quite a few of them, we have found this a simple workable solution.