Two separate networks printing to one plotter - Is there a secure and easy way?
Posted on 2006-07-15
I have a network with a large plotter (HP 750C) and another company is working with us on the premise and they have their own network which they will extend to this premise . Due to security policies, two separate networks must be maintained. There will always be two networks, theirs and ours, and this will never change.
I want both networks to print to the HP plotter because getting another plotter quite expensive.
I need to know how to share this one plotter between two networks securely.
We did some testing trying to use the existing jetdirect card for our network and hooking up another print server on the other network to the parrallel port on the printer.
This works if the jetdirect has recived a job and is processing it and a job is sent from the parallel port, the printer notifies the computer that sent the job to the parallel port that the printer is busy and waits.
If a job is sent over the parallel port and then a job is sent from the other network to the jet direct, the computer on the network that sent the job to the jetdirect gets an error that the printing cannot be completed.
I think this may be due to a bidirectional issue on the jetdirect and I am going to investigate this. I think the jetdirect should be able to tell the sending computer that the printer is busy instead of erroring out.
Anyways aside from this, does anyone have any good ideas about sharing one plotter between two networks?
Is there such a thing as a dual nic hardware print server? (aside from spending thousands on a W2K3 server license and a computer with two nics)
I was also thinking about IPP and somehow granting access to the plotter over the Internet. Anyone done this before and if so how does it work?
This has to be a secure solution due to security policies.