Novell has taken the iPrint capability of its Open Enterprise Server platform and turned it into a standalone appliance offering network print services to mobile endpoints including Android, iOS and BlackBerry devices, as well as Windows, Mac and Linux systems.
Available now, Novell iPrint acts as a kind of universal print server on a corporate network, linking to a firm's network-attached printers. This enables endpoint devices to output using several methods, including emailing documents to it, using dedicated apps on iOS and Android, as well as standard network print protocols.
While iPrint is still supported as a service running on Novell Open Enterprise Server (OES), the new release is implemented as a virtual appliance designed to run on VMware-based infrastructure, but delivered in Open Virtualisation Format (OVF) which allows customers to convert it to run on other hypervisors.
Ted Tronson, iPrint architect at Novell, told V3: "We've repackaged everything into a VMware-installable image. It's still a trimmed-down OES under the covers – which has long supported Windows, Mac and Linux printing – but what we've done is added in the mobile capabilities for Apple and Android and also pretty much any device like BlackBerry that can send a document via email."
Novell's iPrint integrates with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) infrastructure, including Active Directory, for user authentication.
It also implements support for Apple's AirPrint and the Bonjour service discovery protocol, making iPrint into a proxy that enables Apple devices in particular to "see" standard network printers and send print jobs to them over WiFi.
"We take those old printers and make them look like they are AirPrint compatible, so you can see them on your iPad or iPhone then select them and print to them," Tronson said.
Licensing for iPrint is somewhat complex, as the desktop support comes free with Open Enterprise Server, but customers already running this platform must pay for the new mobile support, while those not running OES pay a fee that covers both desktop and mobile.
The latter, referred to as iPrint Enterprise, starts at $900 (£597) for a 50-user annual subscription, while iPrint Mobile licensing starts at $350 (£232) for 50-user annual subscription.
Novell's iPrint follows on from the recent release of its Filr enterprise sharing and collaboration platform, showing a new focus from the firm on tools to meet specific challenges faced by enterprises in the new world of mobile devices.
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