UniPrint Infinity 9 Review by Network Computing
Network printing is a constant pain point for support departments and even more trying for businesses running core services such as thin client computing, remote desktop and VDI
Managing the myriad printers, drivers and print job requests is difficult enough and security is now a major issue, with research specialist Gartner reporting that up to 70 per cent of organisations have suffered one or more data breaches because of unsecured printing services.
UniPrint Infinity 9 simplifies and secures business-wide printing with its patented Universal Print Driver (UPD) PDF-based solution. It targets a wide range of applications including Citrix XenApp, Microsoft RDS, VMware Horizon View plus XenDesktop and provides a single driver for any printer, in any environment.
UniPrint Infinity comprises three key components, with the core Bridge Server supporting Windows 2008 upwards and providing centralised management of printers, drivers, print jobs and licensing. The Print Server agent runs on the host providing print services, where it amalgamates all printer drivers in one location and makes them available for use only by Infinity.
Next up is the Application Server agent, which is loaded on systems hosting the business applications. This provides the UPD services which convert user print requests into PDFs and then creates a single virtual print queue (VPQ).
The optional UniPrint client is installed on remote Windows or Mac systems, where users are accessing a VDI app but want to print locally. Ideally suited to SaaS services and print server consolidations, UniPrint claims its compression technology can reduce remote printing bandwidth usage by up to 95 per cent.
Businesses demanding secure printing will like the new UniPrint vPad print server appliance. Deployed to remote sites, it delivers features such as print and hold, PIN protection, and follow-me printing services.
It eliminates the need to locally configure these features on printers because users simply choose these options from the universal driver and send their print request as normal. They then enter their credentials at the vPad using its LCD screen which presents them with a list of jobs and a keypad, where they are permitted to access the printers that they are authorised to use.
The vPad appliance is very secure as it doesn’t store print data locally. It communicates with the bridge server and jobs are only released and transmitted directly to the relevant printer. The vPad lends itself well to mobile workforces using multiple offices as authentication is managed centrally, and it will present them with the printer that’s physically closest. Print jobs are only released to them once they’ve authenticated, and as the vPad is a network appliance it is vendor independent, as well as being smart card, RFID and HID compatible.
The intuitive UniPrint Management Console provides easy access for configuring local and remote printers, applying Group Policy Objects and managing vPad appliances and their print queues. It automatically discovers all vPad appliances attached to the network and it can be used to import user lists with their corresponding smart card ID numbers.
New features in this release include an add-on module for iOS and OS X devices, an Email2Print module that allows users to email documents, and the High Availability option using multiple bridge and print servers. Even MFPs can get in on the act as UniPrint provides VPQ Connectors for vendors such as HP, Xerox, Brother and Samsung, allowing users to access secure pull printing functions using the MFP’s local control panel.
UniPrint Infinity’s innovative VPQ pull-printing and universal driver makes print management worries a thing of the past. It provides business-wide consistency across all platforms, devices and locations while the new vPad appliance delivers the print security that enterprises desperately need.