For years now, enterprise printing has been dominated by two structural paradigms. The first is print servers. The second is conventional direct IP.
As potential IT printing solutions go, however, have print servers or traditional direct IP really ever been the best choice? And what about the here and now? With the advent of mobile computing and its resulting need for effortless mobile printing, are either one of these paradigms still the best printing solution for today's workplaces?
To start, let's quickly consider the pros and cons of each:
- Print servers help to channel printing and print management through one device. They're implemented in either consolidated (where one centralized print server provides print capabilities to the entire organization) or distributed configurations (where localized print servers provide print capabilities to a single floor or building). In addition to print servers being fragile and finicky by nature, consolidated setups place heavy reliance on the WAN and create a risky single point of failure. Distributed setups, on the other hand, create more fragmentation and complexity of management.
- By contrast, traditional direct IP eliminates the middleman (that is, the print server) and instead establishes one-to-one connections between clients and printers. This method is much more straightforward and reliable than with print servers, but it offers almost no window onto the wider print environment. Management is tedious and piecemeal, too, especially in large organizations.
That said, neither one of these common IT printing solutions is really the best. The best printing software would actually combine the strengths of each of these paradigms while avoiding their shortcomings. It would also introduce several unique advantages of its own, including powerful built-in print auditing, user-friendly mobile printing, seamless integration with virtual environments and self-service printer-installation portal.
The Best Printing Solution Is PrinterLogic
What makes PrinterLogic the best printing software—not only in our own eyes but also in the eyes of our customers—is its ability to do just that. It leverages the simplicity and stability of direct-IP printing while providing oversight and administrative tools that outclass anything print servers are able to offer. PrinterLogic also brings advanced functionality and superior ease of use to the table, making it the most versatile, most cost-effective and most future-proof print solution you can find.
Instead of listing every single one of PrinterLogic's benefits, I'd like to highlight five important things that make PrinterLogic the ideal choice for any environment.
1. PrinterLogic eliminates print servers
Eliminating print servers might be the best thing you ever do for your IT environment, and PrinterLogic's next-generation serverless print infrastructure is what makes that possible. A single instance of PrinterLogic can replace an entire fleet of print servers, which in turn saves time, headache and cost. For many organizations who've continually struggled with managing and migrating print servers, this alone might make PrinterLogic the best printing solution. Yet infrastructure reduction is only one of its many benefits.
2. PrinterLogic provides a single window onto your entire print environment
Unlike legacy printing solutions such as traditional direct IP, PrinterLogic allows IT administrators to oversee and manage their entire print environment from a single pane of glass. It doesn't matter if an organization is globally distributed or has dozens of temporary sites; PrinterLogic's web-based admin console offers clear visibility into and control over print capabilities in all those locations.
3. PrinterLogic empowers your end users
In the search to find the best printing solution, one existing asset that often goes unrecognized is your end users. PrinterLogic features a self-service printer-installation portal that enables end users to identify and install nearby printers with a single click. This means that they can always print to the most convenient authorized printer—even if they've just arrived at a particular location. That saves end users from having to call the helpdesk for routine print management, and it saves admins and support staff from having to constantly interrupt more pressing tasks to provision a printer.
4. PrinterLogic simplifies complex deployments
When working with print servers, printer deployments are usually dependent on group policy objects (GPOs) or scripts. Not with PrinterLogic. Our IT printing solution is designed to save time, and one crucial way to achieve this is making it possible for admins to configure precise printer deployments to individual users or entire groups without having to rely on unreliable GPOs or cumbersome scripts. PrinterLogic's seamless Active Directory integration allows for targeted deployments according to OU, container, IP address and many more variables.
5. PrinterLogic offers advanced native functionality
As the need for specialized print functionality grows, the print environment can easily become bloated with different software solutions. These layers of solutions can affect the speed and reliability of printing and cause interoperability issues. One more aspect that makes PrinterLogic the best printing software is that it offers mobile printing, secure release printing and print auditing functionality. A single solution can therefore deliver some of today's most sought-after print capabilities—which also happen to be some of the most challenging to implement using conventional IT printing solutions.
Best of all, though, is that PrinterLogic lives up to its claims, even (or especially) when the scope of the project is truly massive. The City of Cape Town in South Africa, for example, was able to eliminate 140 print servers and drastically reduce help-desk costs for its more than 20,000 employees across over 630 sites (read the case study here) by implementing PrinterLogic.
Once you see PrinterLogic's serverless print infrastructure in action, we're confident you'll agree that it's the best printing software for your own environment too. Just sign up today to download a full-featured trial that you can test for 30 days free of charge.
Tom joined the product team at PrinterLogic after moving to So. Utah from Portland, Oregon. He's held various executive, product management and marketing positions at HP, Symantec, and other software firms. Tom received a B.A. in Communications from BYU and completed a summer executive MBA program at Stanford. Off the clock, he enjoys landscape photography, exploring off-the-beaten-path locations in the desert southwest, and weekend trips to Las Vegas for live music, especially jazz.