Broadly speaking, there are two major paradigms for enterprise printing solutions.
One is classic direct-IP printing, which establishes one-to-one connections between the client and printer. It has the advantage of being straightforward and reliable but it becomes increasingly unmanageable when scaled up to the enterprise level. Admins typically have to touch every single client when making company-wide printer or driver changes, and even making minor changes to individual clients can be time-consuming too. As a result, pure direct-IP printing is rare in today's enterprise environments.
The second type is a print-server-based infrastructure. It's the most common enterprise printing solution, though that doesn't mean it's the best. Print servers bring some gains in remote manageability but they also come with a list of tradeoffs. For example, in the event that a rogue driver or print job doesn't play nicely with the print server, it creates a single point of failure that can bring printing to a complete stop for entire user pools. Compensating for that risk through redundancy is expensive and not always failsafe.
It can also prove unnecessarily challenging to deploy printers easily with print servers. Many organizations use group policy objects (GPOs) and/or scripts to provision specific printers to specific users. These methods can prolong logon times, and any changes to their configurations usually requires the user to log out and log back in. That can lead to increased time spent on print-related support calls or the need to conduct admin tasks outside of business hours.
Why Serverless Print Management?
Pain points like these have prompted more and more enterprise-scale organizations to look into serverless print management in the hope that they might eliminate print servers while also being able to manage drivers effortlessly, gain more visibility over the print environment and deploy printers easily.
The way different enterprise printing solutions choose to implement serverless print management will depend on the solutions themselves. At PrinterLogic, we've succeeded in creating a unique software solution that blends the advantages of direct-IP printing with the convenience of centralized manageability. This next-generation approach delivers a robust, highly available printing platform that is infinitely scalable and can be administered across the enterprise from a single pane of glass. At the same time, its infrastructure footprint is tiny (for our on-premises solution) or even nonexistent (for our cloud-based solution).
It doesn't take a powerful imagination to see the benefits of this kind of serverless printing. Less infrastructure means fewer moving parts and less to maintain. Centralization means simplicity and ease of management no matter how large the organization. The absence of print servers means no single points of failure.
Deploying Managed Printers through PrinterLogic's Serverless Print Management
PrinterLogic is a serverless print-management solution that does more than just eliminate print servers. It also allows admins to deploy managed printers to their end users more easily than ever.
Through its seamless integration with Active Directory, PrinterLogic allows admins to configure precise, automatic deployments based on any number of criteria—such as user, container or even OU—while also eliminating the need for GPOs and scripts. The client's IP address can also be used to set up proximity (aka location-based) printing deployments. It's a cinch to set up these advanced deployments using PrinterLogic's intuitive administrative console.
Another way to deploy printers easily is by empowering your end users to install printers themselves. PrinterLogic's self-service installation portal is a web-based tool that enables end users with minimal technical knowledge to identify and select nearby printers using floorplan maps. They can then simply click on the icon of their desired printer to install it along with any necessary drivers. This feature is especially useful for roaming or mobile users.
PrinterLogic Eliminates Print Servers While Adding Features
Speaking of mobile users, PrinterLogic gives organizations the ability to roll out mobile-printing capabilities across the enterprise. This feature allows any user, regardless of their mobile device, to print quickly and easily to any network printer. PrinterLogic's serverless enterprise printing solutions also offer an optional pull-printing feature, which allows for greater user-level control over where and when print jobs are executed for increased security.
Another optional PrinterLogic feature is print auditing. As large organizations like UW Health and Northwest AEA have discovered, the comprehensive print auditing and reporting in our on-premises as well as our cloud-based solutions provided deeper insight into print activity and paved the way for reduced consumables usage or fleet optimizations.
Thanks to a powerful migration tool, it's as easy to transition your organization's existing print servers to PrinterLogic as it is to deploy managed printers once it's implemented. Sign up today for a free 30-day trial of our serverless print-management software and see firsthand how PrinterLogic eliminates print servers while adding valuable features to your print environment.
Sal Gamez is a Product Owner at PrinterLogic, where he works with software developers on new product specifications and the Agile-based execution of those plans. His career path includes 12 years in product support and customer-support management. Sal has extensive experience in software integration and has managed deployment projects calling for full integration on all Windows OS platforms. He has worked with giants like NASA and AIG—helping to build customized software projects that use cluster environments, single sign-on, load balancers, and enterprise network switches. He holds a Microsoft Engineering (MCSE) certificate of completion, as well as a Cisco Network Associate (CCNA) certificate of completion.