What's best practice when dealing with print servers? Ask any IT expert and they'd probably end up saying the same thing: redundancy.
Redundancy is key to increasing print availability because, let's face it, print servers aren't always the most reliable devices in our IT environment—yet they're utterly vital to our workflow and productivity across the organization. That redundancy can take a couple of forms, the most common of which is failover clusters. In traditional print environments you can achieve print server redundancy without clustering, of course, but that typically involves more scrambling and downtime when print servers inevitably fail.
At the same time, redundancy doesn't come cheap. Even if you create a Server 2008R2 print cluster, you'll need to pay for hardware, licensing, power, maintenance, upgrades and oversight when it comes to those additional print servers. And that's in addition to all those categories of costs for your primary print servers. In a single month those redundancy costs might not break the bank, but over time and expanded to the entire organization, especially when several decentralized print servers are in place, they can really start to add up.
Nor is redundancy easy or foolproof. If your primary print server is unreliable enough to require a failover, what does that say about the secondary print server that you're using as your failsafe? Furthermore, redundancy can be difficult to set up and ensure in virtual environments, as the many failover clustering problems in VMware go to show. All of that clustering takes time to establish and maintain, which in turn leads to additional costs—and in the end, there's still no guarantee that your end users will be able to continue printing without interruption should your print servers get knocked offline.
So how can you achieve print server redundancy without clustering, without the failover clustering problems in VMware and other virtual environments, and without the risk of your failsafe, well, failing? Simple. Eliminate print servers altogether with PrinterLogic.
PrinterLogic's next-generation print management solution replaces print servers outright while introducing greater print availability, increased ease of management, and additional functionality to your print environment. Unlike Server 2008R2 print clusters, both our single-server on-premises solution and our all-new SaaS solution, PrinterCloud, leverage the proven strength of direct IP printing, which establishes one-to-one connections between clients and printers. This means that, even in the rare event of a server failure, end users can continue printing as usual until the server is back online.
The risk of that happening, though, is greatly reduced because PrinterLogic is incredibly robust toward the problems that can bring print servers to their knees—things like driver mismatches and printer installation conflicts. Not only does PrinterLogic's centralized management allow admins to administer drivers and printers effortlessly across the entire organization, its finely targeted deployments (without the need for GPOs and scripts) and controlled but easy-to-use self-service installation portal go a long way toward preventing the underlying causes of print spooler crashes and other fatal flaws of print servers.
And PrinterLogic integrates seamlessly with virtual environments, making non-issues of failover clustering problems in VMware, Citrix and other virtual printing scenarios. In addition, PrinterLogic admins enjoy smoother and simpler printer deployments alongside advanced features such as location-based printing.
With PrinterLogic, you can eliminate the need for redundant print servers by eliminating print servers completely—along with all their costs and headache. It's a single solution for multiple longstanding print management woes.
With more than 15 years of product marketing experience, Jordan has been been instrumental in helping IT software companies produce valuable software solutions and achieve growth. From IT desktop operations to infrastructure and security, Jordan has talked and written about sound IT best practices, amazing time and money saving products, and industry trends. At PrinterLogic, he leads the company's product marketing efforts and loves talking about how organizations of all sizes can eliminate the need for print servers.