Print servers have had a good run. They've enabled billions of documents to be printed and functioned as the primary print infrastructure for hundreds of thousands of organizations. They've even brought some nice perks to print management, such as driver repositories and automated deployments. So, thanks, print servers.
Looking at the bigger picture, though, print servers haven't exactly been headache-free. Window Server 2008 print management left a lot to be desired, and Windows Server 2012 R2 print management didn't get much better. Sure, there were some improvements to how printer drivers were handled, but driver isolation wasn't a panacea. The print spooler still isn't the most robust part of a print environment, and print-server-based environments are still intrinsically vulnerable to the same single points of failure.
Server 2012 R2 print management also didn't magically get rid of the need for scripts and group policy objects (GPOs) when deploying printers. Many organizations are still forced to rely on these imperfect and finicky methods to deliver printers to end users, and end users who want to install their own printers typically have to wade through convoluted device trees to map their devices. Support staff still need elevated rights to get printers in the hands of users who can't install their own devices. "Ghost" printers and drivers continue to haunt print environments when the removal process isn't successful. Snap-ins and additional third-party print management solutions are still needed for enhanced functionality. And the list goes on.
So how do you eliminate these headaches once and for all? How do you address the shortcomings of Windows Server 2008 print management without simply replacing it with the shortcomings of Windows Server 2012 R2 print management? In short, how can you eliminate print servers while gaining functionality beyond what print servers can provide?
At one time, eliminating print servers might have seemed like a pipe dream, but PrinterLogic has made it a possibility. Not only that, it's a value-added possibility because PrinterLogic's next-generation enterprise print management solution introduces a level of oversight and manageability that is simply unattainable with print servers. That's because PrinterLogic combines direct IP printing with an intuitive web-based management console, so you get the stability of direct IP connections—difficult with Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2012 R2 print management—with the incredible ease of centralized administration. With PrinterLogic, you can change the settings for individual printers or an entire fleet from a single pane of glass.
PrinterLogic's unique approach to print management means that you never have to mess with GPOs or scripts again. It integrates easily and seamlessly with Active Directory (AD), allowing you to deliver specific printers to specific users based on a number of criteria, including container, computer, group, organizational unit (OU) and more. Automatically and dynamically.
Furthermore, PrinterLogic empowers your end users with a self-service portal to make routine printer installations easier and more straightforward than ever. This portal allows them to identify and install nearby printers with a single click. One of the biggest headaches that continues with Server 2012 R2 print management is end users having to call the service desk when new installations need to be carried out (or when they go wrong). PrinterLogic's self-service installation portal all but eliminates those calls because end users are able to help themselves—making them, in essence, your allies in print management, not your adversaries.
In addition to our on-premises solution, which replaces all your print servers with a single server running PrinterLogic's next-gen print management software, we now offer a cloud-based solution called PrinterCloud. Both of our solutions enable you to eliminate the headache of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012 R2 print management with a far smaller—or even zero—local footprint. Yet your organization's print environment gains enterprise-level features, stability and availability. That's why it's finally time to put your print servers out to pasture and experience PrinterLogic's improved print management paradigm.
Before becoming PrinterLogic's Technical Product Manager, Chris spent more than four years as a Technical Product Engineer, Systems Engineer, and Sales Engineer—working side by side with IT professionals to eliminate print servers from their environment. He has a B.S. degree in Information Technology and loves learning about all of the new and innovating solutions that continue to revolutionize the IT industry.