Posted by Andrew Miller
Print server downtime is a fact of life for organizations that continue to rely on traditional print management solutions. If you absolutely want or need to keep your print servers in place, there are a few things you can do to decrease downtime. There’s also another option—eliminating your print servers altogether—that PrinterLogic’s print management solution makes possible.
But first things first: decreasing your downtime with conventional print server solutions.
Before doing anything else, you need to create redundancy. This means having a backup print server at the ready if and when the primary server crashes or drops offline. Best print server management practices actually call for two standby servers in high-volume environments or in organizations where printing is mission critical. The catch is that each of these backup servers has to be maintained—even when not in everyday use. If they haven’t been patched with the latest software upgrades or are working with outdated drivers, they could end up causing a whole different set of printing problems if they’re suddenly called into service. The cost of procuring and maintaining the hardware and extra licensing for redundant print server solutions can also get pricey.
Driver conflicts and incompatibilities are the cause of many print server crashes, which is why it’s also important to make sure your drivers are up to date and thoroughly tested. This can be hard to do in organizations that use a variety of device models and manufacturers, but the many hours of extra effort that it takes to test and update drivers using standard print server management options could potentially save your workplace from hours of print server downtime.
Finally, you’ll want to consolidate. Distributed organizations often like to scatter print servers across their remote locations. That has some obvious benefits, but it also makes it harder for a centrally located IT team to troubleshoot a print server and bring it back online after it’s crashed. By consolidating (and, of course, adding multiple print server backups for redundancy), you make print server management easier in routine situations as well as emergencies. Unfortunately, consolidation does trade print server solutions’ single points of failure for another vulnerability: the WAN link. When the WAN goes down, it cuts the connection to the central print server and risks taking printing down with it.
The easiest way to reduce your print server downtime is to eliminate them completely. That’s what PrinterLogic is for. Our next-gen print management software can completely replace the functionality of print server solutions while introducing more features, more stability and more efficiency into your print environment.
With PrinterLogic, not only do you get centralized print management that puts print server management to shame, you also get rock-solid stability that allows your end users to keep printing as normal, even in the event of a server failure or a WAN outage. That’s because PrinterLogic is built on proven direct IP printing technology that establishes direct links between clients and printers.
Furthermore, unlike cumbersome print server management, PrinterLogic lets you deploy printers accurately and reliably — without having to use group policy objects (GPOs) and complex scripts. That means your end users don’t experience printing downtime when a printer fails to deploy properly. They get the right printers at the right time. Every time.
And PrinterLogic can seamlessly integrate into environments that have traditionally been associated with print server solutions, such as EMR (Epic, MEDITECH) or virtual (Citrix, VMware) environments. So whether you keep your existing print servers or use PrinterLogic to eliminate them for good, you’ll get the unprecedented availability you’re looking for and many other features to boot.