Whether you are a seasoned system administrator for a large organization or just getting started in your role as a system administrator in a smaller, but growing organization, there will always be one outstanding issue that plagues your network and overloads your help desk ticketing system. That issue is printing and how you manage it.
Seriously, who would have thought that something that seems so simple can end up keeping you on edge during work hours, stuck in the office after hours and up at night when you should be sleeping. The way your co-workers react when they can’t print is mind blowing. So this begs the question, what is the best way to manage printing and keep it as stable as possible? There is really only two options to pick from here; a Windows print server or direct IP.
Depending on the size and number of locations your organization spans, the Windows print server might seem like the obvious answer. You could spin up either a single central print server or a number of distributed print servers equal to your remote locations, but print servers are not always the most stable or cost effective option for managing printers. On the flip side, to save some money you could install all of the printers as direct IP and eliminate the need for additional servers, which in turn gives you a considerably better printing experience. However, this can increase the amount of work needed to manage your printers. Of these two options, which one is the best to go with? Before we can come to a definitive answer, lets first look at the benefits of each.
A print server can offer benefits such as:
- Management of printers from a central location
- Printer Driver management
- Printer settings management
- Job/queue management
- Printer deployments with scripts or GPOs
- Automated driver updates
- Logs and print job auditing
Direct IP can offer benefits such as:
- Reduced or eliminated WAN traffic related to printing
- Print jobs spool on local workstation
- Complete control over printer drivers and settings
- No single point of failure
It appears that the benefits of having a print server outweigh those of direct IP, but what if you could have all the benefits of a print server using direct IP? With a solution like PrinterLogic you can.
PrinterLogic offers a solution that eliminates the need for print servers while providing a way to centrally managing and install Direct IP printers. With PrinterLogic’s printer management solution, you can seamlessly convert your existing Microsoft or Novell print server environment over to Direct IP and manage all of the printers and drivers from a central administrator console that can be accessed from any computer on your network. Not only will you be able to manage your printers, you will also be able to deploy printers without using scripts or GPOs, empower your end users with a self service printer installation portal that can show floor plan maps with the printer’s physical location, automatically update printer drivers, have numerous print job audit reports at your fingertips plus much much more. To find out more about our solution, visit us at www.printerlogic.com for a demo and a free trial and see if it’s the right fit for you.
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.