Eliminate Print Servers

Question:
Why would I want to eliminate Windows print servers? And if I did, how would I centrally manage printers on the end point devices?

Answer:
In the past, Windows Print Servers have been a necessary evil to facilitate central print management, deployment and end user self-service printer installation. But Windows print servers have some serious problems:

Each Windows print server host is expensive
When you add it all up --virus scanning licensing, backup licensing, power, power conditioning, backup power, physical security, air conditioning, operating system licensing, host redundancy hardware resources-- print servers are expensive.

Each print server host requires time to manage
Operating system patches, operating system updates, security management, redundancy management.

Each Windows print server require significant time to manage

  • Downloading and installing 64-bit drivers for each print server
  • Downloading and installing 32-bit drivers for each print server
  • Finding 64-bit drivers for 2008 R2 print servers that have the same exact name as the 32-bit driver required to support 32-bit clients. Not being able to find such a driver and having to settle with universal printer drivers and spending time to find out what features are not supported by the universal printer drivers that were supported with the model specific driver, then researching and purchasing printers that the universal printer drivers support.
  • Same as above but finding 64-bit drivers that match the 32-bit drivers on 32-bit print servers
  • Time to test driver conflicts that arise with adding new versions of  printer drivers to each print server. This is usually done with a "try it and see if it breaks", which causes loss of employee productivity, or if it is done with a pilot server, setting up the server requires hardware resources, operating system installation and management, as well as additional testing and overhead. Trying to test every combination of drivers on a print server is a very time consuming task.

    decide on which print server can handle the additional print job spooling as well as any driver conflicts that might arise with adding the printer driver to the print server. This is usually done with a try it and see if it breaks approach or using a pilot server that requires duplicating the entire process, hardware, operating system, additional testing and overhead.

  • Time it actually takes to install new driver versions on each print server.
  • Time required to troubleshoot spooler crash issues caused by incompatible drivers or poorly developed drivers.
  • To to configure, manage, and test each print server backup and restore systems.
  • Time to configure and manage print server redundancy for each print server. Windows print clusters require expensive hardware and significant training or large amounts of time to learn.

Windows print servers are a single point of failure
If you don't configure redundancy, when the print server fails, and it will, end users experience a loss in productivity which results in a more time and effort getting the server back online, researching what happened, explaining to management why a service was unavailable for many users, researching solutions to avoid the problem in the future.

Windows print servers tie up highly skilled IT professionals
Because the print server role is hosted by a server operating system, organizations require that the print servers be managed by professional IT staff that cost more to employ and are already busy managing other advanced network systems.

Our Printer Installer product enables you to eliminate your print servers and centrally manage direct IP printers. Click here to learn more >>