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