EPIC Print Server (EPS) Print Management

Problem:
EPIC Print Server (EPS) print management

Problem Overview:
EPIC Print Server (EPS) print management is difficult. When we say EPS print management, we mean the process of keeping all of the printers on the "slave" EPS's in sync with the printers on the "master" EPS. For example, if you need to make a tray selection change on a printer or update a printers driver, you need a way to propagate that change to the other slave EPS's printers. The more EPS's you have, the more difficult it is to keep the printers in sync. Here are some common solutions that customers have tried before they found Printer Installer:

  • Manually make the change to the printer on each EPS
    There are several problems with this solution. The first is that when manually changing the same printer(s) across the EPS's, the chance for human error is introduced. If a mistake goes unnoticed it can be very difficult to track down which EPS has the error as print jobs are not sent to the same EPS so duplicating or pinpointing the problem is a challenge.
  • Use PrintMig.exe or the "Export printers to a file..." option to backup and restore printers
    This solution consists of making a change to the "master" EPS server and then using PrintMig.exe or the "Export printers to a file..." option in the Print Management Console. This solution presents the following problems:
    • When exporting the printers from the master EPS, the export is an all or nothing export. You can't selectively export specific printers that you changed. So regardless of if you only needed to change one driver on one printer, you end up waiting several hours and hope that the export doesn't crash, requiring you to restart it. Also, the export utilizes the spool of the print server causing print jobs to be delayed while printer export functions are completed, resulting in negative end user printing experience and lost productivity.
    • When exporting the printers from the master server, customers mention that the export will fail after several hours and they have to restart the export. Babysitting the export takes time and is an undesired task.
    • Not all settings are exported. Printing defaults, tray assignments, paper sizes, etc, are not included.
    • When importing the printers from the export file, it is an all or nothing import that often fails, requiring constant monitoring and restarting of the import process, until the process completes successfully.  When importing hundreds or even thousands of printers this can take a full work day to complete. Meanwhile, the printer configurations are not in sync on all of the Epic print servers, causing a different printing experience depending on the Epic print server that gets the print job, causing errors or inconsistencies that are not acceptable.
  • Use a script to export the printers and then use another script to import the printers
    The problem with this solution is that it includes the word "script". Now you have to be an expert on scripting and you still have the same problems as the above option; full print server export and full print server imports that take hours and often fail.

Solution: