How to Upgrade Printers from Server 2003 to Server 2012

Posted by Jordan Lindsey

In just 9 short months—in July of 2015—Microsoft will end support for Windows Server 2003/R2. With this end-of-life (EOL) announcement, its time for many enterprises to consider how they will migrate. So, how are you going to handle the migration to 2008/R2?

Microsoft does offer a Printer Migration Tool. This will take you through a wizard which allows you to export your print queues and drivers, then import them on the new server. Not a bad choice and not too difficult of a solution, provided you don’t have errors or configuration issues. But the bigger question is, do you really want print servers anymore?

Let’s be honest, you kept your 2003/R2 server this long because you didn’t want to touch it. But what is the end user transition going to be like? Do they just get to start printing with a seamless transition, with no problems? And how are you getting your 64-bit drivers and preferences set up? You now have to modify every print queue, on each server you have, with it’s corresponding driver. Are you lucky enough to use a universal driver or do you need a manufacturer driver for specific capabilities? The questions go on and on when it comes to migrating your 2003 print server.

But there is a better solution. Simply do not upgrade your print servers at all!

What are you going to do instead, you might ask? Start using PrinterLogic. PrinterLogic allows you to copy all your print queues, drivers, printing preferences and printer information by simply clicking on a print queue through our web-based application. PrinterLogic can be run a physical or virtual 2008/R2 or newer OS. IT IS NOT A PRINT SERVER! We are going to throw your old print server out the window when this is done.

So how do you simply migrate out of a print server environment without losing what you have?

Simple—as mentioned before, you selected all your print queues, press a green arrow and watch all your print queues copy into PrinterLogic. Once this is finished, you now deploy a small 7mb client out to your workstations via SCCM, GPO, etc. which runs as a system service. When this client installs, it will then silently auto-detect all Windows shared printers and convert them into Direct IP printers. And it will grab control of any already-installed Direct IP printers, too.

You may now turn off and trash that 2003 print server, take a huge sigh of relief that you never have to deal with a print server again in your life, then login to the on-premise, web-based PrinterLogic app to manage all print queues, drivers, printing preferences and automatic printer installs (with Active Directory integration). The client handles everything on each person workstation, keeps everything in sync with the administrative side and users with restricted computer permissions may install their own printers with floor plan maps, all from a web page.

You can please your end users, save costs on running multiple print servers, reduce WAN traffic, simplify upgrades and patching, and eliminate the single point of failure caused by your print servers. You can now sleep at night knowing you will never again get a phone call at 1:00 a.m. that the print server is down and no can print.

Pull Printing Solutions from PrinterLogic

Posted by Jordan Lindsey

Pull Printing (also known as Follow Printing) is an extremely valuable feature for enterprises looking to secure their printing environments. Each hundreds of millions of documents are printed and left unclaimed in the enterprise. Not only does this create a huge amount of waste (and wasted cost), but this can also create a significant security risk if those unclaimed documents contain sensitive or confidential information.

Luckily, Pull/Follow Printing enables enterprises to address this situation by enabling users to print and then release a print job directly from the printer, ensuring that the person is at the printer before the document prints.

Let’s take a look at how this works in PrinterLogic’s Pull Printing solution.

Pull/Follow Printing allows your users to print to a holding queue until they go to a Pull Printing-enabled printer of their choice. The print job then follows them to that printer, where the user can directly release it. One problem with many of the Pull Printing products out there is that you need a print server, and if that print server is down, then this functionality (and all other print functionality) won’t work. PrinterLogic’s single integrated platform enables enterprises to eliminate all print servers while maintaining all the functionality of their previous print environment, and adding many additional features.

PrinterLogic allows you to do everything that a print server environment does without any server dependencies. When your current users print with Pull Printing, they usually send the print job onto the print server (which must be available), then they go to a destination printer and release it with an interface to the printer. PrinterLogic gets rid of that server and goes a step further to allow the release from any electronic device that has a browser.

You create a virtual print queue called Pull Printing and have it automatically installed through PrinterLogic, or you can allow your end users to install it on their own with the self-service portal page that has floor plan maps. Now when anyone wants to print something to an unknown destination printer—even if they want to print to a destination that is10 floors up next to a conference room they’re headed to—they can rest assured that the print job will not be laying around for anyone to see while they make their way to that printer.

When the user prints to the Pull Printing queue, that places their print job into a holding queue. They can now walk to their destination printer, see the name of it and release the print job using any of the following:

1) Release Station—A PC or tablet (Android or iOS) is setup next to the printer. The device is set to kiosk mode and allows the end user to see and release their print jobs via the PrinterLogic web-based app.

2) Mobile Device—Any device with a browser can be used to select and release the stored print jobs via PrinterLogic.

3) Badge/Card Reader—A badge reader is placed at the printer or is native to the printing device. The badge reader integrates with the existing badge system to release the print jobs to the printer associated to the badge reader.

As you can see, Pull Printing enables users to simply hit print without sending that job to any particular printer. That print job instead goes into the PrinterLogic Pull Printing queue, and end users can then release the print job at any Pull Printing enabled printer on the network. This eliminates the danger of sensitive materials being sent to a printer and left unclaimed.

Why We Made It Our Mission To Eliminate Print Servers

Posted by Jarrett Taylor

If you look at the enterprise IT environment, there has been a ton of innovation over the past decade. From cloud computing to virtualization and everything in between, enterprise IT has become far more efficient, cost-effective and reliable than in years past—but with one notable exception: your printing environment. Why is it that so much innovation has taken place in every other aspect of the enterprise, yet our printing environments have remained untouched (and unimproved) for years?

This is the question we asked ourselves when we started building PrinterLogic nine years ago. And as we evaluated what was restricting performance and innovation in the print environment, we repeatedly came across one primary culprit—the print server.

The print server has not evolved much, and remains a single point of failure in most enterprises. And even when the print server is working correctly, there is no simple way to enable users to easily add new printers on their own, resulting in confusion and frustration. This is why printing issues make up 50% of all help desk tickets in today’s organizations.

We realized there had to be a better way. So we thought to ourselves—what if we could just eliminate print servers altogether?

It seemed like a crazy concept at the time, and even today—for those still reliant on their print servers—it seems like an impossible task. But the simple fact is that the cost, effort, and complexity of traditional print servers are no longer necessary. By eliminating your print servers, you can:

  • Eliminate print job related WAN traffic
  • Centrally manage all printers from a single server
  • Leverage integrated modules for auditing, mobile, and Release Printing
  • Enable an end user self-service printer installation portal
  • Simplify remote session and VDI printing environments
  • Remove single points of failure

And that is exactly why we built PrinterLogic. With our on-premise, web-based app you can replace all the functionality that print servers used to provide, while adding many new features that simplify printer management and provisioning, reduce costs, and empower users to install printers for themselves, without calling the help desk.

Over the years, we have helped over 1,500 customers in 120 countries simplify their print environments and eliminate their print servers. Everyone from SMBs to the Fortune 500, and even large government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security. We’ve learned that no matter the size of the organization—from companies with a handful of employees to global enterprises with hundreds of thousands across many offices worldwide—the reaction is the same. Everyone loves the simplicity, flexibility and cost savings of eliminating print servers.

One of my favorite parts of this job is going to trade shows where we get to do live demos of our product with customers. We’ve always kept our message simple—a huge blue backdrop with the words “Eliminate Print Servers.” That alone catches people’s eye, just as the title of this post likely caught yours. And once we’re able to show customers how simple our solution is to deploy, and how easy it is to eliminate the headaches of print servers, they are blown away. The reactions we get from people are unlike anything I’ve seen in my 20 years in enterprise technology.

So even if you’re skeptical about getting rid of your print servers, I’d encourage you to consider the benefits for your organization. Take a look at some of the organizations who have eliminated their print servers here, and let us know if you’d like to see a demo. We’ve been lucky enough to help thousands of customers eliminate the headaches caused by print servers while increasing the functionality of their print environments (and saving them a ton of money). So we’re happy to share some of those success stories and work with you to determine whether or not eliminating print servers is right for your organization.

And if you have any questions you want answered before you schedule a demo, just leave it in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer.

In the meantime, happy printing!