5 Things That Make PrinterLogic the Best Printing Software Choice

For years now, enterprise printing has been dominated by two structural paradigms. The first is print servers. The second is conventional direct IP.

As potential IT printing solutions go, however, have print servers or traditional direct IP really ever been the best choice? And what about the here and now? With the advent of mobile computing and its resulting need for effortless mobile printing, are either one of these paradigms still the best printing solution for today’s workplaces?

To start, let’s quickly consider the pros and cons of each:

  • Print servers help to channel printing and print management through one device. They’re implemented in either consolidated (where one centralized print server provides print capabilities to the entire organization) or distributed configurations (where localized print servers provide print capabilities to a single floor or building). In addition to print servers being fragile and finicky by nature, consolidated setups place heavy reliance on the WAN and create a risky single point of failure. Distributed setups, on the other hand, create more fragmentation and complexity of management.
  • By contrast, traditional direct IP eliminates the middleman (that is, the print server) and instead establishes one-to-one connections between clients and printers. This method is much more straightforward and reliable than with print servers, but it offers almost no window onto the wider print environment. Management is tedious and piecemeal, too, especially in large organizations.

That said, neither one of these common IT printing solutions is really the best. The best printing software would actually combine the strengths of each of these paradigms while avoiding their shortcomings. It would also introduce several unique advantages of its own, including powerful built-in print auditing, user-friendly mobile printing, seamless integration with virtual environments and self-service printer-installation portal.

The Best Printing Solution Is PrinterLogic
What makes PrinterLogic the best printing software—not only in our own eyes but also in the eyes of our customers—is its ability to do just that. It leverages the simplicity and stability of direct-IP printing while providing oversight and administrative tools that outclass anything print servers are able to offer. PrinterLogic also brings advanced functionality and superior ease of use to the table, making it the most versatile, most cost-effective and most future-proof print solution you can find.

Instead of listing every single one of PrinterLogic’s benefits, I’d like to highlight five important things that make PrinterLogic the ideal choice for any environment.

1. PrinterLogic eliminates print servers
Eliminating print servers might be the best thing you ever do for your IT environment, and PrinterLogic’s next-generation serverless print infrastructure is what makes that possible. A single instance of PrinterLogic can replace an entire fleet of print servers, which in turn saves time, headache and cost. For many organizations who’ve continually struggled with managing and migrating print servers, this alone might make PrinterLogic the best printing solution. Yet infrastructure reduction is only one of its many benefits.

2. PrinterLogic provides a single window onto your entire print environment
Unlike legacy printing solutions such as traditional direct IP, PrinterLogic allows IT administrators to oversee and manage their entire print environment from a single pane of glass. It doesn’t matter if an organization is globally distributed or has dozens of temporary sites; PrinterLogic’s web-based admin console offers clear visibility into and control over print capabilities in all those locations.

3. PrinterLogic empowers your end users
In the search to find the best printing solution, one existing asset that often goes unrecognized is your end users. PrinterLogic features a self-service printer-installation portal that enables end users to identify and install nearby printers with a single click. This means that they can always print to the most convenient authorized printer—even if they’ve just arrived at a particular location. That saves end users from having to call the helpdesk for routine print management, and it saves admins and support staff from having to constantly interrupt more pressing tasks to provision a printer.

4. PrinterLogic simplifies complex deployments
When working with print servers, printer deployments are usually dependent on group policy objects (GPOs) or scripts. Not with PrinterLogic. Our IT printing solution is designed to save time, and one crucial way to achieve this is making it possible for admins to configure precise printer deployments to individual users or entire groups without having to rely on unreliable GPOs or cumbersome scripts. PrinterLogic’s seamless Active Directory integration allows for targeted deployments according to OU, container, IP address and many more variables.

5. PrinterLogic offers advanced native functionality
As the need for specialized print functionality grows, the print environment can easily become bloated with different software solutions. These layers of solutions can affect the speed and reliability of printing and cause interoperability issues. One more aspect that makes PrinterLogic the best printing software is that it offers mobile printing, secure release printing, and print auditing functionality. A single solution can therefore deliver some of today’s most sought-after print capabilities—which also happen to be some of the most challenging to implement using conventional IT printing solutions.

Proven Results
Best of all, though, is that PrinterLogic lives up to its claims, even (or especially) when the scope of the project is truly massive. The City of Cape Town in South Africa, for example, was able to eliminate 140 print servers and drastically reduce help-desk costs for its more than 20,000 employees across over 630 sites (read the case study here) by implementing PrinterLogic.

Once you see PrinterLogic’s serverless print infrastructure in action, we’re confident you’ll agree that it’s the best printing software for your own environment too. Just sign up today to download a full-featured trial that you can test for 30 days free of charge.

What Is Citrix?

Citrix Ready

Even as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions see increasing enterprise adoption and enjoy more widespread popularity as a result, there are still lingering questions about their ideal use cases and what it actually looks like to implement them.

In this post, we’re going to take a brief look at what Citrix is (Citrix being a blanket term for solutions like Citrix Virtual apps and Desktops) with a particular focus on Citrix printing, which is the area where virtual environments tend to encounter the most teething problems.

Citrix 101: A Quick Primer
For the uninitiated, Citrix is an enterprise-grade desktop and application virtualization solution. Like similar VDI technologies, it provides users with software services that are not necessarily hosted or executed on their local machines; the end-user terminals are almost reduced to viewer-like consoles. Instead, the bulk (or even all) of the “computing” is performed on a remote server.

This virtualization process allows organizations to save money by purchasing low-spec “thin” or “zero” clients in lieu of high-powered desktop machines. Virtualization also provides for a more consistent user experience, because the VDI model prioritizes the server-based session over the static desktop. To make a very broad layman’s analogy, it’s not too dissimilar to accessing your Netflix account—no matter where you are or what device you’re using, you always see the same video library and the same list of recent activity.

Citrix in particular is favored for its scalability and security, which is why distributed enterprise organizations that value a uniform desktop experience—think law firms, healthcare providers and educational institutions—have been quick to embrace it.

The Caveat: Citrix Printing
As smart and scalable as VDI solutions like Citrix might be, printing is widely acknowledged as a perennial challenge. To be fair, the problems associated with Citrix printing aren’t necessarily Citrix’s fault. What’s to blame is the fact that printing—even at the enterprise level—remains firmly rooted in the traditional static desktop model. The layers of abstraction and the fluidity involved in server-based computing makes point-A-to-point-B printing considerably more challenging.

There’s almost an entire industry for enterprise printing solutions that claim to solve the complexities of Citrix printing. But in practice, they only add to the complexity. That’s because they try to work against native Citrix printing rather than with it.

PrinterLogic Enhances Citrix Printing
PrinterLogic takes the opposite approach. Our serverless enterprise printing solutions (both on-prem and SaaS/cloud-based) take the existing printing functionality already present in Citrix and enhance it with centrally managed direct-IP printing. That unique platform provides end users with reliable, secure, error-free printing while placing a streamlined, intuitive means of printer configuration and deployment in the hands of admins.

Specifically, organizations can choose their preferred provisioning method, such as the Citrix universal print driver for maximum compatibility and simplicity, while wholly eliminating cumbersome scripts and GPOs from the process. For organizations that prefer model-specific drivers to the universal print driver for Citrix printing, PrinterLogic’s common driver repository consolidates drivers used across the enterprise in one convenient location. This gives admins more at-a-glance oversight, enabling them to quickly identify and disable rogue or incompatible drivers.

Seamless Integration via Centrally Managed Direct IP Printing
A consequence of this—and a clear advantage of PrinterLogic over lesser enterprise printing solutions—is its seamless integration with Citrix printing. PrinterLogic functions smoothly, almost invisibly alongside virtualized apps and within virtual desktop environments as its centrally managed direct-IP printing paradigm allows it to create robust one-to-one connections between clients and printers. At the same time, and in stark contrast to conventional direct-IP printing, admins can use PrinterLogic to monitor and manage the entire print environment from a single pane of glass.

One PrinterLogic feature that speaks to the power of this combination is the self-service printer-installation portal. Once admins have configured printer assignments and uploaded optional floor plan maps, end users can simply visit this consistent web-based portal to identify nearby printers and install new or additional ones with a single click. This portal safely empowers end users with self-guided printer management while relieving IT professionals of the burden of routine installation requests.

By leveraging the strengths of native Citrix printing and augmenting them with next-gen centrally managed direct IP printing, PrinterLogic allows for more flexibility, increased print availability and superior ease of management. And that’s not just some hypothetical claim. Those are the exact results a large diabetes research center experienced after rolling out PrinterLogic in its own Citrix environment (read the case study here).

Whether your organization is brand new to Citrix printing or has been trying to get to grips with it for far too long, you can test PrinterLogic by signing up today and downloading a demo. The trial is full-featured and free to use for 30 days. It might not answer all your questions about Citrix, but it will definitely show you what’s possible with Citrix printing.

How to Eliminate Server Sprawl

Just like urban environments, enterprise IT environments can experience a phenomenon known as sprawl—or more specifically, server sprawl.

In this blog post, we’re going to look at what exactly server sprawl is, how it’s often exacerbated by VDI printing and traditional enterprise print solutions like print servers, and why you really ought to take steps to curtail it. We’ll also examine how serverless printing infrastructure solutions like PrinterLogic make it possible to avoid server sprawl by eliminating print servers from your environment without compromising functionality.

What is server sprawl?
Server sprawl is a gradual, insidious process that can affect any IT environment, although it tends to be most severe in enterprise environments where the size of the organization increases the scale of the technology infrastructure. Generally speaking, server sprawl comes about when organizations grow and either deploy or assimilate new infrastructure to accommodate that growth; or it happens when organizations want to add new server-based functionality and don’t have the time or resources to consolidate existing infrastructure beforehand.

So, in basic terms, what is server sprawl? As its name suggests, it boils down to the addition of more and more servers to the environment, which in turn creates more moving parts that require additional oversight and maintenance. Another name for it might be solution overload.

Too many servers, too many solutions
Paradoxically, server sprawl can become an issue in organizations that make use of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions. Even though this virtualizes the computing experience for end users with the aim of reducing infrastructure, VDI printing typically relies on a server-based architecture that admins try to spread out to minimize the strain on individual servers.

VDI printing is not the only scenario that can result in server sprawl. Any enterprise print solutions that make use of multiple server instances are potential culprits, and that means most of them.

Some best practices, for example, recommend that discrete print servers and redundancy servers be deployed at each remote site in a distributed organization in order to limit user pools, decrease WAN dependence and ensure high print availability. That’s sound advice if you’re determined to stick with print servers. But, like warm, moist conditions are conducive to mold, distributed print servers also create the ideal circumstances for server sprawl.

Consolidate and centralize your print environment with PrinterLogic
The remedy for server sprawl is to consolidate and centralize your print environment—ideally through an enterprise print solution that can actually eliminate print servers, as opposed to something that just claims not to expand your infrastructure any further.

PrinterLogic is the next-generation enterprise print solution that combines direct-IP printing and centralized management. That unique combo offers the same advantage of a single consolidated print server but with the distributed stability of one-to-one client-to-printer connections. Admins can monitor and manage the entire print environment—even in global organizations—from a single pane of glass while end users enjoy the straightforward ease and reliability of printing directly to their desired printers.

While it’s tempting to say that PrinterLogic simplifies your print environment, simplicity is often synonymous with fewer features. That’s not the case here. PrinterLogic is able to integrate seamlessly with any environment and provide more capabilities than organizations had access to with their previous enterprise print solutions. Optional mobile printing, secure-release printing and print auditing modules can be used to augment powerful core features like PrinterLogic’s self-service installation portal for end users and the freedom from GPOs and scripting for configuring advanced printer deployments.

Even VDI printing, notorious for contributing to server sprawl, is something PrinterLogic handles with ease. In Citrix and VMware environments, PrinterLogic enhances those solutions’ native print capabilities to make printing more manageable and more reliable.

Eliminate servers to eliminate their sprawl
Whether you’re faced with the issue of server sprawl or the challenge of trying to prevent it, PrinterLogic’s serverless print infrastructure is the ideal solution because it enables organizations of any size to fully eliminate print servers from their environment. At the same time, its architecture is far more robust than print servers. Thanks to a common driver repository and an intuitive admin console, PrinterLogic is also far easier to manage. That win-win scenario is precisely what QTC discovered when the organization implemented PrinterLogic across three regional headquarters and 70 remote clinics (read the case study here).

To start down the path toward eliminating server sprawl in your own organization, sign up today for a free, 30-day demo of PrinterLogic and see it in action.

Secure Release Printing in Healthcare Organizations

Of all the challenges caused by enterprise printing (and there are many), healthcare organizations face some of the toughest. Their work environments are almost always dynamic, with medical staff moving from one facility to another or working in shifts that are anything but 9 to 5. They also tend to be highly distributed, geographically scattered across hospitals, clinics and administrative offices with multiple departments. What’s more, their IT infrastructure typically incorporates an EMR solution with unique workflows.

None of these aspects lends itself to easy, straightforward printing and print management.

And that’s not even the half of it. On top of all these moving parts is a fundamental need for security—usually in the form of secure release printing—to maintain the privacy of patient records and protect the confidentiality of sensitive information.

Bearing that in mind, the ideal enterprise printing solution for most healthcare organizations would look something like this:

  • Easy to administer: No matter how distributed the organization, centralized print management would enable admins to move, add, edit and delete printers or drivers quickly and intuitively, and all via a single pane of glass.
  • Consistent and convenient for end users: Mirroring the ease of administration, all end users regardless of their role would be able to print where and when they need to with minimal—or even zero—effort. This would naturally call for seamless integration with any EMR or VDI solution present in the environment.
  • Cost effective: As in any industry, healthcare organizations are under constant pressure to reduce costs where possible. The ideal enterprise printing solution would enable this through powerful yet user-friendly features to curb the usage of consumables and optimize the printer fleet.
  • Secure and HIPAA compliant: With strict state and federal regulations governing the disclosure of patient information, it’s becoming almost essential to have secure release printing functionality—especially one that stands a good chance of being readily adopted by end users and won’t impede their productivity.

That might seem simple enough. But given the limitations of traditional server-based printing, it makes for a pretty tall order. No wonder healthcare organizations find it so hard to identify enterprise printing solutions that can measure up to these demands.

Before calling off the search, there’s one next-generation enterprise printing solution your healthcare organization should investigate further: PrinterLogic. Not only does it offer secure release printing, it also features a serverless printing infrastructure that’s capable of meeting all the additional criteria above.

Secure release printing with PrinterLogic
For those unfamiliar with secure release printing, you can think of it as a close cousin to pull printing.

Just like pull printing, secure release printing divides the customary printing procedure into two steps. First comes the initiating step, which amounts to clicking “Print” as you normally would. At this point, the print job is held instead of being printed automatically. Then comes the execution step—that is, issuing the command for your desired printer to carry out the print job. With secure release printing, users are required to verify themselves before this command can be issued. With PrinterLogic, authorization is quick and easy; it can take place through a badge/card reader, a PIN or even a smartphone app.

This makes printing more intentional while also giving end users more control over how sensitive print jobs are handled. Whereas standard print jobs would ordinarily be printed out immediately on a default printer, PrinterLogic’s secure release printing allows users to specify a destination printer and helps prevent sensitive print jobs from sitting in the output tray while waiting to be picked up. Confidential documents remain confidential.

In cases where PrinterLogic is able to eliminate print servers completely (some EMR solutions require them), its serverless printing infrastructure is able to enhance print security even further. By holding print jobs on the initiating workstation and not a shared print queue prior to the authorization step, it gets rid of the single attack vector from which server-based print jobs are vulnerable. A malicious actor would potentially have to target dozens of individual workstations at the right time to have access to the same data.

PrinterLogic brings even more benefits to healthcare printing
Along with secure release printing and a next-generation serverless printing infrastructure, PrinterLogic offers features like centralized print management, which gives admins comprehensive access to and control over the entire print environment. Drivers can be managed in PrinterLogic’s common repository, and printer settings and profiles can be adjusted individually or en masse using the intuitive GUI.

For end users, PrinterLogic provides a self-service printer-installation portal that can be used to complement its advanced automated deployment capabilities. This web-based portal allows end users to see available nearby printers and install them with a single click—ideal for nurses and other medical staff who move between stations or facilities.

Healthcare organizations and related service providers have left conventional enterprise printing solutions behind and implemented PrinterLogic to reap manifold benefits like these. EPIC Management is just one example (read the case study here). This California-based healthcare management and consulting services company successfully deployed PrinterLogic to gain visibility into its multi-site print environment, vastly simplify print management despite using a range of Windows and Citrix software, and roll out secure release printing to its customers.

PrinterLogic’s serverless printing infrastructure can do the same for your healthcare print environment. By taking a few seconds to sign up today, you can test drive our solution—including features like secure release printing and centralized print management—free of charge 30 days.