SaaS or Virtual Appliance: Which PrinterLogic Solution Is the Best Fit for Your Organization?

With the exciting release of our Virtual Appliance, you might be asking yourself which PrinterLogic solution is right for you. Would your organization’s print management benefit most from our cloud solution, PrinterLogic SaaS, or our next-gen hypervisor solution, the PrinterLogic Virtual Appliance?

To answer that question, it helps to understand the key differences between the two. That’s what we’ll lay out here.

But before we begin, it’s worth mentioning that PrinterLogic Virtual Appliance and PrinterLogic SaaS have a lot of overlap. They’re both built on a common foundation of centrally managed, direct-IP printing. So each PrinterLogic solution brings secure print functionality, ultra-efficient print management and modern serverless printing to your workplace.

Furthermore, both PrinterLogic SaaS and the PrinterLogic Virtual Appliance share features like:

Where the two print-management solutions part ways mostly has to do with your preferred implementation. That plays out in three key areas.


1.Where it’s hosted, which determines admin control

PrinterLogic SaaS is an official Amazon Web Services (AWS) well-architected solution. It’s hosted across several geographic public cloud regions. Unlike some hybrid solutions, no additional servers have to be hosted in your private cloud or datacenter. Because PrinterLogic SaaS is a true SaaS solution and adheres to strict AWS security criteria, IT admins don’t have direct access to the database that houses information about the instance.

By contrast, the PrinterLogic Virtual Appliance gives IT admins direct access to their VA instance database and related information. That’s because it’s a self-contained, preconfigured VM image self-hosted on your hypervisor—which can be in an on-prem data center, a private cloud data center or a public cloud data center.


2. Multi-tenancy capabilities

Many managed service providers (MSPs) support their customers’ print environments with PrinterLogic’s print management software. For the sake of visibility and efficiency, they prefer to manage those multiple print environments using a single management console. PrinterLogic SaaS is built on a scalable AWS platform that enables this kind of convenient multi-tenancy arrangement.


The PrinterLogic Virtual Appliance is better suited for enterprise customers who just need a single instance of our print management software. As with every PrinterLogic solution, they can manage their entire print environment from a single pane of glass.


3. Different upgrade mechanisms

Like many true SaaS offerings, PrinterLogic SaaS uses a continuous-delivery update methodology. This takes place quietly in the background. As new features and fixes become available, they’re automatically delivered to SaaS instances.


The PrinterLogic Virtual Appliance can be updated in one of two ways. One is a full-replacement update. This involves detaching the persistent storage disk and replacing the virtual appliance with the updated PrinterLogic version. The second is a partial update. Using this method, admins can cherry pick the updates they want or need.


Transform legacy infrastructure into a modern environment

Generally speaking, many SMBs and MSPs find PrinterLogic SaaS to be a good fit. They value its multi-tenancy feature and its automatic updates, and they don’t need access to the software database itself.

The PrinterLogic Virtual Appliance is designed primarily—but not exclusively—for our enterprise customers who want total control over every aspect. They want to determine the who, what, when, where and how of the hosting location, the database and the update process. And they prefer separate PrinterLogic instances to multi-tenancy.

Whichever option you choose, PrinterLogic converts legacy print environments into highly available, centrally managed direct-IP printing platforms. You’ll enjoy secure print features, streamlined print management and a future-proof printing strategy that can save your organization time and money.

Chromebooks Are Ideal for Education. But What About Chromebook Printing?

Long before distance learning became a necessity, Chromebooks were already taking over classrooms. The education sector accounted for 72% of the overall Chromebook industry share in 2014. Just three years later, over half of all mobile computing shipments to United States K-12 institutions were Chromebooks.

Today the massive shift to remote education has made these portable, low-cost mobile devices more popular than ever. Twenty million Chromebooks are predicted to ship during 2020. That’s a 17% increase over the previous year. Furthermore, the education sector alone isn’t responsible for that demand. Chromebooks are making inroads in finance, hospitality and real estate too.

Despite their popularity, Google Cloud Print’s end of life has created a major sticking point for IT staff.

As a result, Chromebook printing has a pretty big question mark hanging over it. Is the ease of Chromebook classroom management negated by the hassle of Chromebook print management?


Bringing ease and oversight to Chromebook printing

PrinterLogic’s Chrome OS Extension offers a better way to manage Chromebook printing than ever before.

Whether they’re based in education or the enterprise, IT departments that use PrinterLogic can easily deploy printers to Chromebook users from a single pane of glass. They don’t have to resort to bespoke, Chromebook specific driver variants, because PrinterLogic leverages the native Chrome OS workflow and the familiar G-Suite dashboard.

Better still, unlike many cloud printing solutions, print jobs stay local with PrinterLogic. If there’s a dedicated classroom printer, IT can have students automatically print to that device without any extra steps. Print jobs travel straight from their Chromebook to their default printer. Keeping print jobs local also makes for speedier printing.

For state and local education institutions, using the PrinterLogic Chrome OS Extension for Chromebook printing brings key advantages:

  • Reduce staff hours devoted to print management. In the past, managing drivers and printers has been tedious and time-consuming. PrinterLogic makes it simple and streamlined.
  • Manage printing for your Chromebook fleet from anywhere. PrinterLogic SaaS enables Chromebook printing without the cloud but retains all the sought-after cloud benefits. You’ll enjoy full admin control no matter where you happen to be.
  • Provision like a pro. Admins can deploy printers to Chrome OS devices based on AD users/groups, Google ID users/groups, endpoint IP address, Chromebook serial number or Chromebook asset ID.
  • Stay on top of things. Thanks to built-in reporting and SNMP support, PrinterLogic can alert IT when a printer needs attention or if print usage is unusually high.


Future-proofing the classroom

The flexibility and affordability of Chromebooks have made them go-to solutions for education. They’re perfect for today’s classroom, and they’re also helping to create the classroom of tomorrow. The simplicity and convenience of Chromebook classroom management is a big part of that.

With PrinterLogic’s Chrome OS Extension, network admins can meet the printing needs of their school districts with less effort.

Even in mixed-OS environments, IT can support an agile print-management strategy. For instance, with PrinterLogic, they can easily scale to meet the demands of the print environment as it evolves. And because PrinterLogic is printer-agnostic, it will work with both legacy and current printing devices.

If you want to dive into more detail, check out our white paper on Chromebook printing in K-12 environments with PrinterLogic.