Webinar Recap: Print Security Hacks for 2024

Security has long been atop the IT agenda. Customers demand it. Your business continuity depends on it. And it can greatly impact your bottom line if not implemented strategically.

But what are the main security focuses going into 2024? And what steps can you take to put your organization in the best position to protect precious customer and employee data in 2024 and beyond?

Vasion’s Principal Architect, Greg Smith, and Director of DevOps and Security, Justin Scott, sat down for a quick chat about Print Security Hacks for 2024 to share their knowledge on the best (and fastest) ways to achieve Zero Trust-caliber print management.

Watch the video below or read on for a short summary of the webinar. 

What’s top of mind in 2024?

You’ve constantly been asked to “Do less with more” when it comes to your current infrastructure.

But that still isn’t enough.

In 2024, the ask is a lot greater: Implement airtight layers of security that protect confidential data and maintain industry compliance BUT don’t decrease productivity or inconvenience end users.

A long-winded ask…we know.

Justin and Greg highlighted the following key criteria that are top of mind for CIOs and IT Directors for their print environments in 2024 to help you meet security demands.

  1. Zero Trust: Verify every end user before they get access to print applications.
  2. Federated Authentication: Access all apps with just one password to increase productivity.  
  3. Online Identity Providers (IdPs): Ensure secure access across all apps.
  4. Remediate Vulnerabilities: Update and patch existing hardware to keep attacks out.
  5. Reduce Attack Surfaces: Minimize infrastructure by removing underutilized printers and print servers. 
  6. Maintain Compliance: Leverage solutions that comply with ISO and SOC security frameworks. 

It’s possible to check these off your list rather quickly. However, there’s one piece of legacy hardware that needs to be addressed before you can optimize your print security in 2024: your print servers. 

 

What do print servers ACTUALLY do?

Being the status quo for over 25 years, it’s easy to forget why we have print servers in the first place. They’re a messenger between a client and your printers that queue print jobs to ensure your hardware never gets overloaded. 

Originally, servers were lauded for providing admins with centralized management, better print security, and improved print speeds. However, as businesses expanded, created new locations, and increased their print traffic, the immediate response for many IT pros was to put up more print servers to accommodate end users and equally disperse WAN traffic. Which, at the time, was a genius idea. 

Print servers have withstood the test of time, until recently, that is. They’re the primary cause of print-related helpdesk tickets, and they’re pricey to maintain and replace every three to five years. In short, print servers could be costing you more money, time, and headaches than they’re really worth. 

 

The security risks of print servers

Vulnerabilities exploited within print servers aren’t a secret. 

In 2010, StuxNet, a powerful malware, revealed itself to the world by exploiting a vulnerability in the Windows Print Spooler service. Eleven years later, the PrintNightmare exploit allowed attackers to take control of a vulnerable system. Since PrintNightmare’s emergence in 2021, there have been over 65,000 attacks on Windows Print Spoolers, 31,000 of which happened in 2022.

So how do you ensure these attacks don’t happen to you? 

Eliminate your print servers and get direct IP print management in the cloud.

 

Top questions to ask print vendors

So, you decided to move away from legacy print infrastructure and transition to a cloud-based print management solution. Naturally, you’re going to have a lot of questions about migration time, potential printer downtime, costs, and expected limitations you’d like to address—which are usually clearer after trying a demo with a new solution. 

Greg and Justin crafted a list of questions you can ask vendors upfront before investing your time and effort in a proof of concept.  

 

Conclusion

Implementing Greg and Justin’s print security hacks for 2024 doesn’t require you to search far and wide. PrinterLogic SaaS, our cloud-native direct IP print management solution, equips your organization with the features and functionality you need to print securely and protect your data for long-term success. PrinterLogic is ISO 27001:2013 and SOC 2 Type 2-certified and integrates with popular IdPs to authenticate all users before they print. 

Visit our website for more information

Or, schedule a free 30-day trial with one of our experts today.

Consolidate Your Network Printers With PrinterLogic SaaS

Simplify things. Minimize infrastructure. Do more with less.

You’ve probably heard these a time or two. And when you’ve already accumulated a ton of hardware, it’s hard to decide how and where to start. 

Printing is often an afterthought, but consolidating your network printers under one solution can prove to be one of the quickest ways to downsize your print hardware. This blog covers the ways you can reduce unnecessary hardware with PrinterLogic’s SaaS print management solution to cut costs, improve visibility, and remove the single point of failure.  

 

Start with eliminating your print servers

Though it might seem daunting to organizations married to a traditional print infrastructure, print server elimination is the most efficient way to consolidate and downsize your print environment. Thanks to next-generation solutions like PrinterLogic SaaS, eliminating print servers is as easy as rolling out our solution (which, as it happens, is really easy and very quick). PrinterLogic automatically migrates your printers and drivers to our centralized Admin Console so you can see your complete fleet from a single pane of glass. 

Migration is simple, but what truly separates PrinterLogic from other solutions is the speed of the migration compared to other solutions.

The trouble for other solutions on the market is that effective network printer consolidation requires extensive, real-time information on individual printers as well as the larger print environment. Most solutions have enough trouble making network printer configuration as effortless as PrinterLogic does, deprioritizing print auditing and the detailed insight you need to carry out infrastructure consolidation as a result.

 

Get advanced reporting and insights into print activity

In addition to making network printer configuration and oversight easier than ever, PrinterLogic SaaS provides advanced management features like print auditing and reporting already built-in. These are the same powerful, comprehensive print auditing capabilities that have given our on-premise customers macro- and micro-level visibility into their print environments, enabling them to carry out cost-saving infrastructure reduction and network printer consolidation. 

In fact, a TechValidate study (TVID: 77B-13B-830) showed that 79% of verified PrinterLogic customers reduced their infrastructure by 30% or more simply by implementing PrinterLogic. And PrinterLogic SaaS delivers those same benefits in a convenient, cost-effective cloud solution.

With PrinterLogic SaaS’s print auditing and reporting capabilities, you can easily determine things like:

  • Which network printers see the heaviest and lightest use
  • How many pages are being printed by user and department on each printer
  • Who is printing the most in different departments 
  • When certain documents are printed, including those that meet certain search criteria
  • What the real-time costs of printing are

This degree of visibility is hard to obtain, even from specialized auditing solutions, as they don’t have the deep-seated, system-level integration that PrinterLogic SaaS does. Not only do you get a window into data related to network printer configuration, such as grayscale, duplexing, and users that initiated print jobs. You’ll even get specific guidance on network printer consolidation from PrinterLogic SaaS.

 

Reduce print hardware and maintenance costs

Because PrinterLogic SaaS is a cloud-based solution, the only local physical print infrastructure you need is your printers. PrinterLogic’s already minimal hardware standards result in an impressive reduction in print-related hardware above and beyond network printer consolidation. That equates to less hardware to purchase, less to operate and maintain, and less to upgrade over the long term. Combined with the time saved through PrinterLogic SaaS’s intuitive network printer configuration, which allows you to easily adjust default settings and deploy printers dynamically without Group Policy Objects (GPOs) or scripts, the potential ROI should be clear.

Factor in a reduction in print-related calls to the service desk, greater flexibility of user access, feature extensibility, and higher print availability, and you’ll see how PrinterLogic offers far more cost savings than network printer consolidation alone.

Curious how much you could save? Try our free print savings calculator. 

 

Ready to try serverless printing?

Long-term projects like infrastructure reduction call for long-term solutions that future-proof your organization. PrinterLogic is just that. We provide a platform that equips you with all the tools you need to scale effectively, including:

  • Pull printing (Secure Release)
  • Off-Network Printing
  • Print Quota Management
  • Multiple IdP Support

All of these features are available in our free 30-day trial so you can get the complete, serverless experience. Learn more about PrinterLogic here

Or sign-up for your free 30-day trial today.

 

 

Webinar Recap: Printonomics

Remember your last math class? 

You thought none of it would apply to your future career, and then, low and behold, you’re managing hundreds of printers and sweating bullets trying to track print costs.

This is particularly true for IT teams with complex, distributed print environments where quantifying cost, efficiency, and consumable waste seems like advanced calculus. 

Luckily, we hosted a webinar called Printonomics to help IT pros like you identify the actual costs of printing and turn what was once a complex math equation into simple subtraction. 

Watch the recording below or read on for a quick event summary. 

 

 

Printing Is Costing You Money

Everything has a price. But when it comes to printing, it’s not just about the cost of consumables like paper and ink; it’s the hardware, loss of productivity, and security vulnerabilities that exponentially drive up costs. 

And, if you want to really point the finger, your print servers are the main culprit for higher print costs. We highlighted a few reasons why:

  • Single point of failure: Printing stops when print servers stop.
  • Deployment overhead: Failed scripts and GPOs lead to more helpdesk tickets, meaning more money out of your company’s pocket. 
  • Maintenance and patches: IT pros dedicate a lot of time to maintenance and security patches—especially when spooler vulnerabilities are exploited.
  • Security vulnerabilities: The average cost of a data breach in 2023 is $4.45 million—a number that has risen by 15.3% since 2020.  

Even with a perfect track record: Zero vulnerabilities, no failures, and no failed deployments, Quorcirca still estimates that companies spend around $3400 yearly per print server

Truth be told, the odds of having a perfect year of printing are the same as winning the lottery.   

 

Printing Is Costing You Time

Time is money in the eyes of an organization. And when IT teams constantly spend time on print-related issues, your company could argue they’d rather invest money in your team tackling mission-critical objectives—not printing. 

But which areas of printing does IT spend the most time on?

According to one study, IT teams spend an average of seven hours on print-related tickets per 100 calls. On top of stacks of helpdesk tickets, IT teams find themselves stuck spending time reacting to low consumables, pulling print reports from various OS and manufacturers, and updating printer drivers.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to reduce time spent on print management. Our experts identified a few modern solutions that help you erase tedious troubleshooting tasks from your agenda, including:

  • Self-service printing
  • Real-time printer alerts
  • Automated reports
  • Customized and automated deployments
  • A dedicated printer driver repository

We’ll talk more about how you can implement these later, but these solutions also help you address sustainability initiatives, which we cover in the next section.

 

Saving Through Sustainability

Sustainability has become a must for companies building for future success. Gartner found that 80% of business leaders see sustainability as a strategic play to optimize and reduce costs

Sustainable printing, however, has been a proverbial thorn in the side of IT. Ninety percent of North American companies are unaware of how many printers they have. Without a clear view of how many printers you have, it’s fair to assume those companies don’t know how much they are wasting. Formstack notes around 30% of print jobs never leave the print tray, and 45% of documents are trashed by the end of the day. 

So, what steps can companies take to start printing more responsibly? Here are a few tips:

  • Centralize your print environment to learn what you have in your ecosystem.
  • Track print jobs based on user, group, and department to determine your consumption.
  • Set quotas based on cost or volume to discourage unnecessary, large print jobs.
  • Add an authentication step for each print job with pull printing functionality.

These tips fall under the same umbrella of creating intentional printing habits. Once you have these practices and features established, that’s when the savings start to trickle in. You’ll see paper and ink consumption drop, users will become more aware of what they are printing, and confidential documents won’t sit in the print tray.

 

Addition by Subtraction

How do you add value to your team through subtraction? 

The solution is simple: Eliminate your print servers.

PrinterLogic helps you cut costs and reclaim the time you’ve lost by moving your printer objects from print servers to our centralized, cloud-native platform. Admins can deploy printers without GPOs, track print jobs, and empower end users to install printers themselves from a single UI. Moreover, our solution leverages direct IP printing to keep jobs on the local network, eliminating spooler vulnerabilities for good. 

 

See How Much You Can Save

Want to put a number on your potential cost savings after eliminating your print servers?

We’ve developed a formula to help you calculate your print savings by answering eight simple questions about your current print environment.

Try our free print savings calculator now.

Reduce Printing Costs With Effective Print Management Software

Many organizations begin researching print management solutions to eliminate (or avoid) print servers and introduce greater efficiency and simplicity into their print environment. That could be through features such as centralized administration, self-service printing for end users, auditing and tracking—or a combination of all of the above. 

 

What makes a print management software “cost-effective”?

The best print management software minimizes infrastructure and synergistically leverages modern print features to help companies reduce costs and increase return on investment (ROI). 

What’s often overlooked is that it takes a holistic system to generate maximum cost savings. A piecemeal approach through one or two discrete print management solutions that are limited in scope and function will only result in piecemeal cost reductions—not counting the fact that each solution also requires a separate investment.

In multiple case studies conducted by the independent research firm TechValidate, PrinterLogic is a print management solution that reduces printing costs and commonly generates an ROI of around 200% or more. A few more organizations have reported an ROI as high as 500%. 

But how does PrinterLogic’s SaaS solution help companies generate such an astronomical ROI?

Read on to find out how admins drive down costs with PrinterLogic. 

 

Elimination of Print Servers

Print servers aren’t just big fancy boxes in your server room. They cost money to install, maintain, upgrade, and replace. Quorcirca estimates the average cost to maintain and license a print server to be around $3400 yearly. Not a small number, especially when working with a few of them. What’s worse is the time and productivity wasted because of not-so-unexpected issues, including server crashes, failed deployments, and slow printing speeds. 

PrinterLogic replaces your print servers with a serverless, direct IP printing solution, eliminating all those financial outlays. Implementation is quick and easy, too. Using our automated migration tool, you can move all printer objects and drivers from your print servers to our centralized Admin Console—which we’ll cover more in the next section. 

 

Centralized Administration

After implementation, admins can manage, edit, create, and remove printers across the enterprise—no matter how distributed the print environment—from a single pane of glass. PrinterLogic is true SaaS print management software that gives you full visibility into and control over every printer in the organization, ultimately saving countless hours previously spent grappling with the finer points of printer management. 

On top of increased oversight, admins can identify underutilized printers to help minimize the company printer count and reduce electricity consumption. 

 

Self-Service Printing 

End users of all skill levels can easily view, identify, and install nearby printers themselves with an intuitive Self-Service Installation Portal. Users can simply open the customizable floor plan map or drop-down list to access nearby printers. Admins can add or subtract printers from the user’s view at any time within the Admin Console, helping eliminate unwarranted access to specialty printers or printers used by specific departments. 

This feature alone results in up to 95% fewer print-related helpdesk calls, saving time and boosting employee productivity. 

 

Comprehensive Tracking and Auditing

PrinterLogic provides a crystal-clear window into all aspects of your print environment—including the quantifiable details of page counts, ink and toner usage, and more. This alone can account for massive reductions in printing costs, as it provides a basis to monitor and address the individuals, groups, and departments responsible for the overuse of consumables. To keep executives informed on print costs and volume, admins can set up automated reports to be emailed monthly, quarterly, or yearly. 

 

Optimized Printer Uptime

In its ability to remove single points of failure and print-halting issues like driver conflicts, orphaned printers, and stuck jobs, PrinterLogic provides your organization with a print environment synonymous with rock-solid reliability. Less downtime means more revenue and fewer costs devoted to troubleshooting.

If a printer does need servicing, SNMP Monitoring and Alerts with PrinterLogic helps admins take care of printer issues before they happen instead of taking on bush-league helpdesk calls like “printer needs paper” or “printer is low on ink.”

 

Eco-Friendly Printing

It’s hard to find solutions that can lower costs and promote sustainability. 

PrinterLogic makes it possible in two ways:

  1. Adding a simple step before printing to create intentional printing habits.
  2. Empowering admins to configure default printer settings.

Features like pull printing and Secure Release Printing ensure that users authenticate at the printer before they print. Since print jobs are held in a queue instead of going directly to the print tray, users can cancel accidental color print jobs, documents with typos, and duplicates that would otherwise increase costs. They can authenticate via various methods, including QR code release, web browser, badge swipe, or by entering a PIN on the printer control panel. 

To prevent users from accidentally printing in color or simplex, admins can configure printer settings to default to greyscale and duplex after each print job. This can be done en masse or to individual printers, depending on the needs of your end users. 

 

Advanced Print Security

According to IBM’s 2023 Cost of a Data Breach report, the average cost of a data breach globally is $4.45 million. And this number has risen by 15.3% in the past three years. 

So, how does PrinterLogic ensure you’re not a victim of a print-related data breach?

PrinterLogic extends the security of your print environment to your mobile employees and remote workers via Off-Network Printing capabilities. Instead of end users relying on unsecured home printers to print sensitive information, remote users can print directly to any networked printer in the office to pick up later or collaborate with a colleague to ensure its retrieval at the printer.

PrinterLogic adds a Zero Trust layer of security to your print environment via integrations with popular identity providers. All users must authenticate and verify their identity before accessing printers in your environment. And, to top it off, our SaaS print management solution is ISO 27001:2013- and SOC 2 Type 2-certified which helps your company stay industry-compliant and protects your critical data. 

For more info on security and privacy with PrinterLogic, click here.  

 

Calculate Your Potential Cost Savings

We’ve shared the cost-saving features of our SaaS platform. But how can you put a realistic dollar amount on your savings after eliminating your print servers? 

Our print savings calculator accounts for print server maintenance costs, consumable usage, and printer driver updates to help you generate your potential savings after eliminating your print servers with PrinterLogic.

Try the free print savings calculator now.

Webinar Recap: The Best SysAdmin Tool You’re Not Using

As a sysadmin, you’re asked to do miracle work at a rapid pace. You’re tasked with helping your company drive forward (sometimes on a tight budget) and are in charge of making critical decisions on which solutions can solve all the pain points plaguing you and your end users. 

What if we told you there is a tool you can add to your toolbox to simplify the end user’s experience and reduce your workload?

On July 25th, two of our experts, Katie and Kayla, collaborated to discuss the Best SysAdmin Tool You’re Not Using and uncovered how making a few subtle changes to your print environment boosts productivity and positively impacts your company’s bottom line. The webinar recording is below to catch anything you missed, and we summarized the key points for easy reading. 

Watch the webinar

 

Eliminating print servers to reduce costs

What’s the key to reducing print costs? Moving your current print infrastructure to the cloud. 

Switching to a serverless printing infrastructure allows you to streamline print management and minimize IT intervention by helping you take the following steps:

  • Migrate your existing printer objects from your print servers to a cloud-native platform.
  • Manage all printers, drivers, and settings from a centralized Admin Console. 
  • Deploy printers, updates, and changes to end users—without scripts and GPOs.
  • Print securely by keeping print jobs on the local network and utilizing robust features.

And if it sounds too easy, that’s because it is. You no longer need print servers and can manage all of your printers from a single pane of glass. Additionally, you may find underutilized printers in your fleet that you can throw out—translating into more savings.

 

Enhancing the overall printing experience

Serverless printing boosts productivity for both IT teams and end users by providing a few key features to streamline printer deployments and installations. For admins, all printer drivers can be deployed from a centralized Admin Console which provides admins with granular control over which users have access to which printers. Plus, you can configure automated deployments based on IP address if you employ a mobile workforce to allow easier access to printers on-the-go.

But what’s in it for end users?

For an even more hands-off approach to deployments, admins can empower users to install printers themselves without calling the helpdesk via the Self-Service Printer Installation Portal. All the user has to do is click their desired printer on a floor plan map or dropdown list. Productivity increases and users can move around the organization knowing they don’t need IT for printer installs. This feature alone has reduced print-related helpdesk tickets by up to 95% for PrinterLogic customers.

 

Bolstering security with advanced features 

Many companies are on the fence about cloud-based print management because of their industry’s strict security requirements. But with PrinterLogic, you can meet industry compliance standards and achieve a Zero Trust print environment with features that protect confidential documents and information, including:

  • Secure Release Printing (pull printing)
  • Off-Network Printing
  • Integrations with major IdP providers

In addition to security features, PrinterLogic’s SaaS solution is certified by ISO 27001:2013 and SOC 2 Type 2, meaning we have the systems, people, and processes in place to keep your customer and company data secure on a global scale. 

 

Freeing up your time with serverless printing

Saving money and strengthening security is great and all, but how does that translate into more time for sysadmins? 

Well, instead of worrying about hardware refreshes, security patches, and Windows 2012 Server end-of-life, you can finally start pursuing other projects to help drive your business forward. Overall, print-related issues decrease because users no longer have to call the helpdesk to have printers installed. Plus, you can start tackling digital transformation or other Zero Trust initiatives since printing is already checked off your list.

And remember that new important project you talked with your team about a while back? Yeah, you can finally do that too. 

 

The top 5 reasons you deserve PrinterLogic

The truth is, you deserve a way out of print-related issues so you can finally start doing tasks that promote company growth and provide ample opportunities for you and your team to succeed. 

So what are you waiting for? 

It’s time to spoil yourself a little and simplify the way you manage print for these five reasons:

  1. You can reduce costs.
  2. You can be more proactive rather than reactive.
  3. You can better support end users.
  4. You can bolster your organization’s security.
  5. You can have more free time to focus on more impactful projects.

If you have more questions about eliminating your print servers, tune in to the Q&A portion of the video where many of your peers’ burning questions are answered by Katie and Kayla. 

 

Learn how much you can save on printing

Want a breakdown of how much you’ll actually save on print management by eliminating your print servers? 

We’ve developed a free print savings calculator tool that accounts for time spent on print-related helpdesk tickets, annual print server costs, and paper usage to help you learn how much you can actually save on printing by moving to the cloud. 

Try the print savings calculator.

5 Common Printer Redirection Problems with Remote Desktop Services (RDS)

Many organizations rely on remote desktop services (RDS) to provide them with lean, flexible computing environments. Many of those same organizations also struggle with remote desktop printer problems, which detracts significantly from the benefits of RDS. 

At the end of the day, admins just want printers to print without hurting productivity and overloading their team with helpdesk calls. However, obstacles like heavy WAN traffic and failed printer redirections tend to result in unpleasant downtime for organizations—and increased workload for IT.

 

5 Common Problems with Printer Redirection

The full list of potential problems is a long one, but there are ways to simplify and streamline everything about enterprise printing in RDS environments—which we will discuss later. Here are five common cases of RDP redirection not working when using Windows print servers and what you can do about them.

 

1. Print jobs disappear

This is one of the most frustrating of all the possible remote desktop printer problems. After connecting to the server, the client can see the desired desktop printer in the list of available printers. The client can successfully send a print job to the printer, and it even appears in the queue. But then—poof!—it’s gone, and the print job is never actually printed.

 

2. An installed printer is not visible to the remote client

In this scenario, a printer appears to have been successfully installed on the administrative side but that printer is not showing in the remote desktop session. It might be problematic for just a single client, or it might be an entire client pool. Whatever the case, the client (or client pool) is unable to locate it and therefore unable to print.

 

3. Print jobs execute but the text is garbled

When a print job fails to print or an RDP printer is not showing in the remote desktop session, you can at least isolate the problem to a single step in the printing process. But what about when the print job appears in the output tray with garbled text or symbols instead of text?

 

4. Long printing delays

Sometimes everything in the printing process will work fine. The printer is accessible, the print job is successfully relayed to the printer, and the document prints out just as it should. However, this process will take an inordinate amount of time—far longer than it should actually take for data to travel from the local client to the printer via the remote server.

 

5. Application-specific RDP problems

This can test the limits of an admin’s sanity. Here the end user can print from the word processor, for example, but can’t print from the accounting software. It can be a matter of one particular printer not showing in the remote desktop session for that particular application, or that a printer is accessible but the print job will not execute for some reason.

 

RDP Redirection Troubleshooting Tips

Though it’s very hard to pinpoint the exact cause of each of these remote desktop printer problems, the general troubleshooting advice is that they often result from a driver issue, especially if you’re relying on non-manufacturer print drivers. Try updating the driver on the client or moving to a newer version of your non-standard driver. And as soon as you attempt to print, check the Event Viewer and print server logs. Those error messages should offer you some more specific direction.

If none of these methods help, the reason could be one of the following:

  • The client may not support RDP and/or the user isn’t using a Microsoft device
  • Group Policy may be halting redirection 
  • The server can’t identify the printer 

I’m sure you’ve discovered the common theme by now: RDP redirection is more trouble than it’s worth. It shouldn’t be this hard for users to print in RDS sessions. That’s why we have one more option to help you enhance printing in RDS environments. 

 

Want to get rid of RDP redirection issues for good?

A more comprehensive, long-term, and cost-effective solution to all of your remote desktop printer problems is PrinterLogic. Our next-generation print management software removes issues with RDP redirection not working with Windows print servers by seamlessly replacing or enhancing your conventional print infrastructure.

In short, we eliminate your print servers and enable you to manage your entire printer fleet on our SaaS platform. 

No print servers means you can deploy printers without GPOs or scripts and empower your end users with self-service installation while enjoying centralized administration, precise automated deployments, and effortless printer and driver management. You can even use PrinterLogic to deploy session printers instead of using printer redirection in your RDS environment. So if you find yourself battling remote desktop printing problems, PrinterLogic is the quickest way to get rid of them permanently.

What Are the Key Components of a Serverless Print Infrastructure?

As IT professionals are looking to move away from legacy print solutions, the idea of a serverless print infrastructure is becoming more widespread. That’s true even in large enterprise organizations, where print servers have been an unnecessary evil for far too long.

A serverless print infrastructure brings more flexibility, greater scalability, and increased resiliency to the print environment. There are fewer moving parts without servers acting as single points of failure. 

There’s also less that can go wrong. 

But what features and functionality does a serverless print infrastructure have?

 

Key Components of a Serverless Print Infrastructure

Before we delve into what life after servers should look like, it’s important to answer: What is a serverless print infrastructure?

A serverless print infrastructure is cloud print management hosted under a SaaS solution or on-premises. Instead of relying on print servers for management, driver deployments, and other printing needs, serverless solutions leverage the cloud to unify print management for organizations and provide IT teams with increased oversight of print ecosystems from a single UI.

Below are some key components of a serverless print infrastructure to show you what you can expect when making the switch. 

 

Reduce print infrastructure

Implementing serverless printing means consolidating your entire print environment. All print servers in your organization become obsolete, and you can manage your locations on a single platform. This consolidation and oversight of your environment allows admins to weed out unnecessary printers in your fleet that aren’t being used. 

Serverless printing infrastructures are also more device agnostic, enabling you to utilize all of your company’s operating systems and devices while avoiding additional hardware purchases for compatibility purposes. 

 

Keep print jobs local

The WAN connection is the Achilles heel of traditional print solutions. If that connection is interrupted, printing is too. The speed of printing—along with all other Internet activity—can slow to a crawl if WAN traffic is heavy. 

The best way to increase print speeds for users is by removing the need to spool print jobs on a server and preserving network bandwidth. 

Serverless print infrastructures provide faster, more secure printing through a direct IP printing model. Print jobs are sent directly to the user workstation to the printer via direct IP and stay behind your company’s firewall on the local network. 

 

Native printer driver support

Lots of organizations have legacy printers that are fussy about drivers. They’ve also invested in current-gen hardware with advanced features that are only supported by native drivers. Supporting old hardware alongside the new is a big reason why those organizations are reluctant to eliminate their print servers.

Although you can use universal drivers if you prefer, a serverless infrastructure should have native driver support that lets you take advantage of your printers’ full range of features. Plus, you can manage, update and roll back printer drivers from a single user interface.

 

Next-gen integrations with apps and devices

Server-centric print environments lack integrations with modern-day solutions that power successful businesses. Even if they do integrate, the features are mediocre at best and don’t bring out the complete functionality of your devices. 

Serverless solutions should integrate with EMRs, ERPs, and VDIs to simplify printing in all complex environments. They should also work seamlessly with your identity providers (IdPs) so you can authenticate users before they have access to printing features. 

 

VPN-free printing

Some software print solutions make a big deal of being hosted on a cloud server. But these still require a VPN tunnel into your network, which limits accessibility. A robust, serverless print infrastructure should be accessible from any device with an Internet connection—no VPN required.

This is especially critical for hybrid employees who are always changing locations. They shouldn’t lose printing capabilities when they are off-network. Instead, any serverless option should offer ways to print securely on any network from any location.  

 

Print data and document security

Security is the watchword in enterprise circles. Moving to a serverless printing infrastructure means no longer losing sleep over PrintNightmare vulnerabilities. But there’s more to enhanced security beyond going serverless. 

The best print management solutions also present opportunities to leverage secure printing features like pull printing or Secure Release Printing, both of which require users to authenticate at the printer before receiving their print job. These features reduce the risk of losing critical documents after leaving them in the print tray and help maintain industry compliance standards. 

In terms of protecting your print data and ensuring your security needs are met, serverless solutions should be able to protect your data from end-to-end and should be constantly monitoring their security posture to remove future threats to your data.

Check out ISO 27001:2013-certified serverless print solutions here.  

 

Self-service printing 

Mobile employees need access to printers on the go. But in traditional print environments, these users inevitably call the helpdesk for assistance just to install printers. 

You can imagine how much of a headache this is for IT. Every time a user changes locations or needs a new printer, they get a call. 

Serverless printing should provide features like self-service printing, empowering your end users to install printers freely—without IT intervention. This cuts down on costs associated with helpdesk tickets and end-user wait times, boosting overall productivity and freeing up time for IT teams.

 

Automated, location-based deployments

Another component of a serverless print infrastructure is location-based deployments or proximity printing. This automated feature delivers printers instantly to users in the background based on their IP-address range. Automated deployments offer a streamlined way to give printers to users without requiring advanced scripts or GPOs.

Let’s consider a crew of traveling nurses going to and from branch hospitals for a second.

Time is always of the essence in healthcare settings. In a serverless print environment, admins can give nurses immediate access to printers in any networked location. So when a nurse takes out their device, they can simply choose the printer they want and print to it. This ensures faster printing and keeps jobs secure since they are kept on the local network (mentioned above). 

Automated, location-based deployments also greatly reduce helpdesk calls and allow admins to determine printer settings in bulk so end users don’t indulge in unnecessary color or single-sided printing.  

 

Try Serverless Printing Free with PrinterLogic

You’ve seen what a serverless print infrastructure can do for users, your IT team, and your organization, so why not experience it for yourself?

PrinterLogic unifies printing for all your locations on a single SaaS platform. Our centralized, direct IP approach to print management streamlines deployments, empowers users to install printers themselves, and offers the integrations and feature sets needed to secure your data. 

Try a no-risk, 30-day free trial of serverless printing today.

Print Servers Not Working? Eliminate Them!

Horror stories surrounding print servers are all too common. In fact, before PrintNightmare flooded the tabloids, you’d hear about disappearing “ghost” printers, spooler crashes caused by heavy print traffic, and, of course, plans to add more servers to distribute workloads. 

The list of potential print server issues is as long as a high-volume print queue. 

You’ll see what issues we mean in the sections below. 

 

What’s the REAL problem with print servers?

Print server issues tend to be wide-ranging and recurrent. Permanent fixes for printing issues are few and far between, and the smallest problems can lead to a cascade of events that affect IT and end-user productivity. Take this basic occurrence for example:

  1. You deploy a printer to a user.
  2. The user clicks “print” and nothing happens.
  3. Frustrated, the user calls the helpdesk for help.
  4. The user waits around until they can print.
  5. IT arrives and devotes time to solving the issue, only to discover it was a botched printer installation. 
  6. Rinse and repeat.

The more users and printers you have only add to your workload. This is exactly how a tiny print server mishap can spiral out of control. Depending on how severe, several minutes or hours can pass by before printing is able to continue, and in cases of corrupted drivers or print queues, the problem might affect other users in the meantime, which, you guessed it, translates into more calls to the helpdesk. 

print cycle

It’s time to let print servers go. 

It starts with the single point of failure. 

Print server crashes cause printing to come to a screeching halt. Productivity decreases, panic ensues, and you’d think the whole organization is on the brink of a catastrophe. 

Having more than one print server doesn’t mean the issues stop, either. More servers increase the need for more resources and labor to maintain them. Plus, admins forfeit centralized control making it harder to track print jobs, keep costs down, and deploy printers to correct users. 

 

The IT workload is overbearing.

In terms of workload for IT teams, there’s server maintenance, licensing, and replacements. And, depending on the size of an organization, servers may require around-the-clock babysitting to ensure printing stays afloat. Printer deployments are becoming more complex as businesses expand, open new locations, and adopt mobile and dynamic work environments. 

In traditional print environments, users don’t have the ability or resources to install their own printers, resulting in calls to the helpdesk just to gain access to printers. In truth, most print-related requests would disappear just by empowering users to handle their own printing needs.  

 

Security issues are a concern.

PrintNightmare was a wake-up call for organizations. Admins felt the brunt of it with security patches and strict deployment methods taking over.

We could just stop here on our security rant. But, we won’t.

Hybrid work has brought another headache to print security: home printers.

Employees are printing confidential documents from home more than ever and, if printed on an unsecured network, the data and information from those print jobs can be swiped by cyber attackers. Plus, a lot of these jobs go untracked by IT. The only way to limit the security risks is to ask users to connect their home printers to their computers via a USB cord or use expensive VPNs.

And then there are unattended print jobs. 

Although sometimes unintentional, many print jobs are accidentally picked up by other users, improperly disposed of, or just sit in the open for too long. This critical customer and company information can be used with malicious intent by internal actors for financial gain or competitive advantage—both of which are detrimental to an organization. 

 

Print servers affect your company’s bottom line.

Printing costs companies up to 3% of their total yearly revenue

It doesn’t seem like much, but a company that makes $20 million is projected to spend $600,000 on printing alone. And these costs are untraceable in traditional print environments—especially under a decentralized management model. 

print cycle

Wasted paper and ink caused by unnecessary print jobs, failure to print in duplex, and printing personal documents at work are all reasons companies spend too much on printing. However, many of these issues can be circumvented by gaining more insight into print activity across your organization.

Plus, in distributed print management models, your organization is on the hook for licensing, maintenance, and replacement costs for each server you have. Quocirca estimates a single print server costs organizations up to $5000 per year. 

Depending on how many print servers you have, you save a lot of money by eliminating them. 

 

What do you gain by eliminating your print servers?

Faster printing, less printer maintenance, and increased oversight to name a few. But you’ll immediately notice the aforementioned issues with servers and traditional print architecture go away when you eliminate your print servers and move to cloud print management. 

print cycle

Centralized management: Cloud print management solutions unify your distributed print environment allowing you to see and manage all printers and users in your organization from a single console. Support native drivers from any printer manufacturer in a single repository. 

print cycle

Boosted security: Eliminating print servers enables you to reduce infrastructure along with them, minimizing attack surfaces and removing PrintNightmare concerns. Take advantage of next-gen IdP integrations to authenticate users before they print.  

print cycle

Fewer helpdesk tickets: No more spooler crashes or print-related helpdesk calls to install printers. Cloud print solutions empower users to install their own printers—without requiring elevated rights. 

print cycle

Easier deployments: Set up customized deployment criteria from a centralized console and deploy printers in just a few clicks—without scripts or GPOs. Automatically deploy printers based on IP address range to deliver them to users on the go. 

print cycle

Cost-efficient printing: Cloud print management allows you to keep tabs on print costs per print job, user, machine, and department. Leverage features like Print Quota Management and Secure Printing to make printing more intentional and cut down on consumable usage.

print cycle

Hybrid-friendly features: Mobile employees gain access to printers automatically when moving between floors and office buildings. Put an end to home office printing concerns by giving hybrid users the ability to print securely off-network.

 

Print servers not working for you?
Eliminate them. 

As much hassle as print servers are, as much time and money as they waste, it’s a head-scratcher that organizations keep going back to them like they’re the only game in town. 

There are superior alternatives out there. But few deliver a full SaaS experience that requires zero on-prem architecture, is ISO 27001:2013 certified, and addresses the most prominent pain points of traditional print management. 

So the next time a print server crashes, fails to show all associated printers, or just stops working altogether, remember you don’t have to continue down the same path. 

PrinterLogic can help you.

Our centralized, direct IP approach to print management allows organizations of any size, sector, or structure to eliminate print servers completely while enjoying increased uptime and advanced features like secure printing that drive sustainability—even in tricky virtual environments where VMware or Citrix printing is a must. 

Get a free 30-day trial to experience serverless printing today

Generate ROI by Eliminating Print Servers Within Your Company

Many organizations still view print servers as the unavoidable cost of corporate printing. According to Quocirca’s Cloud Print Services Study, the cost of acquiring and provisioning a print server hovers around $2300. They also require ongoing running costs of close to $1700 per year—not exactly chump change. 

And the cost of replacing them? 

That’s a road nobody wants to go down. 

Now that print servers are about as obsolete as dial-up internet, it might be time to start re-evaluating your print infrastructure to streamline processes and save money. 

We landed a rover on Mars. 

We’re currently training AI to do tasks for us. 

Why can’t humankind make printing cost-efficient and consistent?

There are proven ways to start saving money in your print environment. But first, let’s talk about why print servers are so costly. 

 

Why do print servers cost so much money?

The up-front costs of print servers aren’t a secret. But hidden costs in the form of time and resources spent resolving issues caused by print servers are hard to identify. More often than not, print server issues result in a trickle-down effect that usually ends in a call to the helpdesk when users have finally had enough. 

Take printer deployments, for example. IT may struggle to find the correct drivers, deliver the wrong printer to a user, or even make a script typo—and we all know how complicated scripts can get. All these scenarios waste a lot of time and force organizations to spend money in an area they shouldn’t have to. 

And then there’s security. 

Spooler vulnerabilities have only exacerbated printing issues that used to be routine fixes. Deployments are tricker and take longer to troubleshoot because admins don’t want to open up their organization to security risks. With a global average of $4.3 million per data breach, it’s definitely not a risk worth taking. 

 

The Advantages of Going Serverless

When you eliminate your print servers, you’re not just taking non-essential hardware and software out of circulation. You’re also removing three major sources of IT burden:

Hardware updates and migration: New OS releases and mergers/acquisitions are two events that trigger a print server upgrade. Moving to new print servers is labor-intensive and diverts IT resources from other essential tasks.

Helpdesk calls: When users can’t print because of print server problems or downtime, they flood the helpdesk with calls. While those users wait, IT has to waste time troubleshooting and tracking down the cause of basic printing errors.

Maintenance and management: Print servers are rarely “set it and forget it” hardware. They need regular supervision and intervention. Even something as simple as updating or rolling back print drivers can be time-consuming. And don’t forget those frequent patch installations. 

It’s one thing to kick print servers to the curb and remove that constant source of headaches. But being able to replace your legacy infrastructure with a cloud-native, scalable solution sets you up for current and future success as your company expands. 

That’s what makes PrinterLogic’s print management solution different. 

Through its centrally managed, direct IP printing model, PrinterLogic allows for efficient management of the entire print environment—all from a single pane of glass.

You can only imagine how this translates to optimized print management for distributed organizations like retail, healthcare, and banking. No print servers mean fewer visits to off-site locations. The single UI enables admins to address issues with just a few clicks. And adding and subtracting printers becomes a cakewalk. 

Serverless printing solutions like PrinterLogic have enabled enterprises and managed print service providers to completely eliminate print servers from even the most complex print environments. Distributed retail organization? Cerner/VMware VDI environment? Highly secure government entity? There’s no enterprise printing scenario that PrinterLogic’s serverless printing infrastructure can’t handle, improve, or protect.

 

Choose a Print Management Solution That Pays for Itself

Reducing print infrastructure, streamlining print management, and minimizing printer downtime all contribute to PrinterLogic’s ROI out of the gate.

Children’s Bureau, Inc., a nonprofit social-service agency, saw all those results after going serverless. Even without running dedicated ROI calculations, they identified cost savings through the dramatic reduction in support tickets and smoother print management. 

One independent survey found that 87% of PrinterLogic customers had seen at least a 100% ROI. Almost half reported an ROI of more than 200%.

And what’s more, those results were quick. Seventy-five percent of PrinterLogic customers said they broke even and recouped their investment within one year. More than 90% reported that it was in 18 months or less. 

Some organizations take their savings further by leveraging PrinterLogic’s print auditing and advanced reporting capabilities. Print auditing and advanced reporting features reveal information like:

  • Which departments print the most
  • Money spent on print consumables like toner and paper
  • Detailed print activity down to the printer or user level

That info creates an opportunity for enterprises and managed print service providers to start capitalizing on other areas—yielding them a bigger ROI.

 

Try Our Print Savings Calculator

Interested in learning how much you could save by going serverless? We’ve come up with the perfect formula so you don’t have to crunch the numbers by yourself.

Try our print savings calculator now.