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.

 

 

Best Strategies for Deploying Print Servers

So, your organization has reached a point where it’s time to deploy another—or maybe your first ever—print server. Just like every other hardware, there’s a good way and a not-so-good way to deploy them. And there are alternatives to print servers that you might not have considered yet. 

Before you start down any path, you’ll want to think about your preferred topology. 

Will you have a single centralized network print server or will you have localized print servers distributed across your organization?

Let’s explore the pros and cons of each one. 

 

The Good and Bad of Centralized Print Servers

A centralized print server consolidates your print management infrastructure in one place. That makes print management more convenient, but it also introduces two potentially serious problems. The first is WAN vulnerability, as the WAN connection will be the only link between the network print server and remote locations. Should the WAN be interrupted, so will print activity for the affected location. 

The second issue is that a centralized print server creates a single point of failure. To guard against this, expensive redundancy measures are needed, although this will also create additional work for the print management team.

 

The Good and Bad of Localized Print Servers

Localized print servers allow you to keep the number of clients per server low. Because print server performance can suffer as the number of connected clients increases, fewer clients on more print servers sounds like a wise idea. 

However, increasing the number of print servers also complicates print management because the printer drivers, print queues, software, and user pool need to be maintained across each of them which drives up costs. When you upgrade, you’ll usually need to rely on a print server migration tool (provided a suitable one is available) to bring every single print server up to date.

 

Tips for Choosing the Best Print Server Model

Understanding the strengths and drawbacks of those two basic topologies will help you determine how to best structure your current print server deployment to build a solid foundation for future upgrades and deployments. Because print servers in any configuration have limits to their scalability, whichever architecture you choose will have an impact on how your IT environment expands and evolves in the coming years.

Starting as you mean to go on is an equally good mantra when setting up your organization’s network print server. Here are a few friendly pieces of advice to consider:

  • Clutter is the enemy, and less is more (or at least more manageable). 
  • Keep drivers to an absolute minimum, as too many drivers can be resource-intensive and cause print spooler problems. 
  • Test initial drivers thoroughly before deploying them. Rogue drivers are notorious for crashing print spoolers. 
  • Enable driver isolation and use up-to-date (v4) drivers to minimize the possibility of spooler crashes.

Lastly, you’ll need to look at your current as well as your future IT environment with a wide-angle lens. Does your organization have a mix of clients running different operating systems? Are you planning to transition to mobile or Chromebook-type clients? Is secure printing important to your organization? 

Your answers to those questions will determine what shape your print server deployment takes and whether or not you’ll need to augment that infrastructure with additional third-party solutions.

 

Do you really need a print server to print?

With all that in mind, perhaps the most fundamental step in print server deployment is asking yourself whether you really need one at all. PrinterLogic’s next-generation print management solution does everything you demand of print servers—but without the WAN vulnerabilities, the expanding infrastructure, the limits to scalability, and the susceptibility to PrintNightmare.

PrinterLogic’s SaaS solution allows you to manage your entire print environment, no matter how distributed, from a single pane of glass. Better still, you can deliver printers to users without relying on GPOs or scripts and easily implement advanced functionality like Mobile Printing. You can even empower end users to install printers themselves in the Self-Service Printer Installation Portal

 

Already using print servers?

So, what if you’ve deployed a print server (or several) in your organization? 

PrinterLogic makes the transition to powerful, centrally managed direct IP printing quick and easy. It features a handy print server migration tool that imports all your printers, drivers, and profiles, so you can seamlessly manage your entire print environment from a centralized location and eliminate your print servers—and all their attendant costs and hassle—in record time.

Even when done properly, print server deployment is no small task. It takes a lot of time and planning, but even if you make all the right moves, your organization is still stuck with their inherent limitations and security vulnerabilities. 

It stands to reason that the best way to deploy print servers is not deploying them…ever.

Go serverless. 

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.

How Print Management Services Can Reduce Printing Costs

You’ve asked users to print less, stop printing in color, and use duplex for every print job. As a result, your users have risen up in rebellion and continue to make costly printing mistakes—printing in simplex, using color ink for every print job, and leaving jobs in the print tray. 

We’re kidding, of course. 

But when you’re trying reduce print costs in traditional print environments, it is a constant struggle. Print management services can help combat habits that make printing expensive. 

 

The reasons you’re overspending on printing. 

Printing and print servers have a closer relationship to your organization’s bottom line than you may think. Here are a few overlooked expenses in traditional print environments:

  • Print consumable waste (e.g., toner, paper)
  • Purchasing, deploying, and maintaining servers and endpoint devices
  • Time spent on print-related helpdesk calls—for users as well as IT staff
  • Lost productivity due to printer downtime and print service interruptions
  • Excessive time and resources devoted to deployments and driver management

And those are only the major ones. 

Add them up in dollars and it will likely amount to a shockingly high figure—which is money that your organization could be saving or allocating to other areas. The problem is, conventional print management services don’t address these issues in a systematic way. These preventable costs have become an accepted part of the status quo.

It doesn’t have to be like that. Forward-thinking print management services can reduce printing costs dramatically.

 

How do print management services save you money?

Think of print management services as the ultimate tune-up of your print environment. You’ll no longer be stuck performing tedious server maintenance, deployments are more precise, and you get access to features designed to cut costs without sacrificing efficiency. 

 

1. They eliminate print servers (and printers) from your environment

The costs of maintaining, licensing, upgrading, and powering print servers stacks up over time. You’re not only dealing with expenses here, either. Countless hours are devoted to print servers just to keep printing afloat in organizations. Print server crashes lead to hours of damage control and employees are less productive when printing services are down. 

Print management services enable IT teams to remove print servers from their environment and consolidate management to a single platform. With a bird’s-eye-view of your print environment, you can identify which printers aren’t being utilized in your environment and remove them from your printer fleet. 

The removal of legacy infrastructure doesn’t just cut down your company’s electric bill. You experience long-term saving by removing tedious server maintenance and increasing end user productivity. 

 

2. They allow you to track costs

Users print every day. With hundreds, if not thousands, of users to manage you can imagine how tracking print jobs seems like a daunting task. And it is. Especially in decentralized print environments. 

Print management services allow you to determine the cost of each print job (color and greyscale), allowing you to calculate the precise dollar amount of paper and consumable usage. You can narrow your search down to users, devices, and groups to see where printing is being used the most (or the least) and determine which areas to develop stricter printing policies to cut costs.

Who knows? You may find that a few users don’t need printers anymore, allowing you to minimize your printer fleet even further. 

 

3. They promote sustainability (and security)

You’re probably calling our bluff on this one. But sustainability and security go hand-in-hand in modern print environments. By authenticating end users at the printer before they can receive their print jobs, you can cut down on paper waste, cancel accidental print jobs, and make sure print jobs aren’t left in the print tray. 

And users aren’t inconvenienced by the extra step, either. 

You and your team can choose the authentication method that works best for your end users. Print management services offer a few of the following release methods like badge release, entering a PIN at the control panel, web browser release, and QR code scanning. 

Most solutions don’t offer the full lineup of authentication methods mentioned above. For more info on Secure Release Printing (pull printing) click here

 

4. They enable you to limit print volumes

Some IT teams have a tighter budget to work with. Having the ability to limit print volumes by setting quotas for users or groups is critical to maintaining healthy print costs. 

A few ways Print Quota Management can help organizations on a budget:

  • Admins can set a maximum allowance on print jobs per user/group based on price or volume
  • Limit print jobs to a specific page count (i.e., users can’t print more than 10 pages per print job)
  • Assign print quotas by modes (i.e., color, greyscale, and duplex)
  • Set time delays between print jobs to reduce unintentional print jobs
  • Create recurring quota periods to reset every month, quarterly, or yearly

This feature set enables admins to identify which users and groups are printing the most, helping you determine how to allocate print volumes across your organization. Plus, you stop losing sleep over questionable 100-page color print jobs that have nothing to do with work. 

 

Start saving today with SaaS print management. 

Print management services provide ample ways to reduce the financial burden printing can have on your organization. Yet, few solutions offer a complete SaaS platform that unifies your entire print environment, eliminates your print servers, and promotes sustainability with its feature set like PrinterLogic does. 

What’s more, PrinterLogic is free for your first 30 days.

Schedule a demo today to learn more about serverless print management.   

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.

Serverless Printing Infrastructure Advantages

“Serverless printing.” 

No, we’re not talking about an off-the-shelf printer connected to a USB cable or a couple of Wi-Fi-connected printers in a tiny office. 

Although both of these scenarios are technically serverless, they aren’t built to meet the goals of organizations trying to grow. In an enterprise, where the scale and complexity of the print environment is significantly greater, it’s hard to imagine ditching print servers to manage 50-plus printers.

However, if done right, serverless printing offers advantages that go far beyond just eliminating print servers.

 

What is serverless printing?

Serverless printing means no longer relying on print server architecture to handle your printing processes and management. Instead of jobs rendering in a print spooler, jobs are sent from the workstation directly to a networked printer. All print management tasks are handled on a centralized platform, print jobs stay local, and any concerns around server security vulnerabilities are removed as well. 

Serverless printing is designed to fit the needs of growing organizations and allows IT to adapt to unexpected changes that would derail traditional print infrastructure. It’s also the best solution for companies that are:

  • Reducing legacy infrastructure
  • Moving to a remote/hybrid workforce
  • Experiencing security concerns
  • Unifying devices and locations
  • Cutting down on consumable usage
  • Adopting Zero Trust Network Architecture

These are just a few examples of steps companies are taking to future-proof their business. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how serverless printing solutions allow companies to take all these steps all at once. 

 

Advantages of Serverless Printing

Serverless printing pays immediate dividends from the moment of implementation. IT no longer has to provision, license, or maintain print servers. Contrary to the IT burden servers cause, serverless printing offers the tools IT teams need to effectively “set it and forget it.” 

Plus, there are additional advantages of serverless printing that streamline IT print management:

 

Serverless printing eliminates all your print servers.

Going serverless means eliminating all of your print servers and replacing them with a cloud solution so you can manage company-wide print activity from a central location. 

The returns are evident from the get-go. 

No more PrintNightmare or single point of failure. Server crashes, spooler hangs, and other downtime vulnerabilities that impact print availability go away. Data-heavy print jobs no longer have to travel across the WAN to and from a datacenter or a consolidated server. Plus, you reduce infrastructure, increasing productivity across your company.

 

Serverless printing gives your hybrid users mobile printing capabilities.

In this case, mobile printing means printing on-the-go, regardless of location.

End users moving between offices can gain instant access to network printers in your cloud based on their location. Serverless solutions allow admins to either set up automated deployments based on IP address range or empower users to install printers themselves without requiring elevated privileges. 

Serverless solutions also offer off-network printing capabilities, enabling users to print to any networked printer from anywhere and keeping jobs encrypted behind your company’s firewall. This functionality discourages users to print from home and keep confidential print data secure—without tapping into costly VPNs.

 

Serverless printing increases your print security. 

Eliminating your print servers already offers a significant security boost; however, the security benefits of serverless printing extend much further than servers. In particular, going serverless prevents document theft and provides automated security updates

Document theft is a risky business. But it can be done easily by leaving documents unsecured in the print tray. Serverless printing removes that risk by providing secure printing features that enable end users to hold print jobs on their workstations until they authenticate at a designated network printer. Popular authentication methods include badge swipe, control panel application, or mobile app release.

Serverless solutions also roll out automatic updates hundreds of times per day to fill in any existing security gaps in your print environment. This takes the pressure off of admins to apply patches manually just to keep attackers out. 

 

Serverless printing consolidates your print management.

Whether you have one or 100 printers, serverless printing provides a way to centrally manage all of your users and devices on a single platform. 

What does this do for admins?

Print-related requests can be addressed quicker. Deployments can be done in just a few clicks—without GPOs and scripts. And you can delete or add printers and users with ease. 

This is awesome for IT. But users benefit just as much.

Users get printers faster, printer uptime increases, and they stop calling the helpdesk to add or install printers. Serverless printing solutions are also more device-agnostic than traditional print environments, meaning users can utilize any networked devices to print regardless of operating system or printer manufacturer. 

 

Serverless printing creates eco-friendly habits through cost-efficient printing.

Sustainability and savings go hand-in-hand with serverless printing. This is possible through tracking print jobs and setting print quotas

Serverless solutions unify your entire print environment, providing insights into print jobs by user, device, and department. This allows you to calculate costs per print job and generate reports to see where your organization could be saving money. You can also manage printer settings in bulk, such as ensuring users are printing with duplex settings and only using color ink when necessary.

To stay within budget and create more intentional printing habits, you can also set print quotas by volume or price. This keeps printing costs down and promotes sustainability throughout your organization.

Learn more about how serverless printing promotes eco-friendly habits here.  

 

Serverless printing drives Zero Trust adoption.

Users in Zero Trust environments are essentially guilty until proven innocent. They’re required to authenticate and are continuously validated before gaining access to necessary applications. 

With serverless printing solutions, you can reduce legacy infrastructure, receive constant security updates, and authenticate end users throughout the printing process to prevent data theft. Going serverless makes it easier to adopt Zero Trust, allowing you to:

 

Minimize Attack Surfaces: Removing legacy infrastructure like print servers minimizes your company’s chances of being breached.

Protect Confidential Data: Keeping print jobs local and implementing secure printing features ensures documents and data stay in the right hands.

Authenticate End Users: Requiring end users to verify their identity before they can print keeps out internal attackers.

Defend Against Attacks: Receiving automated security updates allows you to verify that your devices and data are fully protected.

Support Hybrid Workforces: Allowing hybrid workers to print securely to network printers when they are outside the company network keeps work moving. 

 

Try serverless printing for free. 

These advantages highlight just how serverless, centrally managed printing is actually far better suited for today’s enterprise environments than print servers. By implementing serverless printing, Cott, a massive beverage corporation with global reach, was able to eliminate more than 50 remote print servers, dramatically reduce the time and resources the company was devoting to print management and establish a scalable print environment for future growth.

The good news is you can go serverless too. 

PrinterLogic is a cloud-native, direct IP print management platform that centralizes your print environment by eliminating your print servers. We offer a complete SaaS platform that streamlines print management and empowers end users to install their own printers, helping to reduce helpdesk calls by up to 95%.

Get your free 30-day trial so you can experience serverless printing for yourself. 

Click here to get started.

How to Deploy Printers Without a Print Server

Print servers are so widespread in the enterprise and such a common part of print infrastructure that it may seem like there are no other options when it comes to print management. 

And yet, if you were to ask admins who deal with print servers on a regular basis, they would have very little good to say about them. Print servers are notorious for being finicky, error prone, and high maintenance—an admin’s foe rather than a friend. 

There has to be a viable alternative to deploy printers without Windows print servers, right?

There is, and it can be done without scripts and GPOs too. 

How to set up deployments without print servers

Unreliable GPO-based deployments and workarounds following PrintNightmare were the last straw. You no longer want to deal with print servers because of security issues and deployment complexities. All you need to know are the next steps.

Step 1: Look into direct IP printing.

We’re not talking about installing all your printers to workstations manually as direct IP printers. That would take too much time. And although it eliminates the need for servers, management would get out of hand real quick. 

What I’m describing is a solution that installs a client on each workstation and keeps the communication between the workstation and printer. There’s no print spooling involved and jobs stay on the local network.

In short, direct IP printing is the way you can truly deploy printers without servers. And there are ways to centrally-manage direct IP printing in the cloud (which we will cover later).

Step 2: Move your print management to the cloud.

Not to make it sound easy. 

Moving to cloud print management takes a lot of work. There’s planning involved, pricing needs to be right, and security requirements need to be met before you can pull the trigger. But the hardest part is finding a solution that does what you need it to do. 

Here are a few questions you can ask cloud print management solutions to ensure they are a perfect match:

  • Does your solution completely eliminate print servers?
  • Do all printer settings and configurations stay intact during migration?
  • Is the user interface easy to learn?
  • Is your solution direct IP?
  • Do you offer a free proof-of-concept?

Depending on your unique requirements, you may need to ask more questions to narrow down your list of potential solutions. 

And that’s okay. 

But remember, the goal is to get rid of servers and replace GPO-based deployments with a more streamlined method.

Step 3: Consolidate your locations on one platform.

Many IT teams are tasked with managing both main and remote office printing. In distributed print environments with print servers, deployments increase in complexity since admins no longer have centralized control.

Having the ability to pull all of your printers, printer drivers, and their settings from your print servers via Active Directory enables you to see every aspect of your print environment from a single user interface. 

This centralized approach to management put your printer drivers in a single repository, making it easy to add, remove, and replace them with ease. Plus, it ensures that the right printers get to the right users reliably and consistently without scripts and GPOs. All you have to do is tick a few boxes.

So you’ve got your printers, printer drivers, and users in one location. What’s next?

Step 4: Configure printer default settings.

This isn’t a requirement for better deployments, but it will save you time and money down the road. 

Consider these wasteful printing habits:

  • A certain department regularly prints in color unnecessarily.
  • Users print single-sided instead of duplex. 
  • Employees don’t look at printer settings at all before printing.

Configuring default printer settings ensure that each time a user changes settings for a print job, the print settings automatically revert back to the settings you created. To help fit the unique needs of certain employees or departments, you can customize settings by printers individually as well.

Finally, it’s time to pick your deployment method. 

Step 5: Choose how you want to deploy printers.

Now that you’ve unified your print management, given your users direct IP printing through eliminating your print servers, and have your drivers in a single repository, it’s time to deploy and enjoy. 

Depending on how much control you need over deployments, you have a few different options:

Deploy by IP-address range: If you have roaming employees regularly moving between office buildings and departments, setting up automatic deployments based on IP address delivers printers to end users instantly. This allows you to set deployments on autopilot and boosts end user productivity.  

Leverage self-service printing: Empower end users to install their own printers without calling on IT. Similar to automatic IP range deployments, users can instead choose the printer they need from a drop-down list or floor plan map to identify available printers and install them. No deployments are required from the admin. 

Set granular deployment criteria: Get more specific with your deployments. Deploy printers to just a few users, create group-specific deployment criteria, and set a default printer on a one-time basis to make sure users only have access to the printers they need. 

The quickest way to deploy printers without print servers.

You’ve seen how it is possible to deploy printers without servers in a few easy steps. The hardest part of the journey is actually finding a centralized, direct IP print management solution that helps you get there.

PrinterLogic can help.

Offering a host of easy and alternate ways to deploy printers, PrinterLogic integrates with Active Directory (AD), so you can use criteria such as containers, users, computers, organizational units (OUs) and even IP address ranges to automatically and dynamically deploy printers to your users. 

It also slots in smoothly alongside virtual solutions like Citrix and VMware, making printer deployment practically effortless in those customarily complex environments. And because PrinterLogic doesn’t rely on GPOs, support staff with lower-level privileges can still safely deploy printers to select users. 

Want to test out serverless deployments?

Get a free 30-day trial of PrinterLogic 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.