One way businesses can reduce costly hardware in their IT print infrastructure is by using server-less printing solutions. These solutions can be attractive for organisations looking to reduce costs but it’s important to understand how they work in order to choose the right solution for the business’ needs.
By eliminating servers, businesses can bring down the total cost of ownership compared with solutions that require a print server. But not all server-less pull-printing options are the same. It’s important for businesses to choose one that suits their specific needs.
There are eight things businesses should look for in a “server-less” print management solution:
1. Simple failover and print job backup, as well as strong security.
2. The ability to encrypt all locally-stored print jobs, preventing even the user of that particular workstation from accessing them if necessary to maintain strong document and information security.
3. Automatically optimised compression, rather than requiring compression to be set on the file system level.
4. Easy backups using standard file system backup agents. Some solutions hold print jobs in Windows Spooler, which can be difficult to back up without specialised agents.
5. The ability to set and modify print job parameters like grayscale versus colour, the number of copies, the print job billing code using built-in tools. This isn’t available in some solutions.
6. Isolation of print jobs so users can only see their own print jobs or print jobs shared with them.
7. The ability to apply print rules common in print management systems such as forced duplex or printing in BW, to locally-spooled print jobs so that all print rules are adhered to throughout the organisation and costs are kept low while efficiency remains high.
8. The ability to optimise WAN traffic and latency as well as resiliency to different kinds of failures or infrastructure outages.
While true server-less pull-print solutions are actually somewhat of a myth, there are ways to significantly reduce and eliminate many servers. A client-based pull-printing approach lets spooled print jobs be stored in different locations such as on end-user workstations, file servers or cloud storage. This lets businesses reduce the number of dedicated servers for printing while maintaining convenient user access to printing from any printer in the network. All while meeting the eight requirements listed above.
Adam O’Neill, Managing Director – Australia, Y Soft