Network printing: why you shouldn't always blame the device

When the printer goes down, the collective blood pressure of the office goes up. Print problems are as sure as night and day. Like a juggler handling grenades, they are an accident waiting to happen.

And when the printer blows its top, so do your staff. They hurl emotional and, on occasion, physical abuse at the multifunction (multi-dysfunctional) device. Historically, they have been righteous in their condemnation.

In today’s networked environment though, they are best to holster their fingers before pointing at the printer. Indeed, network printing isn’t always about the printer. This is a common problem where printers take the rap for problems that are ultimately internal network issues.

Yes, reducing cost per page, volumes, excess devices whilst shoring up security remains as relevant as ever. But, for IT managers, reality is that this is only half of the problem.

They must also engage in mortal combat with the combustion in data management triggered by digital transformation. There are, of course, opportunities aplenty to optimise computing, storage and network assets whilst ensuring management of your print systems.

Let’s get to grips then, with the considerations network and server managers should factor in their drive to optimise IT infrastructure for network printing.

Managing data growth with network printing

The explosion of data has created a game of catch-up for businesses as they scramble to scale their networks and data centres accordingly. As such, obsolete network bandwidth and server CPU cycles just won’t cut it.

Throw network printing into the mix and your network and data centre servers are weighed down with the aplomb of a champion pizza eater.

As such, ask yourself:

  • How can my organisation with its multiple geographical locations manage printers effectively?
  • How can we consolidate our server and printer environment? And, in doing so, reduce printing costs?

Traditional systems certainly make this tricky. Many organisations choose to invest in multiple local print servers. This creates extra administration. This makes it difficult to manage a distributed fleet. And, should a server become unavailable, printing grinds to a halt.

With print server management this needn’t be the case. Why? Because you have only one server. This server manages all your printers including USB connected ones. When you print, the technology manages your printer drivers, printer queues and printing policies. When all is clear, the file is sent directly to the printer with the correct rules and policies applied. After printing, it collects valuable statistics.

6 things to shout about print server management

  1. Remove print servers: Consolidating print servers reduces administration costs and energy use. This leads to a more flexible and scalable IT infrastructure.
  2. Eliminate WAN Traffic: Manage printers with minimal network traffic. Do so even from remote offices. Print-related network traffic is typically reduced a thousandfold. This speeds up both printing and other services.
  3. Improve redundancy: Single server printing software means that printing works at all times. This is so even when the server cannot be reached. Many users perform server maintenance during office hours.
  4. Manage print servers: Update drivers anywhere on the network with a few clicks. Then define exactly how and when you want the driver to be used.
  5. Support end users: Systems underpinned with print server management boast a record of reducing print related support calls by up to 70%. This represents a very big cost saving. And, in turn, frees up valuable resources for other critical business tasks.
  6. Improve scalability: The right technology can be easily scaled from a few printer queues to over 30,000. You can add new printers or users, modify individual printer functions, or add/change locations on the fly.

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