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Print Management: Centralized vs Regular

Hardly anyone disputes the necessity to manage printing. The need for this has been long clear. By implementing a print management solution, printing costs can be reduced substantially. But the main solutions out there have been focused on managing existing environments. For a few years now, we also see a (still relatively) new wave of solutions entering the market. These allow organizations to transform their print environment.

Centralized Print Managment – One single point of control

So what is it that these new solutions offer that enable organizations to change the way printing is setup? Mainly the change exists in centralizing control over printing, with as little as one server. The traditional way of printing (that many organizations still have today) requires print servers. This setup also affects bandwidth consumption as files travel twice over the network, heavily impacting internet availability during peak hours.

Instant cost reductions when removing print servers

These new solutions tackle that problem by removing the print servers and keeping the print jobs local. In doing so, bandwidth consumption for print related traffic is reduced by up to 99%.

There is a large financial benefit to not needing print servers at every (major) location. Each server that gets shut down equals a cost saving that is estimated by companies like Gartner to be around $5,000.

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To avoid heavy network traffic, large organizations have to invest in multiple local print servers. It creates extra administration, and makes it difficult to manage and support a distributed fleet. And if a server becomes unavailable, printing comes to a full halt.

Both short and long term benefits for the IT department

But there is also an enormous time reduction for the IT department that now only has one server to maintain.

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Previously, every change to the server, every new driver, every changed print queue setting, every update would need to be logged and repeated for each print server. Imagine the time savings when only having to do it once?

Here is an overview of the main differences* between the two types of solutions:

Centralized print management Regular print management
Requires one server Requires multiple print servers
One server manages all print queues, drivers and policies Each server manages a number of print queues, drivers and policies
Print jobs stay on the user workstation Print jobs travel over the network
Printing is possible without connection to server Connection to the server is needed to print
One central location for print drivers Drivers need to be uploaded to each server
One step to change/update configurations for all print queues on the network Changed/updated configuration need to be documented and repeated for each server
Identify and troubleshoot print problems from one central location Identify and troubleshoot print problems for each server/location
Client installed on end user workstation No software required on end user workstation
Client facilitates finding and installing printers for end users

Why not consider the alternative?

And then there are the things that other solutions do as well, like cost accounting, printer monitoring, print rules, user quotas, pull printing and reporting.

If these things are all that is required, then a ‘regular’ print management solution will do just as well. But the alternative way of printing with less servers would be considered beneficial to any organization with a medium sized to large print fleet.

After all, why not consider a solution that offers cost reductions, cost savings and (this is the best part) makes life a lot easier for IT professionals?

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A Cirrato server can give you complete control over 30,000 printers worldwide with minimal network traffic. In thin client or remote desktop environments, print jobs are compressed and printer mapping made easy.

Want to learn more? Watch a video:

Cirrato One is a single server printing solution with a full print management feature set, including print rules, secure printing, centralized driver management, device monitoring and reporting.

* Main differences in general. Some of the traditional solutions have adjusted their offering to include single server printing, but might come with limitations for each.

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