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Do Backup Print Servers Save or Cost You Money?

Posted by Jordan Pusey

Best practices suggest that print-server-based print environments should create regular backups. The logic behind that is clear. Aside from backups being a fundamental part of any IT setup, print servers are notorious for being crash-prone. Even something as workaday as a problematic print job or a driver conflict can bring down the entire print server, losing vital data in the process. That, in turn, prevents printing for all reliant users. Small or centralized organizations with a single print server are particularly vulnerable. With a backup, you can at least restore printing functionality with a little less downtime if the primary print server is seriously compromised or lost.

Given scenarios like this, many organizations are already aware of the value of having a backup of their print server 2008 or 2012. In fact, Microsoft even recommends having two separate backups. But, really, how much value does a backup print server bring?

First, regardless of whether you want to backup print server 2008 or 2012, you’ll need to install multiple software components, including snap-ins and command-line tools. In most cases, you’ll also need to ensure that the person performing the backup has the right group membership and privileges to do so. You’ll then have to determine which print server settings and data you want to backup, whether you want to do a full or incremental backup of your print server, set automatic backups and, finally, choose a backup destination. There are too many variables and details to these procedures to list here, so please consult Microsoft’s technical help guide on how to backup printer server 2012 or 2008 step by step.

As with any backup, you’ll have to have a storage destination that’s at least the size of your print server’s storage—and preferably far greater if you plan on keeping multiple full print server backups. (To backup print server 2008, Microsoft suggests a backup destination that has 1.5 times the storage of the source.) Also, it’s important to have a trained IT professional with proper authorization who can “reverse” this process and restore either the entire print server or select data when the need arises. And, of course, he or she will also have to know how to tweak the restored version. It’s very rare that a backup of your print server 2012 or 2008 will seamlessly restore the print server to its fully functional state prior to the moment of the crash. Some configurations will be missing. Some jobs will be lost forever.

Throughout all of this, one thing is certain: It costs money. The storage and other hardware that’s required to backup your print server, the time it takes to set up and carry out the backup and restore processes, the inevitable downtime and lost productivity…it all adds up and impacts your bottom line. To backup print server 2008 or 2012 and then restore it following a crash, you’re looking at costs that are almost equal to the costs of purchasing, operating and maintaining the primary print server. Plus it doesn’t really help you avoid significant interruptions in printing functionality.

A far better solution would be to migrate to PrinterLogic. Our enterprise print management software enables your organization to eliminate its print server completely, saving you all the headache and expense that’s involved in having to deal with it on a daily basis—not to mention the all the headache and expense that’s involved in having to back it up.

Furthermore, PrinterLogic’s print management solution is remarkably easy to administer and incredibly robust, so you won’t have to worry about the driver conflicts and faulty printer installations that bring print servers to their knees. Even in the rare event of a server outage, PrinterLogic allows end users across the entire organization to continue printing as usual. Thanks to its stability and minimal infrastructure requirements, 88% of PrinterLogic customers surveyed by the independent research company TechValidate reported ROI of 100% or more (TVID: 054-57D-184). And there’s plenty more data to back that up!