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.
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.