Together with leaders from Amazon Web Services, we’ve examined what a modern print management solution looks like.
IT needs a solution that meets the demands of a modern digital workplace. Modern print management should support every OS and printer manufacturer. It should also support modern identity and access management technologies. If it checks those boxes, all while keeping printing on the local network, you’ve got a winner.
PrinterLogic’s AWS-hosted SaaS offering is a true SaaS solution. In this blog, we’ll cover:
- How PrinterLogic SaaS integrates with AWS to deliver modern serverless print management
- How the AWS Digital Workplace provides an ecosystem of secure and collaborative solutions
- How to support printing in Zero Trust environments and flexible workplaces
But first, let’s define and discuss the four tenets of a serverless printing infrastructure.
What is a serverless printing infrastructure?
Implementing a serverless printing infrastructure means eliminating print server architecture and utilizing a cloud-based solution to manage, track, and deploy printers. Along with eliminating print servers, serverless printing helps IT teams centralize their print environment, providing admins with a bird’s-eye view of all printer objects, drivers, and users across distributed office locations.
Companies are striving to remove infrastructure faster than ever before. According to Gartner, 75% of organizations will adopt a digital transformation model built in the cloud by 2026. And SaaS print management plays a vital role in any organization’s digital transformation. Moving from on-prem, physical resources to cloud-based solutions is critical to any digital workplace transformation.
The four tenets of a serverless printing infrastructure
So, what exactly are the requirements of a serverless printing infrastructure? PrinterLogic CTO Corey Ercanbrack maintains that there are four, which we’ll highlight and describe below.
A modern SaaS architecture
Implementing SaaS-based solutions removes the need for expensive VPNs. VPN failures create bottlenecks. Not to mention, legacy systems require constant IT intervention, including security patches and upgrades to keep your hardware up-to-date.
The immutability and microservices ingrained in SaaS solutions are critical components that allow for fully automated environmental scalability. These also prevent problematic breakdowns. These components, along with multi-tenancy, allow for speedy updates and delivery of services as they become available. Print jobs must stay local in the user domain, leveraging a direct IP protocol. In short, SaaS architectures encourage a better security posture and eliminate single points of failure.
IT infrastructure integrations
Ask more significant questions that take into account your IT roadmap as a whole. It’s bigger than users, printers, and print servers. It helps to think about WAN, BYOD, virtualization/DaaS, IdPs, and how to print across operating systems and multifunction printers.
Ask yourself, “What will my printing infrastructure look like years from now? And, what steps can I take to future-proof it?” Consider how your print environment will integrate with business analytics platforms and other business intelligence software to drive you toward a fully digital workplace.
One important consideration should be the path of print data. Direct IP printing provides better security since print jobs are sent directly from the workstation to the printer.
Combining localized print jobs with Secure Release Printing and multi-factor authentication (MFA) features is integral to preventing print data loss. Open Identity Access Management dictates that the user is more important than the device. Auditable Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) allows for compliance and an improved security posture. These all align with existing infrastructure integrations.
Off-Network/Zero Trust printing
The fourth tenet of a serverless printing infrastructure is to keep print jobs local. With this in mind, consider other BYOD flexibility challenges. How can you deliver print functionality when the MFP in front of a user is on a different network? To access that service, you would need an external service available via a public internet connection and a local encrypted secure tunnel, creating hoops for IT to jump through just to maintain security.
Serverless printing should extend Zero Trust printing capabilities to hybrid employees by empowering them to print securely to any network printer, regardless of their location. Authorized off-network users simply verify their identities via IdP, access the SaaS application, and select the network printer they wish to print to. In this scenario, all jobs remain encrypted until they reach the desired printer. This eliminates the need to print confidential documents to unsecure home office printers.
Print management in the modern digital workplace
Now that we’ve defined the requirements of a serverless printing infrastructure, let’s look a little more closely at how AWS makes it possible.
The AWS Digital Workplace delivers an ecosystem of secure and collaborative solutions. Kristen Escobar, Global Segment Lead for Digital Workplace at AWS, explains why: “When we say ‘Digital Workplace’…We are talking about the technology and the services required to support the end user daily, allowing them to work securely from anywhere on any device.”
“Work anywhere on any device.”
This statement may be poignant for IT pros. As employees slowly return to the office, there’s more interest in dynamic workplace models like hoteling and hot desking, creating a demand for BYOD support. Those new models create new challenges for IT and possibly for those who show up late to the office.
What makes a modern digital workplace?
Technology users today are either consuming, creating, or manipulating content. They do this either individually or in collaboration with others. And it’s possible only with a device and an application.
The digital workplace defines the functions and mechanisms required to get the content to the user while enabling interactive collaboration and communication in a secure and accessible way.
When we look at developing a truly digital workplace, three key areas stand out:
- Endpoint management
- Application management
The digital workplace identifies solutions that manage these components effortlessly. It provides a simple-to-use and practical remote work or remote learning environment.
It’s important to note that we are not looking at the business applications themselves. Instead, we are looking at the mechanisms by which these applications are delivered, managed, and secured for remote users.
The combination of these principles and control operations allows us to define the function of a product or service. AWS has made it easy for PrinterLogic to provision a very secure, brand-new instance of their software. In a matter of minutes, it allows a defined printer object to be silently deployed across all operating systems.
Better Together: PrinterLogic SaaS + AWS
Since the beginning, PrinterLogic has shouted from the mountaintops to “eliminate your print servers.” In 2016, that message got louder when PrinterLogic and AWS partnered together.
The goal? Deliver a true SaaS solution to enterprise printing.
Since then, PrinterLogic and AWS have combined forces to leverage the following technologies and deliver a seamless print management experience:
Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS)
Amazon Simple Queue Service is a fully managed message queuing service that helps you decouple and scale microservices, distributed systems, and serverless applications. SQS removes the complexity and overhead of operating message-oriented middleware and empowers developers to focus on differentiating work.
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
Amazon EC2 provides scalable computing capacity in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Using Amazon EC2 removes the need to invest in hardware upfront. This allows you to develop and deploy applications faster. You can use EC2 to launch as many or as few virtual servers as you need. You can configure security, networking, and manage storage.
Amazon EC2 enables you to scale up or down to handle changes in requirements or spikes in popularity. This flexibility means you can reduce your need to forecast traffic.
Amazon Aurora is a MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database built for the cloud. It combines the performance and availability of traditional enterprise databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open-source databases. Amazon Aurora features a distributed, fault-tolerant, self-healing storage system that auto-scales.
It delivers high performance and availability with these several features:
- Up to 15 low-latency read replicas
- Point-in-time recovery
- Continuous backup to Amazon S3
- Replication across three Availability Zones (AZs)
PrinterLogic and AWS add incredible reliability and continuous delivery for print management. PrinterLogic SaaS is built on microservices that customers don’t have to patch or upgrade. They can reap the benefits of the new service as it comes online.
With PrinterLogic’s platform leveraging these technologies, IT departments everywhere can celebrate. Gone are the days of hearing, “The print server is down, and we can’t print.”
With increased printer uptime and productivity, you might actually miss your end users a little bit.
Highly available print management built for the future
PrinterLogic, combined with the power of AWS, can help you take a big step toward digital transformation. You can say goodbye to legacy, on-prem infrastructure. A modern print management solution is possible with PrinterLogic SaaS and AWS.
PrinterLogic is available on the AWS marketplace and offers a 30-day, fully supported free trial of the software after trying a demo.