Should You Migrate Your Printing to Azure?

If you’re researching potential cloud printing solutions and ways to migrate print servers to the cloud, chances are you’ve at least considered Microsoft Azure. For some organizations, that’s a natural choice if your print environment relies on Active Directory (AD) for common tasks such as printer deployments. There’s also an assumption that a Windows Azure printer in the cloud will be managed and behave the same way as a printer connected to a Windows print server.

Before you begin to migrate print servers, though, it’s good to know what your options are. Printing from the Azure cloud might be a solution that will suffice—but do you really want something that will just get by, or do you want a cloud print management solution that will exceed your expectations on a daily basis?

In many respects, using Azure cloud to manage and host the print server is the same as managing the print server you already struggle with, just moved offsite. Sure, it comes with some advantages that are shared by nearly all cloud print solutions, such as reduced physical infrastructure, increased print availability to web-connected devices, and more centralized management. But a Windows Azure printer still has the same complexity of deployment, even if you’re using Azure Active Directory. The server is still prone to the same driver conflicts and cumbersome driver management. It still has limited built-in security features and poor auditing capabilities.

These drawbacks might be enough to prompt many organizations to rethink the benefits of transitioning to a cloud-based Windows Azure printer model despite their need for Azure Active Directory integration. The question is, if you don’t use Azure, which cloud printing solution can deliver seamless integration with AD while also streamlining print management and ensuring the highest level of device compatibility?

PrinterLogic’s on-premises print management solution has a proven track record of outstanding AD integration and precision printer deployments without the need for group policy objects (GPOs) or scripts. So when we developed PrinterLogic SaaS (formerly PrinterCloud), our advanced SaaS cloud printing solution, we naturally incorporated these same sought-after features. That means you can enjoy effortless Azure Active Directory integration alongside the enterprise-grade, frustration-free print management for which PrinterLogic is renowned. PrinterLogic SaaS delivers the anticipated benefits of an Azure cloud hosted print server along with an unprecedented ease of management and the high availability of direct IP printing.

It’s easy to migrate print servers into PrinterLogic SaaS. Using our convenient and simple migration tool, you can simply import your printers, profiles, settings and drivers directly into our solution. Instead of a Windows Azure printer for each printing device, you’ll see printers that you can easily rename, organize and administer on the fly and with immediate application of the changes everywhere in the organization.

PrinterLogic SaaS’s management is centralized—not just because it’s a cloud solution, but because its on-premises counterpart is built around the concept of centralized management too. The intuitive admin console allows you to integrate with Active Directory for seamless printer deployments—including deployments according user, group, container, Organizational Unit (OU) and many other criteria—using comprehensible drop-down menus, checkboxes and device trees. You can enable printers to deploy dynamically and automatically throughout your entire organization, putting them in the hands of individual users or whole departments with minimal effort.

Eliminating Windows print servers is a worthwhile goal for any organization, but it’s not enough just to migrate print servers to an Azure cloud solution that will retain many of the limitations and headaches of traditional print management. PrinterLogic SaaS does more than just turn a network printer into a Windows Azure printer in the cloud—it gives you administrative control and oversight over your entire print environment, including full integration with Active Directory for incredibly smooth deployments.

Why not take PrinterLogic SaaS for a test drive?