What’s worse than a print job that takes ages to get to the printer? Your employees probably have an answer or two. For most people, slow network printing ranks up there with root canals and being stuck in a long line at airport security as their flight is boarding.
Although slow printing speeds usually result in end users reaching out for printer support, most of the blame falls squarely on the print server. Or, more accurately, the server-based printing model. When print servers are consolidated, every client ends up routing their print jobs through that one node. That puts a lot of burden on one device. It also puts a lot of strain on the WAN connection for remote branches. But a distributed server configuration isn’t a surefire solution to sluggish speeds. Heavy network traffic from non-print-related activity can impact print jobs too.
Temporary fixes to slow network printing
Before you begin, ask yourself this: Is the slow network printing your end users are experiencing associated with a specific printer make or model? If so, your fix might not be at the server level. Try individual printer support first.
However, if all of your print jobs feel like they’re moving through molasses, there are some potential—albeit temporary—fixes.
- Adjust configurations in the print server: If the option is available, choose “Print directly to server” or similar. This will bypass spooling, yet its viability will depend a lot on your print environment (e.g., server OS, user count).
- Use a dedicated disk drive for spooling: Is your spooler sharing storage with other applications? The speed of the hard drive could be bottlenecking more than just printing performance. Using an SSD might add a welcome speed boost.
- Increase the hard disk space of the print server: Storage constraints could be limiting the overall performance of your print server. If you have control over the storage configuration, try adding to total available space.
- Use discrete print servers: Sometimes organizations have their servers perform multiple duties at the same time. That might be economical, but it can lead to those separate functions battling for hardware resources.
- Minimize print drivers: Print drivers are notorious for causing far-reaching, hard-to-pinpoint issues. Best practices in any print environment recommend paring down the number of drivers to reduce conflicts.
In the off chance you overlooked important software updates, also be sure to check if there’s a new patch available for your server OS version. That might get rid of a few bugs that are causing slow print speeds.
Of course, all of these tips assume that your IT services are based in-house. Companies that rely on managed print services might have to reach out to their provider.
The permanent fix to slow network printing
Whether you’re an SMB with one office, a massive enterprise with global reach or a managed print services provider, PrinterLogic provides a single, comprehensive solution to slow network printing. Its serverless printing infrastructure removes the common culprit—namely, the print server—once and for all.
- Eliminates print servers: Consolidated or distributed, print servers are often at the root of sluggish print speeds. Not to mention a host of other problems. PrinterLogic’s centrally managed, direct IP architecture is truly serverless.
- Reduces print infrastructure: Getting rid of print servers doesn’t just result in speedier printing. It also means there’s less to maintain, less to upgrade, less to oversee. That smaller footprint saves time and costs in both the short and long term.
- Optimizes printing: Direct IP routes print jobs straight from the computer to the printer. In addition to being efficient, that keeps print jobs safely on the local network. They don’t have to cross the WAN to a remote print server.
It solves even more printing problems
The benefits of PrinterLogic don’t stop with improving the speed and efficiency of network printing. Thanks to its superior print management, organizations can reduce the time they’re spending on printer support as well.
When Conversant Group, an IT consulting and security company specializing in the legal industry, wanted to streamline print management and boost the speed of network printing (among many other things) in its Citrix VDI environments, PrinterLogic provided the solution.
PrinterLogic’s web-based admin console made it easier for Conversant Group to provide managed print services to its customers. The company saw a huge drop in print-related support tickets. Plus it did what some considered impossible: It eliminated print servers from complex Citrix environments. Read the case study here.