As IT professionals are looking to move away from legacy print solutions, the idea of a serverless print infrastructure is becoming more widespread. That’s true even in large enterprise organizations, where print servers have been an unnecessary evil for far too long.
A serverless print infrastructure brings more flexibility, greater scalability, and increased resiliency to the print environment. There are fewer moving parts without servers acting as single points of failure.
There’s also less that can go wrong.
But what features and functionality does a serverless print infrastructure have?
Key Components of a Serverless Print Infrastructure
Before we delve into what life after servers should look like, it’s important to answer: What is a serverless print infrastructure?
A serverless print infrastructure is cloud print management hosted under a SaaS solution or on-premises. Instead of relying on print servers for management, driver deployments, and other printing needs, serverless solutions leverage the cloud to unify print management for organizations and provide IT teams with increased oversight of print ecosystems from a single UI.
Below are some key components of a serverless print infrastructure to show you what you can expect when making the switch.
Reduce print infrastructure
Implementing serverless printing means consolidating your entire print environment. All print servers in your organization become obsolete, and you can manage your locations on a single platform. This consolidation and oversight of your environment allows admins to weed out unnecessary printers in your fleet that aren’t being used.
Serverless printing infrastructures are also more device agnostic, enabling you to utilize all of your company’s operating systems and devices while avoiding additional hardware purchases for compatibility purposes.
Keep print jobs local
The WAN connection is the Achilles heel of traditional print solutions. If that connection is interrupted, printing is too. The speed of printing—along with all other Internet activity—can slow to a crawl if WAN traffic is heavy.
The best way to increase print speeds for users is by removing the need to spool print jobs on a server and preserving network bandwidth.
Serverless print infrastructures provide faster, more secure printing through a direct IP printing model. Print jobs are sent directly to the user workstation to the printer via direct IP and stay behind your company’s firewall on the local network.
Native printer driver support
Lots of organizations have legacy printers that are fussy about drivers. They’ve also invested in current-gen hardware with advanced features that are only supported by native drivers. Supporting old hardware alongside the new is a big reason why those organizations are reluctant to eliminate their print servers.
Although you can use universal drivers if you prefer, a serverless infrastructure should have native driver support that lets you take advantage of your printers’ full range of features. Plus, you can manage, update and roll back printer drivers from a single user interface.
Next-gen integrations with apps and devices
Server-centric print environments lack integrations with modern-day solutions that power successful businesses. Even if they do integrate, the features are mediocre at best and don’t bring out the complete functionality of your devices.
Serverless solutions should integrate with EMRs, ERPs, and VDIs to simplify printing in all complex environments. They should also work seamlessly with your identity providers (IdPs) so you can authenticate users before they have access to printing features.
Some software print solutions make a big deal of being hosted on a cloud server. But these still require a VPN tunnel into your network, which limits accessibility. A robust, serverless print infrastructure should be accessible from any device with an Internet connection—no VPN required.
This is especially critical for hybrid employees who are always changing locations. They shouldn’t lose printing capabilities when they are off-network. Instead, any serverless option should offer ways to print securely on any network from any location.
Print data and document security
Security is the watchword in enterprise circles. Moving to a serverless printing infrastructure means no longer losing sleep over PrintNightmare vulnerabilities. But there’s more to enhanced security beyond going serverless.
The best print management solutions also present opportunities to leverage secure printing features like pull printing or Secure Release Printing, both of which require users to authenticate at the printer before receiving their print job. These features reduce the risk of losing critical documents after leaving them in the print tray and help maintain industry compliance standards.
In terms of protecting your print data and ensuring your security needs are met, serverless solutions should be able to protect your data from end-to-end and should be constantly monitoring their security posture to remove future threats to your data.
Mobile employees need access to printers on the go. But in traditional print environments, these users inevitably call the helpdesk for assistance just to install printers.
You can imagine how much of a headache this is for IT. Every time a user changes locations or needs a new printer, they get a call.
Serverless printing should provide features like self-service printing, empowering your end users to install printers freely—without IT intervention. This cuts down on costs associated with helpdesk tickets and end-user wait times, boosting overall productivity and freeing up time for IT teams.
Automated, location-based deployments
Another component of a serverless print infrastructure is location-based deployments or proximity printing. This automated feature delivers printers instantly to users in the background based on their IP-address range. Automated deployments offer a streamlined way to give printers to users without requiring advanced scripts or GPOs.
Let’s consider a crew of traveling nurses going to and from branch hospitals for a second.
Time is always of the essence in healthcare settings. In a serverless print environment, admins can give nurses immediate access to printers in any networked location. So when a nurse takes out their device, they can simply choose the printer they want and print to it. This ensures faster printing and keeps jobs secure since they are kept on the local network (mentioned above).
Automated, location-based deployments also greatly reduce helpdesk calls and allow admins to determine printer settings in bulk so end users don’t indulge in unnecessary color or single-sided printing.
Try Serverless Printing Free with PrinterLogic
You’ve seen what a serverless print infrastructure can do for users, your IT team, and your organization, so why not experience it for yourself?
PrinterLogic unifies printing for all your locations on a single SaaS platform. Our centralized, direct IP approach to print management streamlines deployments, empowers users to install printers themselves, and offers the integrations and feature sets needed to secure your data.