What Can You Do to Decrease Your Print Server Downtime?

Posted by Jordan Pusey

Remember that old prank telephone call: “Is your refrigerator running? Then you better go catch it!” Well, here’s one for the modern enterprise: “Is your print server down? Then you better go cheer it up!”

All joking aside, having a print server down is certainly no laughing matter. Just ask any end user who’s got an urgent report to print or the service desk staff member who’s fielding that user’s frustrated support call. And, sadly, for many organizations, print servers crashing is an all too common occurrence. That downtime hurts morale, hurts productivity and hurts your bottom line.

With that in mind, it makes sense to minimize your organization’s print server downtime to the fullest possible extent. The standard way to do that is through redundancy, which mitigates the effects of your print server crashing and can help reduce downtime. It’s essentially just having a backup at the ready, so when the primary print server is down its “understudy” can immediately get called into action without skipping a beat.

However, looking at the big picture, these backup print servers can actually negate cost savings. Sure, they avoid lost productivity when there are problems with the primary print server crashing, but that redundancy comes at a price. The server hardware has to be procured, powered, maintained, upgraded and replaced. The server software has to be licensed, administered and kept up to date. All that costs money over the short and long term. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that failover will take place seamlessly when the primary print server goes down. This is why some print management best practices call for double redundancy—a backup to the backup. But that in turn drives up costs of operation, maintenance and procurement even more.

Distribution is another method to reduce downtime. This involves placing a print server (plus multiple backups) within each predefined client pool, be it a print server on every floor, in every department, at every geographic site, or per every 50 or 100 workstations. Fragmenting the print environment in this way means that, unlike consolidated environments, one print server crashing doesn’t restrict printing for the entire organization. The catch is that a fragmented print environment is much harder to manage. When a print server goes down in a distributed environment, it’s more difficult for remote admins to identify it and bring it back online. The opposite redundancy strategy is centralization or consolidation, but that of course simply reverses the benefits and drawbacks when a print server goes down.

For a truly robust and cost-effective solution to prolonged or sporadic print server downtime, there’s PrinterLogic. Our enterprise print management solution provides the benefits of traditional redundancy strategies without having to compromise on key aspects. By leveraging proven direct IP printing technology, PrinterLogic enables your end users to continue to printing like normal in the unlikely event of a server outage. This is the exact opposite of the situation when a print server is down.

However, unlike conventional direct IP print environments, PrinterLogic also features unparalleled centralized administration. Even in highly distributed organizations, PrinterLogic provides a powerful window onto the entire print environment—including clients, drivers and printers—from a single pane of glass anywhere in the organization.

That explains how 73% of PrinterLogic customers reported reducing their printer downtime by at least 15% in a survey conducted by the independent research firm TechValidate. Not only were these organizations able to reduce the downtime that had previously been associated with their print server crashing, many of them also used PrinterLogic to reduce their remote print infrastructure.

Minimal downtime and minimal footprint. Only through PrinterLogic.