Printing is a quintessential business activity across the board. When it comes to setting up a print environment, there are many different configurations according to the printing needs of an office. One strategy is to set up a print server which connects printers and computers via a physical server. You might be asking yourself what do I need to know about a print server setup?
A print server has advantages for businesses with multiple printers and a demanding print environment with centralized printing. However, this approach also has drawbacks for other print environments or needs. Here is the scoop on what a print server is, and when you should use one.
What Is a Print Server?
A print server, or printer server, is a device which connects printers to computers over a network. All print jobs are sent from the computer to the server, which then sends the print job out to a printer.
Print servers are quite common in demanding print environments where there may or may not be more than one printer. Every computer can access a printer on the same network, and the server ensures that each printer does not get overloaded.
Advantages of a Print Server
Print servers have several major advantages which have caused them to remain so popular for the past several decades. With a print server, an office can:
1. Enjoy the Cost-Effectiveness of Having Fewer Devices
A print server regulates the flow of print jobs to the printers, meaning that an office can have fewer devices. Not every employee needs their own printer. It also keeps the print environment simplified so that an office does not need to purchase a whole array of print supplies for different machines.
2. Central Management Is Easier
Many modern print servers come with software to help with the central management of a print environment. Since all print jobs are sent to the server first and not directly to the printer, it helps the systems administrator keep an eye on everything, introduce stricter printer settings, and stronger environmental control.
3. Better Handling of Large Print Volumes
A print server queues print jobs on the server, sending them to the printer when it is ready. This helps avoid network jams from too many print jobs going to the same printer all at once.
4. Better Security
Printers are rarely monitored for security despite the fact that they handle tremendous amounts of sensitive data. In contrast, a print server is a much more visible device which can be secured as well as help to separate printers from other computers on the network.
Make Sure a Print Server is Right for Your Business
Print servers are not appropriate for every office. There are a few potential points of concern to consider:
1. A Single Point of Errors
A print server centralizes the print environment. However, that also means that if the server goes down, the entire print network goes down. Offline printing is only possible if the printer is within physical access.
Centralized printing is nonetheless often extremely valuable for many offices. RJ Young can help mitigate server downtime by ensuring that offices have access to a Help Desk and Live Chat at all times. Should the server go down, RJ Young is prepared to assist at a moment’s notice.
2. Acquisition Costs
Acquiring the necessary hardware and software for a full print environment represents a sizeable investment for many companies. It can be tricky to find the right combination of hardware and software which suits a business’ needs which is where an RJ Young on-site print specialist can help.
However, owning the right printing equipment gives businesses a solid leg up in their workflow efficiency. RJ Young offers in-house leasing and financing services which give businesses financial flexibility on software and equipment so they can adjust to accommodate for future growth.
3. Requires Expert Installation
When incorrectly configured or deployed with the wrong print environment, a print server can cause bottlenecks in performance. When configured correctly, print servers help keep printers from getting overloaded and make sure that jobs flow smoothly from start to finish.
RJ Young can strategize with a company to determine if a print server will make a positive impact on a print environment. Workflow experts will identify where to strategically deploy a print server to deliver the greatest possible benefits in efficiency.
When Is a Print Server Best?
Despite the fact that they have been around for decades, print servers are still a valuable component to a print environment. Strongly consider using a print server when:
- An office has a large print volume or many parallel print jobs which need to be handled reliably.
- Computers need to be kept unburdened of the computing load it takes to print.
- The company network and print environment need to be separated.
- Centralization is desired.
- There is a need for stronger access control or printing permissions.
Get a Print Server Setup with RJ Young
Setting up a print server can make a print environment much more efficient. A print server provides many advantages such as centralized printing and the separation of the printer network from the company network. However, it is but one of a few strategies which offices can consider when determining how best to set up their print environment.
RJ Young helps companies achieve efficiency in their print environment through the setup of print servers, office equipment, and software. Get started today by reaching out to a print environment expert.