LRS Pull Printing and Infrastructure Scalability
Thursday, September 21, 2017
by Sebastian Rasche
When talking to organizations about their workplace printing needs, the conversation often shifts toward the topic of server reduction. This is especially true in businesses that have a lot of print servers (which LRS software can easily eliminate, along with the associated costs). It makes sense to focus on server reduction, but there is another server-related aspect of IT infrastructure that is seldom discussed.
For quite a while, I’ve been involved in the field of pull printing and have experienced several successful implementations at customer sites. In surveying the IT infrastructure of my clients, I found — to my surprise — that these organizations had many unnecessary servers dedicated to pull printing.
But why were these additional servers needed?
The customers explained that pull printing solutions require not only authentication servers, but additional ones to manage the pull print queues. Generally, one server is needed for every 100 devices that will be used for pull printing. So, in large businesses, this results in a lot of servers needed to support a “follow me print” environment with thousands of pull printing devices.
Let’s run some quick numbers: suppose a pull printing solution was supposed to manage 3,000 devices connected in a global network. This would require the purchase of 30 servers. What’s more, these 30 servers would need to be configured and supported on an ongoing basis. Between the up-front capital cost and the constant operational expense, this represents a significant amount of cash.
The situation is even tougher when a customer has Direct IP printing in place and then attempts to add pull printing capability. In this case, it will be difficult to convince a customer to once again rebuild their server infrastructure, regardless of the TCO and security benefits. So how can one avoid high costs, IT burden, and unnecessary servers for pull printing?
LRS is continually developing and enhancing its products to meet the needs of our demanding customers. Recently, we introduced the “Direct Secure Release” function in our MFPsecure pull printing product. Just the thing for a decentralized company with a centralized IT department.
This solution requires only a single authentication server (administered by the central IT department). The personal print queue for each employee resides on that user’s laptop, PC, or other terminal. The authentication process requires only a small amount of metadata to be sent over the network, thus eliminating the need for a formal server infrastructure to support remote locations. The impact on network bandwidth is kept to a minimum, as little data flows over the network.
Pull printing (aka secure release or Followme) capabilities should be of interest for any organization, since remote sites and limited bandwidth no longer represent an obstacle. The LRS solution can manage thousands of Followme print devices, and there are no limits to the amount of scalability. Here’s the best part: in the projects I’ve seen to date, the LRS MFPsecure solution ends up being around half the price of the competition.
Less administrator effort, reduced capital and operational costs, all at a lower price? Yes, yes, and yes. Direct Secure Release technology brings a lot of advantages to the world of pull printing.