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Enterprise Printer Management

Enterprise Printer Management

Enterprise Printer Management

I am a deskside technician at a company that has around 800 printers setup with IP printing. We are running a Server 2003 environment, but currently these printers are not managed by a print server. When a printer is changed we have to manually change the drivers on each PC, and hope that we actually got all the PC's that print to it. Also if a printer goes down, there is not an easy way to redirect all the print jobs to a backup printer.

We have asked for a print server, but the response we have received is that with this many printers a print server is not a good idea. That it would be too much work for some one to update the server when printers are changed or added. Also they advised that if the server were to crash we would  lose all the printers versus just one.

I can understand these concerns, but it doesn't seem like this is a good way to manage this volume of printers. I was hoping to get some input on what other companies use to manage their printers.

RE: Enterprise Printer Management

We use DNS to connect to the printers and can redirect to any like printer by changing the DNS name associated to the defunct printer to a working printer.

The answer is "42"

RE: Enterprise Printer Management

I actually just got done with a vendor meeting on printer fleet management. I'm a K-12 and have about 500 printers I am wanting to bring under a management platform for reporting/auditing and policy control. I have a mix of Novell and Microsoft from the server aspect using as my file/print servers. Under a Microsoft environment, I'll be able to get reports on what/who/where/when being printed and with the policy control, be able to set limits on copies or printed pages out of a printer (maybe needs to be sent to a cheaper printing copier down the hall). You just can't do that stuff in a peer to peer printing environment. If all of your printers are in one location, you could combat the concerns of server failure by suggesting a cluster for the print server. Just has to be 2 Microsoft Windows Servers running Enterprise and sharing a disk subsystem of some size. Peer to peer printing for 800 printers, administratively, sounds ludicris.

RE: Enterprise Printer Management

That sounds like exactly what I was hoping we could do. However, our server team has our managers convinced that this would be to much overhead for them to manage. The responsiblity has been pushed back on us at deskside, so I'm looking for solutions and reasons like that to convince management to get this rolling. Thanks for your help.

RE: Enterprise Printer Management

Forgot to add that one of the arguements our server team gave was that organizations our size do not use print servers because of this supposed overhead. I find that very hard to beleive.

RE: Enterprise Printer Management

Again, ludicris. I wonder if they would try to manage 800 users in a peer to peer environment outside of a domain. We are basically talking about the same thing. They are using a domain controller to have a single point of administration for all of the user accounts and file level security. I bet if they were told that they would have to start keeping hundreds of accounts, passwords, file security, etc.. maintained separately on hundreds of pc's and keep them synchronized, they would say you off your rocker, there's no way to manage that, but yet that's what they're telling you about 800 printers. The servers are file and print servers not just file servers.

Is their some overhead on the server?... Yes.
For 800 printers on a single LAN, would I have a dedicated server(s)?... probably.

But that's like saying you have a 250K investment in software and pitching a fit on having to spend 10K on recommended hardware. Give me a freakin break.

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