Steve Cassidy in PCPro writes "I'm shocked by the number of sites I visit where printing is still arbitrated by a central server, with workstations connecting to a shared printer queue for access."
How do I set up my networked printers if not through a central server? This may well be a stupid question, the answer to which is known to everyone except me, but I'm asking anyway.
I may be missing something to but by the sounds of it he is just another clueless journlest. Most network printers outright crash if they are send school levels of printing (pictures, clipart etc.) from multiple pcs at once unless they are rather large and usually rather expencive or have had a massive ram upgrade.
I wouldn't say he was exactly clueless but maybe only talking about very large commercial enterprises? My printers are just HP1320DN's for the most part, along with a canon photocopier and some colour inkjets. Nothing very sophisticated really.
Originally Posted by SYNACK
Well I would have to agree with Synack, he does sound clueless. It doesn't matter how big or powerful the printer is, it still needs a print server of some kind. Be it a workstation for small domestic printers or preferably a real server for large printing devices.
It also has other advantages, such as print management/deployment and controlling expenses as paper and toner are expensive.
If Steve Cassidy is that bothered about massive print queues, you connect/setup the same printer using a different share name, which has a higher printing priority. Very useful for Senior Management who require their printing that little bit faster.
Large enterprises would typically have many large networked photocopiers capable of printing 150+ pages per minute strategically located across the organisation. It's still managed using a print server in the background.
Thanks guys, thought I was missing some vital part of my networking education. Maybe next month SC will report that he's had a massive influx of mail calling him clueless.
You'll excuse me if I laugh my socks off...
Frankly the rubbish I've had the opportunity to read in the past couple of years just bears out that PCPro is nothing less than a marketing vehicle for advertising revenue when it comes to some topics and printers are no exception. Epson, Canon, are always "wonderful!" and this continues despite the recent changes in build quality Epson and Canon have dropped to... The complaints on both are increasing exponentially whilst the cost of consumables is rising between 9 and 15%..
I can't help but think the idea behind that article was to try to encourage the clueless management types to decide that more printers per desk is a good idea and thus boost sales for those same advertising folks..
Not clueless, just doing what he's told.... but hey I'm rather cynical when it comes to printers nowadays.. more about handing money to the manufacturer than actually better print quality.
I too am bit perplexed by the comment in PC Pro that you quoted.
We have two College sites setup with printing going via one central server at each site, and my plan is for us to move over to this model at the other two sites as well. As far as I know this is still recognised best practice.
At the two other sites there are networked printers, but each PC has a local printer driver installed - each printing directly to the IP address/name of the printer which is in the room.
Having one central (Windows) printer server, and printers mapped to this (via UNCs) at logon/unmapped at logoff has several key advantages over this;
- Centralised control/management of printers/printing (e.g. for setting security/properties/default preferences)
- Each PC can see what jobs are in the queue (with the security tab on the printer on the server you can just allow staff to delete jobs)
- Allows third party print quota software to log/report/restrict printing
Mind you, it is a potential single point of failure. All its takes is for the spooler server to stop and all printing at the site grinds to a halt.
I must say I don't purchase the mag as it is so expensive, but I used to flick through the network section at the end.
What is the PC Pro journo proposing? Is he implying that printers should to map/unmap at logon, but directly to to the printer's built-in printer server, rather than a Windows-based server?
Or is he really just having a go at desktop PCs setup as printer servers (it doesn't sound like this is the case)?
Or is he refering to another scenario?
Thanks for the comments, Bruce. I think Steve C was having a go at Windows print spooler, which I have to say has a nasty habit of stopping, albeit at irregular intervals. I can't remember now what his point was or the rest of the article, that one opinion was enough!