Cloud and print

Print devices have a different relationship with the cloud than computers. That’s why enabling and managing print in the cloud requires flexible and scalable solutions. From self-hosted to hosted for you, PaperCut has a suite of solutions for enabling and managing print with the cloud.

PaperCut cloud and print overview

Printing and the cloud 101

Print management was once a tale as old as time. Secure and quick printing was traditionally facilitated by an on-prem print server - one of many pieces of hardware that formed your business infrastructure. Then the cloud came along, and business infrastructure changed forever. You no longer needed servers on-site, or even applications on your devices. 

Printing has been a trickier space to enhance with cloud computing. In the world of print, there’s always going to be an element of on-premise infrastructure - the printer/MFD.

Print management in the cloud isn’t about replacing on-prem infrastructure. It’s about enhancing the print management space by utilizing cloud and IoT (Internet of Things) technologies. 

Cloud printing vs cloud print management

These may sound similar, but depending on what problem you’re hoping to solve, there’s a crucial difference. One is a matter of enabling printing, the other is a matter of controlling printing.

Cloud printing facilitates remote printing over the internet.

Cloud print management tracks and coordinates printing with the cloud, rather than with on-premise infrastructure.

There are solutions for each, and some cloud print management software also offers cloud printing. But before choosing your solution, it’s important to know what you’re trying to achieve with your printing.

Print enablement gets your users printing quickly and securely.

Print management offers visibility and insight into your organization’s printing. 

Whether you’re a startup looking to make printing as easy as possible, or a school district grappling with crafting a secure and responsible printing culture, there is a print solution in the cloud for you.

Understanding cloud computing basics

Cloud is a common term when discussing today’s working environments, but it’s a term that has lots of nuts and bolts.

So you can understand everything in this section, let’s brush up on some basic cloud computing concepts, through the lens of print.

Public, private, and hybrid cloud

There are three types of cloud hosting.

Public cloudPrivate cloudHybrid cloud
Computing resources fully-hosted in the cloud, accessed over the internet along with other users from other companiesSelf-hosted, dedicated computing resources for a single organizationA combination of public and private cloud

Read more about public, private, and hybrid cloud in our blog.

Single vs multi-tenant cloud applications 

Related to public, private, and hybrid, a single-tenant or multi-tenant refers to whether a cloud application - a set of cloud resources referred to as an instance - is shared with one or multiple customers.

Single-tenantMulti-tenant
  • One instance (cloud application) per customer 
  • The cloud can be self-hosted or private-hosted
  • Often referred to as “private hosted” or “Hosted in private cloud”
  • Multiple customers share an instance (a cloud application) 
  • Uses the public cloud
  • Typically fully-hosted SaaS solutions

Read more about single-tenancy and multi-tenancy in our blog.

Anything as a Service (XaaS) and the cloud

Did we lose you at SaaS? 

That’s one of the three types of services offered in the cloud. It stands for Software as a Service and refers to software and applications accessed via the cloud, for example Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace. 

In regards to cloud and print management, SaaS is usually the only XaaS term you’ll come across. 

Read more more about XaaS in our blog.

PaperCut’s cloud print management portfolio

PaperCut’s cloud portfolio is about choice. You have the ability to choose a product that’s appropriate for your requirements around simplicity, management, security, and privacy. 

An easy way to think about it is to split it into two main categories.

Self-hostedFully-hosted (hosted for you)
  • Also known as single-tenant (private-hosted) 
  • Perfectly suited for our flagship solution PaperCut MF 
  • Ideal for private cloud deployments
  • Single-tenant solution
  • You control the data and its location
  • You control the update cycles
  • Also known as multi-tenant (public-hosted SaaS) 
  • Primarily served by our cloud-native products PaperCut Hive and PaperCut Pocket
  • Purely designed for public cloud
  • Multi-tenant SaaS solution
  • Data and backup are managed for you
  • Update cycles are managed for you

Cloud and print in detail

Different people mean different things when they’re talking about printing and the cloud. Some might be searching for a self-hosted solution. Others may be looking for a fully-hosted solution.

To explore PaperCut’s full portfolio of cloud-based print management products, jump into the following subsections.

On the PaperCut Blog