KB Home | Branch Office Direct Printing Considerations
Branch Office Direct Printing supports workstations printing directly to the destination printer or MFD, bypassing the print server the queue was originally hosted on. If you need to reduce the bandwidth consumption of print jobs being sent from branch offices to print servers in a main office, review these considerations before implementing Branch Office Direct Printing.
The Windows feature will also bypass any print job tracking with PaperCut.
Pros of Branch Office Direct Printing
It saves bandwidth!
One of the best features Branch Office Direct Printing has to offer is the reduction of Wide Area Network (WAN) usage by printing directly to a printer/device rather than a print queue sitting on a centrally managed server. Files generated and sent by printing documents can be quite large, so the ability to completely bypass printing to a server that may not be in the same location as the person printing will reduce bandwidth usage.
Printing won’t stop if a print server goes offline
The printer information is always cached in the Branch Office, so if a print server were to ever become unavailable for any reason (for example, if WAN links to the print server go down), the user is still able to print as if nothing was wrong. This is great for environments where printing can be urgent and needs close to 100% uptime.
Scalability could improve
Print server load may be drastically reduced when this feature is being used due to print jobs no longer being required to go to the print server. This means less hardware/software provisioning for print infrastructure, which could save money and administration effort.
Cons of Branch Office Direct Printing
Operating system requirements
Branch Office Direct Printing requires a print server running Windows Server 2012 and clients running Windows 8. It is enabled by an administrator using the Print Management Console or Windows PowerShell on the server. This means that people using Windows 7 or lower, as well as Mac/Linux users will not be able to utilize this technology. Depending on your environment, this could make up most of your user-base.
The printer must be a network attached device
Branch Office Direct Printing requires the printer to be attached to the network in order for it to be enabled on the device. While it doesn’t make much sense to use Branch Office Direct Printing with a USB printer, it does also mean that any third party quota management, or job auditing software will not be able to see or track any printing to Branch Office Direct Printing configured devices.
A print server is still required
The setup of Branch Office Direct Printing requires administrators to have an already-configured print server running Windows 2012. This means that businesses without a print server will still be required to provision a print server for this feature to work. For small businesses or distributed sites, there may not be any one head office to host this.,
PaperCut Direct Printing, a solution which also has many of the same goals of Branch Office Direct Printing, includes many of the core services you come to expect from PaperCut:
track, control and audit usage of queues regardless of whether they’re server based or directUSB or networked printers
Find-Me Print, Secure Release of print jobs, charging to Shared Accounts and much more.
PaperCut’s Direct Printing enables the tracking of printing from all operating systems, opening up print tracking of your entire user-base and all on-site printers.
If you’re considering a solution that allows for branch office secure printing, consider PaperCut’s Direct Printing solution for cost recovery and control.