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How PaperCut reimagined the print server

How PaperCut reimagined the print server

The dream of cloud print management is to achieve a reliable, secure, and fast printing experience without any dedicated on-site infrastructure (beyond the printer of course). 

However, print management in the cloud has previously meant:

  • Slow print speeds
  • Clunky/non-intuitive UX (User Experience)
  • Security concerns over sensitive data traversing the cloud
  • Complicated VPN configuration 
  • Only works on specific printers

But isn’t it as simple as just sending the print jobs to and from the cloud? Unfortunately not.

In a nutshell, sending jobs up to the cloud and back can be slow, unreliable, and insecure. It’s an essential part of offsite printing, but what about if you’re standing next to the printer in your office? You then encounter additional bandwidth, security, and latency issues.

How do you solve these cloud trade-offs? 

IoT (Internet of Things) went through the same journey of fusing hardware and the internet i.e. industrial-grade smart lighting control systems. We’ve borrowed two concepts from IoT to reduce the need to send documents to the cloud. 

How do you print without a print server? 

We built a non-traditional answer to a non-traditional question.

Bringing cutting-edge IoT technology to the world of print, PaperCut Hive reimagines the local print server by creating an Edge Mesh.

TL;DR watch our 2-minute explainer on Edge Mesh

The Edge Mesh removes the print server and instead uses the computing power of multiple devices (e.g. desktops, laptops, printers) in your organization, known as nodes, for replicating and processing print jobs.  

With PaperCut Hive, the Edge Mesh means you have high-speed, secure, and reliable printing all in a simple ‘Ctrl+P’ user experience.

More powerful than a single server 

The Edge Mesh eliminates any single point of failure. If one device is unable to be reached, the other nodes/devices in the mesh step in to continue processing the print job.

Engineered with security before the first line of code was written

Our Edge Mesh technology is engineered with “shift-left security” – which is a fancy way of saying before we started coding, security was our first concern. 

When printing, your encrypted print job stays on your local network and only exists within your Edge Mesh. 

The only information that travels to and from the cloud administration service is your job details (number of pages, color or black & white, and paper size).     

Self-healing 

What makes Edge Mesh so reliable is if a node isn’t reachable, it self heals. So if a device goes walkabout, other nodes in the mesh will take over – the more nodes in your mesh, the stronger it is.

Off-network functionality

For hybrid and remote working, you can enable the Cloud node which allows for secure printing from outside your local network. 

Cloud node is the only time when your documents will traverse the cloud but they do so securely and encrypted. Once your documents are printed, the contents are deleted from inside your Edge Mesh.

Cloud-native print management reimagined in the world of IoT 

Our Edge Mesh technology keeps your documents safe, prints them quickly, and delivers dependable service. 

  • Security – Your documents (print jobs) stay secure on-site in your local network – they don’t need to travel to the cloud and back in order to be printed (unless you’re using the Cloud Node by securely printing outside of your network).
  • Speed – Your print jobs remain on your local network, they don’t have to travel far, resulting in faster printing than sending jobs to and from the cloud.
  • Reliability – There’s no single point of failure due to the Edge Mesh’s built-in redundancy – there are multiple edge nodes where the documents can be stored or routed through, even if the internet is down.

Edge Mesh delivers secure, powerful, and reliable serverless print management in the cloud.

We created our new cloud-native print management solution PaperCut Hive because it’s how we approach print management: customer first. It’s important that our customers have a choice of O/S, printer brand, and whether they want to self-host a solution or manage their printing in the cloud.

PaperCut MF remains our feature-rich flagship product, while our new cloud-native solution PaperCut Hive is currently best suited for small to medium businesses (SMBs) who are also new to print management.

Want to find out more?

Read our PaperCut Edge Mesh manual and whitepaper.

For more on printing and the cloud you can read this (long) story.

If you need to brush up on the basics of cloud computing in relation to print management, check out our blog series on that very subject.

For all the details on our cloud-native print management solution, PaperCut Hive click below.

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