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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is totally not related to anything w/ a car. I'm in a growing office that is ready to purchase it's third printer.

Now, the first printer was shared via a single person's computer. If that computer went down, we were screwed.

The second one is a HP2100 laser jet, and every system has the printer software installed. There's no queue viewing, and if you print something, then you can't see if there is someone ahead of you (it's a networked printer)

We're going to be getting another, bigger printer, and I'd like to do it "right" by going with a print server. Although I don't knwo the specific advantages/disadvantages of a setup like this.

When I brought this up before, I was fought w/ a "what happens if the print server dies".

So, I guess.. umm, thanks for your help.. Geez, I'm grasping at straws if im' going to a wrx board :p )

Thanks!!!!!
 

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I'm not a sysadmin or anything like that, but I'll give you my thoughts.

Dedicated print servers are cheap nowadays. I think you can pick them up for les than $100. It'd be hard for someone to relaly screw it up unless they unplugged it. Just hang it off a node on the network and set it up. Should be pretty cut and dry.
 

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We run our printers off our Domain Controller at work. That way you can manage print jobs from the server and since its up 99.9% of the time it doesn't really have any user problems. But if you wanted to just get a stand alone print server they are pretty easy to use and setup. The only problems we were having with a print server we have in another office is that we have lost power a few times and we have some IP problems when it comes back online.

So I would suggest just setting up all your printers on one box that is up all the time and just share them out that way.
 

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Definitely the simplest way to go is a dedicated print server appliance. You can get them really cheap. They don't run Windows but rather some sort of imbedded OS like WindRiver or maybe Linux, so they die very rarely.

The cheapest solution is to use an old PC. You can run Windows on it, but you may experience more crashes than you'd like, but if all its doing is acting as a print server, it should be OK if you use NT. 2000 would work as well, but NT will work better on an old machine. Of course you could also run Linux for a cheap, industrial strength service - but then you have to deal with Linux. Probably not what you want to do unless you already have a Linux/Unix admin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Have experience /w linux (use it a LOT in a small company w/ tight budgets)


My question/concern is this:

Will the end user have to worry about driver installs? Or will the user just communicate using LPR or something similar to talk to the server, w/ the server translating it?

If that's the case, then it's a good argument on why we should go the print-server route.
 

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We have around 50 printers & plottors on our network. I've tried all kinds of connecting methods for these printers. My requirements is that it can be used by remote branches (WAN) and can be printed to from Novell, Windows and Unix (Solaris).

What I have to be the "best" method is to purchase a "regular" printer and then purchase a Jet-Direct box. This is a cigar size box that can be picked up at staples or CompUSA. It has a printer port and a 10 Base-T or 100 Base-T Ethernet jack on it. You run the setup software for the box and configure it. This makes the printer available right away through the network.

What I then do is go to the Novell (being converted to Win 2000 AS) and Windows Domain controllers and set this up as a shared printer and set proper security for the printer. This allows the server to handle queueing and allows the user to see what is queued up on the printer from their desktop.

If the domain controller or file server is down I've got "bigger" proplems to worry about then the printers :)

BTW, many of the newer HP printers have a slot for a Jet-Direct card which can be inserted into the printer. The Jet-Direct card is an "industry standard" so everything works with them.

Hope this helps,

Carlo
 

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Welp, at work we have about 300 printers, all on the WAN. NT server controls the queue and access rights. They are all HP 4000, 4050, and 4100s. They can all accept the jetdirect card. We run 2 main systems on our network. They use different printing methods of course. About 1/3 of the printers use Linksys 3port print servers, almost no hardware problems. The other 2/3 use the JetDirect card and those havent failed yet. The advantage of the JetDirect is that it can be used by IP adress. The Linksys boxes are a little more difficult to get setup without using a print server computer. Both methods let you point a web broswer at them to configure and monitor. Go try the Linksys boxes, they are cheap enough and are a solid worker. We have offices through-out CA. Lots of them have power problems. These things havent lost an address yet.

I forgot my point, it's late

Justin
 
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