Print Server Options Mac OS X
What are people using out there, just curious. My current gig they are using Xerox ColorQube 9203 printers and Equitrac (Print Utility X). This Equitrac is a rather horrible application / solution, we have an installer that "works", but barely. It uses smart card reader tech, where you swipe to get your printouts.
There has to be something better.
Thanks in advance.
What are the important considerations for a solution? Do you just want to be able to handle the print jobs outside of the client, or is something like auditing, reporting and billing back to departments the more important factor?
If the latter, though I never implemented it, at a previous gig I had looked long and hard at PaperCut, which seemed like an amazing solution for actually being able to see where the print jobs are coming from and do reporting on it, even set up workable quotas and such. It seemed very flexible.
If you're really just looking for a server based solution that Macs can send the jobs to so it doesn't process locally, I don't really have anything I can recommend. The last several positions I've had are not print heavy environments. so there's been no need to look at anything other than direct printing to DNS or IP.
Like @mm2270, it depends on what you're looking for, but we've looked several times at PaperCut software for managing printing, haven't pulled the trigger yet, but probably not that far away from doing it... All depends on what you're looking for though.
I'm currently migrating our Mac labs from direct IP printing to leveraging against our centralized Windows Print Server and Papercut Management.
So far, so good. But that's only in two test locations (Our Mac population is a fraction of our Windows stable, so I was brought to the table quite late in the game...)
Medium-sized school district here.
We have 7 schools. About 200 printers and 22 Xerox copier/printers. We have about an even mix of PCs and Macs. Several hundred iPads too.
We use Papercut.
All of our printers are hosted on Windows servers. That works fine on Macs too. Just install as an LPD printer pointing to the server address and put the printer queue name in the queue field.
Papercut installs an agent on the servers and just sits there and quietly monitors everything and sends all the info to the Papercut server. Very Easy to implement. Very well engineered piece of software. You can use Windows, Mac, Novell or Linux print servers. There is a workstation agent you could install that would pop-up a window that the user can see his/her print balance if you audit that way. But you don't need the agent on the workstations at all. Just make sure the printers are installed by the print queues.
We have 1 10.7.5 Mac Mini with printers hosted on it, shared with Bonjour, with the Papercut agent on it for iOS printing. The user installs a free Papercut app on the iOS device, logs into Papercut with the app and now can have iOS print auditing. Works pretty well. Although I would say hosting printers on a Mac Mini is not ideal. Large print jobs tend to cause problems. Not really Papercut's issue however.
As always, you cannot deliver drivers from any of the printer severs to Mac clients. So, make sure drivers .pkgs are easily available for people to install and/or on the images.
There are 2 versions of Papercut: NG and MF.
MF: Printers and can monitor walk-up (they call it on-glass) copies. We use MF.
I would recommend Papercut as easily as I would recommend Casper.
I realize this is a super old thread, but I just stumbled across it. We were discussing updating our print server (badly needed), and my manager remembered looking at PaperCut a while ago. Looks like the consensus is that it's solid, but is it worth it for a small-medium size office, probably less than 10 printers?
10 Printers is probably not enough to justify it, but several places I have worked now the printers have been a managed solution i.e. They look after and own the printers and manage everything else associayed with it and the business is simply billed by the page.
It's always been a better solution than any of the in house ones I have encountered, but of course I am not the one paying for it so I couldn't tell you if it was the most cost effective solution.
But being able to simply call someone when the print server or one of the printers is playing up and having someone who actually knows about said product login/come around and fix it is darn nice!