Print Servers vs. Serverless Printing

Depending on the IT architecture, industry, and specific requirements, each company needs to consider how the company-wide print environment can be best managed and which form of printing is most appropriate. Should a central print server be responsible for all printing processes? Or would serverless or direct IP printing fulfill all requirements? Both approaches have their advantages which is why ThinPrint offers both: Its proven ThinPrint Engine provides reliable, server-based print management, while its cloud solution, ezeep, delivers cloud-managed serverless printing.


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Print management with central print servers

Central Administration of the Print Environment with Print Servers


Print servers are always the first choice when:

  • Large print volumes or many parallel print jobs should be processed reliably
  • The computing load of PCs and printers should be transferred to a server.
  • The IT architecture is to be secured by separating the printer network from the remaining company network (PCs, data, i.e. network segmentation).
  • In complex environments where an overview is maintained and access control is desired.
  • Print problems should be resolved centrally.
  • Certain print jobs or printers should be prioritized.
  • Printing from central applications such as CRM and ERP should be enabled.



  • Costs for hardware and software, as well as for operation and maintenance of the print servers.
  • High WAN loads due to large print jobs: Print data traffic between the remote sites and the central print server can create a very heavy burden on the network.
  • If the print server is located in a remote data center, offline printing is not possible in case of network failures.

How ThinPrint optimizes the print server approach

ThinPrint Engine fully complements the many advantages of centralized print management with powerful features that eliminate the weak points associated with a print server concept.

  • Lower costs through server consolidation: Only one central print server is necessary. Local print servers and IT know-how are not required in branch offices.
  • Unburdened networks: ThinPrint optimizes the transmission of print data through compression, streaming and SpeedCache, for all print paths, and, of course, from branch offices to the central print server.
  • Driver Free Printing: Thanks to Driver Free Printing, printer drivers are only stored on the central print server, while users’ PCs remain driver-free. With just a few clicks, printer drivers can be updated throughout the company.
  • Maximum print security through SSL/TLS encryption up to the printer and optional secure pull printing.
  • High availability: Server- and printer-side failover and load balancing ensure zero outage printing.

Discover ThinPrint Engine

Serverless printing or direct IP printing

Serverless or Direct IP Printing

Direct IP printing is suitable for anyone who:

  • Does not want to use print servers in their company
  • Must be able to print offline, for example critical infrastructure providers adhering to IT regulations. In the case of WAN/internet outages, users print without interruption from their workstations directly to the printers on site.
  • Wants to keep the print path as short as possible, i.e. directly from the PC to the printer without having to go through a print server.



  • Complex management of printers and printer drivers: The printer drivers must be manually installed and updated on each user’s end device.
  • Printers and workstations must be located in the same network segment.
  • No print job and queue management.
  • Previous attempts at “serverless” printing often required a different server to manage the print environment in place of a print server, and are therefore not actually serverless.

How ezeep optimizes direct IP printing

ezeep combines the benefits of serverless printing with cloud-based print management.

  • Real server-free print management: No print servers or management servers are required, since the management of the printers and their assignment are completely in the cloud.
  • Instantly ready for use: After the initial setup – import of users, selection of drivers from a printer driver pool and assignment of printers, users can print immediately.
  • Centralized management of printer drivers in the cloud: On users’ PCs and Macs, ezeep agents take over the automatic installation of printer drivers, driver updates and other changes. Users can manage their own printers via a user-friendly self-service portal.
  • Extensive repository of printer drivers: Only ezeep has a driver pool with thousands of printer drivers in the cloud from which administrators can easily choose.
  • Fair monthly price, can be cancelled at any time

Discover ezeep