Private Cloud - PaperCut and Printing
Last modified on 03 June 2015 05:16 PM
What is Private Cloud?
A Private Cloud deployment isolates applications and data from others, reducing potential cloud security risks. Applications hosted in a private cloud allow only users/devices on your internal network to have access, not the public. Private cloud servers usually have internal IP addresses and are connected to your site via a secure VPN. Print servers and PaperCut are one of the services being increasingly moved into the virtual private cloud.
Do I need to buy a different version of PaperCut if I am going to implement it in a private cloud environment?
No, you purchase the same version of PaperCut. PaperCut Software recommends purchasing through a PaperCut Private Cloud Certified Provider, to ensure you’ll receive a fully supported deployment.
What makes PaperCut private cloud ready?
PaperCut has been used for a number of years in private cloud configurations and has architectural advantages which naturally support cloud deployments. PaperCut is optimized for medium latency networks (web based and web services applications) and only small meta data packets need to be sent to/from the PaperCut server. PaperCut Software also maintains a Private Cloud Certification Program to ensure selected resellers have attained the necessary skills and expertise to design, install and manage Private Cloud architecture.
Are there any PaperCut features that won’t work in a Private Cloud environment?
No, all the same features that are available on PaperCut will work. PaperCut has been used for a number of years in private cloud setups, and the development team have made many enhancements across the feature range to optimize them for medium-latency networks.
SECURITY & RELIABILITY
Do I need to be concerned about security?
Yes. Security is an important consideration with any IT project, and the same is true for a PaperCut deployment which typically interfaces with on-site hardware and site systems such as Active Directory servers or even door security databases.
The word “cloud” caused more questions about security and data. Private cloud (as opposed to public cloud) is designed specifically for this environment - private cloud servers are not accessible from the public internet, and are available only on your own internal network IP range. For systems requiring two-way communication with on-premises service, private cloud gives customers the right balance between security and cloud benefits. Private cloud servers, and the data they store, are also typically managed by your own IT staff or a trusted service provider.
PaperCut Private Cloud Certified Providers are able to help you understand this architecture and related security questions.
Do I need to be concerned about uptime?
Yes, you will need to determine the uptime requirements that suit your business needs. Uptime is a combined measure of all failure and recovery events including reliability of hardware and reliability of the internet connection.
Reliability of hardware:
One major advantage of private cloud hosting is that infrastructure providers typically have large banks of servers and datacenters ready to take over in the event of any hardware failure. While a hardware crash on an on-premises server might cause you days of downtime - to procure new hardware and restore backups, etc. - the same event on a cloud hosted server may be automatically and even transparently handled.
Reliability of Internet Connection:
Moving services from an on-premises server to a cloud server means reliability is not just a function of your internal network (LAN) but is now also a function of your internet connection. A good test is the question: “If your internet link is down, what’s the impact on your business and staff?” This impact can then be mitigated through purchasing an Internet Service that has associated service level commitments relating to availability. Back-up links could also be considered to increase availability.
Uptime is an area that your chosen PaperCut Private Cloud Certified Provider can help you understand and advise as required.
How much bandwidth do I need on my WAN link to allow me to have my print server in the cloud?
Hosting the PaperCut Application Server in the cloud is straightforward. Bandwidth used with a default configuration is very low. The majority of bandwidth in printing networks is associated with transferring print jobs (spool files). PaperCut can be set up in two ways:
1. Cloud hosted print queues
2. On-premises print queues with a cloud hosted application server
It is very viable for most organizations to host print queues in the cloud, given adequate bandwidth. Organizations with large specialist printing requirements such as graphic design shops, or bandwidth constrained organizations, may wish to consider a local print server. It should also be noted that “bandwidth” is not the only question when considering private cloud. Latency, QoS and reliability are also key considerations. A PaperCut Certified Private Cloud Provider is trained to identify potential issues can help with assessing links.
HOSTING AND MANAGEMENT
Is PaperCut Private Cloud fully managed?
A PaperCut Private Cloud Certified Provider will typically offer at least one of the following service models:
The cloud servers and the PaperCut install is fully managed by the reseller/service provider. This includes setup, backup, upgrades and system management. Most of the ongoing effort is transparent to you, and only higher impact changes (e.g. system upgrades) may require your involvement.
Initial installation and setup are performed by the reseller/service provider, and management of the system is then transitioned over to your own IT staff. Installation is typically on Virtual Machines in a Private Cloud account registered and managed under your own organization’s name. This is a preferred option when your organization has existing private cloud infrastructure, or plans to use private cloud for other services in the future.
This option is only recommended for sites with existing private cloud infrastructure (e.g. running other servers or services). You will typically manage the VM provisioning and server install yourselves, often with advice and guidance from a Certified PaperCut reseller.
Which cloud infrastructure providers does PaperCut support?
PaperCut is agnostic and is not affiliated with any particular cloud infrastructure provider. Typically selecting an infrastructure provider is something done in conjunction with your PaperCut Private Cloud Certified Provider. You may already have an existing cloud provider, or our partners may have relationships with local infrastructure providers to get you up and running. When it comes to cloud infrastructure providers, PaperCut is agnostic. It doesn’t matter if you‘re running on Microsoft Azure, Amazon VPC, Rackspace Private Cloud or any local provider, PaperCut is ready.
SETTING UP PAPERCUT PRIVATE CLOUD
I only have one printer and 20 users - will PaperCut in the private cloud be worth it for me?
Organizations of all sizes can benefit from private cloud. In some respects smaller organizations without full time IT staff have more to gain from a hosted/managed solution, although it is true that PaperCut has seen greater private cloud adoption by larger organizations. These organizations are driven to reduce their IT infrastructure and on-premises data hosting costs, and ensure ease of scaling. Smaller organizations benefit more by reducing the need for in-house or on-site administration resources.
I think PaperCut in the Private Cloud is for me, what should I do?
This is why we have PaperCut Private Cloud Certified Providers. They are here to advise you and help you take the next step whether it be within your own existing private cloud, or having it set up for you as a managed service. Your first step should be to reach out to us, or a PaperCut Certified Private Cloud Provider.
What does setup involve?
Setup is very similar to a coordinated on-premises install with the notable exception that the server is hosted at a remote location. This server needs to be connected to your internal network using a secure VPN connection. Setting up a VPN is often the most complex part of the project and an area our PaperCut Private Cloud Certified Providers can assist with.
What is a typical Private Cloud implementation?
Organizations have been running PaperCut Private Cloud deployments for 4 years or more. In fact some of the first deployments occurred before the term “private cloud” became popular. PaperCut works with a number of the larger customers (e.g. large groups of schools hosting servers centrally in data centers) to optimized PaperCut for this use-case. Most deployments to date have been in large organizations (or organization groups), however over the last 12 months, SME sites have adopted this approach.
CHOOSE A PRIVATE CLOUD CERTIFIED PARTNER
Can I implement PaperCut in the Private Cloud myself? Why should I used a Certified Provider?
A Certified Provider is a reseller of PaperCut that has qualified through various test criteria to enable them to have the requisite skills and technical knowledge to successfully implement and manage PaperCut in a cloud environment. PaperCut Certified Providers also have access to tools and resources to enable them to implement and manage PaperCut cloud solutions.
What is a PaperCut Private Cloud Certified Provider?
You can purchase a PaperCut license and implement that in a cloud environment if you have the right skills in your organization. However, PaperCut would recommend that you use a Certified Provider as they have been trained to understand the complexities around implementation and support of these solutions. A PaperCut Private Cloud Certified Partner will assist you in mitigating project risk and speeding up implementation. PaperCut Partners have access to tools and resources through PaperCut to assist including VM sizing guides, automatic provisioning scripts and a monitoring tool.