Knowledgebase: PaperCut > Administration
How to monitor print system health with PaperCut
on 30 May 2016 05:14 PM

Printing is an essential IT service that is often overlooked until it stops working. You might find that much of your time is taken up fire fighting urgent issues, such as:

  • in a business, all printers in a branch going offline, or
  • in a school, the Administration Department printer is not working when exams need to be printed.

Imagine if you could not only receive real-time alerts as soon as any part of your print environment is not working, but also be able to anticipate potential issues and avoid the outages all together.

Every IT team dreams of being able to have:

1. Real-time alerts of print issues/problems
Real-time alerts allow SysAdmins to concentrate on tasks at hand without having that “itch” in the back of their head that something might have gone wrong in the system, and they’ll only find out when users complain about it.
Most SysAdmins have been there in their careers.

2. An understanding of how the print system works today
Knowing how the system currently works becomes the bedrock upon which future decisions can be made. Knowledge of the characteristics (some may call them :- personality) of your system is essential, and this comes through both human experience and a collection of good statistics. Do failures coincide with particular events, users, or times? The advent of virtualization has changed IT’s focus on hardware. We can now run systems more efficiently, with less hardware/space, while making the best use of the computing power at hand. Understanding how these systems are running has now become crucial.

3. Some predictors of print system failures or required upgrades:

  • Forecasting failures based on known trends
    Often SysAdmins have little vision into the failure rates or use of print hardware. Using the real-time alerts and metrics described above, SysAdmins can make informed decisions as to where and when to move print hardware, so they can maximize the reliability and life of their devices.
  • When to expand/upgrade…
    Sometimes just moving things around will not suffice and it’s time to refresh/replace or upgrade print elements of the print system to ensure you have a smooth and reliable print system.

The print environment is no different to any other IT system and can often be passed over as a critical system, until the check printers stop or the print room has an issue during a time sensitive exercise, such as, deadline driven marketing campaigns or monthly reports.

PaperCut understand this all too well and have a Print System Health interface ensuring the print environment, and indeed the printer itself, are no longer dark spots in your network. Never has the humble printer been raised to this level of pampering. Dressed to impress, it can now expect the same level of attention its network cousins have had for a very long time!

Both new and time poor SysAdmins, as well as the experienced or corporate level teams are catered for. The PaperCut System Health interface provides a range of monitoring points to give you the vision into your entire print system, using either the existing tools you have today, or, with the help of the articles below.

For more information about print system health monitoring, see the PaperCut Manual.
To help you start monitoring your print system’s health, we’ve put together some Knowledge Base articles:

Monitoring using PRTG
Simple health monitoring using PRTG
Advanced health monitoring using PRTG