Edge Computing 101: A Demystification Guide for Managing Print Services

The thing about technology is this: The leading edge keeps moving. And it often runs in circles. Today that means Edge Computing is the next big thing and it stands on the shoulders of giants.  

The Cloud has enabled us to do so much more – much more data is being generated than ever before, allowing companies to improve processes, gain better customer insight and create new services.  

However, all the data crunching and moving from the Cloud back to the device has an impact on IT – congested networks, slow moving traffic, costs and efficiency concerns. As an example, the ability to print, so central to both performance and productivity, slows down when the network does. 

Unless, of course, you do your computing where your deployed devices are. That’s the big Edge idea. 

And yet this idea of Cloud + Edge is not entirely new. This is what happened when we moved from mainframes to personal computers in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Decentralization and distribution of processing power to bring it closer to the end users. And it happened again with smartphones. We have moved IT infrastructure and applications to the Cloud for all the right reasons, but there are implications. You may not see them in your everyday life, but once you move from consumer to the IoT and Industry 4.0 space, they begin to unravel quickly. 

The Edge Business Boom 

That’s why the global market for Edge technologies is predicted to reach $9.2 billion by 2023.1  Every technology-dependent business on the planet is looking to increase both the efficiency and the autonomy of their business software. The best way to do that is computing at the device level—not remotely. 

So, what does Edge Computing mean for Print Management systems? 

YSoft SafeQube is an Edge Device for Print Management 

Being a leader in the print management business, Y Soft has long been aware of the distance-from-server problem that can plague distributed infrastructure, as well as the high cost of the servers themselves. In fact, we created the first viable solution, moving print servers to the Edge as far back as 2008.  

Going forward, this led Y Soft to create our patented Platform for Growth architecture and to develop YSoft SAFEQube, a lightweight print management appliance to perform tasks like user authentication, system state monitoring and use analyses at the print site, where it’s processed as metadata that can be transmitted quickly to a company’s Cloud or on prem servers with low impact on network performance. 

The underlying Edge computing concept is the processing of data as close as possible to the point of collection.  

In the context of YSoft SafeQ print management, SafeQube (or a virtual machine or other type of Edge device), distributes the workload between workstations – where data-intensive Client Based Print Roaming and complex print tasks are managed -- and the SafeQube appliance, which handles the less data-intensive jobs of user authentication and reporting.  

SafeQube and the Distributed Network  

Y Soft’s print management system was created as an enterprise-scale solution. Specifically, our first adopters were major global companies with print services installations at multiple business sites. And those customers wanted to deliver the same range and quality of services to all their branch offices without having to invest in expensive print servers for each location. SafeQube solved that set of problems and more besides. 

  • It’s much less costly than a dedicated print server. 

  • It’s simple to install—even on the fly. 

  • It’s a backup server, in case of network outages. 

  • It’s the right server appliance for outsourced IT deployments. 

  • It combines with Client Based Print Roaming to become a local connection point for the printer’s user interface. 

  • It’s proven its fitness to serve in a broad range of Edge-like applications. 

The Best Thing about Edge Devices?   

Best yet, Edge devices typically require zero maintenance – just set it and forget it. We’ve been providing Print Management using an Edge device(s) for a dozen years and we are working on even more Edge options. It’s an exciting time for Cloud + Edge. We can’t wait to tell you about it. 

1 Market Research Future Published Date: March 2019

Ondřej “Ondra” Krajíček
Ondřej “Ondra” Krajíček
Ondra is Y Soft’s go-to guy when it comes to Information Technology and its potential in Y Soft products and services. He has passion for matching state-of-the-art technology with customer needs, especially when we are speaking about complex qualities: reliability, scalability and availability. Besides that, Ondra loves teaching and tries to spend some of his time as a guest lecturer at his alma mater, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. Ondrej also serves on the board of directors for AmCham (American Chamber of Commerce, Czech Republic) and has worked with the organization for several years.
View all posts by Ondřej “Ondra” Krajíček

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