Web-to-Print & dynamic imaging

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Growth pains

A single server running a web to print system can deliver only so much performance. A business-orientated web to print solution is likely to experience one or two traffic spikes on a week day. Can the web to print software you choose provide easy and flexible scaling on demand?

Hardware upgrade

Replacing a single server with a more powerful one is the easiest, but rather limited way of improving the performance. You will quickly run into a performance bottleneck and really big dollars.

HP ProLiant DL100 HP ProLiant DL500
Powerfully simple, affordable 2 processor servers Scalable, workhorse 4 processor servers
Starting at: $1,229.00 Starting at: $6,409.00

Check HP website for latest models and costs.
Warning: most of MS Windows Server software is licensed per CPU.
Warning: not all web to print systems can utilize multiple CPUs.
Note: server performance does not double with doubling the number of CPUs.

Web to print on a cluster

Adding virtual machines or building a cluster can be a more efficient way of scaling. Ask the vendor if their web to print software can be deployed on a cluster (run across multiple machines).
Multiply the cost of licenses by the number of machines, if needed (check with the vendor).

Load estimation

Load estimation varies between different web to print systems depending on their base technology.

  • Primitive web to print may take less than a second per request.
  • More powerful web to print system with advanced image manipulation, PDF generation, effects, image transformations can take 1-30 sec.
  • Features like imposition can take minutes.

A single request can tie up your server for seconds making it unavailable to other users. Multiple simultaneous requests at peak time can “bring the house down”.


On average, expect the following numbers per 1,000 orders:

  • User images uploaded: 2,300
  • Total volume: 2GB
  • Average file size: 0.9MB
  • Mean unedited file size: 5MB
  • Proof images generated: 10,260 (on user request)
  • Volume of proof images: 533MB

These numbers were taken from a random sample of 30,000 orders for a wide range of products present in ZetaPrints web to print system. Your numbers may differ depending on your types of web to print products and customer base.

Growing with ZetaPrints

ZetaPrints is a hosted web-to-print service. We grow our highly scalable cluster to meet the demand at no cost to you because we get paid per order. It is in our interest to ensure there are no bottlenecks.