I have a Debian box running cups on which i share out my laser printer to all the other machines in my home network. I am in the market for an upgrade to a color laser multifunction (print/scan/fax) printer and I want to keep the same network setup. I do not anticipate any issues sharing the printing function via cups, but how does scanning work? Can I scan into printer and somehow push the image to a machine? Or would I fire off the scan process from the client machine needing the scanned image?
That depends on the scanning device in question. CUPS won't be able to handle it. One method, that we're looking to use campus wide, is to specify a drop-zone for these MFPs to drop scans. This is a Samba share with a unique folder for each MFP. It does depend on if the MFP can drop files on a SMB share, which not all do. Many can send emails, so you might be able to use a shared mailbox of some kind.
Of course, this is for MFPs that are network-attached rather than USB attached. A lot of the newer MFPs have built-in wireless these days, which implies they may have some of these features.