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Fixing VDI Printing Problems: Heavy WAN Usage

Posted by Devin Anderson

There’s a fundamental drawback to centralized virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments that can be summed up in three letters: W-A-N. And, as we’ll see, this can have a serious impact on your VDI printing in VMware or Citrix.

As you probably already know, WAN stands for wide area network—the link to the networked world beyond your immediate four walls. VDI solutions place a heavy reliance on the WAN because they swap a purely local environment for one that is hosted centrally or offsite. In distributed environments, this means that the data transfer that traditionally took place within the client terminal itself is instead relayed over the WAN connection. Although this architecture has many advantages, VDI printing is not one of them.

That’s because VDI printing in VMware, Citrix and other virtual solutions puts additional strain on the WAN. Printing is an inherently data-intensive operation, and that goes double for VDI printing, as print jobs can easily consume your finite WAN throughput and balloon in size as they are bounced from client to server, server to server, all the while subjected to different rendering or compatibility measures before finally being relayed to the local network printer. Some organizations have implemented VDI printing solutions to improve the functionality of out-of-the-box VDI printing, yet these can actually lead to even more WAN load because they increase the number of rendering or relay steps.

Unlike these inferior VDI printing solutions, PrinterLogic’s next-generation enterprise print management solution was designed to have both a small physical footprint and a small network footprint. It uses direct IP technology to create one-to-one connections between client devices and network printers, so print job data travels along the most efficient and direct route—thereby reducing the WAN traffic in VDI printing scenarios. What’s more, PrinterLogic is so compact and powerful that you can replace your entire print server infrastructure with one on-premise server running a single instance of our infinitely scalable software.

For VDI printing with VMware, PrinterLogic seamlessly integrates with the virtual solution to enhance its print capabilities and manageability. After implementing PrinterLogic in your VMware environment, you’ll be able to dynamically and automatically deliver printers to end users on the basis of criteria like Active Directory (AD) user, group, organizational unit (OU), IP address, as well as hardware identifiers. That means you can enjoy features promised by advanced VDI printing solutions—including location-based printing—without the usual caveats like greater reliance on the WAN.

The same can be said for VDI printing with Citrix. Depending on how you choose to implement PrinterLogic, you can configure VDI printing using the Citrix Universal printer (for increased printer compatibility), using Citrix auto-created printers (preferred in many environments) or using session printers (to unlock additional PrinterLogic-exclusive features). Whichever way works best for your organization, PrinterLogic is able to leverage direct IP printing to reduce WAN usage to a minimum during VDI printing. That frees up bandwidth for other WAN-reliant applications and eliminates a key point of failure in the print environment.

Through PrinterLogic, it’s possible to regain complete control over VDI printing while addressing one of its most glaring vulnerabilities—regardless of whether you’re VDI printing using VMware, Citrix or a niche virtual solution. PrinterLogic stands out among VDI printing solutions on account of its seamless integration, cost effectiveness, high availability and unparalleled ease of management, not to mention its ability to eliminate print servers completely. With it, you’ll be able to keep VDI printing from burdening the WAN while taking print management to a whole new level.