VDI Printing—How PrinterLogic Streamlines VMware Horizon View Printing

Posted by Devin Anderson

In How PrinterLogic Streamlines Citrix Virtual Desktops Printing, we took a brief but focused look at Citrix printing in a Virtual Desktops environment—its benefits, its mechanics, and ways to enhance its provisioning methods and solve its shortcomings seamlessly with PrinterLogic’s print management software. Now let’s do the same for VMware Horizon View by examining how PrinterLogic stacks up when it comes to streamlining VDI printing and eliminating the all too common pain points of enterprise print management.

Like Virtual Desktops, VMware Horizon View provides your end users with a virtualized desktop environment. One major advantage of this is that the entire fleet of workstations can get by with lower hardware specifications than their more expensive desktop-class counterparts while still enjoying higher-end functionality. Management is easier, too, because admins can make single server-side changes to whole pools of machines and thereby avoid having to touch them individually. VDI printing, however, is a different story.

With enterprise-scale VDI solutions like VMware Horizon View, basic printing is more challenging because enterprise print management is more challenging. How does that follow? Well, VMware gives you two broad options for provisioning printers: printer redirection and location-based printing. In the case of printer redirection, even though the printer might be installed locally, the client’s print job is first sent to the (usually offsite) VM server for processing before it’s sent back to the client and ultimately pushed to the desired printer. With location-based printing, the client’s print job is sent to the server for processing before being passed along a chain of waypoints that ends at the destination printer.

Similar to Citrix printing, each provisioning method has its pluses and minuses. Printer redirection, for example, is really only suited to static clients or end users who work outside the corporate network. Location-based printing is better optimized for dynamic environments but configuration is more finicky. And furthermore, each of these VMware printing processes involves complex and often unreliable printer deployment mechanisms, the risk of WAN bottlenecks, and multiple network printing steps that can lead to errors.

Common issues with VMware printing and print management
Admins responsible for enterprise print management in a VMware environment often find themselves grappling with these shortcomings. The group policy objects (GPOs), scripts and VMware policies that are necessary for deployments are difficult to set up and tend to prolong session logon times. They also produce frustrating “vanishing printer” phenomena when they fail.

The VDI printing methodology results in high print-related WAN traffic, which can slow print speeds and consume network bandwidth, creating chokepoints at the WAN interface. Driver management is routinely problematic as well. Compatibility issues, driver duplication and improperly installed drivers can crash print spoolers and bring about a laundry list of mystery errors.

The usual outcome of these issues is a frazzled support team and IT staff who are frequently sidetracked by print-related damage control. Excess help-desk tickets can take their toll on the company balance sheet. But when admins turn to print-management software to get a handle on their VMware printing environment, they frequently discover that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. They’re only wrestling with the same problems in a different way.

PrinterLogic enhances VDI printing in VMware Horizon View
Rather than trying to exchange one flawed VDI printing methodology for another, PrinterLogic deploys seamlessly alongside your existing VMware solution to enhance its native print capabilities. This means that your organization can still take advantage of location-based printing and printer redirection but no longer has to struggle with their drawbacks. GPOs and scripts? PrinterLogic eliminates them and provides superior deployment capabilities, so you can deliver printers to users with pinpoint precision and absolute reliability. WAN congestion? PrinterLogic’s direct-IP printing paradigm is able to route print jobs from workstations to destination printers, bypassing the WAN and reducing print-related network traffic. Driver issues? PrinterLogic’s next-generation print-management software avoids those too by allowing you to set up a single driver repository with granular control over individual print drivers.

In short, with its unique combination of direct-IP printing and centralized management, PrinterLogic provides the effortless enterprise print management that has eluded conventional VDI printing environments for decades. Academic institutions like La Roche College and Oklahoma City Community College have already implemented PrinterLogic to solve their ongoing challenges with VDI printing, with OCCC experiencing a dramatic drop in print-related support tickets. Seventy-Seven Energy even deployed PrinterLogic within a VMware private cloud environment to streamline deployments, improve overall print manageability and eliminate physical print servers.

To see what our leading print management software can do for the VMware Horizon View environment in your organization, sign up for a free, full-featured demo of PrinterLogic today. It will bring unprecedented manageability and ease of use to your VDI printing experience.