WAN Printing Best Practices

If WAN printing is slow in your organization, you can take some comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. WAN printing is one of the trickiest aspects of enterprise printing to get under control. Browse any online IT forum and you’ll frequently come across dozens of threads by professionals who are at their wits’ end after trying to pin down the causes of sluggish print processes, which have a knack for leaving end users at their wits’ end too.

What exactly makes WAN printing slow? Depending on your print architecture, there are any number of potential factors—and that’s what makes effective WAN printing optimization such a challenge. Distributed organizations with a consolidated server environment or organizations that rely heavily on virtual solutions like Citrix and VMware all tend to suffer from regular WAN printing issues, but even organizations that make use of poor driver caching technologies can see their WAN printing performance negatively impacted. In all cases, however, an inefficient use of bandwidth somewhere along the printing chain is to blame.

This makes best practices in WAN printing something of a paradox. On the one hand, the sheer number of possible variables makes it tough to draw up a definitive list that will apply to every print environment. On the other hand, the single root cause makes it easy to pinpoint the problem—provided you have the right solution.

PrinterLogic gets right to the heart of these myriad issues with intelligent WAN printing optimization, regardless of your enterprise printing infrastructure. In many cases, PrinterLogic can eliminate the need for WAN printing outright by simply eliminating the print traffic that typically passes through the WAN.

Let’s take a Citrix virtual environment as an example. Under normal circumstances, print jobs will be sent across the WAN multiple times as they are relayed from different endpoint devices to different printers via the central server. With PrinterLogic, however, you can create direct IP printers that can be auto created into the Citrix session. This takes advantage of the ICA printing protocol that will compress print jobs prior to relaying them via the WAN. Or you can choose driverless printing so that drivers don’t have to be downloaded over the WAN when a printer is installed.

By leveraging proven direct IP printing in other environments besides virtual ones, PrinterLogic breaks the dependency on WAN printing there as well. That alleviates a major drain on bandwidth, so not only is printing much more responsive, your entire network is too. PrinterLogic can even integrate with your current WAN caching technologies to speed up driver deployment and printer installation in distributed environments by caching drivers locally.

And no matter where PrinterLogic is implemented, it brings additional features that go above and beyond WAN printing optimization, such as centralized administration, automated printer and driver deployments, a self-service portal that empowers your end users to perform routine printer installations themselves as well as optional modules that expand its already robust functionality to accommodate your mobile/BYOD users and secure printing needs.