Why Print Data Compression Matters

Why is it important to compress print data? The answer might seem obvious to anyone who’s worked in enterprise printing for any length of time, but let’s begin with an analogy.

Imagine an ordinary highway tunnel. This represents your finite WAN bandwidth. Now imagine trying to drive a huge 18-wheeler—that is to say, an ordinary uncompressed print job—into that tunnel. Then imagine sending another 18-wheeler and then another into that tunnel until you have a several of them side by side. Clearly, those trucks are going to run into trouble before long. Even if they don’t become lodged, they’ll certainly bring traffic in both directions to a halt.

So where does print data compression come in? Well, now imagine those 18-wheelers reduced to the dimensions of compact cars before entering the tunnel. With the same-sized tunnel, you’ll be able to fit more of them with greater frequency and still maintain the flow of traffic. When you compress print data, the effect is similar: Optimized bandwidth, improved network performance, speedier printing.

Those outside of IT might not see an issue here. Surely ordinary spreadsheets and Word documents are nothing like the 18-wheelers in that analogy! But what they don’t often realize is how large files can grow during routine printing scenarios. The fact is that a 2MB document file is rarely even close to that size once it’s prepared for printing. Without print data compression, even ordinary files can balloon to more than 30 times their original size before they are relayed to a network printer, particularly in virtual print environments that use a mix of universal and native drivers. Print data compression keeps them at a more manageable size.

PrinterLogic integrates seamlessly with virtual environments like Citrix and VMware, allowing organizations to continue using a combination of universal and native drivers but without any of the customary drawbacks of runaway file sizes. Print jobs can be compressed before they’re sent across WAN connections, so they are not only smaller on the outbound journey to the central server, they remain small when they return across the WAN to the local printer.

And PrinterLogic also enables you to create direct IP connections to local printers, avoiding WAN print traffic altogether. Better still, PrinterLogic can work in tandem with your existing WAN caching technologies to avoid cross-WAN driver download. That means when a printer is installed on a client workstation, the printer driver is cached locally, which also accelerates installation times. Along with print data compression, these features remove the typical WAN bottleneck and result in more reliable, uninterrupted enterprise printing.

The long and short of it is that print data compression really does matter. It’s one of the most crucial factors in optimizing WAN bandwidth usage across the print environment. But a printing solution that simply compresses print data isn’t enough. PrinterLogic takes a comprehensive approach that doesn’t just focus on bandwidth usage, it optimizes enterprise printing as a whole for a more efficient network, reduced costs and streamlined print management.