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Virtual Printing Options without a Print Server

Posted by Brian Wistisen on July 5th, 2019

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) adoption continues to pick up steam across multiple fields, including healthcare, legal, heavy industry and academia. We're currently in a period where the combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of the global VDI industry is expected to increase by 27% by 2023, a trend that's driven mainly by BYOD and cloud-computing initiatives alongside growing demand for workplace flexibility. One of our enterprise virtualization partners, IGEL, has even gone so far as to call 2019 the "Year of VDI" based on the results of a wide-ranging survey.

As the adoption of VDI solutions increases, so too does the need for compatible print-management solutions. The complexity of printing in a VDI environment and the limited efficacy of most virtual printing options are topics that we've covered extensively in the past, and so I won't delve into too much detail on that here.

What I will say is that, while the goal of rolling out VDI is typically consistency of experience for the end user and ease of management for the admin, printing in the virtual environment can often counteract some of those intended gains.

Virtual printing software for VDI environments
PrinterLogic's unique serverless print infrastructure integrates seamlessly with virtual environments like Citrix and VMware to eliminate print servers and enhance the native print functionality in the VDI solution.

This dual capability is how PrinterLogic avoids the issues that are all but inescapable with other virtual printing software and print-management solutions.

First of all, by eliminating print servers, PrinterLogic also removes print servers' single points of failure, their WAN dependency and their frequent shared spooler problems. Second, by enhancing the native VDI print capabilities instead of trying to strip them away from the VDI solution, PrinterLogic plays well with practically any virtual deployment scenario and doesn't force organizations into sacrificing existing print functionality.

Why choose PrinterLogic as a virtual printing option?
GH Metal Solutions, one of America's leading manufacturers of metal parts, had an existing VMware-based environment that spanned 14 locations across the country. They were happy with VMware as a VDI solution, but excessive printing downtime and a high volume of support calls prompted them to look into other virtual printing options.

Installing PrinterLogic enabled the company to streamline its entire print environment and eliminate the print servers that had been the source of so many additional technical problems and support costs. It was a win–win.

The experience of GH Metal Solutions (read the case study here) is indicative of many VDI-reliant, enterprise-scale companies before and after implementing PrinterLogic. The reason for that is simple. Beyond its ability to eliminate print servers and enhance native VDI print capabilities, PrinterLogic's centrally managed direct-IP printing architecture brings other benefits that truly capitalize on that foundation.

  • Location-based printing: In a VDI environment with a fluid, highly mobile user base, location-based printing (also called proximity printing) is a sought-after feature. Many virtual printing software solutions promise this kind of functionality, but it falls short in practice. PrinterLogic's ability to provision printers using specific Active Directory criteria plus MAC and IP address allow for true location-based printing even in dynamic environments.
  • No GPOs or scripts: The Group Policy Objects (GPOs) and scripts that many other print-management solutions rely on to deploy printers can slow down logon times or result in failed deployments. PrinterLogic eliminates the need for GPOs and scripts while also providing the ability to configure precise, reliable deployments for individuals or whole user pools.
  • Centralized management: Even though a big selling point of VDI is ease of administration, it's not uncommon for virtual printing options to fragment the process of print management. PrinterLogic's unique paradigm provides a single window onto the print environment, no matter how large or distributed, so admins can enjoy the effortless, enterprise-wide print management from a single pane of glass that they also expect from their VDI solution.
  • Bandwidth conservation: VDI solutions, especially with thin or zero clients, are known for being heavily WAN-dependent. Bandwidth becomes a precious resource as a result. While PrinterLogic centralizes the management of the print environment, it also decentralizes printer­–client connections, enabling data-heavy print jobs to bypass the WAN altogether in many situations. In cases where WAN usage is necessary, PrinterLogic can leverage the native VDI print capabilities to compress data and conserve bandwidth.

There are additional features that set PrinterLogic apart from conventional virtual printing software, too—for example, its self-service printer installation portal and optional features such as print auditing and mobile printing.

One of the best ways to discover, explore and test all those features and benefits for yourself is to download PrinterLogic and try it out in your own VDI environment today. All you have to do is take a few seconds to sign up. That will give you the opportunity to demo our serverless print software completely free of charge for 30 days.

Once you've tried it, you'll see how PrinterLogic as well as our SaaS solution, PrinterCloud, can eliminate print servers from your VDI print environment while also providing you with more virtual printing options, more print availability and more efficient print management than ever before.

Brian Wistisen
Brian Wistisen
Brian has nearly 20 years of product management experience in leading IT companies such as Intel, Symantec, CA Technologies, Dell, and SanDisk. He joined PrinterLogic in 2018 as VP Product, where he leads a team that researches customer needs and defines product strategy. Brian enjoys working in his community to help mentor young men through volunteer service, athletic programs, and scouting. He has a B.S. degree in Business and Information Management from Brigham Young University, where he later received an MBA. He and his wife live in Saint George, Utah and have five children.

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