Virtual desktop interface (VDI) solutions like VMware have the ability to offer your organization a consistent, lean computing experience across a variety of distributed locations, but VMware Horizon printing doesn't always succeed in meeting every organization's needs or expectations. The reasons for that generally fall into two broad categories: flexibility and reliability.
Out of the box, VMware printing has two basic options for provisioning printers:
- Printer redirection: End users can print to a predetermined locally attached or network printer via the View virtual machine. No printer driver needs to be installed on the master image. However, there are several potential drawbacks. One is that the print job travels across the WAN twice, which consumes bandwidth and increases WAN dependency. The second is that the document for printing is converted from its original file type to a special print-only file type, creating the possibility of rendering problems. The third is that VMware Horizon printer redirection only works with a select number of operating systems.
- Location-based printing: This offers some of the flexibility that printer redirection lacks. Instead of end users being limited to certain printers, nearby printers are delivered to them as they move. This is especially useful in highly mobile environments such as hospitals and universities. When a Horizon client initiates a print job, the View VM simply receives and renders the job before passing it to the printer. The tradeoff here is that the processes for dynamically assigning printers and their related drivers aren't always dependable.
To nip some of the most common VMware Horizon printing issues in the bud, there are a few recommended courses of action:
- Double-check your printer drivers. Before users can print successfully using VMware Horizon printer redirection, the correct drivers have to be installed on the client. Some of these drivers might not play well with virtual VMware printing, so be sure to vet them for compatibility and update them accordingly.
- Review your group policy objects (GPOs). If you're using location-based printing in VMware, the printer assignments will hinge on your group policy setup. GPOs are a nightmare to configure and maintain, especially in large organizations, and group policy conflicts can routinely result in failed deployments. Though it will be painstaking and anything but fun, you really need to ensure your GPOs are dialed in.
- Use a third-party VMware printing solution. When an IT professional who's new to VDI asks his or her peers how to solve the challenges of VMware printing, most admins don't hesitate before advising them to seek out a third-party solution. The problem is that most of these solutions require additional infrastructure and oversight.
Solve VMware Horizon printing issues with PrinterLogic
PrinterLogic's next-generation print management solution integrates seamlessly with your VMware printing environment to provide the necessary stability, ease of management and reliability to overcome many of the VMware Horizon printing issues noted above.
Its acclaimed centralized management console allows you to add, update and remove printers as well as drivers across your entire VMware environment with just a few clicks. Its effortless deployments enable you to deliver printers to end users with all the dynamic, automated benefits of location-based printing—but without the need for GPOs and scripts. Its direct IP printing paradigm establishes one-to-one connections between clients and network printers, which curtails print-related WAN traffic. Its intuitive self-service portal empowers end users to identify and install nearby printers themselves with a single click.
And, just as importantly, PrinterLogic does all this without the need for any new infrastructure. In fact, you can use our on-premises solution as well as our new SaaS cloud-based solution, PrinterCloud, to completely eliminate print servers from your VMware Horizon printing environment. Permanently removing all that expense and hassle from your print environment could very well be the best practice there is.
Before becoming PrinterLogic's Technical Marketing Engineer, I spent more than two years as a Systems Engineer and Sales Engineer working side by side with IT professionals to eliminate print servers from their environment. I have a Bachelors in Information Technology and love learning about all of the new and innovating solutions that continue to revolutionize the IT industry.