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.

Shane Callahan Named Utah Business CXO Of The Year

PrinterLogic’s CFO honored for contributions including building a world-class finance team and providing operational expertise to one of Utah’s fastest growing companies

ST. GEORGE, UT—June 14, 2018—PrinterLogic, a pioneer in enterprise print management software solutions, announced that M. Shane Callahan has been selected as a CXO of the Year for 2018 by Utah Business magazine. Callahan has served as PrinterLogic’s CFO since joining the company in March 2016.

“Shane brings extraordinary talent and leadership to his role,” said Ryan Wedig, CEO of PrinterLogic. “His experience helped mature the company’s finance processes and procedures, which supported our rapid growth and global expansion.”

In two years, Callahan has built a world-class finance team from the ground up, providing a framework of support and resources for one of the fastest growing companies in the state and nation. Previously serving in CFO and VP of Operations positions, Callahan brings with him the understanding of how to scale a technology company and contribute as an expert and leader in the industry.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized among so many talented executives who are making a difference in Utah businesses,” said Callahan. “PrinterLogic is doing incredible things in St. George’s expanding tech community and on a global scale, and this award is a recognition of the amazing teams at this company that bring their best to work every day.”

The Utah Business CXO of the Year program recognizes Utah’s executive leaders that are driving quantifiable results for their organizations while providing unbeatable skills and mentorship to their teams.

For more information about PrinterLogic, visit the company website or connect on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

About PrinterLogic
Thousands of enterprises use PrinterLogic’s patent-pending printer and driver management platform to deliver mobile, pull and virtual printing, while eliminating print servers and providing a self-service portal that empowers end users to install their own printers. The company has been included multiple times on the Inc. 500 and Deloitte Fast 500 lists of fastest growing companies in North America.

Media Contact
Zachary Allen
Method Communications
(801) 461-9751

How to Track Cost-Per-Page for Printing

Figuring cost-to-print involves a lot of network logistics. If you’re tasked with tracking and reducing these costs, it takes time to generate and analyze the information. We’ll look at common practices for cost calculations and then I’ll explain how the PrinterLogic SaaS (formerly PrinterCloud) print-management solution can help by providing detailed stats for all the printers on your network.

Printer purchasing and cost considerations
If you’re buying a lot of printers at once, it may be easier to track costs by signing a lease agreement with the MFP provider. It’s common to have a cost associated with the printer, toner, maintenance, and the paper purchased. The number of printers you have affects the total cost. The longer a printer stays in service, the more economical things are in the long run.

Some providers incentivize customers by including toner and maintenance with the purchase or lease of a printer. They will usually provide a cost per page printed that starts around 4.5 cents per B&W copy and 6.5 cents per color page.

If you buy printers without a reseller agreement—or have printers that don’t have per-page costs associated with them—you can use the two formulas below to track cost per page printed. You will need to know the page yield of a printer cartridge, which is provided by the cartridge maker.

For monochrome or black and white printers, the cost formula could be as simple as:

(Black Cartridge Price / Page Yield) + paper cost = Total Cost Per Page

For color printers, you’ll figure costs per cartridge color, and add that to the cost of the black cartridge:

((Color Cart Price / Pg Yield) x No. of Color Cartridges + (Black Cart Price / Pg Yield)) = Total Cost Per Page


PrinterLogic SaaS Solution
The PrinterLogic SaaS solution provides statistics that facilitate building cost templates for each of your printers. Tracked categories include:

  • Summary (includes B&W total, color total, duplex total, print-job costs)
  • By Week
  • By Hour
  • Application Usage
  • Job and Page Counts (total pages are organized by number of pages per print job)
  • Simplex vs. Duplex
  • Black & White vs. Color
  • Paper Size
  • User
  • Job Title (Active Directory based)
  • Manager (Active Directory based)
  • Department (Active Directory based)
  • Printer (printer utilization is shown by pages in a specified date range)
  • Folder
  • Records (a combination of the above criteria)

Figure 1: PrinterLogic SaaS can calculate cost based on printer templates.

To associate a cost-per-page to a printer, you can create a template in PrinterLogic SaaS’s admin web page. Choose the paper size and its costs per B&W, Color, Simplex, and Duplex page, then associate that template with a particular printer. PrinterLogic SaaS will begin tracking the associated costs.

Figure 2: PrinterLogic SaaS’s template menu covers common page sizes and preferences.

PrinterLogic SaaS can also manage print preference settings so you can enforce lower cost printer settings.

To experience all of PrinterLogic SaaS’s features, go to www.printerlogic.com/printercloud and click “Start Trial.” This gives you 30 days of free access so you can see how the solution provides IT administrators with the ability to eliminate print servers, centrally manage printer and driver deployments, and get reports on what you’re spending on print consumables in today’s SaaS environment.

VDI Printing—How PrinterLogic Streamlines Citrix Virtual Desktops Printing

Posted by Chris Poole

Citrix Virtual Desktops is the go-to virtual desktop interface (VDI) solution for thousands of organizations. Whether large or small, niche or mainstream, they use Virtual Desktops to deliver a consistent, centrally managed desktop experience to their users.

Yet there’s still one challenge that almost all of them continue to face, and that’s with Citrix printing. In this post, we’ll explore those challenges—and identify a single solution to them—by looking at how VDI printing in Virtual Desktops compares to integrating with PrinterLogic.

Of course, in VDI environments like Citrix, virtual device printing doesn’t take just one form. When provisioning printers, organizations can opt to use the Citrix Universal Print Driver (UPD), they can auto-create client printers, or they can assign network printers to individual users through, say, proximity (aka location-based) printing.

Each provisioning method has pros and cons. With the UPD, for instance, thin clients and mobile devices with limited functionality enjoy the ability to print to network printers, but the ability to configure local printer settings is disabled. In other words, advanced features are exchanged for broader support. When setting up location-based Citrix printing, configurations have to be mirrored and painstakingly maintained across every print server in the print environment.

Which Citrix printing method an organization chooses will depend on its priorities and the intricacies of its environment. But here, too, they all face a common challenge—namely, that enterprise print management in Citrix is simply overwhelming, regardless of how printers are provisioned. The group policy objects (GPOs) and scripts that admins use to deploy printers are complex and unreliable. Hard-to-pinpoint rogue printer drivers—or simply having too many print drivers—can cause the print spooler to crash, which then results in costly and frustrating print downtime for end users. The heavy WAN utilization of the traditional VDI printing model slows all network traffic, including print jobs, and can create bottlenecks and single points of failure.

These issues naturally tend to generate an excessive number of help-desk calls, and this has knock-on effects of its own. It drains support resources, drives up IT costs and kills end-user productivity. To try and keep Citrix printing under control, organizations often go out in search of additional print-management software, but many of these solutions are just bolt-on products that restrict them to a particular method of VDI printing and don’t feel like a native complement to Citrix.

Seamless integration, enhanced Citrix printing options
PrinterLogic is a next-generation print-management software solution that integrates seamlessly with Virtual Desktops and preserves the native printing options in Citrix. Unlike traditional VDI printing solutions, PrinterLogic deploys right alongside Citrix to enhance its existing provisioning methods and bring order and ease of use to the Citrix print-management experience.

With PrinterLogic, there’s no need to use GPOs and scripts. Admins can deploy printers easily, accurately and reliably to end users—both individually and en masse—using basic Active Directory (AD criteria) or other parameters like IP ranges and MAC addresses. This makes it possible to capitalize on features that are vital to many VDI printing scenarios, such as proximity printing, while eliminating some of the biggest enterprise print-management headaches in Virtual Desktops.

And PrinterLogic eliminates more than just provisioning headaches. One of PrinterLogic’s chief strengths compared to Citrix printing and other print-management software is its ability to eliminate print servers altogether. The unique direct-IP printing model that PrinterLogic leverages allows print jobs to take the simplest route from the local Virtual Desktops client to the local printer, which reduces print-related WAN traffic, avoids common spooler issues and minimizes the number of potentially problematic network waypoints.

A proven solution to VDI printing challenges
Banner Bank, APi Group, VCPI and Children’s Bureau have all implemented PrinterLogic’s print-management software to regain control of Citrix and VDI printing. APi Group took advantage of PrinterLogic’s centrally managed unified driver repository for its 160 global locations, making the driver update and installation processes in its massive Citrix environment effortless and error-free. In a highly distributed Virtual Apps Citrix printing environment, Banner Bank shrank its remote server infrastructure to zero while also doing the same for print-related WAN traffic—two outcomes that are usually mutually exclusive!

If you’re under the impression that robust Citrix printing and hassle-free enterprise print management are also mutually exclusive, we encourage you to try a full-featured demo of PrinterLogic for 30 days at no cost. We’re confident it will change your opinion of what’s possible with VDI printing.

Secure Print Release: Print Management Solutions

Take a quick straw poll of enterprise-level organizations regarding their IT priorities, and one word will rise to the top: security. Enterprise executives and IT professionals are becoming acutely aware of how vulnerable their users’ data can be, and are taking steps to lock it down.

That sense of urgency goes beyond the cloud. It also extends to printed documents, which is why there’s growing demand for print-management solutions with secure print release to help safeguard sensitive information.

Secure printing got its footing in healthcare, finance and legal services, where government regulations and client privacy carried stiff penalties. Medical providers employed secure printing to protect their patients’ private information and maintain industry compliance. But as security becomes a big issue across the board, secure printing—at least in select departments—is a topic for most any organization.

What is secure print release?
Secure print release is pretty straightforward. Essentially, it takes an ordinary one-click print job and divides it into two steps. First, the user initiates the print job as usual. Then the job is held until the user completes a second step by authenticating at a printer to indicate they are the intended party to receive the output. This keeps sensitive or classified documents from being left for anyone’s eyes in the printer’s tray.

Some may think this kind of liability is a non-issue, but it isn’t. At least one print-management study reported that one-fifth of print jobs are left unclaimed by the initiating user. Another study, based in the UK, found that almost half (45%) of respondents reported seeing confidential documents abandoned on a shared printer. If these documents contain patient records, bank account data, or trade secrets, it’s easy for that data to fall into the wrong hands—possibly resulting in compromising situations, regulatory fines, costly litigation, or theft of intellectual property.

Secure print release using pull printing from PrinterLogic
As secure printing emerges as an important hedge against these threats, print-management software providers are getting on the bandwagon. But not all functionality is created equal. Some implementations are difficult to configure and cumbersome for users to implement. Others offer the appearance of secure printing because the print jobs are authenticated at the device, but in-between they are held on a shared server where lots of sensitive data becomes a digital attack surface.

PrinterLogic’s pull-printing functionality overcomes these shortcomings and provides secure printing that’s easy to configure and more secure than competing solutions. That’s because PrinterLogic leverages a serverless printing architecture and keeps print jobs on the workstation—and not a server where hundreds of jobs accumulate—until the user authorizes their release.

What’s more, PrinterLogic’s direct-IP paradigm bypasses the WAN—a significant point of risk for traditional print-management solutions—and routes all jobs, including sensitive ones, straight to the destination printer. The only exception is printing in a VDI environment, where some WAN traffic is unavoidable. Even so, with PrinterLogic, WAN traffic is greatly reduced.

The all-important authentication step is easy too. Because PrinterLogic integrates seamlessly with any environment, organizations have the option of using a printer’s embedded control panel, a badge/card reader, or even a mobile device to release print jobs securely.

Users can release their job to any printer configured for pull printing, giving them more control, even after the print job is initiated. If a meeting room changes at the last minute, the user can go to a more convenient location to get their output.

A distinct side-benefit to all this is that PrinterLogic’s pull printing cuts down on waste and saves money by preventing abandoned print jobs.

EPIC Management, L.P. is just one PrinterLogic customer that has been thrilled to discover the advantages of secure print release. This California-based healthcare management and consulting organization implemented pull printing to better serve its distributed customer base and comply with stringent regulatory requirements regarding electronic medical records (EMR) and protected healthcare information (PHI). PrinterLogic’s pull printing has allowed the company to “revolutionize the patient care procedures” for the doctors and nurses it serves.

Regardless of your industry sector, your own organization can experience the peace of mind of pull printing along with the proven cost- and time-saving benefits of our enterprise print-management solution. Take our free, full-featured demo for a 30-day test drive and see how PrinterLogic’s unique serverless printing and advanced pull-printing functionality can work for you.

A Better Way to Manage Printer Preferences

It’s common knowledge that one of the best ways to cut print costs across the organization is to default to printing duplex in grayscale. Getting users to comply with these guidelines can be challenging.

As a systems engineer with PrinterLogic, I’ve helped IT administrators in many industries and organizations come up with ways to enforce new printing policies. Fortunately, PrinterLogic SaaS (formerly PrinterCloud) lets you apply customized printing preferences for all the major operating systems (Windows 7+, Mac OS-X, Linux) at the micro and macro level.

PrinterLogic SaaS’s printer profiles can be used to create a template that’s applied automatically when someone installs a printer, or when a printer is auto-deployed. PrinterLogic SaaS’s administration console can locate the printer driver on the printer itself, or in the Driver/Profile Repository. Whenever you add a profile, you can create default preferences for that driver, as illustrated below.

Figure 1: PrinterLogic SaaS gives admins the ability to set default driver preferences

Any feature or option the printer driver supports can be used to better manage printing resources. Once set, default preferences are sent immediately. Users can change the print preferences for a particular print job if they need to. PrinterLogic SaaS lets administrators decide when to re-apply profiles—after every print job, or at the start of each login.

Figure 2: PrinterLogic SaaS gives admins control over when driver profiles are reapplied

Once printing preferences are set by the administrator, users are more likely to print in compliance with company policies. Admins can verify that policies are followed using reports that track a variety of statistics—down to what was printed and who printed it.

The most general report is the “Overview–All” report found in the Print Job Records menu. You can specify a target date range to give a report on the following categories:

  • Summary (includes black and white total, color total, print job costs, and duplex)
  • By Week
  • By Hour
  • Application Usage
  • Job and Page Counts (shows ranges, where the per-job page counts are grouped)
  • Simplex vs. Duplex
  • Black and White vs. Color
  • Paper Size

If you need more details, other reports are available based on:

  • User
  • Job Title (Active Directory based)
  • Manager (Active Directory based)
  • Department (Active Directory based)
  • Printer (how much each printer is utilized by pages for a specified date range)
  • Folder
  • Records (a combination of the above criteria)

Figure 3: PrinterLogic SaaS offers multiple reporting options in the administration console

Any of the reports shown here can be automatically sent to any email address on a scheduled time interval (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually). They can be attached to the email as a CSV file, or a PDF, depending on your needs.

These tools help IT staff promote cost-cutting policies and streamline ways to encourage users to follow these guidelines. They can view compliance reports over time to demonstrate improvements.

If you want to eliminate your print servers, reduce print job-related costs, and have an easier way to manage direct IP printers, then all you have to do is go to www.printerlogic.com/printercloud and click “Start Trial”. You will have full access to our product, and its documentation. Build and test everything before deciding if it’s right for you.