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July 13, 2023

Which Printing Approach is Right for Your DaaS/Cloud Deployment?

Desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) and cloud deployments are exciting, cutting-edge technologies that are here today and continue to grow in prominence. According to a Gartner report, 80% of virtual desktops served to remote users will be DaaS by 2024. But the excitement of a new infrastructure or environment for your IT team can wear off quickly if core features and functions don’t work properly for end users. Printing is a common culprit that gives users and IT staff headaches, so it’s critically important to choose the right printing approach for your organization’s deployment. Three of the most common printing methods are printer redirection, print server printing, and direct IP printing. By understanding the benefits and considerations of each approach, you'll be equipped to make an informed decision that suits your DaaS/Cloud deployment.

Printer Redirection: Enabling Flexibility and User Control

According to Forbes nearly 40% of full-time workers are hybrid or remote.Printer redirection allows users to access local printers from a remote desktop or virtual environment. This method redirects print jobs from the remote session to printers connected to the user's local computer. This method is especially effective for organizations with remote and hybrid work models due to its “plug-and-play” nature. According to Forbes, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2% are hybrid, and these numbers are expected to continue growing. Printer redirection offers the following benefits:

  1. Flexibility and Convenience - Users can print directly to their local printers, regardless of their location within the DaaS/Cloud environment. This method enables a seamless printing experience and eliminates the need for complex print driver installations and eliminates driver management on the session side.
  2. Enhanced User Control - Printer redirection empowers users to manage their print settings, such as paper size, orientation, and print quality, according to their preferences.
  3. Support for Legacy Printers - Printer redirection allows businesses to leverage existing local printers, including older or specialized models, without the need for costly hardware upgrades. This compatibility ensures a smooth transition to DaaS/Cloud deployments without disrupting existing printing infrastructure.
It’s important to note that printer redirection may have limitations in terms of centralized management, especially for larger organizations with complex printing requirements. Print jobs may need to pass through the user's network, potentially impacting network bandwidth and performance.

Print Server Printing: Centralized Control and ScalabilityPrint server printing allows for scalability, no matter your environment.

Print server printing involves the utilization of a dedicated print server within your DaaS/Cloud environment. Print jobs are sent to the server, which then processes and sends them to the appropriate printers. The benefits of print server printing include:

  1. Centralized Management - Print server printing provides centralized control and administration of printers and print queues. IT administrators can easily manage printer settings, driver installations, and apply consistent printing policies across the organization.
  2. Scalability and Load Balancing - Print servers can handle a high volume of print requests, making them suitable for organizations with high print volumes. Load balancing capabilities ensure efficient distribution of print jobs across multiple servers, reducing congestion and improving printing performance.
  3. Enhanced Security and Monitoring - Print servers offer advanced security features such as user authentication, access control, and print job monitoring. These features help protect sensitive information and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.

Print server printing may require additional hardware and software investments, as well as dedicated IT resources for ongoing maintenance and support. These are some of the reasons why your business should consider utilizing print management software if you choose print server printing. 

Direct IP Printing: Simplified Printing for Distributed Environments

Direct IP printing allows devices within a DaaS/Cloud environment to communicate directly with network printers using their IP addresses. This method bypasses the need for a print server. Key benefits of direct IP printing include:

  1. Simplified Setup - Direct IP Printing offers a straightforward setup process without the need for additional print servers or complex configurations. Devices can connect directly to printers via IP addresses, enabling quick and easy deployment in distributed environments that can also help reduce IT costs.
  2. Reduced Dependency - By eliminating the reliance on print servers, direct IP printing reduces the potential points of failure and dependency on network infrastructure. This approach is particularly advantageous in scenarios where consistent network connectivity cannot be guaranteed.
  3. Scalability and Flexibility - Direct IP Printing allows organizations to scale their printing infrastructure easily, as new printers can be added to the network without complex configurations or modifications to existing print servers, allowing native driver communication and full native feature functionality.

Direct IP Printing may lack the centralized management capabilities provided by print servers, making it less suitable for organizations that require strict control over print policies and configurations, or businesses that have a large remote or hybrid workforce.

Choosing the right printing approach for your DaaS/Cloud deployment involves considering factors such as user requirements, organizational scale, and the level of centralized control desired. By understanding the unique benefits and considerations of each printing approach, you can align your printing strategy with your DaaS/Cloud deployment, ensuring efficient document management and collaboration within your organization. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so take the time to evaluate your specific needs and leverage the power of printing technology to enhance your business operations.

To learn more about DaaS deployments and associated printing methods, download our Ultimate Guide to Navigating the DaaS and VDI Landscape.  

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