I am using VMware View 4.6, Windows 7 desktop pools, natively installed HP and Xerox universal/global print drivers in my master template, networked IP-based HP and Xerox printers, and the Group Policy OEM installation of ThinPrint found at Group Policy Management Editor > Computer Configuration > Policies > Software Settings > AutoConnect Map Additional Printers for VMware View > Configure AutoConnect Map Additional Printers.
In Active Directory I have created a security group for every networked printer. We then add users our groups of users (e.g. DEPT-Finance) to the printer security groups. When a user logs into their VDI desktop, ThinPrint maps all of the printers the user or their department has been assigned to access.
My question is, "How long is this supposed to take? How quickly should ThinPrint be able to map 10 printers to a users desktop? What is the benchmark?"
In my testing, it takes ThinPrint about one minute to map one printer (the virtual CPU also nears 100 percent for each mapped printer). ThinPrint deletes all printers and begins remapping new printers when any of the following events occur:
The only time that ThinPrint does not remove all printers and remap them all is if the user Locks or Disconnects their desktop and then logs back it at the same workstation.
Many users will have 10 printers that need to be mapped to them. This means that when a user logs into their desktop, they may have to wait 10 minutes to print something to the printer they desire.
I'm implementing VDI at a hospital and many offsite practices. Doctors enter and exit patient rooms rapidly. VDI will be great for them since they can log into their desktop and it will quickly follow them from room to room. But they can't wait for their printers to remap each time.
I've tried using Group Policy Preferences with Targeting to map networked printers on print servers instead. But this option caused a five minute inital logon as Microsoft installed drivers and printers. Poor first impression of VDI. Performance was great thereafter, at least until an administrator refreshed or rebuilt the desktop pool, which would require Group Policy Preferences to remap printers.
At least ThinPrint allows them to immedately log into their desktop and begin using applications.
Is the performance I'm getting normal? Is there a way to configure ThinPrint to perform better? Can it only map new printers instead of removing all and remapping all? Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
I haven't seen any published benchmarks on how long it should take to sucesfully map a printer. I know you said you tried the GPO method and it took to long to install drivers. Why not put the drivers inside of the parent image?
Thank you for the reply. I have attempted pre-installing the universal print drivers (HP & Xerox PCL5, PCL6, and PS) in the master image of the desktop pool when using the Group Policy Preferences with Targeting method of deploying printers. Unfortunately, I observed no noticable difference.
It didn't matter if the drivers were preinstalled or not. When the user logs into a VDI desktop for the frist time, GPPwT attempts to map all of the printers before providing the user his/her desktop (they see a Welcome screen for about five mintues).
The advantage of GPPwT is that the printers are mapped every time they log on or log off. GPPwT appears to be triggered only when the pool is refreshed or rebuit. So if I plan to perform patches to the pool on Microsoft Patch Tuesday, that means that 12 times a year, users will have a five minute logon.
I'm not real pleased with either solution, but introducing VDI with a five minute delay doesn't set a great first impression, which is why I'm attempting the ThinPrint solution.
Thanks again, however, for offering the suggestion.
My best out-of-the box solution was to just give all VMs two vCPUs to speed up ThinPrint mapping. Neither HP nor Xerox cared to improve the printer installation time. Mostly because the typical desktop user installs a printer once, so who cares if it takes 45 seconds. But when VDI users need to install five printers every time a desktop moves, it's a problem.
I think a user virtualization solution like AppSense would help, but we weren't ready to make the financial committment.