In the configuration for CIFS optimization, Steelhead offers an option to enable print optimization. From documentation I understood that when this option is checked the Steelhead will optimize the print traffic between print clients and a remote print server. Is this right?

Assuming my understanding is right, a different scenario comes to my mind. Let's say the print client and the print server are in the same site, but the printer is in a remote site. In this scenario, is the Steelhead able to perform optimization for print traffic between the print server and the remote printer?


3 Answers 3


I can confirm that the Steelheads will reduce printer traffic volume.

I have seen a consistent 90+% reduction in traffic volume for JetDirect (TCP/9100) and LDP (TCP/515) protocols on my network.

These protocols are highly used on my network and I am unaware of any issues that have occurred in about 18 months since we deployed the Steelheads.


If there is a Riverbed device at both ends of your link, you will gain some optimisation regardless of the traffic that is being sent.

Now, it may not be optimised to it's fullest extent (aka, the Print Optimisation feature), but none the less the technology deployed by Riverbed (bit level blocks of data) will in fact decrease the amount of data sent over the WAN. Furthermore, if the user is operating at the site where the printer exists, and the file that is to be printed exists where the print server is, then you can expect a very good level of optimisation as the RB will have already cached the data at a bit level. That is of course, unless you are in a Citrix / TS type environment.

I'm not sure this is exactly the information you were looking for, but hopefully it helps a bit.


I'm so glad you asked this! We have IBM 4230-5I3's and 4247's that communicate back to a UVX platform or a Windows Print Server platform. Our Steel heads have printer optimization and it works well for both the WAN (over MPLS) or LAN (within the building on a different subnet/VLAN), but we've noticed the biggest benefit is always out to and from the WAN.

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