December 01, 2015

Deploying Printers Using Group Policy Objects (GPOs)

Posted by Devin Anderson

In traditional print environments, it’s common to deploy printers via group policy objects (GPOs) to end users. Although GPOs serve a clear purpose, the drawbacks associated with this method are almost too numerous to count.

To begin with, GPOs require elevated permissions to manage. This results in certain members of IT staff being granted increased privileges to manage group policies. Were these staff members dealing exclusively with GPO printer deployment, that might not be an issue, but those elevated privileges also open the possibility for them to make higher-level changes in other areas as well. GPOs are intricate, too, which makes it easy for a junior IT staff member who’s been granted elevated permissions for the sake of convenience to make accidental unwanted changes to GPO printer deployment configurations.

End users dislike GPOs without even realizing it. This is because GPOs can extend end-user logon times as the necessary provisioning is carried out. IT is aware of why this is happening, but end users simply view it as pointless waiting while they drum their fingers on the desk.

PrinterLogic removes GPOs from the printer deployment process without sacrificing their useful functionality. It gives you the power of deploying printers to end users according to a host of pre-specified criteria but with the security and ease of use that comes from PrinterLogic’s effortless printer management. So when you use PrinterLogic for deploying printers, you’ll benefit from features like the following:

  • Active Directory (AD) integration: PrinterLogic seamlessly accesses AD categories and hierarchies, so you can deploy printers simply and quickly to AD users, computers, groups, containers, OUs or even IP address ranges. The intuitive web-based interface shows you all printers in your organization along with all deployment assignments, allowing you can make batch edits as easily as specific changes to individual deployments.
  • Zero GPO rights: With PrinterLogic, anyone on the IT staff—even trainees and service desk personnel who would not have permission to edit group policies—can be confidently empowered to add and remove printer deployment assignments. This distributes responsibility without creating a potential security or operational issue.
  • Orphan printer removal: Printer deployment is one-half of the equation. Printers occasionally have to be removed from workstations too. Using PrinterLogic, all you have to do is remove the deployment assignment in the web-based console and the printer will be automatically removed from all workstations where it was installed. The end user will see a speed boost here as well, now that the orphaned printers are no longer trying to connect to printer shares that don’t exist.

GPO printer deployment has always been time-consuming and overly complex, but its shortcomings had to be endured if you wanted its functionality. Not anymore. PrinterLogic has all the utility of GPOs built right in—but none of the headache. This page has a convenient overview of all the advantages that PrinterLogic brings to printer deployments that once relied on scripts and GPOs.

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PrinterLogic Engineering

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