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How to Deploy Printers without Group Policy

Posted by Chris Summerhays on July 26th, 2017

Group policy objects. GPOs. The mere mention of them is enough to send a shudder through the many admins who've wasted countless hours wrestling with their quirks and their nuances. Compounded with the usual headaches of enterprise print management, it's no wonder that there's a strong and continuous demand for alternative methods to deploying printers with group policy.

But is it possible to set up precise automated deployments without GPOs? Can you deploy a TCP/IP printer accurately and reliably without group policy? And what print management solution will let you deploy printers without group policy in Windows Server 2012 R2 and similar print environments?

The answer to all those questions is PrinterLogic. Our next-generation print management solution combines the stability and simplicity of direct IP printing with a centralized approach to management and oversight that is almost impossible to achieve with print servers. Instead of deploying printers with group policy, you can use the intuitive web-based admin console to set up targeted deployments to individual users or even user pools without any GPOs at all.

If you need to take a moment to do a double take, that's okay. We know this stands in stark contrast to the conventional methods used to deploy printers with group policy in Windows Server 2012 R2. But PrinterLogic's print management solution was designed with advanced functionality and ease of use at its core, allowing you to deploy TCP/IP printers without group policy—quickly, effortlessly, reliably and precisely. Our solution integrates seamlessly with Active Directory (AD), which means you can deliver printers to specific users based on criteria such as AD user, group, container, organizational unit (OU), computer, or even to a host name or range of IP addresses. Setup is as simple as a few clicks.

Not only does this save time on the administrative side, it also ends up saving time for the end user. PrinterLogic's advanced printer deployments get the right printers to the right users every time, so those users don't have to spend their lunch break calling the service desk and asking them to deploy a printer they should already have access to. And because your support staff now has the ability to deploy TCP/IP printers without group policy, they don't need risky elevated rights to add or remove printer assignments.

Another problem when you deploy printers using group policy in Windows Server 2012 R2 is that the default options can be limited and don't always "stick". With PrinterLogic, setting the default options—including such variables as duplex, paper type, color settings and dpi—can be as simple as ticking a check box. Our print-management solution also allows for one-time or permanent defaults, which is far more useful than the usual slate of options when you deploy a TCP/IP printer with group policy. Practically speaking, this means you can create default settings for the first time a printer is installed, each time the user logs on, or only when the user logs on from a particular location.

When you implement PrinterLogic, you don't just get to eliminate GPOs. You can also eliminate your print servers completely and replace them all with one server running a single instance of PrinterLogic—or without any physical server at all using our new SaaS solution, PrinterCloud. To put it another way, you won't have to worry about how to deploy printers with group policy in Windows Server 2012 R2 because you won't be dealing with Windows Server 2012 R2 any longer.

And that comes with clear advantages, such as the reduction of single points of failure, increased visibility and manageability, minimization of wide area network (WAN) traffic in consolidated environments, and the elimination of the costs of procurement, operation and upgrade of print servers. In big-picture terms, the ability to easily deploy TCP/IP printers without group policy is just one of hundreds of benefits of PrinterLogic.

Chris Summerhays
Chris Summerhays
Before becoming PrinterLogic's Technical Marketing Engineer, I spent more than two years as as a Systems Engineer and Sales Engineer working side by side with IT professionals to eliminate print servers from their environment. I have a Bachelors in Information Technology and love learning about all of the new and innovating solutions that continue to revolutionize the IT industry.

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