Reduced costs, simplified management and improved security are just some of the reasons why organizations choose thin clients over traditional IT architectures. And thin-clients often deliver on those counts, because you're talking about less expensive hardware and users' interaction being managed through one pane of glass.
Where it gets tricky is with thin-client printing. The inexpensive hardware relies on a faraway data center to do most of the actual work. That means print jobs are always traveling at least one way across the main Internet connection (the WAN) to the local printer. Limiting end users' freedom is fine for keeping them from accidentally installing viruses, but it's not so great when they need to install new printers.
As for the efficiency of centralized management—well, all that efficiency can get lost when admins are struggling with Group Policy Objects (GPOs) and other complicated protocols to deploy printers. Or if they're spending time dealing with printing support tickets.
How to succeed in thin-client printing without really trying
When you've got a thin-client environment, what you need is a thin-client solution. That sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many printing solutions try to force a shotgun wedding between legacy enterprise printing and modern thin-client environments.
That approach doesn't work. You still end up stuck with extra infrastructure like print servers. You still have to mess with GPOs and scripts to deploy printers. You still have age-old problems with remote desktop printing like slow printing and heavy WAN usage.
To succeed in thin-client printing, it takes a solution like PrinterLogic. Our next-gen serverless printing infrastructure doesn't try to replace remote desktop printing functionality with its own protocols. That just causes compatibility problems.
Instead PrinterLogic enhances the printing functionality that's already there. To do that, PrinterLogic creates direct client-to-printer connections (aka direct IP) and introduces features like centralized printer management.
What exactly does that look like?
- PrinterLogic integrates seamlessly in terminal-server environments as well as popular virtual solutions like Citrix and VMware. That's because it's not trying to hijack how they handle printing. It's augmenting their existing remote desktop printing structure to make printing more reliable and print management more flexible.
- GPOs and scripts are gone. You don't need them to configure printer deployments in PrinterLogic. Eliminating GPOs and scripts speeds up login times while avoiding common conflicts that cause deployments to fail.
- With PrinterLogic, you can quickly set up advanced, targeted printer deployments. For example, with location-based printing end users instantly and automatically get the right printers wherever they happen to be. There's also a self-service portal for end users to safely take printer installs into their own hands. What used to be a chore is precise and dependable when you're using PrinterLogic.
- You get centralized printer management—including a consolidated driver repository—that complements your centralized thin-client management. PrinterLogic's web-based admin console gives the IT team a single window onto the entire print environment for added security and effortless control.
When you've got a direct-IP printing platform with seamless integration, zero GPOs, targeted deployments and centralized printer management, that equates to less time spent on troubleshooting and dealing with print-related support tickets. Your end users waste less time waiting for their jobs to print or for IT to provide them with a new printer. Depending on how printers are provisioned, print jobs can be sent straight to printers, bypassing the WAN completely. That frees up precious bandwidth.
Oh, and here's another PrinterLogic bonus: You can get rid of your print servers. That's a major reduction in infrastructure that pairs perfectly with the benefits of a thin-client environment.
True success lies in the results
The real-world results speak for themselves. RC Willey implemented PrinterLogic in a thin-client environment with the aim of making print management more efficient (read the case study here). The multi-state home-furnishings company is now saving along the lines of 80 hours with every single driver change. PrinterLogic's centralized printer management and its ability to simplify thin-client printing made that possible.
PrinterLogic can help your organization find success with thin-client printing too. It doesn't matter whether you're planning to migrate to a thin-client setup or you've already got one in place. Download a free 30-day PrinterLogic trial today and put it to the test.
Sal Gamez is a Product Owner at PrinterLogic, where he works with software developers on new product specifications and the Agile-based execution of those plans. His career path includes 12 years in product support and customer-support management. Sal has extensive experience in software integration and has managed deployment projects calling for full integration on all Windows OS platforms. He has worked with giants like NASA and AIG—helping to build customized software projects that use cluster environments, single sign-on, load balancers, and enterprise network switches. He holds a Microsoft Engineering (MCSE) certificate of completion, as well as a Cisco Network Associate (CCNA) certificate of completion.