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Virtual Printing and PrinterLogic

Posted by Chris Summerhays on August 9th, 2016

Virtual desktops and published applications from Citrix and VMware are becoming more attractive as they have been proven to be resilient and provide an attractive solution for organizations, especially for organizations that prefer the use of a zero client/thin client architecture or simply need a viable solution to support numerous locations. But how does printing work for these solutions?

With Citrix, you have a solution that can provide a consistent computing environment and published applications, but this adds another layer of difficulty in printing. Because the actual computing environment is typically located in a data center and not on premises, finding and deploying printers with Citrix can become difficult.

There are two ways to solve the problem with PrinterLogic depending on how you setup Citrix.

  • Auto-created printers
  • Session printers

Depending on how you are configured determines how to use PrinterLogic to simplify the process of printer deployment. Let’s start with auto-created printers. Simply install (or deploy) the PrinterLogic client on the end-user workstation. You will be able to deploy printers automatically through the workstation which will get recreated through the Citrix policy of auto-creating printers. Now all the workstation printers will get replicated inside of the session and use a Citrix Universal Printer Driver.

With this method, print jobs are created with the Citrix Universal Printer Driver on the session in the data center. Then uses ICA to encrypt and compress the print job which is sent to the workstation of the user. Then the print job is printed via direct IP to the specified printer. This gives users both the capability of finding and installing their own printers through the self-service installation portal to print from Citrix or use the ones that are already installed.

The second method is to install the PrinterLogic client right in the Citrix session. The client automatically gathers information about the end-user workstation from the Citrix session and uses that information to install the appropriate printers. The end-user installs the printer from the session, not the workstation, or the printers are automatically deployed based on deployment rules defined for the workstation, not the session. The advantage of this method is you do not have to use the Citrix universal driver and the session, not the workstation, sends the print job directly to the printer via direct IP printing.

VMware Horizon View is similar to using Citrix and offers the same virtual desktop and published applications.Here are two methods of managing printers on VMware Horizon View:

  • Using ThinPrint AutoConnect: Printer Installer works in harmony with this feature.
  • Replacing ThinPrint location-based printing: Printer Installer replaces this feature and solves the problems associated with managing endpoint device printer drivers, pre-configuring printer device settings, and more.

Using ThinPrint AutoConnect, printers are installed with deployment rules or the self-service installation portal on the device. ThinPrint then replicates the printers in the VM session and uses a virtual printer driver called “TP Output Gateway”. Print jobs are redirected to the endpoint device and rendered and then rendered to the printer.

The second method replaces ThinPrint location-based printing by managing the drivers right on the VM session. Now drivers are installed right in the session and printing direct IP printing done directly from the datacenter. Because the Printer Installer client reads the appropriate registry settings in the session, it understands the location of the physical endpoint (including thin clients) and can install the appropriate printers or guide the user in the self-service installation portal.

As you can see, PrinterLogic is able to make managing printers in your virtual environments a lot easier and stress free, plus it offers so much more. PrinterLogic offers a solution that eliminates the need for print servers while providing a way to centrally managing and install Direct IP printers. With PrinterLogic’s print management solution, you can seamlessly convert your existing Microsoft or Novell print server environment over to Direct IP and manage all of the printers and drivers from a central administrator console that can be accessed from any computer on your network. Not only will you be able to manage your printers, you will also have numerous print job audit reports at your fingertips. To find out more about our solution, visit us at www.printerlogic.com for a demo and a free trial and see if it’s the right fit for you.

Chris Summerhays
Chris Summerhays
Systems Engineer. Bachelors in Information Technology. I'm passionate about IT and the way PrinterLogic is transforming the industry.

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