Print Servers Not Printing? Eliminate Them!

Posted by Andrew Miller

We certainly hear our share of print server horror stories. Print servers crashing due to driver and software conflicts, instantly forcing printing to a halt. Print servers not showing all printers, even though the printers have been deployed properly. Print servers hanging on backlogged or stuck print queues, requiring an admin to purge all current print jobs. Or print servers not working as expected, much to the frustration of end users and support staff alike.

Usually these horror stories play out simply enough. They start with an end user (or multiple end users) clicking “Print” but no print job appearing on the desired printer. That’s followed by a lot of angry but familiar complaints to their co-workers: “Where’s my print job? Why doesn’t this stupid thing ever print when you need it to? Why is it so hard just to print out a simple document?”

Once the end user is frustrated and irate, then comes the call to the service desk. Those familiar complaints are repeated to the technician on the other end. Then the support staff has to swing into action and troubleshoot the problem. Depending on how long it takes to trace the issue back to its root cause, anywhere from several minutes to several hours can pass before printing is able to resume. Meanwhile, end users are experiencing flared tempers and diminished productivity.

Why is it that, when a print server is not working for the umpteenth time, organizations don’t immediately start looking for an alternative print management solution? It’s like an unhealthy relationship. As much hassle as print servers are, as much time and money as they waste, some organizations keep going back to them like they’re the only game in town. If only their mothers had warned them about how bad print servers can be!

When you’re regularly faced with problems like a print server not working, or a print server not showing all printers, maybe it’s time to kick those print servers to the curb. And PrinterLogic gives you that option. Our print management solution allows organizations of any size and in any sector to completely eliminate print servers.

Even more importantly, there’s no loss of printing functionality in doing so. In fact, PrinterLogic’s print management solution delivers enhanced functionality and increased ease of use with a much smaller footprint. By migrating away from print servers to PrinterLogic, you stand to gain:

  • Centralized administration: Monitor and manage the entire print environment—no matter how distributed your organization—from a single pane of glass. Our web-based management console has a convenient but powerful GUI that allows admins to perform most functions with a few clicks.
  • End-user empowerment: Your end users are more self-sufficient than you might think. PrinterLogic’s intuitive, consistent self-service portal gives end users the ability to easily locate and safely install nearby printers without ever having to call the service desk.
  • Streamlined print management: Stop struggling with group policy objects (GPOs) and scripts to achieve targeted deployments and installations. PrinterLogic’s print management solution consistently delivers the right printers to the right users – even in virtual environments like Citrix and VMware.
  • Advanced printing tools: Modern workplaces are dynamic. They also prize security. Sometimes those qualities are at odds. But not with PrinterLogic: Our optional Pull Printing and Mobile Printing modules integrate seamlessly with your print environment to bring your entire organization unprecedented ease of use and oversight.

So next time you’re dealing with a print server crashing, a print server not showing all printers, a print server not printing, or just a print server not working as it should, keep this in mind: You’ve got choices. With PrinterLogic, you can eliminate print servers along with all their attendant costs and headache while improving your organization’s print environment.

Enterprise Print Server Deployment Strategies

Posted by Devin Anderson

Deploying print servers in the enterprise is no small task. Given the number of variables and moving parts that must be dealt with to ensure a smooth roll-out, it’s best to have a strategy in place beforehand. And that’s true even when using something automated like a print server migration tool to expedite the process of deploying a new print server to replace or supplement an existing one.

The first choice you’ll have to make is whether you want the network print server to be centralized or localized. A centralized print server is simpler in theory because it involves deploying a single print server for the entire organization. The advantage of this method is that it’s more consolidated and allows for easier oversight. Yet the overarching problem when implementing the centralized strategy is that printing could be halted or disrupted across the enterprise while the network print server is being deployed and the printers, drivers, users and workstations are being configured.

There are more persistent problems when deploying print servers according to a centralized strategy. In distributed environments, remote sites rely heavily on the WAN link to the central print servers. If the WAN link goes down at the remote site, so does printing. If the WAN becomes overtaxed for any reason, the potential exists for printing to slow down. You will also need at least one up-to-date, fully coordinated secondary print server for the sake of redundancy in the event of a primary print server outage, which significantly increases the costs associated with maintenance and operation.

Instead you might opt for the second general strategy: deploying print servers locally. This avoids some of the WAN risks of centralized deployment but it creates a very fragmented environment that is more difficult to manage. In many cases, it requires onsite support for each network print server location, because the inherent problem with print servers—namely, single points of failure—doesn’t change in a decentralized distributed environment.

Let’s say you already have one of these strategies in place and you’re deploying print servers using a print server migration tool with the intention of upgrading or consolidating. As handy as these automated tools can be, it’s not unusual for them to end up saving very little time in the long run. They can choke on customized driver profiles or fail to import devices according to existing group policy object (GPO) configurations. Any custom scripts you might have in place will also likely have to be rewritten. The cleanup and verification process after using a print server migration tool could take as long as it would have taken to add everything manually from scratch.

But any strategy you use when deploying print servers is predicated on the notion that print servers are actually necessary.

They’re not.

With PrinterLogic, it’s possible to eliminate every network print server in your organization through a single instance of our next-generation print management solution. You can even use our simple migration tool to import all your devices and configurations unchanged into a brand new PrinterLogic deployment. From there, you can leverage our intuitive centralized console to install and deploy printers without ever having to touch a GPO or script again.

That’s why the best enterprise print server deployment strategy isn’t deployment at all – it’s eliminating them for good using PrinterLogic. In return, you’ll get reduced infrastructure, decreased costs of maintenance, increased ease of management and greater reliability.

What to Do If Your Printer Is Not Compatible with Citrix

Posted by Jordan Pusey

Organizations that rely on Citrix as their virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and/or published application solution are all too aware that printing in Citrix can be hit or miss. That’s why they tend to memorize the Citrix printer driver compatibility list—or ignore it at their peril. Ensuring hardware compatibility is usually the first step toward troubleshooting a printer that isn’t working with Citrix printing.

Citrix’s software has evolved, though, and so too has the Citrix printer driver compatibility list. Because manufacturers can’t always be counted upon to update and maintain drivers for legacy devices, printer models that were once supported aren’t necessarily compatible with the current version of Virtual Apps. That kind of obsolescence can get awfully expensive when whole printer fleets have been purchased with the intent of printing in Citrix.

The finicky nature of Citrix printing also makes it difficult for organizations with diverse or niche printer fleets. Either they have to cross-reference every single printer with the compatibility list whenever a new Virtual Apps version rolls out, or they have to opt for the universal Citrix print driver. The Citrix Universal Print Driver is incredibly useful in these situations because it ensures broad compatibility across heterogeneous hardware environments, but configuring it still suffers from the same unpredictability as Citrix printing in general. For example, certain applications might not be able to see and print to certain printers—or even certain models of printers—for reasons that aren’t always clear.

PrinterLogic’s print management solution takes the uncertainty out of printing in Citrix. It doesn’t matter if your printer is on the Citrix printer driver compatibility list or not because our software helps to bridge the compatibility divide through its versatility and acclaimed ease of use.

With PrinterLogic, there are two general methods of Citrix printing. You can use whichever one your organization prefers and finds most efficient for use in Virtual Apps.

Auto-created printers: Using this method, admins install (or deploy) the PrinterLogic software client to the end-user workstation. Printers can then be deployed to the workstation automatically and are recreated through the policy of printer auto-creation that is common in Citrix printing. All the workstation printers will be replicated inside the session and use the universal Citrix print driver, which precludes the need to cross-check devices with the Citrix printer driver compatibility list.

Session printers: In this scenario, admins install the PrinterLogic client right into the Citrix Virtual Apps 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 advantage here is that PrinterLogic plays a larger role in the Citrix printing process, so, for instance, end users are able to use PrinterLogic’s intuitive self-service installation portal to locate and install their own printers. They also don’t have to use the universal Citrix print driver; the print job is sent to the printer via a direct IP connection.

Even in large-scale and longtime Citrix environments, there’s no longer any need to fret about whether or not your printer is (or will continue to be) on the Citrix printer driver compatibility list. PrinterLogic’s next-gen print management solution integrates seamlessly with Virtual Apps and Virtual Desktops to restore order and reliability to Citrix printing. For more details on printing in Citrix using PrinterLogic, click here.

Server 2012r2 Print Server or Direct IP

Whether you are a seasoned system administrator for a large organization or just getting started in your role as a system administrator in a smaller, but growing organization, there will always be one outstanding issue that plagues your network and overloads your help desk ticketing system. That issue is printing and how you manage it.

Seriously, who would have thought that something that seems so simple can end up keeping you on edge during work hours, stuck in the office after hours and up at night when you should be sleeping. The way your co-workers react when they can’t print is mind blowing. So this begs the question, what is the best way to manage printing and keep it as stable as possible? There is really only two options to pick from here; a Windows print server or direct IP.

Depending on the size and number of locations your organization spans, the Windows print server might seem like the obvious answer. You could spin up either a single central print server or a number of distributed print servers equal to your remote locations, but print servers are not always the most stable or cost effective option for managing printers. On the flip side, to save some money you could install all of the printers as direct IP and eliminate the need for additional servers, which in turn gives you a considerably better printing experience. However, this can increase the amount of work needed to manage your printers. Of these two options, which one is the best to go with? Before we can come to a definitive answer, lets first look at the benefits of each.

A print server can offer benefits such as:

  • Management of printers from a central location
  • Printer Driver management
  • Printer settings management
  • Job/queue management
  • Printer deployments with scripts or GPOs
  • Automated driver updates
  • Logs and print job auditing

Direct IP can offer benefits such as:

  • Reduced or eliminated WAN traffic related to printing
  • Print jobs spool on local workstation
  • Complete control over printer drivers and settings
  • No single point of failure

It appears that the benefits of having a print server outweigh those of direct IP, but what if you could have all the benefits of a print server using direct IP? With a solution like PrinterLogic you can.

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 printer 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 be able to deploy printers without using scripts or GPOs, empower your end users with a self service printer installation portal that can show floor plan maps with the printer’s physical location, automatically update printer drivers, have numerous print job audit reports at your fingertips plus much much more. To find out more about our solution, visit us at for a demo and a free trial and see if it’s the right fit for you.

Make Enterprise Mobile Printing Easy from Any Device

Posted by Devin Anderson

Mobile printing is a hot topic in the modern enterprise. It’s also a clear and growing need. And yet, as any experienced IT professional can tell you, waxing philosophical about mobile printing and actually addressing the need for mobile printing capability are two very different things. That’s why there’s a lot of aspirational talk about enterprise mobile printing solutions but very few that can deliver the necessary functionality in a seamless, uncomplicated way.

PrinterLogic saw the emerging need to introduce mobile printing capabilities into the workplace earlier than most. Of course, when it comes to enterprise printing, we have a knack for being far-sighted: Our acclaimed flagship print management solution makes it possible for organizations of any size or sector to augment and streamline their print management capabilities, even in virtual and distributed environments, without being beholden to print servers. Building on that proven track record, we developed an enterprise mobile printing solution that is able to deliver mobile printing to any employee using any mobile device with any printer.

It’s called, simply enough, Mobile Printing. Here’s how it works:

  • The mobile end user invokes the document, file or email to be printed on their Android, Apple, BlackBerry or Windows device.
  • They tap the “Share” button on that device.
  • Then select a PrinterLogic printer as their print option.
  • Their mobile printing job then prints to their selected printer.

That’s it. Full mobile printing capability from any mobile device and to any PrinterLogic-enabled printer with no client-side software to install or configure. For BYOD users and guests, the steps are a little different but just as easy, because PrinterLogic leverages email-to-print functionality to make mobile printing accessible to this customarily tricky subset of users. All they do is:

  • Determine the unique email address of the desired PrinterLogic printer.
  • Email their files to that address for immediate printing.

You can choose to provide that printer email address publicly at a dedicated guest/BYOD shared printer or privately to individual users – it’s up to you.

Since so many enterprise mobile printing solutions involve one or more compromises, maybe you’re waiting for the footnote. Simplicity at the expense of security. Enhanced functionality at the expense of ease of use. But PrinterLogic’s Mobile Printing really is as straightforward as the name suggests. Plus, as you’d expect from any PrinterLogic solution, you retain complete control over all aspects of mobile printing. You can specify:

  • Who can print and to which printers,
  • How many pages each guest can print,
  • Which printer options guests can use (e.g., duplexing, color)

By implementing PrinterLogic’s Mobile Printing, you can make enterprise mobile printing easy from any device – and by easy, we mean easy for the end user as well as IT. Not only does it allow you to provide mobile printing capability to your end users, your support staff won’t be flooded with calls to the service desk asking how to use it. As enterprise mobile printing solutions go, it doesn’t get any easier or more versatile.