Remote Desktop Printing with Windows Server 2012 R2

Remote desktop environments are popular among organizations of all sizes and industries, but effortless print management and robust printing aren’t exactly strengths of the remote desktop protocol (RDP). Printers might go missing, drivers can cause hard-to-troubleshoot problems, print speeds are often slow, and deployments suffer from a lack of reliability and precision. As a result, remote desktop printing solutions are almost as popular as RDP environments themselves.

Unfortunately, those RDP printing solutions can introduce complications of their own. If they don’t integrate seamlessly with the RDP environment, they pose the risk of incompatibilities, crashes and additional troubleshooting. If they don’t prioritize simplicity and ease of use, they only add to the burden of administration. And if they aren’t designed to be versatile, they could impose restrictions on your print environment that limit your hardware and software choices. Drawbacks like those can hinder the efficacy and long-term value of remote desktop printing solutions.

Some organizations that are operating an RDP environment with Windows Server 2012 R2 try to get by with the print server functionality as their RDP printing and print management solution. But print servers are finicky, fragile and frustrating even on the best of days—regardless of whether you’re using RDP or not. RDP printer redirection causes an untold number of issues with print servers, and the use of group policy objects (GPOs), which is actually recommended as an RDP best practice, is a perpetual source of problems when it comes to accurate printer deployment.

Already widely implemented and proven in Citrix and VMware environments, PrinterLogic’s print management solution offers the seamless integration, ease of use and versatility that’s so often lacking in remote desktop printing solutions. Equally as important, PrinterLogic addresses all aspects of RDP printing and RDP print management, not just two or three. That comprehensive scope ensures that your organization doesn’t have to piece together multiple RDP printing solutions just to get the desired benefits. It also allows you minimize your print infrastructure—including the elimination of print servers and all their attendant headaches.

Remote desktop printing with PrinterLogic offers you two setup options:

  1. Printer redirection: Install the PrinterLogic client on the local desktop. The client will automatically install local direct IP printers. When the end user logs into the virtual desktop from that machine, the RDP connection redirects the local direct IP printers into their virtual desktop.
  2. Session printers: In this printing scenario, the PrinterLogic client is installed on the master image that serves as the basis for all the VDI instances. PrinterLogic then establishes direct IP connections to specific or nearby network printers when the end user logs into the virtual session.

Whatever their preferred method, admins have the ability to deliver printers to end users in one of two ways:

  • Automatically and dynamically: You can use PrinterLogic’s powerful printer deployment capabilities to automate printer deployments based on Active Directory (AD) criteria such as user, computer, group, container and organizational unit (OU) as well as MAC or IP address. This means that, even if they should suddenly log in from a different workstation, end users will receive local printers for RDP printing. All without having to rely on GPOs or scripts for targeted deployments.
  • Via the self-service installation portal: PrinterLogic’s web-based portal empowers end users with the ability to identify and install nearby printers on their own with a single click. They get the right printer and any corresponding drivers without having to place a call to the service desk. This feature alone can transform remote desktop printing.

Features like these are the reason why PrinterLogic stands out among remote desktop printing solutions. It makes RDP printing so much more straightforward for the admin as well as the end user while providing greater flexibility and consistency.

Eliminate the Need for Printer Mapping Using Group Policy Objects (GPOs)

Still mapping printers the hard way? And by “hard way,” I mean printer mapping using group policy objects, or GPOs.

Of course, the hardest way of all is expecting end users to perform manual printer mapping themselves. Forcing end users to hunt through directories and identify printers by vague naming strings is just a recipe for trouble.

But that’s why many admins try to make their print management solution assume that responsibility instead. So they initialize printer mapping using GPOs and try to automate the process, only to find that the GPO framework, with all its hierarchical overrides, is restrictive, confusing and unreliable. It’s no surprise to find that there are entire flow charts devoted to making sense of GPOs.

GPO rights also prevent IT support staff from adding and removing printers. That means when a user who’s unable to initialize printer mapping themselves calls the service desk for assistance, the support staff usually has to file a ticket and wait for admin authorization. That laborious printer mapping process ends up frustrating the end user, diverting the support staff from more pressing IT issues, and unnecessarily complicating print management as a whole.

All of that changes with PrinterLogic’s next-generation print management solution. With PrinterLogic, you can eliminate GPOs (and scripts too) while actually increasing flexibility, functionality and precision when it comes to mapping printers.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how PrinterLogic allows you to ditch GPOs in printer mapping and expands what’s possible in enterprise print management:

  • Zero GPO rights: Because PrinterLogic doesn’t require GPOs to initialize printer mapping, you can entrust the adding and removal of printer deployment assignments to anyone you choose—including non-admin IT support staff and service desk personnel. That empowers them to carry out routine print management tasks in the event that they get installation-related calls to the service desk, saving time, headache and ultimately money.
  • Default options that stick: It’s not just printer mapping that can be problematic. Getting the right printer default settings can be tricky too. With PrinterLogic, you can set a default printer upon initial installation, each time a user logs on, or based on the user’s location. It’s as simple as ticking a checkbox in PrinterLogic’s powerful and intuitive centralized admin console.
  • Accurate, reliable printer deployments: Speaking of PrinterLogic’s admin console, it also allows you to deploy printers using the same Active Directory (AD) criteria on which group policy is based. It integrates seamlessly with your AD setup, providing deployments according to user, computer, group, container, organizational unit (OU), MAC address and IP range. Where PrinterLogic excels is in simplifying those deployments, so you can get the right printer to an individual user or an entire pool of users every time.

The flipside of mapping printers is un-mapping, or removing printers. PrinterLogic gives admins and authorized support staff the ability to remove printers as easily as they’re deployed with none of the residual “ghosting” that orphaned printers can cause.

Whether your ideal implementation is on-premises or cloud-based, PrinterLogic’s print management solutions take the hassle out of enterprise print management. Not just by eliminating GPOs in printer mapping, but by eliminating multiple pain points throughout the print environment—up to and including print servers. Once you’ve had a chance to demo our solutions, you’ll realize there are two ways to approach print management: the hard way or the PrinterLogic way.

Easy Printer Mapping for All Print Environments

Posted by Devin Anderson

Print servers were never the perfect print management solution, but over the past decade, they’ve really begun to show their age. Thanks to the breakneck pace of computing and consumer technology, we’re now in a one-click world. Whether it’s a single tap on a screen or intelligent software that automatically anticipates their next move, users expect simplicity of execution regardless of how complex a procedure might be. Unfortunately, end users are still often expected to use the tangled, error-prone process of mapping printers to install their desired printing devices.

Admins might be more comfortable with the intricacies of hunting through directory trees to find printers or setting up printer mapping via GPO (group policy object). But, honestly, wouldn’t it be great to have a simpler print management solution? One that didn’t require multiple steps. One that offered both single-click simplicity and dynamic, automated printer installations. And one that offered a lot more besides—features like centralized management, high print availability, vastly reduced infrastructure and the ability to deploy printers without GPOs and scripts.

With PrinterLogic’s next-generation print management solution, the idea of mapping printers takes on a whole new meaning. That’s because our acclaimed self-service portal allows end users to view nearby printers on an actual floorplan map. After visually identifying the correct printer at a glance, they can install that printer—along with all corresponding drivers—with a single click.

Not only is that one-step installation much easier and less vulnerable to user mistakes, it can be incredibly cost-effective in the long run. With users now empowered through straightforward device installation instead of mapping printers, they no longer have to call the service desk for assistance. That saves both the end user and your IT support staff frustration and time, which translates to the kind of increased productivity that will reflect in your bottom line. One Fortune 500 company saw a 90% reduction in print-related helpdesk calls after installing PrinterLogic (TVID: 4AF-AC8-2C9), and their experience is by no means unique.

On the admin side of things, mapping individual printers on a per-user basis is less common than printer mapping with GPO. This is designed to deliver specific printers to users based on variables like their group membership or Active Directory (AD) criteria. So instead of admins having to manually pair each user with a printer, printer mapping through GPO takes care of it automatically. In theory, at least. In the real world, however, users don’t always behave in strict accordance with the hierarchy that group policy requires. That makes printer mapping with GPO an imperfect and unreliable installation method.

PrinterLogic does away with scripts and GPOs while integrating seamlessly with Active Directory, so you can easily set up accurate, reliable deployments to end users based on a variety of AD assignments as well as variables like Hostname, IP and MAC address. If a user roams to a new site (which has become the norm in today’s mobile workplaces), PrinterLogic’s dynamic installation ensures that they will be able to print to local devices within seconds of logging on—even if that site happens to be in another city.

Flexible, dependable and effortlessly simple features like these make mapping printers so easy in PrinterLogic, regardless of the size or setup of your print environment. And the advantages of PrinterLogic don’t stop there. Whether you opt for our on-premise software or our new cloud-based SaaS offering, called PrinterCloud, you can eliminate print servers completely, monitor and control your entire print environment from a single pane of glass, and enhance Citrix and VMware printing with a single cost-effective and rapidly deployable print management solution.

Stop Deploying Printers Using Group Policy Objects (GPOs) and Scripts

Even on the best of days, print management using traditional solutions can be an exercise in abject despair. One of the most basic requirements of any print environment is to have the right printers delivered to the right users at the right time, and yet convoluted delivery methods like group policy objects (GPOs) and scripts are still the most common ways to do so. As if their complexity weren’t enough, script-based and GPO printer deployment have serious drawbacks in real-world applications, such as unreliability and prolonged logon times.

If you currently deploy printers via GPO, now’s the time to look into PrinterLogic. Our next-generation print management solution enables you to eliminate scripts and GPOs through its powerful and unique combination of direct IP printing and intuitive centralized management. Instead of resorting to GPO printer deployment, you can set up deployment protocols that deliver specific printers to specific users—instantly, accurately and reliably. Unlike the constraints you might encounter when you deploy a printer using group policy, printer deployments in PrinterLogic can be carried out individually or en masse, one-time or automated, with none of the usual concerns over failed deployments.

That doesn’t just spare you aggravation. It also saves costs. When you automatically install a printer via GPO or scripting for your end users, the list of things that can go wrong—especially in a dynamic and enterprise-scale workplace—is a long one. And when a GPO printer fails to install, the end user invariably winds up calling the service desk to sort things out. That phone call ties up your support staff as well as the end user, sapping morale and reducing productivity by keeping them from focusing on more important issues. The independent research firm TechValidate surveyed PrinterLogic customers and found that 77% of them reduced print-related helpdesk calls by 30% or more (TVID: AC0-21B-DC5), which can translate to impressive ROI.

In most cases, attempting to deploy a printer via GPO also requires elevated rights. So even when the user takes the time to call the service desk, the support staff is often unable to help without admin privileges. By leveraging PrinterLogic’s advanced deployment methods instead of trying to deploy a printer with group policy, it’s possible for ordinary IT support staff to create, edit and remove printer deployment assignments without fear of them altering mission-critical settings.

But eliminating scripts or GPO printer deployment doesn’t mean compromising on the precision or scope of deployment. In fact, PrinterLogic gives you granular control over which user gets which printer. PrinterLogic integrates seamlessly with Active Directory (AD) to give you a variety of deployment criteria: user, computer, group, container, organizational unit (OU), MAC address or even IP range.

Using PrinterLogic instead of scripts also allows for quicker logons. Instead of installing the printer during the login sequence, PrinterLogic waits until login is complete and then silently installs the printer in the background. The installation process is just as invisible to the user, but they’ll definitely take note of the faster logon times.

Another important advantage of PrinterLogic is its expanded default printer options. In stark contrast to the limitations when you install a printer using GPO, PrinterLogic allows you to set a default printer on a one-time basis, each time a user (or pool of users) logs in, or based on a user’s current location. And as proof of how easy PrinterLogic’s centralized management console is to use, you can set those default options simply by ticking a checkbox. All of this is done without scripts and from a single pane of glass for the entire organization.

PrinterLogic’s on-premises print management solution—along with our new cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, PrinterCloud—show that GPO printer deployment and scripts have been superseded by an approach that is more reliable, more versatile, more cost-effective and much easier to use. And because implementing PrinterLogic is fast and seamless, it could be no time at all before you deploy your last printer via group policy or script.

PrinterLogic Allies with Sharp Business Systems to Provide Businesses of All Sizes with Enhanced Printer Driver Management

Alliance Simplifies Print Management for Sharp Customers

St. George, UTAH—September 6, 2017—PrinterLogic, a leading server-less enterprise print management solution that enables businesses to eliminate Windows® print servers, today announced an alliance with Sharp Business Systems (Sharp) to enhance printer driver management for its customers. As a result, Sharp customers of all sizes—regardless of their current print environment—will be able to benefit from PrinterLogic’s advanced printer driver management and deployment capabilities.

“Sharp Business Systems combines the resources and reach of a large multi-national company with the benefits of local service and support,” said Garrett Helmer, Senior Vice President of Channels at PrinterLogic. “We are excited to pair PrinterLogic’s printer and driver management solutions with Sharp’s leading products and services, providing a more personalized approach to solving customers’ print management problems.”

PrinterLogic’s printer and driver management platform delivers Mobile, Pull and Virtual printing, while eliminating print servers and providing a self-service portal that empowers end users to install their own printers. The alliance between Sharp and PrinterLogic will deliver print management solutions that reduce cost and complexity in practically any print environment.

This alliance will enable Sharp customers to take advantage of the following PrinterLogic benefits:

  • Centralized Driver Deployment & Management—PrinterLogic provides the ability to configure, deploy and update printer drivers from a single, centralized console. This allows customers to maintain a single printer driver repository that can be used to consistently deliver the right driver to every printer in their organization. Not only does PrinterLogic work with all custom and manufacturer printer drivers, it also provides its own universal driver for fail-safe printing. Its built-in multi-platform support for Windows, Mac and Linux end-user workstations ensures full-featured, dependable printing even in mixed-OS environments. Plus, PrinterLogic supports 32- and 64-bit drivers, allowing both platforms to coexist while eliminating concerns about the wrong driver being installed.
  • Eliminate Print Servers—Regardless of how many offices or employees an organization might have, IT staff can centrally manage all printers—while eliminating print servers altogether—to significantly reduce print-related costs. PrinterLogic’s single integrated platform replaces all the functionality print servers used to provide and simplifies print management, reduces costs and empowers users to install printers themselves, without calling the help desk.

“We work closely with our customers to evaluate their existing environment and identify ways to streamline business operations for greater efficiency,” said Anthony Sci, Senior Vice President of Sharp Business Systems. “Print management is often a deep pain point for our customers, and working with PrinterLogic enables us to dramatically simplify customers’ printer driver deployment and ongoing management.”

About Sharp Business Systems
Sharp Business Systems is a direct sales division of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America. Our branches throughout the U.S. combine the resources of a multi-billion dollar corporation and the value of local representation with local management and community relationships. Our experienced business technology specialists evaluate your current technology environment and document workflow to help improve your company’s efficiency, security and bottom-line through our best-in-class products, solutions and support. Sharp Imaging and Information Systems is a division of Sharp Electronics Corporation, the U.S. sales and marketing subsidiary of Sharp Corporation, Osaka, Japan.

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About PrinterLogic
Thousands of enterprises use PrinterLogic’s patent-pending printer and driver management platform to deliver Mobile, Pull and Virtual printing, while eliminating print servers and providing a self-service portal that empowers end users to install their own printers. PrinterLogic recently won the 2017 Buyers Laboratory prestigious Pick award as Outstanding Enterprise Print Environment Platform. In addition, the company has been included multiple times on the Inc. 5000 and Deloitte Fast 500 lists of fastest growing companies in North America. For more information, or for a free trial, please visit