Manage Direct IP Printers and Print Server Printers

If you have a print server that has to stay active but you want to move to a centrally managed direct IP environment, you can with PrinterLogic. PrinterLogic is designed to eliminate print servers and convert all the shared printers from a print server into centrally managed direct IP. There are some cases that don’t allow for the decommission of all print servers, which include scenarios that involve backend printing, EMR/EHR systems, or other application servers in the environment that require a print server to be online and active. In this blog we will walk through setting up a feature in PrinterLogic, that allows installation and management of both shared and direct IP printers.

**If you need to convert users printers from shared to direct IP printers, then you’ll need to leave the default PrinterLogic settings in place, roll the solution out to users, and after all the shared printers have converted on the end user’s desktops, follow these steps moving forward.

  1. Make sure you are on PrinterLogic version or newer. (You can locate the update files on or contact the support team for help)
  2. Go to the Administration webpage of PrinterLogic and log in (typically you can get there by opening a web browser and typing in the FQDN or DNS Alias associated with the server hosting PrinterLogic followed by “/admin”)
  3. Go to “Tools > Settings > Client”
  4. Find the “TCP/IP Printer Settings” section towards the top
    1. Check the box labeled “Automatically manage all end-user TCP/IP printers”
    2. Check the box labeled “Create connections to shared TCP/IP printers”
    3. Uncheck “Only apply in terminal services sessions”
    4. Check the box labeled “Allow direct IP printers to be installed from the portal”

  5. Go to the bottom of the Client Settings webpage to a section called “Microsoft Printer Conversions”
    1. Uncheck “Enable Printer Installer Client to convert end user’s Microsoft printers to TCP/IP printers that have been imported into Printer Installer as TCP/IP printers”
  6. Save the settingsAt this point we have told PrinterLogic to stop converting shared printers from print servers and allow both direct IP managed printers to be installed as well as printers that are tied to print servers to be distributed using the PrinterLogic software. What we need to do next is specify which printers are going to be linked to the print server and which printers are direct IP printers.
  7. Go to a printer that needs to be tied to the print server
    1. Select the “Deploy” tab and add a deployment for the “Active Directory > Computer Name” of the print server
    2. Check the available box on the deployment labeled “Share”
    3. Make any other deployments as needed so users or computers/servers can have this printer installed automatically
    4. Save the settings
  8. Install the PrinterLogic desktop client on all end user machines as well as print servers

**You can only specify one print server deployment per printer object in PrinterLogic. If you need to share a printer from multiple print servers then you’ll need to copy the print queue for each server it needs to be shared from. If you are simply sharing this printer to multiple users or servers/computers then do so without checking the “Share” box on further deployments made in the “Deploy” tab.

If you need any printer to be deployed or self-installed as a managed direct IP printer, make sure the printer does not have a print server deployment made to it as described in step 7 and it will be installed correctly. You will need to duplicate printer queues in PrinterLogic to have separate queues tied to print servers while also managing queues that are direct IP printers.

With these settings in place you are labeling the point of origin of a shared printer to the correct print server. Now anytime you setup an auto-deployment of that printer queue or someone installs it from the self-service installation portal, they will receive a printer that is shared from the print server. Any other printer that does not have the print server deployment selected will install as a direct IP printer.

Should You Move Your Print Management to the Cloud?

Should we move our print management to the cloud? That’s a question many CTOs and enterprise decision-makers are asking themselves these days. It doesn’t matter whether their organization is small, regional or global in size, or whether they’re focused on education, healthcare or engineering. The simple fact is that cloud print management is quickly becoming a solid and attractive option on account of its cost model and its potential to significantly reduce physical infrastructure.

If you’re currently among those decision-makers, one important thing to bear in mind is that there’s a crucial distinction between cloud printing and cloud print management.

  • Cloud printing promises nothing more than print functionality—that is, relaying the print job from the client to the printer. Many cloud printing services limit themselves to this and offer little in the way of print management, making them more like a cloud print server than a total enterprise cloud printing solution. It isn’t uncommon to find that they need to be augmented with a dedicated print management solution to streamline printer deployments and other tasks.
  • When done right, cloud print management encompasses printer administration as well as enterprise-grade print capabilities. This is the most comprehensive and cost-effective solution of its kind, as it enables your organization to truly minimize its physical print infrastructure while enjoying all the advantages of the cloud, such as ubiquitous management and cross-platform compatibility.

Being careful to distinguish between the two could save you a lot of time, money and frustration in your search for the right solution.

Another key differentiator is WAN reliance. Like many cloud-based services, most enterprise cloud printing and print management solutions require constant WAN access to carry out their essential functions. If the WAN connection is interrupted, access to the cloud print server is lost and printing cannot take place until service is restored.

That alone might be the most significant reason why organizations remain hesitant toward migrating to enterprise cloud printing. With cloud-based file syncing, for example, end users can continue to work offline until the connection is restored. But printing doesn’t wait. Just ask your support staff when printing downtime occurs.

PrinterLogic SaaS (formerly PrinterCloud) is unique in providing a comprehensive cloud print management solution with minimal WAN reliance. By leveraging direct IP printing in combination with effortless centralized management, it enables your organization to enjoy full-featured, high-availability enterprise cloud printing without compromise.

As a cloud-based SaaS solution, PrinterLogic SaaS integrates fully and seamlessly with any environment—including Citrix and VMware—to provide cloud printing functionality to any network printer. Unlike some enterprise cloud printing solutions, with PrinterLogic SaaS there’s no need to run a local server or software hack to provide compatibility with non-branded printers. And PrinterLogic SaaS also has powerful print management tools, enabling you to easily stay on top of your driver repository and dynamically deploy printers without GPOs or scripts—all from a single pane of glass.

The other benefit of PrinterLogic SaaS is its extensibility. Want to provide Mobile Printing capabilities to your entire workforce regardless of the OS running on their mobile device? Looking to secure your print environment with Pull Printing that your employees will actually use? Hungry for detailed auditing information on organization-wide print activity that’s tied to real-world costs? PrinterLogic SaaS makes all that possible. Natively.

So, should you move your print management to the cloud? That depends. If you’re willing to deal with WAN vulnerability, limited compatibility and substandard print management, any cloud printing solution will do. But if you demand a more reliable, cost-effective, enterprise-grade solution, you should move your print management to PrinterLogic SaaS.

Problems with VMware Printer Redirection

Whether you’ve just migrated to a new VMware environment or you’ve been working with this popular VDI solution for a long time, chances are that you’ve struggled with VMware printer redirection at one time or another. Printer redirection is a common method of provisioning printers in VMware environments, but it’s also well known for causing problems with VMware printing that are hard to troubleshoot.

What is it about printer redirection that’s so prone to error? It has to do with the basic topology of server-based computing. Instead of a local client simply recognizing a connected printer and printing to it, as generally happens in conventional setups, the device recognition and VMware printing process adds several complex steps. These steps are all but invisible to the end user, which can lead to additional confusion and frustration when their remote clients encounter printing issues:

  1. Each time a user initiates a remote session, the server determines which printers are already installed on the remote client. These can be USB-connected printers or network printers.
  2. A dedicated virtual print queue is created in the remote session.
  3. During the VMware Horizon printing process, the job is sent across the WAN from the remote client to the server, where it enters this virtual print queue.
  4. The job then travels back across the WAN to the client as compressed Enhanced Metafile (EMF) data.
  5. The printer driver on the client device renders the EMF data for the desired printing device.
  6. Finally, the rendered data is sent from the client device to the locally attached or network printer.

Should any one of those six contingent steps fail to execute properly, your end users are bound to experience problems with VMware printing. The problems themselves can take a number of forms, including application and driver crashes, corrupted or missing print jobs, inaccessible or vanishing printers, and slow printing.

Of these, one of the most widespread is slow printing, which is usually a direct result of the multiple WAN hops that every print job is forced to make. As the WAN connection behaves like a bottleneck in any network, and in VDI environments there is far more data being pushed through the WAN than in comparably sized conventional environments, the likelihood increases that print data traffic speeds will suffer. And, as anyone who’s fielded support calls will attest, a one-minute printing delay can feel like ten to an end user.

Add that to the fact that VMware Horizon printing only supports printer redirection with a limited number of operating systems, and the shortcomings of this provisioning method really start to show.

PrinterLogic’s next-generation print management solution integrates seamlessly with challenging VDI environments like VMware to address the fundamental problems with VMware printing. It’s able to achieve what other self-styled VMware printing solutions can’t through its industry-leading combination of direct IP printing and centralized management, which simplifies not only the multi-step VMware printing process but also print management tasks like deployments and driver updates.

For example, PrinterLogic enables you to eliminate GPOs and scripts completely from the printer deployment process. Yet you can still deliver printers to specific users automatically and dynamically using Active Directory (AD) criteria including group, container, organizational unit (OU) as well as IP address ranges and endpoint hostnames. Setting up these deployments is incredibly easy in PrinterLogic’s intuitive centralized management console.

On the frontend of VMware Horizon printing, PrinterLogic’s direct IP approach all but eliminates reliance on the WAN. Users print straight to their desired printer without first having the print job routed via the offsite server. That speeds up routine VMware printing and ensures print capabilities continue to be available when the WAN connection experiences an interruption.

By enhancing both printing and print management in VMware with the power and ease of a native solution, PrinterLogic can fix the problems with VMware printing that are a constant source of frustration for users and admins—quickly, seamlessly and cost-effectively.

Citrix Printing Problems—WAN Vulnerabilities

Posted by Devin Anderson

As the idea of pull printing becomes more commonplace, more and more organizations are thinking about how exactly pull printing solutions might enhance their print environments. But before I tell you how you can use PrinterLogic to improve your enterprise pull printing capabilities, let me begin with a pull printing definition.

Pull printing introduces a deliberate and often necessary second step into the printing process. The first step is the initiation of a print job via the universal print driver—which, if you’re using PrinterLogic, could be done using a PC, Mac, Chromebook, or even a mobile device. The second step is the “pull.” This gives the user who initiated the print job the ability to pull down that job at any Pull Printing-enabled printer, entirely at their discretion.

What exactly is the benefit of a pull printing solution like that? To begin with, it means that a user can initiate a print job from his or her usual workstation, then “pull” that job at a printer in an entirely different building. That could conveniently save the user from having to carry a large print job from one location to another, or it could allow a mobile user to initiate a job on the road and pull it upon arriving.

More importantly, though, it’s about security. If a user initiates a print job and fails to claim it right away, it sits in the output tray for anyone to see. It could be private memo, a sensitive e-mail, specs for a top-secret project, or even a confidential report. Pull printing solutions like PrinterLogic’s Pull Printing module ensure that the user is prepared to retrieve documents like those before they actually begin printing.

PrinterLogic also allows for secure pull printing through its Secure Printing feature. Unlike standard Pull Printing, the first step of Secure Printing sends the print job through a specific printer driver to a dedicated printer, so all native integrity and functionality is maintained. Then, as above, the user can pull the job at that printer when he or she is ready. PrinterLogic’s Secure Printing offers you the choice of three different release mechanisms to best integrate with your current or future enterprise print environment:

  • Browser-based release: Any device capable of running a browser (e.g., PC/Mac, Chromebook, mobile device) can be used to access PrinterLogic’s Web-based app and release print jobs securely. This way you can place a spare Android or iOS device in dedicated console mode and associate it with certain printers to act as a release station.
  • Badge/card reader release: A reader is placed at the printer or is already built into it. This badge/card reader then integrates with your existing badge system to release the print jobs associated with that badge.
  • Printer console release: The PrinterLogic app is installed directly on a printer, enabling users to login and release their print jobs right from the device’s LCD.

Unlike lesser pull printing solutions, PrinterLogic’s standard or secure pull printing doesn’t require you to invent custom workarounds (potentially compromising security in other ways) to implement it enterprise-wide. It can be deployed seamlessly alongside our print management solution, so you can easily and quickly enhance your enterprise’s pull printing capabilities while enjoying PrinterLogic’s renowned benefits like centralized administration, self-service installation, and effortless printer/driver management.

How to Set up Advanced Group Deployments of Printers

Getting printers to the right people at the right time in the right place is a very simple and straightforward process when using PrinterLogic’s software for printer management. It has a feature called Advanced Deployments that allows you to set up a multi-criteria requirement that will auto-deploy printers to the qualifying users based on said criteria. You can specifically allow or deny access to the criteria. These are the criteria you can specify:

  • Active Directory User, Computer, or Group
  • Active Directory Container, or OU
  • IP Address Range
  • Hostname
  • MAC Address
  • Terminal Service Session

Here are steps that you can follow to setup Advanced Deployments within PrinterLogic:

  1. Log into the PrinterLogic Administration webpage. (Typically you open a web browser and go to the FQDN or DNS Alias address of the PrinterLogic webserver followed by “/admin”)
  2. Go to the top right corner and select “Tools > Advanced Groups”
  3. Create an Advanced Group deployment by clicking “Add” and give it a name to easily identify it later.
  4. There are two types of “Operation” choices. One is “Contained in” and the other is “Excluding”.
    1. If you want to add the criteria and have that criteria receive the printer, then you’ll select “Contained in”.
    2. If you want to exclude anyone that matches your criteria, then you’ll select “Excluding”
  5. To select criteria, hit the drop-down menu labeled “Select a rule type…” and pick how you want to deploy either a specific printer or group of printers.
  6. Click on the “+” button to add multiple criteria or rules for deployment.
  7. Once you have your Advanced Group created, go back to the main menu of the Administration webpage by clicking on “Return to tree view” at the top right
  8. Select a printer that you need to deploy to your Advanced Group and go to the “Deploy” tab
    1. Click “Add > Advanced Group” and select the group you created for the deployment of the selected printer and click “Add”.
    2. You now have the option to set this printer as the default printer for anyone that matches the criteria exactly. You can set it to install automatically as the default “Once”, “Always” or “No”.
    3. Click “Save” to complete the auto-deployment

The next time the PrinterLogic desktop software checks in with the server hosting PrinterLogic it will auto-install the printer to whoever matches the criteria. If users don’t match the criteria exactly then it will not auto-install. If they matched the criteria before but no longer match it in the future, the printer will be removed from their desktop.

You are not limited to one deployment per printer. You can set up multiple deployments for the same printer, and it does not have to only include Advanced Groups in the deploy menu of a printer either. Simply put, if there is a deployment added to a printer and you match the criteria set, then you will get the printer automatically installed when you log into your desktop.

One example of an organization that uses the Advanced Group deployment is a healthcare customer that uses thin clients as the nurses’ workstation. Throughout the day, the nurses will log into the thin clients across the healthcare campus. While they can be the same user logging in each time, they get a unique experience with regards to available printers because PrinterLogic’s Advanced Groups are in place. They have their advanced group set up so that a nurse needs to be in a specific OU, logged into a certain thin client, and have hostname that matches naming convention they set up for the different floors. With PrinterLogic’s Advanced Deployments, nurses can go where they need to go and have the satisfaction of getting the closest printer automatically added to their workstation no matter where they are in the hospital.

PrinterLogic provides a free complimentary proof of concept to anyone that would like to test this feature. Simply go to and start your free trial today.

What Is SaaS Print Management?

You’ve probably heard a lot of about software-as-a-service, or SaaS, one of the many new delivery models made possible by the advent of cloud computing. You might have even heard about SaaS printing, which trades the perpetual licensing of enterprise printing software for a convenient, on-demand subscription model with lower upfront costs. But how much do you know about SaaS print management?

If you haven’t heard a lot about SaaS print management so far, that’s understandable. Most organizations and service providers tend to focus on SaaS and cloud-based printing over cloud print management. As I’ll explain below, that’s to their detriment.

So, what’s the difference between the two?

Well, cloud-based printing is just that—the mechanism for getting the print job from the client to the printer via a remote “cloud” server. That’s it. It doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to deploy printers to clients. It doesn’t focus on making drivers and profiles any more manageable. It doesn’t empower end users and alleviate the burden on your support staff. In many ways, it’s not all that different to the same technologies that you’ve had to wrestle with for years, just translated to the cloud.

SaaS cloud print management, on the other hand, has the potential to revolutionize your print environment. When it’s done right.

At PrinterLogic, we’ve developed a true cloud print management solution that’s based on our industry-leading on-premises print management solution. It combines the convenience of SaaS printing with the power of centralized management, the robustness of direct IP connections and the flexibility of cloud-based printing in a single, zero-footprint solution that’s incredibly quick to deploy, integrates seamlessly with any environment (including Citrix and VMware), offers next-generation features like Mobile Printing and Print Reporting, and is highly available. We call it PrinterLogic SaaS (formerly PrinterCloud).

Among many other things, PrinterLogic SaaS enables you to deploy printers automatically, dynamically and precisely using criteria such as IP address ranges or Active Directory attributes like organizational unit (OU) or group. You can stop using GPOs and scripts altogether but still get the right printers to the right users every time—even in environments that are in constant flux. And for added flexibility, users can easily identify and install their own printers using PrinterLogic SaaS’s handy self-installation portal.

PrinterLogic SaaS’s printer and driver management is also second to none. You can change default settings for individual printers or an entire pool with a few simple clicks or push out updated drivers with instant effect. Because our intuitive admin console is cloud based and centralized, you can add, modify or remove printers anywhere in the organization from a single pane of glass.

Along with its outstanding cloud print management, what really sets PrinterLogic SaaS apart is the way it leverages direct IP printing. Because most cloud-based printing software relies on a constant WAN connection, printing can slow or even stop altogether when the WAN link is seeing high throughput or is interrupted in some way. PrinterLogic SaaS uniquely establishes one-to-one connections between client devices and local printers, so print jobs aren’t competing for WAN bandwidth or at the mercy of the WAN status.

While many cloud-based printing solutions also require native printer support or a dedicated server to provide compatibility, which leads to additional infrastructure purchases that offset the benefits of SaaS printing, PrinterLogic SaaS brings cloud printing functionality to all your network printers. Just as importantly, PrinterLogic SaaS can provide advanced Mobile Printing capabilities across your entire organization. That means mobile device and BYOD users as well as guests can print easily to any authorized printer, including legacy devices.

With PrinterLogic SaaS, you get full-featured cloud-based printing—but you also get unparalleled cloud print management. Try it free for 30 days to see how SaaS print management delivers far more than basic SaaS printing.

Tips for Printing with Thin Clients

Thin clients are fantastic on account of their reduced costs, improved manageability, tighter security and (generally) greater ease of use. I’ve added that parenthetical generally because, as any admin or end user is bound to agree, printing with thin clients can be a lot more complicated than it is with standard workstations.

The reason thin client printing is such a perpetual challenge is because the remote server that’s powering the session isn’t always as quick to determine local printers as we are on the ground. And that’s what can lead to end users making frustrated calls to the service desk: If this computer is so smart, why is it having so much trouble locating and printing to this nearby printer? To the layperson, it might not be apparent that their thin-client terminal and network printer don’t work in the same way as, say, their laptop and USB printer at home.

Using print servers with thin client printing
Under conventional circumstances, to get to grips with thin client printing issues, you can set up all the printers in your organization on a single centralized print server and deploy them using group policy. The important thing to remember in this case is that your terminal server will need to have the exact same drivers with the exact same names as they exist on the print server, otherwise your end users could run into problems with their thin client printing to the local printer. For the sake of manageability as well as error prevention, you’ll also want to keep your total number of printer drivers to an absolute minimum.

There are a couple of potential pitfalls here. If your organization is large, it might be in your interest to spread the printers across multiple distributed print servers. This will reduce load concentrations and therefore decrease the likelihood of spooler crashes and other thin client printing issues, but the additional infrastructure might also create a few additional hurdles for accurate GPO deployments.

Optimizing bandwidth
In any thin client environment, bandwidth is going to be at a premium. Print jobs tend to be data-intensive to begin with, and in thin client printing scenarios, they can place additional burden on the WAN—especially if you’re using centralized print servers. When you have large-scale print jobs traveling across the WAN, it can create network bottlenecks that slow printing as well as the entire computing experience for end users.

To reduce the strain on the WAN, you can implement WAN accelerator technology, although this tends to be expensive and merely addresses a consequence of thin client printing, not its cause. You can also take advantage of the print compression features built into your thin client solution provided your hardware supports it.

Solve thin client printing issues—and more—with PrinterLogic
PrinterLogic’s next-generation print management solution can be implemented seamlessly in Citrix and VMware environments to augment their native thin client printing functionality. PrinterLogic is unique in the way that it leverages direct IP printing, which means that printing from a thin client to a local printer will always take the straightest, fastest route.

Better still, PrinterLogic does all this without the need for print servers. You can eliminate them—and all their attendant cost and headache—from your infrastructure entirely. While you’re at it, you can also eliminate GPOs and scripts when deploying printers because PrinterLogic can deliver local printers to users quickly and smoothly based on any number of Active Directory criteria. Its centralized management console makes it easy to set up those deployments and manage both printers and drivers anywhere in the organization from a single pane of glass.

Yes, printing with thin clients can be fiendishly hard to get right. But with PrinterLogic’s lean, scalable and cost-effective solution, your end users can easily locate and install printers themselves while you figure out what to do with all the time and money you’re no longer spending on print management.