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Citrix and printing on network printers

We have in our office 2 networked printers.

The accounting software (Great Plains) is running on a remote server, and at the moment, we use terminal services to connect to the server and work on it every day.
Terminal services can be pretty slow; but the biggest issue is the printing.

Since terminal services cannot print on network printers, we had to install "Uniprint".
www.uniprint.com 
This works, but it can be very slow, especially when 3 or 4 users are working on the accounting server and printing at the same time.

Would you recommend that we switch to Citrix instead of terminal services on the accounting server ?
Can Citrix print on the network printers ?

Thanks!
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raket
Asked:
raket
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2 Solutions
 
mgcITCommented:
>> Since terminal services cannot print on network printers, we had to install "Uniprint".

You should be able to print to any network printer from TS.  Why do you think you are not able to?  Even if you had the printers installed just on the workstations, you can configure Terminal Services to create the printers automatically when users log in.  Although an easier thing to do is just install the network printers locally on the server.

Citrix DOES allow you to print to Network printers so that is an option.  Although it depends on what you mean "slow" whether or not citrix will help.  I've never used Uniprint so I'm not sure how slow it is, but compared to normal Terminal Services printing, Citirx is not very much different.  This also depends on if just printing is slow or if the entire server gets slow when a certain number of people log in.  If it is the entire server Citrix won't make much of a difference (if any).

If you want some help trying to configure printing for TS just let me know but my recommendation would NOT be to purchase/install citrix just for printing needs.  Your problem most likely is something else so Citirx would not help unfortunately.
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raketAuthor Commented:
I have tried to configure TS for network printers, but it didn't work.

For example, I created a local printer on the computer on LPT3, and then forwarded to the networked Sharp printer in the office; but the TS server still didn't find the "local" (networked) printer.

Since I couldn't get our network printers to work with TS, we installed the UniPrint software.

How do you think we can get network printers to work with TS ?
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mgcITCommented:
ok i just re-read your question and realized you said the terminal server was at a remote location.  This changes my answer a little so sorry for the confusion.

You can still set up printing from Terminal Server as long as the 2 locations can communicate.  For instance do you have a wan setup so you are able to communicate directly with the internal IP address of the Terminal Server?

As far as whether or not citrix will help I still think you won't see that much of a difference.  Printing always seems to be different at every location but the speed comparisons between RDP and ICA(Citrix)  aren't very different (although ICA would generally be faster).  If you want to pursue using citrix I would highly recommend getting a trial version first to see if the speeds are any better.  
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raketAuthor Commented:
Thanks.

We don't have a WAN setup. Is this like a VPN ? Expensive to implement ?
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mgcITCommented:
not necessarily expensive if you already have the equipment.  Basically you would need a router/firewall at each location and set them up to communicate.  A static IP at each location as well.
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raketAuthor Commented:
We have both of them.

We have a static IP in our office, with a Cisco Pix.

The remote server has static IP, and some kind of hosted security solution.

Look good ?
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mgcITCommented:
I'm not sure about the hosted security solution, but other than that it looks fine.  You'll probably be better served by posting another question in the Router area on how to configure your Pix.  Basically you would want it so your terminal server is just on another subnet and have the 2 subnets communicate directly over the internet.  That way you will be able to just install a printer on the server and set the port to the actual IP address of the printer such as 192.168.1.x
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centrepcCommented:
In my opinion if you have the money in the budget, I would switch to Citrix instead of creating a WAN.  The extra overhead generated by the vpn would only slow down your TS sessions even more.  Citrix would allow you to publish applications and not have the overhead of running full desktops at the same time fixing your printing problem and not creating any extra overhead from a VPN.
 
You could also look into a point-to-point frame relay to connect the two locations.  This however can be very expensive per month depending on your location.  This would allow for a seamless network between the two locations without the bottlenecks of the internet.  Since the point-to-point frame is already a private network no encryption would be necessary.  Citrix runs extremely well over a point-to-point frame.
 
Depending on your location you can bring in a T1 line, run half for voice and the other half for the frame.  This can actually be a very cost effective solution as you can also integrate the phone system between the two locations over the frame.  No long distance calling and inter-office transfers make for a seamless work environment between the two locations.  

No matter what you decided remember Citrix will always run better than TS and is easier to manage and maintain.
 
 

 

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