Xenapp 6.5 - printing config

Posted on 2013-05-22
Last Modified: 2013-06-07
Hi all,

Just configuring a new test farm for Xenapp65. I have just been reading about advances since Presentation 4.5 in regard to printing. In my 4.5 farm I chose to have session printing, but this may not have been the most efficient configuration.

I have about 30 print shares spanning 4 sites (all citrix servers based at one site) mainly HP printers.

I just wanted to see what peoples views were with printing and Xenapp 6.5:

Print drivers  - native or UPD?

Session printing or Client Print Redirection?
Question by:MJB2011
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Expert Comment

by:Casey Herman
ID: 39187262
I would use UPD and Client Print Redirection unless you have some very special printers that need certain drivers to function.

The CPR will compress the data via citrix and send it through the ICA session. It will use less bandwidth this way.  

Depending on your remote sites and how they are configured. You can use session printing which is what we are doing because we have all thin clients out in the field and cannot map printers easily to the clients for CPR.

What we ended up having to do though is tunnel the traffic through a different pipe and QOS it.

Just keep in mind session printing is going to use a ton of bandwidth to the remote sites.
There are some middleware solutions that can be used as well. Also I know a couple people that have used "River Bed" to cut down on their site to site traffic.

There is also the Citrix Universal Print server. It has worked in my test environment but I havent put it into production.

It basically cuts down on your driver management on your Xenapp Servers. One driver to be used for all servers and one print server to manage.  

Just my two cents..

LVL 15

Accepted Solution

joharder earned 500 total points
ID: 39227810
When configuring printing, simplest is best, so for the most part, the default config works fine.  The default includes autocreated printers and using UPD if the native driver is unavailable.

Autocreated printers map through the printers defined on the local device to the Citrix session.  Probably 9 times out of 10, that will suffice.  

One policy that you may wish to consider modifying is the installation of in-box drivers.  By default, those drivers are installed.  Also by default, UPD is used if native driver is unavailable.  Kind of a chicken and egg.  So, disable the installation of in-box drivers if UPD will suffice for you.  

So, what if this simple config doesn't work for you?  There are two parts to consider: printer mapping and printer drivers.

Printer mapping.  If users don't or won't define printers on their local device, you have to do something more complex.  I personally like AD GPOs (User GPO that uses User\Preferences\Control Panel Settings\Printers) over session printer config because it provides more granularity in the second screen.  Keep in mind that many thin clients can't define printers through the local device, so you may have to do mappings.  Two third-party vendors: PrinterOn and TriCerat, have or will have solutions that automagically sense the IP address of the client device and printers on that network and enable the printers.

Printer drivers.  Bad printer driver = bad day.  If you autocreate printers and install drivers, you run the risk of a bad driver that will crash your print spooler or blue screen the server.  Another reason to not allow in-box drivers and stick with Citrix UPD if you can.  But, for many users, vanilla printing isn't enough, so you'll likely get stuck installing some drivers.  Keep it to a minimum or consider a third-party printing solution that gets you away from the whole driver mess.  After looking at the major vendors recently, I like TriCerat's ScrewDrivers product for its simplicity and ease.  

Lastly, don't bother with Citrix Universal Print Server.  It hasn't been widely adopted for some good reasons, including a 50-stream max.

Hope this helps!

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