Posted by Jordan Pusey
If your organization runs a Citrix environment, chances are that you’ve come across proximity-based printing. This is a feature that automatically installs nearby printers for users based on their physical location. As you can imagine, proximity printing with Citrix is incredibly useful in modern enterprise environments because it allows roaming and mobile users to move from floor to floor, building to building, and site to site without having to struggle with complicated printer install processes. Even in static environments, end-user printer installation is typically one of the most problematic aspects of enterprise and virtual printing, so Citrix’s proximity-based printing has the potential to be a real time and resource saver—as long as it’s set up properly.
Setting up proximity printing with Citrix is fairly straightforward, provided you bear in mind that “proximity” is something of a misnomer. This feature actually uses virtual network addresses—not, say, GPS or WiFi triangulation—to determine where a user is located. That’s why it’s a good idea to have some basic pieces in place before beginning: most importantly, distinct network properties (e.g., different subnets) for each separate “area” where users might want to have printers installed. The more granular, the better. This way, Citrix will have an easier time mapping the correct local network printers when a user initiates a session and is assigned an IP address.
Once that’s taken care of, there are some administrative settings to configure to implement proximity-based printing correctly:
- In Citrix, create an individual policy for each subnet or geographic location.
- Using the session printing policy rule, activate proximity printing with Citrix.
- Now add the printers for the chosen area into the policy you’ve created.
- Make sure that the default printer policy does not change the end user’s default printer setting.
- Finally, set the policy to filter according to the client’s IP address.
With those policies in place, your end users will now be able to enjoy the convenience of proximity printing with Citrix—although they’ll still have other printing issues to contend with. Virtual environments might offer a lot of benefits, but seamless, trouble-free printing isn’t always one of them.
PrinterLogic is an enterprise print management solution that works in conjunction with Citrix to leverage its strengths and address its shortcomings. So, for example, PrinterLogic works with proximity-based printing in Citrix to deliver even more flexible and targeted automatic printer installations. When using PrinterLogic alongside Citrix, you can add printers to a workstation according to the following additional criteria:
- Computer (host) name
- Active Directory computer or group
- Active Directory Organizational Unit (OU) membership
Along with enhanced proximity-based printing, PrinterLogic also enables you to take advantage of three different printing methods in Citrix: using the Citrix Universal Printer, session printers, or Citrix auto-created printers. These give you access to further benefits such as print job compression, driverless printing, and—of course—PrinterLogic’s legendary ease of administration.
The best way to set up proximity printing in Citrix, then, is with PrinterLogic. Many of our customers would say it’s the only way. To learn more, visit our case studies page.