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Targeted Printer Deployment Strategies

Posted by Andrew Miller

Targeted printer deployment is an important goal of every IT administrator. Unfortunately, in most real-world scenarios, that goal ends up looking like a pipe dream more often than not, because deploying printers to specific users usually relies on scripts or group policy objects (GPOs).

GPOs in particular aren’t renowned for their precision. This is because they can end up invalidating one another when contradictory policies are introduced at the core group policy level and the client-side level, which can cause an untold number of hard-to-troubleshoot problems when deploying printers. There are actually incredibly complicated flowcharts designed for helping admins trace the circuitous path of group policy application and hunt down the issues preventing certain users from receiving certain printers: Is a necessary GPO disabled? Is security filtering on? Are instructions being processed asynchronously? Is loopback processing enabled? Is there a slow network link?

Scripts are another common strategy for targeted printer deployment. They have the potential to complement or even supersede GPOs by offering more precision in some environments, but they require custom coding and constant updating to be useful. If a print environment changes on account of wider workplace or workforce changes, the script needs to be changed accordingly. And fast. Otherwise, at the very least, it could result in deploying printers to the wrong users and leaving the right ones out in the cold.

All this complexity runs contrary to the idea of truly targeted printer deployment. And it still doesn’t always result in the right printers being deployed to the right users at the right time. For that, it takes a print management solution like PrinterLogic.

PrinterLogic does away with scripts and GPOs without forsaking their basic utility. For example, like GPOs, PrinterLogic integrates fully with Active Directory (AD) so you can continue deploying printers according to familiar hierarchies like user, computer, group, container or Organizational Unit (OU) along with an increased range of targeted printer deployment criteria that includes IP address range, hostname and MAC address.

At the same time, PrinterLogic removes the restrictive GPO rights requirements that prevent service desk staff from altering printer deployment assignments. They can safely add and remove individual printer deployments in response to real-time end user needs without the fear of corrupting delicate GPO arrangements or scripts. Furthermore, PrinterLogic provides extended default printer options for unparalleled targeted printer deployment. A printer can be set as a client default the first time it’s installed, each time the user logs on, or based on the user’s current location – all through the simple click of a checkbox in PrinterLogic’s intuitive web-based administrative console.

Through this same easy-to-use console accessible from anywhere in the enterprise, deploying printers using PrinterLogic can be performed manually or automatically, individually or en masse. That takes the customary effort out of printer deployment while allowing for granular precision – even in large-scale and globally distributed organizations. As targeted printer deployment strategies go, it’s not hard to see why PrinterLogic comes out on top.