Challenges of Printing in the Cloud


Printer Ownership

In the Cloud model, Service Providers do not have control over the various printers that are going to be used by their subscribers. These subscribers will require the use of the locally attached or network printers available to them. How can CSPs provide services for all of these printers?

Printer Driver Support

With the numerous printer models available to the subscribers, driver maintenance for the CSP balloons into an enormous headache. CSPs cannot justify or pass on the costs of verifying that these 3rd party drivers are compatible in their environments. How can CSPs eliminate or significantly reduce problems in this area?

Bandwidth Limitations

Depending on the content that is being printed by the subscriber, precious time and bandwidth can be gobbled up. Subscribers will want to be able to print from almost any location, even if the network connection is not ideal. How can CSPs guarantee improved printing performance and a happy subscriber?

The answer to all of the above questions is XenApp 6 Printing Optimization Pack


Benefits of Printing with XenApp 6 Printing Optimization Pack


Control of Printer Availability

With the use of Citrix policy settings, you can ultimately control which subscriber printers are available within the Hosted Desktop. Within a policy setting, you can allow the creation of all printers, a subset of printers, or no printers.

Associated Policy:

  • Auto-create client printers 

Another method is to allow the creation of the Citrix Universal Printer. This is a printer that only exists within the Hosted Desktop. It does not reside on the subscriber’s endpoint device. If the subscriber decides to print to this printer within their Hosted Desktop, then they can ultimately print to any of the printers installed on their endpoint device. Please watch the video below for a demonstration of the Citrix Universal Printer in action.

Associated Policies:

  • Auto-create generic universal printer
  • Universal printing preview preference 


Easy Printer Driver Maintenance

CSPs can reduce the impact of supporting and maintaining 3rd party drivers by making use of the Citrix Universal Printer drivers. By configuring a Citrix policy setting, all printers that are created within the Hosted Desktop will use these drivers that are validated to work with almost any printer available.

To further secure their XenApp Farms, CSP Admins can prevent any 3rd party drivers from being installed on their XenApp servers by configuring the associated Citrix policy setting.

Associated Policies:

  • Universal printing
  • Automatic installation of in-box printer drivers


Reduction in the size of Print Jobs

By default, the Citrix Universal Printer driver has been optimized to reduce the size of a print job and decrease the amount of time it takes to print. Most scenarios will work with the default values, but if the print jobs need to be optimized further, various Citrix policy settings are available to change the print quality and image quality.

Associated Policies:

  • Universal printing optimization defaults
  • Universal printing image compression limit
  • Universal printing print quality limit
  • Printer driver mapping and compatibility


Dynamic Printer Mapping

The new Dynamic Printer Mapping functionality allows subscribers to seamlessly add or remove printers within their Hosted Desktops. Subscribers simply plug a new printer into their endpoint device and it will dynamically appear within their Hosted Desktops. 


Policy Recommendations

In order to apply the following policy recommendations, installation of the Printing Optimization Pack is required. Please keep in mind that each environment is different, customization of policy settings may be needed in order to meet all of your needs.

Policy Name Recommended Configuration Reason why
Auto-create client printers Default This will ensure that all printers installed on the client endpoint device are created within the Hosted Desktop.
Auto-create generic universal printer Default The Citrix Universal Printer will not be created within the Hosted Desktop.
Universal printing preview preference Default The print preview option will not be enabled for printers within the Hosted Desktop.
Universal printing Use universal printing only This will force all printers that are created with the Hosted Desktop to use the Citrix Universal Printer driver.
Automatic installation of in-box printer drivers Disabled This will prevent the subscriber’s printer drivers from being automatically installed in the XenApp farm.
Universal printing optimization defaults Default By default, the following is configured:

-          Standard image quality is selected

-          Heavyweight compression is disabled

-          Image caching is allowed

-          Font caching is allowed

-          Users are unable to modify these settings within Hosted Desktops
Universal printing image compression limit Default By default, the image compression limit is set to Best quality (lossless compression).
Universal printing print quality limit Default By default, no limit is specified.
Printer driver mapping and compatibility Default By default, no compatibility rules are defined.
Direct connections to print servers Disabled This setting should be disabled since the subscribers Network Print Servers will most likely not reside in the same LAN as the XenApp servers.