Citrix Printing Issue? How to Eliminate With Parallels RAS

Citrix products have been popular for their feature-rich tools and performance. However, these advantages come with certain challenges. Along with high cost and complexity, Citrix printing issues have been a significant challenge for businesses. Although Citrix is constantly trying to resolve printing issues, Citrix environments can still be sensitive when printing. In addition, server admins often have a tough time configuring printing in Citrix.

Printing From Multiple Devices 

The smartphone revolution brought a diversified range of devices to print from, with multiple operating systems, platforms, and devices. In the past, with Citrix, IT admins had to install device drivers for all printers used. However, when poorly written printer drives were installed on Citrix servers, they caused the printer spooler to crash. While restarting the service would resolve this issue most of the time, you needed to uninstall the driver that is causing the issue—and identifying the bad driver was challenging.

Admins could run Citrix Director to check which printers had been mapped to a session and the policies applicable to the current user. Possible causes included slow bandwidth and faulty network communications, badly-written printer drivers that lead to printer spooler errors or crashes, and missing drivers.

In most cases, restarting the printer service would resolve printing issues most of the time. However, if the problem was driver-related, you needed to uninstall the driver that caused the issue, but identifying the bad driver was challenging.

How To Resolve Citrix Printing Issues

Citrix has come up with a few options to resolve the Citrix printing issue. Firstly, you can use the Auto Printer Creation option. Citrix maps all local printers using a policy and spooling. Rendering takes place on the client end. However, you should install the Citrix Universal Printer Driver (UPD) or install each printer driver on the Citrix master image. Another issue with UPD is that it supports only basic printing functions; multi-function printers are not supported. Moreover, UPD doesn’t work well with BYOD networks.

Also, session-based printing is available, but only for controlled environments. Administrators have to create a policy for each printer that points to the print server for this option. However, these policies are applied for specific groups in the Active Directory, so the user needs to be part of any such group to access local printing.

Citrix Universal Print Server (UPS) is the option released with XenApp 7.6. UPS is a component installed on the print server and works in conjunction with session-based printing, allowing the use of UDP. While this option resolves the Citrix printing issue to some extent, it doesn’t support Microsoft clustering.

Parallels RAS Offers a Simple and Cost-Effective Solution

Parallels® Remote Application Server is an all-in-one VDI solution that handles the management of the entire virtual infrastructure from a central console, including local printing. It offers Universal Printing redirection. Applications delivered from Windows servers and major hypervisors, allow connected users to access their local printers while using remote applications.

It simplifies printing management in an RDS and a VDI environment, as you don’t need to install a printer driver on the server. It means the end-user can print from an application or desktop running on a network remote to the device in use, regardless of the make, model, device, OS, platform, or location. It is beneficial when working with iPhone, Android, and other mobile devices. The Universal Printing driver is automatically installed on the terminal server agent, remote PC agents, and VDI guest agents by default, without the need for additional configuration. Transferring smaller files on the network ensures that the performance is not affected. Parallels RAS is an ideal option for creating virtual offices with higher productivity.

Another striking advantage of Parallels RAS is the HTML5 gateway. It allows you to access company resources from any HTML5-enabled browser. You don’t need to install client software or plug-ins on the client device. You can browse remote resources from any Internet café or a new system and also print documents from any printer available in the network. With privilege-based access and second-level SSL authentication, the network is highly secure. Parallels RAS is easy to deploy and use. Most importantly, it is cost-effective. With a simple tool, you can cost-effectively monitor and manage the entire network while eliminating the headaches of Citrix.

Download the Parallels RAS trial to check it out for yourself.