Terminal Server Printing Made Easy With Parallels RAS

The advent of virtualization has revolutionized the IT segment. With server-based computing, businesses are now able to centrally host applications and publish them to users, regardless of the device they use. Windows applications are now published on non-Windows clients such as iOS, Android, and BlackBerry. However, terminal server printing can be a challenge with virtual networks.

How does terminal server printing work?

Server-based computing enables businesses to provide access to central resources from any device. It means end users can connect to corporate resources from a range of devices and can also print documents from their devices to the local printer. Windows terminal services are used for this purpose. Terminal services are a component in Microsoft Windows server software that enables users to take control of a remote device on the network.

Terminal server licensing is required for client devices to connect to a terminal server. A terminal services licensing server is used to store all TS CALs installed for a group of systems. When a client device connects to the terminal server, it checks for TS CALs, and if needed, it requests a TS CAL from the terminal licensing server and delivers it to the client device.

Terminal server printing is similar to Windows printing. When a user prints a document in a Windows environment, Windows creates an EMF file with the print data and checks if the target printer is local one or network-based. It then translates the print data to raw format, and the printer spooler sends the print job to the printer. When the print file is received, the printer prints it regardless of the format.

Terminal services printing uses the same procedure involved in Windows printing. Every time a user logs on to a terminal server through the RDP client, the client’s terminal printer properties are sent to the terminal server, which then auto-creates printer drivers for that user session using the information provided. However, the printer driver of the client device should exactly match the drivers installed on the terminal server.

Challenges with terminal server printing

terminal server printing

When the client tells an application to print a document, an EMF file is created on the terminal server by the GDI. That file is then sent to the spooler. If the drivers are available on the terminal server, the print job is rendered correctly; if they aren’t available, the print job will be incorrect. Even when correct terminal printer drivers are available, the print driver name should exactly match that of the client printer. Another headache is the large size of the raw print job when there are performance issues. If you use older versions of Windows terminal services, the names of printer drivers on the server have to be mapped with those on the client devices. When you have to manage multiple terminal servers, it can be a daunting task for administrators.

Terminal server printing issues have been common with all major virtualization tools, particularly Citrix. Citrix has developed solutions such as auto-printer creation, session-based printing, and the Citrix Universal Print Server, but the terminal services printing issue persists.

Terminal server printing is a strength of Parallels Remote Application Server

While terminal server printing is a big issue for other virtualization tools, it is strength for Parallels Remote Application Server. This comprehensive virtualization tool offers a universal printer redirection feature, which allows you to easily print and scan documents from a remote client device. Instead of installing printer drivers on the terminal server, Parallels Remote Application Server renders the print job in a universal format. When this information is sent to the local printing subsystem, the print job is rendered using the locally installed print driver. The local printer spooler handles this job, so you don’t have to install any drivers on the server. Making changes to the local printer doesn’t affect the server settings, either. In addition, the performance is greatly enhanced as the files transferred over the network are significantly smaller. Moreover, this option comes auto-configured by default. Parallels Remote Application Server is a comprehensive package which offers all virtualization features in a single edition. It is easy to deploy and use, and it comes at a cost-effective price.


References

Ultimate Guide for Terminal Server Printing: brianmadden

Terminal Server Printing: technet.microsoft.com

Installing Printer Driver on The Server: technet.microsoft.com

Printing In terminal Server Best Practices: spice works

Windows Terminal Server printing: VirtualizationAdmin.com

A Dummies Guide to Tackle Printing Issues in a Citrix Environment: linkedin.com

Five reasons printer redirection causes Windows printing problems in RDS: searchvirtualdesktop.techtarget.com