9 Replies Latest reply on Sep 20, 2013 11:56 AM by Richard Post

    Looking for virtualized desktop experiences

    Richard Post Guide

      I would like encourage some sharing of any experiences that our customers have had with the use of virtualized desktop environments.  Pharos does testing on VMware on all our server platforms, but more and more organizations are moving to desktop virtualization as well.   Since Pharos is not able to test on all the virtual desktop solutions in the marketplace, I would like to encourage some sharing of customer experiences of Pharos client software (Uniprint, SignUp, Blueprint) on VMware View, Citrix Xen Desktop, or other virtual desktop environments.  Please feel free to post your experiences with desktop client virtualization and Pharos.

       

      Thank you for any time that you are able to spend providing feedback in this Pharos community, and thank you for becoming and remaining Pharos customers.

        • Re: Looking for virtualized desktop experiences
          Alex Schumacher Wayfarer

          We currently use Uniprint in conjunction with Citrix PVS for our campus computer labs, and it's worked perfectly. The disk images are locked, so any changes made by users are reset on restart, so once we configured the image how we want it, it's been working fine ever since. The images are all Windows 7 Ent. with SP1.

          • Re: Looking for virtualized desktop experiences
            Jim Denk Wayfarer

            We are running VMWare View and Uniprint. We use group policy to configure the pharos queues and do not install the pharos client on our managed computers. Utilizing secure release at the printers, we already have location agnostic printing.

              • Re: Looking for virtualized desktop experiences
                Jeremy Luring Wayfarer

                I would be interested to know as well from Jim Denk or anyone about how to implement Pharos in a VDI environment.  Some of our physical desktop images have multiple Pharos packages/queues installed and we don't have a good way of getting around this at this point short of installing every Pharos package on the virtual image.  If anyone has gone through this experience, I would be very appreciative to know how you went about it.

                  • Re: Looking for virtualized desktop experiences
                    Jim Denk Wayfarer

                    Jeremy,

                     

                    As I mentioned, we are using secure release in our VDI environment we have also standardized on a single print driver. We present two queues to the students, color and black and white. Jobs enter our system, and the students release the jobs at the printer they want the job to come out of.

                     

                    So, it will be a question of if you are using secure release or direct printing. Also the version of Pharos you are running will play into the options available to you. Can you identify the printing model that you are currently using, and the version of Pharos?

                     

                    VMWare does offer the ThinPrint option to address mobile printing from the client rather than server end. That should theoretically be compatible with Pharos, although I haven't tested.

                     

                    Jim

                      • Re: Looking for virtualized desktop experiences
                        Jeremy Luring Wayfarer

                        Thanks Jim,

                         

                        We are using a combination of direct and secure release printing and our printing models are a variety of Xerox Phaser/Workcentre/ColorQube, Konica Minolta and HP LaserJets so there are several different print drivers being used.  We are also using Uniprint version 8.1, however there has been talk to move to 8.3 possibly this summer.

                          • Re: Looking for virtualized desktop experiences
                            Jim Denk Wayfarer

                            Jeremy,

                             

                            8.3 may simplify things for you. Direct printers are often less desirable in the virtual environment, as you won't necessarily know what device they want to print to as they could be printing from anywhere.

                             

                            You can create a Print Group in 8.3 for your Virtual Machines, and a queue associated with it. I'd recommend using a single driver if you can get away with it. (HP, Xerox and Samsung all have decent universal drivers that you CAN use across manufacturers, but you will need to test how it works for you.)

                             

                            So, if your users submit a job to "Virtual Black and White" or "Virtual Color" it's run through the local driver, sent to a matching Queue on the server and then handed off to your "Virtual BW" or "Virtual Color" print groups, which are associated with the devices that you want your users to have access to.

                             

                            The greatest difficulty is going to be optimizing your virtual environment without getting trapped into the limitations of the physical environment. You don't really want to install "Room XYZ" printer onto your virtual machines, you don't have a clue if the user is there. Even if you include some methodology for identifying location based on IP of the connecting machine, the waters get muddier when wireless is introduced.

                             

                            You can create pools in View to mimic/parallel your physical spaces, but each pool is adding more overhead to your virtualization environment.

                             

                            Secure release queues will minimize your problems there. Alternately, if you want to run popup notifier, you can have users select their printer at print time without having to do multiple installations in your virtual environment.

                             

                            Best of Luck!

                             

                            Jim

                    • Re: Looking for virtualized desktop experiences
                      Newbie

                      Richard Post : We are currently trying to setup using VMware view 5, windows 7 and Wyse thin clients.

                       

                      The major hurdle is going from 8.0 to 8.2 to get windows 7 working. Looks like 8.2 client is not compatible with the backend 8.0 server and vice versa. If we do an in place upgrade of the server to 8.2 then all the clients’ needs to be upgraded as well to keep the business running.

                       

                      So we P2V the server using VMware and setting up a lab to test this out the upgrade and thin clients. Any ideas are welcome

                       

                      Jim Denk: I am interested in knowing more about not installing the pharos client and using group policy.

                        • Re: Re: Looking for virtualized desktop experiences
                          Richard Post Guide

                          The current version of Pharos Uniprint is 8.4 and can be easily acquired by contacting Pharos Support.

                          Uniprint 8.4 has support for Windows 7 & Windows 8 as well as Server 2012 and lots of other improvements (over 8.0 and 8.2).

                          Here is our News update on the Uniprint 8.4 Release

                           

                          To further clarify, Uniprint servers work with older clients, so a Uniprint 8.4 server will happily accept the print jobs from your 8.0 or 8.2 clients.  Per page 5 of the Uniprint 8.4 Upgrade Guide, you can upgrade the server, then work towards getting all the clients upgraded, but they will work in the meantime.

                           

                          If you would like assistance with any changes to your Pharos environment, feel free to ask for help.  Between Pharos and the Community, I'm sure you'll get all the assistance you need.

                        • Re: Looking for virtualized desktop experiences
                          Kaisha Prochaska Adventurer

                          We use Citrix Xen Desktop and pharos is working properly.  Just a hit though, load the pop-up client after you have installed all other software, sometime it will cause issues.