The VPSX Windows Migration App
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
by Dennis Bennett
The development team at LRS recently added a valuable bit of functionality to our Enterprise Output Management (EOM) suite of products. It is one of a handful of free LRS apps designed to make life easier for customers and those of us who support them.
In today’s ever-changing enterprise environments, managing printers can be a tireless endeavor. The Windows Migration App included with VPSX software can help.
Easy as 1, 2, 3.
Intelligently structured for easy implementation and use, the app walks through three basic steps: Scan, Import and Migrate. With the introduction of this tool, migrating the existing enterprise print environment to a VPSX-managed one is simplified, thus saving a significant amount of time.
I recently used this app and found the process to be straightforward and intuitive. An initial scan provides a list of every Windows Print Server instance found in the enterprise. With only a few clicks, I was able to select one or all of the servers for migration to the VPSX product. While the printers I was migrating happened to be defined to Windows Print Servers, the LRS Migration App can also scan for Direct IP printers, i.e., those that are not tied to a server.
Then, I selected “Import All,” answered a few configuration questions, and within a few minutes the printers and associated print drivers were loaded into the VPSX instance.
The next step in the process was to add the PDM client to the workstations in the network environment. After my initial login, the printers defined to each workstation were dynamically replaced with fully functional and managed VPSX printers.
Throughout the process, I was impressed by how everything was protected though the use of HTTPS and other secure protocols. Print servers are an often-overlooked point of exposure, and by protecting them, the LRS Migration App improved the security of the overall environment.
Speaking of security, you may have noticed that corporate network environments are increasingly being locked down to prevent unauthorized access to information. That’s a good thing from the standpoint of protecting information, but it does present challenges for useful tools like the Windows Migration App.
Network administrators are justifiably wary of automated processes poking around on the network for the names of printers, workstations, and other devices. To overcome this challenge, LRS has added some functionality to our Printer Driver Manager (PDM) component. PDM is a lightweight piece of code installed on user workstations that enables VPSX software to (as the name suggests) automatically manage print drivers. Once installed, however, it can also do other things like transmit user print statistics for auditing, monitor compliance with corporate print policies, and more.
Administrators typically deploy the PDM client to remote workstations using a desktop management package like Microsoft SCCM. When they do so, they can specify the location of the server running the Windows Migration App. This allows each workstation running the PDM software to “call back” to the LRS Migration server and provide information about any defined Windows printers and special print settings. Because this information is being “pushed” by an agent on the workstation across an encrypted link instead of being “pulled” from an external LRS Migration Server process, network security packages do not block the transmission of this data. The result is a much more accurate picture of the workplace printing environment. In a short period of time, all of the printers in the entire enterprise are discovered, de-duplicated, and defined to the VPSX Server
Eliminating Windows Print Servers and replacing them with a central point of control like our VPSX software has always been a good idea. Now, it is easier than ever. For more information about the LRS Migration App, simply ask your marketing representative or contact us to learn how we can help.