Auto deploying branch office printers with Direct Access RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello there

    I am implementing my first Direct Access topology and have a question. We will have branch offices with workstations deployed using Direct Access for administrative purposes. We have staff moving around from branch to branch with the goal to make logging on to the network and accessing resources for users as automated as possible. One of the questions I have regards auto configuring branch printers for users using Group Policy. The branch offices have workstations, printers and NAT modem/routers with DHCP - but no servers.

    If we have a stand alone network printer, how do we list that printer in Active Directory allowing the user to auto-configure it using group policy? If we install it on a server at Head Office, would the print job travel there first and then back to the branch? Obviously this is not ideal. Or can it be directed straight to the printer using a script or something?

    Alternatively we can install and share it on a branch workstation and list it in the directory, but would this not be same the problem as above? This is not ideal either as it would depend on the workstation being always on and available.

    Any input Direct Access gurus?

    Thanks in advance


    Tuesday, March 10, 2015 12:40 PM


All replies

  • Hi,

    Thanks for your post.

    We could have 2 possible solutions for natively deploy printers using Group Policy without the need for any scripting:

    1) Group Policy Preferences – available in Windows Server 2008 and later

    2) Print Management – available in Windows Server 2003 R2 and later


    Did you try to use the Print Management? You can share printers on a network and centralize print server and network printer management tasks using the Print Management Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. Print Management helps you to monitor print queues and receive notifications when print queues stop processing print jobs. It also enables you to migrate print servers and deploy printer connections using Group Policy.


    Meanwhile, if you have any Direct Access related issue, I think you may ask in network forums:



    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com

    • Proposed as answer by Vivian_Wang Monday, March 16, 2015 2:18 AM
    • Marked as answer by Vivian_Wang Wednesday, March 18, 2015 4:56 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by MIS5000 Wednesday, March 18, 2015 5:58 AM
    Friday, March 13, 2015 12:48 AM
  • Hi there

    Thanks for the info provided. I am familiar with Print serving and Group Policy deployment. What I am unfamiliar with is how to map local printers using GPO to clients that are connected using Direct Access in a remote branch. Specifically how to route print jobs directly to a local printer at a remote office without travelling to the remote server first. To futher clarify:

    1. Remote server has the network printer installed
    2. The network printer is at located remotely at the branch (no server at the branch)
    3. The branch client computer understands to route the print job across the local branch LAN to the printer, not via the remote print server

    So for me I would have thought a logon script would need to be run by GPO that

    • Installs the printer on the branch work station which
    • Directs the print jobs to be delivered directly to the LAN printer at the branch

    Of course this suggests that the printer would not be installed on the remote server in the first place. But whether by Direct Access of VPN, the same question applies - or do I have this all mixed up..

    Many thanks for you input


    Wednesday, March 18, 2015 6:02 AM
  • It's ok I have the answer


    I wasn't aware of this feature until now -  Off to Server 2012 R2 school I think. What I need to now understand is how and/or if this ties in with a Direct Access topology. Ill post the info later when I can  


    • Marked as answer by Vivian_Wang Tuesday, March 31, 2015 1:29 AM
    Wednesday, March 18, 2015 6:11 AM
  • Hi,

    Any update about the issue?


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com

    Wednesday, March 25, 2015 4:37 AM
  • Did you get this working? How well does it function?


    Monday, November 5, 2018 10:40 PM