Windows Virtual Desktop – #18 – Ezeep for Azure

you know I am NOT a paper person in fact when people ask me if I have paper or if I have a pen I usually respond with something like I’m digital and that’s because I try to be digital and just about everything that I do but I recognize that all people are not where I’m at in life and they need to for one reason or another either by choice or because of their job need to work with paper and in the case of Windows virtual desktop when we’re dealing with these work from home type enabled environments and we’re doing everything remotely where do we need paper well of course we need it in the area of printing now printing is there for you in Windows virtual desktop and we can redirect your local printers out to the cloud but sometimes we need just a little bit more and when I was talking to a few customers about virtual desktop and what things they need in their environments printing is something that very often comes up and it was in one of those customer calls that I was first turned on to this solution that we’re gonna talk about today and I thought it was such a well packaged solution that I wanted to share it with everybody so buckle in for the next few minutes as we introduce you to a solution by thin print called Ezeep for Azure I’m Dean Cefola and this is the Azure Academy now let me just say right off the bat that this is not a sponsor spot this is not a paid advertisement this is just me telling you individually about a Microsoft Partner based solution that works in Windows virtual desktop and I think works rather well this is not a endorsement and certainly not an endorsement by Microsoft but again I think this is a very well packaged solution and certainly a great printing experience so I just wanted to share it with everyone but first we’re gonna take a quick look at the Azure documentation and from the main page of the docs we’ll scroll down a little bit and go to our Windows virtual desktop then over in the filter here on the left side we’re gonna type RDP and we’re gonna click on the supported RDP file settings now in case you are unfamiliar with the RDP file settings what this basically does is this allows you to make the host pool do just what you want just the way that you want and there are a lot of settings here as you can see it’s a very long list of things that you can configure and if you have any comments feedback or recommendations on other things that we can add leave me a comment down below and I’ll be sure to pass that along to the Microsoft product group and because there are so many things on this page that we can work with I generally like to do a find on the page so I’ll do a ctrl F and that’ll bring up the find feature and then I’ll just type in here the word print and that’ll take us right to the settings related to our printers and it’s called redirect printers and then you can see on the right side that it has a value of either 0 or 1 which will allow you to redirect printers from the local computer where the person is initiating the WVD session into their virtual desktop environment or deny them now we will be coming back to initiating this feature so that we can set up the Ezeep solution to handle all of this stuff for us but I just wanted you to know that these settings are here for you to work with we’ll come back to this in a few minutes so we’ve come out to the Ezeep website and this is again a solution by ThinPrint we’ll go to products here at the top and then scroll down a little bit for Ezeep for Azure and this is their WVD solution and here’s where you can read about the solution they’ve even got a video here as well and then also you can test this product free for 30-days which is all so a nice benefit something I definitely like to see and at the top here we’ll click the link for the documentation this is gonna cover all the steps that we need to get this solution implemented and of course we’ll be providing you some tips and tricks along the way a high level of how the solution works basically you can see in this graphic we’re going to set up what amounts to a SAS service a cloud-based service that’s going to manage all of the printing for you and then we’re going to have an app that’s going to be installed onto our WVD VMs and there’s an app that goes on our desktops to connect to it and in printers server scenarios there’s a component that goes on a printer server and if you do not have a printer server and they have a new device that’s coming out called the Ezeep Hub and that will allow you to do those print server type functionality without the need of an actual print server so what we’re gonna build out today is the cloud solution set up for Windows virtual desktop and on my local machine and we’ll get printing to work right so let’s jump right in so we’ll go to step number one and tutorial process we can see what our requirements are we’re going to need an azure active directory setup which you should already have since you have Windows virtual desktop deployed already and if you don’t then you can go check out my link up top here for the virtual desktop series it’ll give you all the steps necessary to get every aspect of virtual desktop up and running we’re going to need a web browser which again you should have already and as far as our emissions we need to have Azure Active Directory global administrator rights because we’re going to be granting consent to a third party application so in short you should be ready to go so we’ll scroll down to the

let’s get started section and we need to go out to the azure marketplace and set up the solution so here in the azure marketplace first thing we’ll do is sign in and I’ll give it my credentials we’ll do a quick search for Ezeep for Azure and there it is over on the left so let’s click on that and I’ll have this page linked out in the documentation so that you can get here more easily and you can click on the plans and pricing link to find out more details about the solution and what it’s going to cost to run it but for right now I’ll just click get it now and I’ll check the box here so that we can continue in grant consent through our organisation and I’ll sign in with my global Advent and then you have the option here in the drop-down to pick either a fixed number of users that you already know you need or just give it a try which is what I’m gonna do it create and this is basically going to set up for us an azure active directory application and it needs a name of course so I’ll just call it Ezeep I’ll be selecting the monthly term and we’ll hit subscribe at the bottom now once that finishes you’ll be presented with this screen and you’ve got a link here at the top to configure your account so go ahead and click that and we’ll sign in again and now we’re being asked to grant our consent this is the standard integration of a third-party solution into Azure and this is something that the global administrator needs to do well check the box and then take a look here at the different permissions just so you’re aware of what they are and then go ahead and hit accept and I would need to create an Ezeep account so go ahead and fill in your information and once you’ve done that go ahead and hit create and we’ll sign in again with our global admin credentials now we’re granting consent for another Enterprise application and we do need both of these to make the solution work and once again you can click the dropdowns here to see the different permissions and don’t worry about caching it all right now we will be able to review this in the azure portal in just a moment so go ahead and hit accept all right so we’re basically done and now we’ve got here the Ezeep portal and so we’re gonna sign in with those global admin credentials so we can start using it and here is the tool that was a fast installation of getting this SAS solution up and running now what we want to do is go back to the azure portal for a minute we’re gonna take a look at what we’ve created the back in the portal will go to Azure Active Directory and then to enterprise application we’ve got one instance here for Ezeep and one instance or Ezeep for Azure and these two apps are both required and they do work together and inside the app you can go to spec out the permissions and this is the same stuff that we saw earlier when you granted consent they can check those out if you need to review them and you can also review the sign-in data so many times someone logs in to use this application you’ll be able to see their logins which means you can add things like conditional access and if you’re unfamiliar with conditional access then go ahead and click the subscribe button because we’re going to be putting a video soon on Azure ad conditional access you don’t want to miss that but back in the EZ portal let me give you a quick walkthrough here of what we’ve got though this first page is the Quick Start and again we have our graphic here telling us about the solution and what we’ve created already was this middle part this is the cloud service for printing and there’s a tab at the top here for our virtual desktops you know how to handle that part of the equation as well as our local print support and the network printers through print server solutions so if we scroll down a little bit we can see that there is a couple download links for each of those agents that we need and we are going to download all of them and over on the left you can see that there are local printer support as well as network printers as soon as we add some printers will have some devices groups here that we can manipulate and the first one that we’ll deal with is the Windows virtual desktop agent so I will sign in directly through RDP to my BM they need to log in as a local administrator to install this and I’ve copied over the Ezeep application already so I’ll run that and this is a pretty standard installation so we’ll just be going through this rather quickly just next next next and now that the installation is done it wants us to reboot but we’re not going to do that just yet because I want you to see something in the windows control panel and we’ll open up the Devices and Printers and you can see that we have several printers here that are redirected and that’s because like I mentioned in the beginning the host pools by default will allow you to redirect your printers into your environment and what we’re actually gonna do is we want everything managed through Ezeep in this scenario so we’re actually going to use the RDP properties and we’re going to block that redirection that we don’t see these devices here and we can manage everything centrally all right so we’ll click yes here to reboot now back in the azure Docs here is the reference for that RDP file setting who we can deny printer redirection and let me show you in PowerShell how we’re gonna implement this the first thing we’ll do in PowerShell we’ll do a get RDS host pool give it our tenant name and our host pool name and save that as a variable HP mess so we can see what our current status is and say that is a variable which also lets us do a dot select they

can just call that particular parameter and then I’ll do dollar HP so we can see what’s in there and as you can see at the moment there are no custom RDP properties and now we’re going to add our redirect enter variable here and of course you can show this in the dot select property and again it’s empty at the moment we’re going to change that I’ve got here our property and it is as we got right out of the documentation redirect printers : i : zero it’ll save that as a variable dollar properties then we’ll run set RDS host pool give it our tenant name our host pool name and our custom RDP properties and now you can see the custom RDP property is redirect printers is zero and now our printers will be blocked and of course we can go back and reset our HP variable here so we can capture that data again as well as our dot select value and you can see that that is now updated so I’m going to log back in now to my WB DBM but this time I’m going to log in as a regular user and here in the control panel again in Devices and Printers now you can see that no printers are being redirected we just have the default printers that are here as part of every Windows system or the print to PDF and to XPS and since I have office installed we also have these send to onenote printer and if we close that you can also see that a web browser has opened and we’re being asked to sign in to the EZ portal and this is the actual user sign in to take advantage of the system before we sign into this we’re going to need to set up some printers so that we can have something to work with but we’ll come back to this guy in a moment so now we’re going to enable the local printer support and we’ll need to install our ez connector on our local computer I’ll run the connector app again this is a simple installation so we can just Next Next right through it and then we’ll click finish and this is popped up a web browser on our system and again we’re being prompted to sign in and this is a great thing for this solution because in these work-from-home scenarios I may be using my own personal desktop laptop device and I still need to authenticate with my company credentials I can sign in here with those company credentials and still gain access to all of my print server says that are handled centrally they’ll provide my credentials next and if you have MFA or conditional access on your accounts through Azure Active Directory all those things would be enforced so now that we’re signed in I can actually close this tab because I don’t need it anymore it’s just for authentication and back in the EZ PAP I’m gonna go to local printer support over here on the left we can choose to disable this feature in tirely and coupled with the restrict redirecting of printers that we did in our host pools a moment ago this would effectively cut off all local printers from the system and then that would force everyone to use your print servers which you can manage centrally however another way that you could do this is still restrict local printer redirection through the host pool like we did in PowerShell but here allow local printers to function which gives you the option to manage them all through the Ezeep application and we can manage this through Azure Active Directory group memberships well click the plus here to add a group it will add my wvd users here as well as I’ll scroll down and add my admins and hit add group and both of those are now added the back on our WVD VM we’ll click the sign in button here and we’ll login with our credentials and just like on our local system we’ve gotten our successful sign in so we compose this now and on the wvd system itself we’re not really going to notice much of a change so if you look at the services console you can see that there are three thin print related services the auto connect service the license user service and the Gateway and all these should be in automatic start up type and should all be running and that’s for setting it up as the system and then each user will be prompted for their login credentials that is to connect their local systems out to the service and then again tying the WVD instance back to the service so that you can complete the circle and everything can login and work successfully under the Start menu there is also an Ezeep printer self-service app and this is where you should be able to see all printers that are enabled on this system as well as do any printer repair work if you’re having a problem with any of and from the settings you can also see what version of Ezeep you are running and if we open the control panel and go back to Devices and Printers we will see the local printers that are on this wvd system and we have a new one this is an inkjet printer that’s in my home right behind me and you can see it has in the parenthesis here s 3 that means session number 3 on this VM is the one that I am logged into with my account for Adam I’m logged into with my Adam warlock account and that printer is being passed from my local system through Ezeep’s ThinPrint

because I’m logged in on my local computer and on the WVD instance it is that simple now that’s for individual local printers but what would happen if we check that disable box in the local printers menu and when we’re logged back in and we check Devices and Printers our HP printer is gone because we’ve disabled that local print function so again to recap that you can enable that local print functionality for everybody or specific AzureAD group members or disable it entirely let’s move on to the print server scenario this is where you have obviously a print server in your environment and you’re going to manage your printing centrally like that and we want to extend its functionality into the cloud and then leverage that in Windows virtual desktop and I’ve already downloaded the print server connector here let’s copy that to my print server this is my test environment so it’s not really connected to a printer so I had to create a fake printer here so if I right-click on the printer and go to properties I’m gonna go to the ports of top here the printer has been created to print out to a file called printer dot txt on the C temp drive and if we open that file you can see that it is currently blank close the properties here for a moment right-click on the printer and go to the print queue and I want to pause the printer this is just so you can see everything in progress and test page and that’s successfully sent to the printer and you can see it’s here waiting to print out I’ll go and unpause the printer gone through and in the file now we have our test age and of course the formatting here is all wrong because it didn’t expect to be in this kind of format and I’m just doing this so I can show that the printer actually works I’ll clear all the text here and save the file again and you can see the file size is down to zero now that we know that this all works I want to connect it to the Ezeep solution so I’ll install there print server application and same kind of install next next next and we’ll click finish and it launches our web browser again and we need to sign in now this is where you use the same credentials that you’re running the Ezeep solution with so in my case this is my administrator account and we’ll just click to log in with that and now that it’s successful we can close the window and in this case we do have one service running on this box which is the thin print client service for Windows back in the Ezeep application we’ll go to the left to our network printers and now you can see our test printer has shown up so there’s a few items for the navigation around this page first of all on the right we have the location and model that we could use as filters and notice that there is a model already but we don’t have a location that do that we’ve got to add one I’ll check the box for this particular printer and add a location since it’s in the cloud I’ll just say the location is Azure and now when we go to do a filter we can see Azure is now one of our options so if we were to check that or the particular model then it would just show us a list any printers that match that criteria I’ll check the box again and over on the right we’ve got our assignments I can click the plus to add a group now we can just check the box for the particular group that we want to Commission to this is my W BD users I’ll click that and hit add groups that is now added now that the connectors at the top this refers to the actual print servers that are in our environment so if I check the box here for our print server and you can see the fully qualified host name as well as what version of Windows this is from here and on the settings screen this is where you can enable self-service for the individual users and this goes back to that Ezeep app that I showed you on the virtual desktop system so that they can decide which printers they want to have environment now let’s go back to the WVD vm and now log back in to w VD we see we’ve got our standard printers plus we have our test ez printer and it’s got the parentheses to around it that lets us know that this is session number two and also that this is provided by the team service i’ll log off one more time and back in the ez app i’ll goes back to the local printer support and this time we’ll enable our local printers and this is explicitly for the users in our WVD group or our administrators we remove these groups than it be enabled for everybody now that that’s enabled again let’s sign back into wvd and now you can see we’ve got our HP printer back as well as our test ez printer from the print server let’s do a printing test now that we’ve got these things in place first thing I’ll do is print it to the EZ best printer but flip back over to my print server real quick just so I can show you the interview and I’ll put a pause on the print queue just so we can see this in progress and have opened the test printer here and we’ll go to properties and under device setup you can see that this is provided by thin print and that’s because of the Ezeep application and from the general tab we’ll go to print our test page and that is now paused in the print queue and back from the print server we can see it waiting for us in the queue so we’ll

unfreeze the printer and it goes right through and pulling up our enter file that it’s going into we can see all of the print data okay so printing through Ezeep from our Windows virtual desktop system to our print server based printers all works and on my local machine I’ve got my control panel for Devices and Printers open and I’ll open the HP printer here and here is the print queue we’ll go to enter pause printing again just so we can see this in progress and from the wvd side we’ll go to see what’s printing in our queue again we’ll go to properties and if we go to the device setup again you can see that this is provided by thin print that way you know for sure that you’re printing to an Ezeep printer and instead of printing a test page I’m going to print something else I’ll just print this little picture that I drew so we’ll go to file print we’ve got our HP printer selected here and you can see the job is in our queue and on my local system you can see it’s waiting in the queue for me to unlock the printer and you can see my phone projected here on the screen you can watch me unpause the printer and then turn around to see my printer and there you go printing through wvd through a SAS service down to my inkjet printer the hope that you’ve enjoyed looking at this video covering Ezeep for Azure again a solution by thin print this thought it was a really simple print solution that provides a wide breadth of services and it’s really quick to install and set up and you can go to to check them out so if you thought that this video was good please go ahead and hit that thumbs up button it lets me know that you found this video interesting or that you learned something new and feel free to share this with anybody who’s looking for a printers solution or Windows virtual desktop or any of the other content on our channel and if you haven’t done so already go ahead and click that subscribe button and join us here at the Azure Academy community where we’re just all trying to learn about Azure and help each other and please feel free to leave me a comment down below on any questions that you have as well as any suggestions for future videos we’d love to hear from you and while you’re down there if you’d like to get an email notifying you when our new videos come out which is about once a week you can go ahead and click that email notification button as well if you’re looking for something more you can go check out our playlists or over here on the right you can click this top video that’s our latest video at the Azure Academy or you can click this one at the bottom that we’ve selected just for you to help you keep learning about Azure thanks so much for joining us and we’ll see you in the next video happy learning