Configuring a Highly Available Print Server Cluster


This guide provides step-by-step instructions for creating and configuring a highly available print server on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition and Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition operating systems. These print servers use a typical, single quorum device, multi-node server cluster that uses a shared disk.

A server cluster is a group of independent servers working collectively and running the Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS). Server clusters provide high availability, failback, scalability, and manageability for resources and applications. Using server clusters allows clients’ access to applications and resources in the event of failures and planned outages. If one of the servers in the cluster is unavailable because of a failure or maintenance requirement, resources and applications move to other available cluster nodes. Using server clusters does not guarantee non-stop operation, but does provide sufficient availability for most mission-critical applications. The cluster service can monitor applications and resources designed to work in a clustered environment and automatically recognizes and recovers from many failure conditions. This provides flexibility in managing the workload within a cluster. It also improves overall system availability.

Included in This Document

• Requirements for Server Cluster Configuration

• Configuring a Print Server on a Cluster

• Scalability and Consolidation

• Architecture

• Troubleshooting

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Best practice for configuring a print cluster:

1. Use Windows built-in print driver.

2. Use standard TCP/IP port

3. Do not use level-2 (NT 4.0 version, kernel mode driver) printer driver.

4. Periodically back up the printer driver using Printor Migrator tool against virtual server so the drivers can be easily restored in case or a disaster.


Author: Alan Zhao

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