There are a lot of administrators that need to maintain a highly available Print Server running on Windows Server 2003 RTM/SP1/R2/SP2 Failover Clusters
Hopefully with this series of blog posts, you will be able to create a solid printing environment where you can maintain close to 99.99% uptime* and have good performance during a move or failover.
I’m going to be assuming that you have already have either built a brand new Windows Server 2003 Print Failover Cluster or are migrating from a Windows 2000 Server Print Failover Cluster.**
Personally, I prefer that you build a brand new O.S. instead of migrating, this provides you to start fresh. All you have to do is migrate the actual print queues.
After you have built it, I hope that you have it optimized per:
- 895092 Recommended hotfixes for Windows Server 2003-based server clusters
- 923830 Recommended hotfixes for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1- based server clusters
- 935640 Recommended hotfixes for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2-based server clusters
Like a house, you want to have a strong structural foundation before adding items.
There are some whitepapers such as “Creating Highly Available Printers with Windows 2003 Server Cluster” in http://www.Microsoft.com/PrintServer where all Administrators should start.
When you are done reading that whitepaper, the question becomes so what do you need to optimize and make your print cluster server scalable?
- What is your Cluster reset quorum log set to?
- Do you need Terminal Services Print redirection turned on?
- Do you need local print drivers on each physical node?
- Do you have the print drivers that you actually use and need?
- Do you have the latest versions of the OEM print drivers?
- Do you have the hotfixes needed for printing?
In future posts, we will be discussing how to go about troubleshooting these 6 items. We’ll also cover Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 Print Failover Cluster migrations and best practices.
Author: Yong Rhee
Support Escalation Engineer
Microsoft Enterprise Platforms Support
* When using inbox print drivers (Print drivers that ship with Windows Server 2003)
** Guide to Creating and Configuring a Server Cluster under Windows Server 2003 White Paper