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Printing over a WAN vs. using a local print server

Posted on 2008-06-16
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I am considering relocating my organization's server infrastructure to a datacenter for DR purposes.  Our budget for doing this is tight and as a result I am concerned about printing across a potential 3Mbps WAN link.  The setup would involve moving only the servers and so there would really only be a need to print in one location.  We currently run about 20 network printers for about 50 users (I know...ridiculous)  So...would it be better to:

a. Have a local printserver to keep that traffic off of the WAN
b. co-locate print server over the WAN and if so how is that configured in Server2k3? IPP?

Any insight is greatly appreciated.  I am leaning towards a local print server because I am concerned about PPP performance and the fact that we only need to print in one location.
     
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Question by:sedwho
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jhyiesla earned 1500 total points
ID: 21797222
Since you are doing this for DR purposes I will assume that you have the infrastructure in place to actually print from the colo (Routers, ip routes, etc).

A 3 MB WAN link is really not all that slow.  We have 1-2 MB links between our primary site and several remote sites and all printing is located at one sever at the primary site.

Would printing be faster coming from a print server located locally...sure.  It probably matters more how much printing you are doing, what other traffic will be crossing the WAN link at the same time and what level of patience management has when a print job takes a few extra second to appear :).  Also, you could leave the print server at your main location and do a print migration and save the output file somewhere.  If the worst happens and you need to get printing up and running all you need is a server at the colo with enough spare juice to run the print server functions and set it up with the same name and load in your print migration file.  If you are using VMWare you could also clone off the print server and have it not running on a server at the colo and bring it online should you need it.

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by:sedwho
ID: 21799213
I am working on justifying the extra spend to the managment  and am just trying to think of every variable that might come into play.  Then the infrastructure...  I think that validates what I was thinking though, thanks.
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