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Print Server failover

Greg27
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I have a VMware environment running Windows 2008 and 2008 R2 servers. I have had just a single print server running and recently the system was corrupted and printing stopped. I am wondering if there is a way to setup something so that if a print server goes down, then another picks it up. Is there a way other than clustering?
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Top Expert 2010

Commented:
What VMware product are you using?...ESX?...ESXi?...VMware Server?....?? Answer depends on the platform...

~coolsport00

Author

Commented:
ESX 4
1.May I know whether you are using vCenter to manage the ESX 4 Hosts ?
2.What type of Licensing are you using ? Standard, Enterprise, Advanced, Enterprise Plus ?
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
There is a VM backup solution that also does replication....Veeam Backup & Replication.
http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esx-backup.html
You can replicate VMs to another ESX host, even if it's not an 'identical' host (as what's needed in a Cluster). If the source VM crashes, you can simply power on the replicated VM and you're back up and running. There are many advantages to Veeam that you can read about on their site. The other thing you can do is restore a backup of your printer server VM (again, from using Veeam) and be up. This is about similar except for having to do a restore 1st whereas with replications all you do is power it on.
Veeam is not a free solution however...it costs around $500US per physical CPU socket (not based on cores, but phys sockets).

Now, I'm going with the assumption from your last post that you're not using *free* ESXi.

Regards,
~coolsport00
IT Manager
Commented:
There exists a possibililty to create the print queues on more than one server. Then you use DNS to direct the print traffic to the appropriate server.

Example.
Print Server 1: 10.1.1.1
Print Server 2: 10.2.2.2

DNS record: printsrvr -> 10.1.1.1

So all your clients print queues go to printsrvr\HP laserjet 4700, etc, etc

If the primary print server fails, update your DNS so that printsrvr now points to 10.2.2.2 ... so all new jobs now go to the backup print server. In this way you don't need to reconfigure the clients, and you don't need clustering,etc.

This is the cheapest solution. Just remember to ensure that if you change something on one server to do it on the backup server too..


Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Good info "za" :)

I still like Veeam though...although it does have a cost associated with it. But, you just create a replica job and forget it, until the time comes where you need to power on the replica VM.

Regards,
~coolsport00

Author

Commented:
Thanks guys. They DNS solution is just what I am looking for, but also appreciate the Veeam option. Maybe that will come in handy one day.