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Which server should I install my print server on?

Posted on 2013-05-22
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Last Modified: 2013-05-23
I am in the process of upgrading a print server. It is a small office with only 3 networked printers and less than 20 users. Although it is a virtual environment, I would prefer not to have a dedicated print server vm. I am trying to determine which virtual server I should add the print server role to: domain controller, file server, or utility server (running WSUS, AV administration/updates, Veeam Monitor).

Thanks for your help.
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Question by:fisher_king
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Ian Meredith earned 100 total points
Comment Utility
Usually the rule is to keep your file server and print server together as they have a reliance on each other....  makes more sense for files and the ability to print them exist on the same server.
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by:Skyler Kincaid
Skyler Kincaid earned 50 total points
Comment Utility
Honestly if it is only three printers you could install it on any of the three. I would say you should install it on the file server or domain controller because they will always be online for production.

That way if you need to reboot your utility server during the day for testing or updates you can.
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by:eerwalters
eerwalters earned 50 total points
Comment Utility
DCs are best to leave alone, if possible.  So, between the file server and the utility server, I would also choose the file server.

  I am also a big fan of using print servers if you need to maintain logs of who printed what, have easy failover for host application printing, etc. and they are best utilized in medium to large environments .  But with less than 20 users, I'd also consider just letting them print directly to the printers and not even have a print server.  Direct printing removes that load from being on any server, if there is no pressing reason to utilize one.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 50 total points
Comment Utility
A SINGLE server in your size environment should be sufficient to handle everything.  Best practices dictate that all services have their own server and if that's not possible, then similar services should be grouped together with certain ones NEVER mixing (RDS and a DC for example).

Since you already have three servers I would recommend you put the print server on a file server.  They are most commonly grouped together.  Since you already have multiple servers and a separate DC, I would keep the DC separate.  You COULD put the print server on the utility server, but it wouldn't be as common to do that.
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by:fisher_king
Comment Utility
Thanks for all the responses.
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