HA printing for two Windows 2012 R2 print servers

calvin22
calvin22 used Ask the Experts™
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I am trying to setup two Windows 2012 R2 print servers that are running as VM's in a VMware 6.0 environment.  I would like to setup the two servers in an active-active or active-passive cluster or just set them up in some way that if I have to reboot or take down one of the print servers everyone in my organization will still be able to print.  Does anyone have any suggestions?
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VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
You will need to create a Microsoft Failover Cluster, and add the Print server role, as a clustered resource.

see this document, on how to create your Microsoft Cluster

https://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-60/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-60-setup-mscs.pdf

Do you have a SAN, and the ability to create RDMs ? (RAW Mapped LUNs)

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Commented:
This will be going into a 7 host cluster with VSAN enabled on each host.  The only storage that these hosts have access to is the distributed VSAN storage environment.

Since I am not able to do RDM's, it looks like the only way I can set this up is as a "Cluster on one Physical Machine" (looking at the supported storage configurations on page 9).   I found this article online about trying to setup Microsoft Failover Cluster in a VSAN environment.

http://www.mrvsan.com/microsoft-windows-failover-clustering-on-virtual-san/

I appreciate the help.  I going to try to get this setup over the weekend and I'll let you know how it goes.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
You could do a Cluster in a Box, e.g. virtual scsi bus sharing.

see here

http://wojcieh.net/microsoft-cluster-running-on-vmware-esxi-cluster-in-a-box/

This would put a tick in the box, which allows you to create a Failover Cluster with two VMs on a single host.

This would allow you then to take down a node, for maintenance, and print services would continue.
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Author

Commented:
I am getting an error message when I try to boot either of my new VM's.  For the clustering to work, the shared drive must be Thick Provisioned.  So, I created a new storage policy and set its only rule to "Object space reservation (%)" = 100%.  Each VM now has two hard disk, the first one is thin provisioned (by default) and FTT =1.  The 2nd hard disk on each is set to this new storage policy but I am getting this message when I try to power on either of the VM's.  Do you have any ideas?
Error message I am getting from vCenter

Author

Commented:
My shared drive (2nd drive)  is connected to the 2nd SCSI controller on Virtual Device Node SCSI(1:0)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
All your virtual disks need to be Virtual disk formats should be thick provisioned eager zeroed.

Author

Commented:
"There is no eager-zeroed thick format on Virtual SAN. OSR, when used, behaves similarly to lazy
-zeroed thick"

https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/products/vsan/virtual-san-6.2-design-and-sizing-guide.pdf 

(page 65 of the VSAN design and sizing guide).  I don't think I can setup a MSC in a VSAN storage environment.  I tried inflating the .vmdk files, I have the "Object Space Reservation storage policy set at 100%, and I still have not been able to get past the error message posted above.  I looks like vCenter still keeps seeing the drives as thin provisioned.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
can you not create any thick disks ?

You could create an a Cluster using Software iSCSI in the Guests, to a Guest VM presenting the  iSCSI Target to the VMs, all using VMDKs on vSAN.

Author

Commented:
I've talked to my boss and he is ok with just setting up the single print server and just living with the down time whenever we need to reboot it.

I appreciate your time thanks for the help.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
reboot out of hours early morning 3AM.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
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