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Simplify Printing - Print Server Failover

ScrewDrivers Print Servers are an important resource in any virtualized printer environment. When a ScrewDrivers Print Server is unavailable, many users and applications can be adversely affected.

For version 6.3, Tricerat is introducing a new feature called ScrewDrivers Print Server Failover.

This feature allows one ScrewDrivers Print Server to take over for another in case of either a scheduled or unscheduled outage.

Requirements

To use ScrewDrivers Print Server Failover, you must have at least two identically configured ScrewDrivers Print Server machines. Especially important are:

  • Installed ScrewDrivers Print Server version must be identical
  • Installed version of Windows must be identical
  • Installed printers must be identical
  • Installed print drivers must be identical

Failure

A ScrewDrivers Print Server is considered failed if it cannot be contacted over a socket connection using the host name and port number configured.  This allows customers to take a ScrewDrivers Print Server out of active use by stopping the ScrewDrivers Print Service on that machine.

Implementation

ScrewDrivers Print Server Failover is implemented by using a list of FQDN host names (or IP addresses) instead of a single host name when defining ScrewDrivers Print Server object.  The first ScrewDrivers Print Server in the list is considered the primary.  The rest of the host names are considered secondary or alternate print servers.

Feature Limitations

A failover print server is interchangeable with the primary printer server in all cases when a connection to a print server is established.  The feature is not designed to recover after a successful connection was established.  If a print server goes down in the middle of a print job, that job will be lost.  The next attempt to print will contact the primary print server again, if a connection cannot be established, it will failover to the next printer server until a connection can be established.  Once connected, the print job, printer query, Advanced Print Feature dialog will only use that established connection for the duration of the operation.

Order of Processing

ScrewDrivers Print Servers are contacted in the order specified in the print server object.  There is no need to mark a print server as online or offline.

Configuration

ScrewDrivers Failover Print Servers are configured in v6 Print Server section of the Simplify Console Objects pane: 
 
In the example, SH-2012R2-PS2 is the primary ScrewDrivers Print Server. SH-2012R2-P4 and SH-2012R2-PS5 are secondary or failover print servers. 
Only SH-2012R2-PS2 is configured as an object. SH-2012R2-PS4 and SH-2012R2-PS5 are not configured as separate objects in the Objects pane.

Adding a New Failover Print Server

 To add a new failover print server, click the green plus sign button.
A new entry in the list is created and you can type the host name or IP address of the failover print server in the edit area provided:

Deleting a Failover Print Server

 To delete a failover print server, highlight the print server by clicking on it then click the red X button.
The failover print server is removed from the list.

Changing the Failover Print Server Order

When the primary ScrewDrivers Print Server is not available, the failover print servers will be contacted in the order specified from top to bottom.

To change the order that will be used, highlight a print server the click the up arrow and down arrow buttons to move the failover print server.

Testing Connectivity to a Failover Print Server

To test connectivity to a failover print server, highlight a print server and click the green check button .  A message is displayed showing the results of the test: 

Configuration Limits

There is no fixed or pre-set limit on the number of failover print servers that can be configured for a given ScrewDrivers Print Server.

Printer Naming

The printer name assigned to a ScrewDriver Print Server printer does not change if a failover print server is used for a given print job. This allows customers to maintain one printer naming convention regardless of which ScrewDrivers Print Server is used.

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