Load balancing PaperCut print servers
PaperCut is a print management solutions provider which offers this three applications:
- PaperCut NG for simple print management, and the powerful PaperCut MF for complete print, scan, copy, and fax management. Lets you track activity and influence better printing with behavior-changing policies.
- PaperCut MF lets you cut costs and waste in your workplace by managing print, scan, copy, and fax. It has powerful exclusive features including Job Ticketing and Secure Print Release.
- PaperCut Mobility Print keeps users printing when they’re outside your network, or on an untrusted guest network. It keeps jobs local to keep printing quick, and only uses the Internet when necessary — and cloud jobs compress and encrypt to save space and keep your data safe.
As print specialists, we understand that print environments can be complex, with multiple technologies and applications. Loadbalancer.org brings these layers together to create systems which are reliable, highly available and high-performing.
Offering performance without limitations, the best-value hardware load balancer on the market supports any environment. Licensed for unlimited throughput, bandwidth and features, upgrading is seamless if your requirements change down the line.
It’s highly recommended that you have a working PaperCut environment first before implementing the load balancer.
For load balancing print servers, the preferred and default load balancer configuration uses Layer 4 DR Mode (Direct Routing, aka DSR / Direct Server Return). This is a very high performance solution that requires little change to your existing infrastructure. It is necessary to solve “the ARP problem” on the real servers, i.e. the print servers.
This is a straightforward process, and is covered in the section Configuring Microsoft Print Servers using PaperCut for Load Balancing starting on page 10. It is also possible to load balance a PaperCut secondary print server using Layer 7 SNAT Mode. This mode might be preferable if making changes to the print servers is not possible, although some Windows Registry keys need to be added on the servers.
Due to the increased amount of information at layer 7, performance is not as great as at layer 4. Also note that load balanced connections at layer 7 are not source IP transparent, i.e. the print servers will see all client connections originating from the load balancer’s IP address. This is not usually an issue when load balancing print servers but should still be considered.
The load balancer can be deployed as a single unit, although we recommend a clustered pair for resilience and high availability. Details on configuring a clustered pair can be found on page 23 of our deployment guide, below.