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Failover Clustering and High Availability for Printer Installer

Posted by Corey Ercanbrack on June 29th, 2017

When it comes to high availability for a printing environment, Printer Installer, by design, has you covered. This great product converts your entire organization into managed direct IP printing and enables IT administrators to deploy printers, printer drivers, and profiles from a simple console. Now, when a user prints, the job is sent directly from the user’s system to the printer, eliminating the need for print servers and a single point of failure. Should the Printer Installer server ever go down, users will still be able to print.

Larger enterprise customers may still desire that the print management capabilities of Printer Installer be available at all times; they may even have SLA commitments to the business. With the release of Printer Installer 17.1, an enterprise class of high availability is now supported. Printer Installer now has the capability to support three methods for making your print management highly available:

  • Active/active high availability using load balancer, IIS web server farms and real-time database replication
  • Automated and manual failover to a warm standby using DNS
  • Database backup and restore

Active/active high availability is new to Printer Installer 17.1. It’s a method of creating redundancy for both the web server and the database that makes up Printer Installer. This now ensures that Printer Installer admin console, portal, and client communication are always available.

The foundation of the active/active high availability is the separation of the application from the database. This allows the use of industry standard technology in making the database and web server redundant.

Printer Installer utilizes MySQL master/master replication using global transaction identifiers (GTIDs) to ensure that data is written real-time to a redundant database. In the event that the primary database server goes down, Printer Installer will automatically detect the failure and start using the secondary database server. The failed database can then be repaired and the GTIDs will restore the database back to full replication.

For web server redundancy, Printer Installer is installed on multiple IIS servers that are configured within an IIS farm using application request routing (ARR) for load balancing. Printer Installer utilizes Microsoft dynamic file system (DFS) to replicate and share content real-time across the web servers. IIS-farm can monitor the web servers and If one of the Printer Installer web servers fail, the requests are simply routed to the web servers that are still online. The failed web server can then be rebuilt and added back into the IIS-farm and start responding to requests.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words:

This blog has focused on the latest active/active high availability capability released in Printer Installer 17.1. There are, however, two other methods. These methods are used by multiple Printer Installer customers. They are well documented on the PrinterLogic support site.

Based on your needs, you can use one of these methods to meet SLAs and provide a highly available print management solution to your company.

Corey Ercanbrack
Corey Ercanbrack
Chief Technology Officer at PrinterLogic. He is responsible for directing all product development, quality assurance and product support for PrinterLogic solutions. He brings over 20 years of experience in software engineering, IT, support and leadership. Prior to joining PrinterLogic, Corey has held several engineering leadership roles, including; Vice President of Product Development at InsideSales.com, Chief Technology Officer at Radiate Media, and Vice President of Global Engineering at LANDesk. He has repeatedly built enterprise development teams with excellent engineering process that delivered award winning solutions. Corey also spent nine years at Intel, where he held various engineering positions, including Director of Validation for software products and services and Director of System Integration and Validation for internet management and appliance. Corey holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Weber State University.

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