Cluster printing in Windows Server 2012 and above

Learn about highly available printing in Windows Server 2012 and above.

Q. I can't find Printing as a cluster resource in Windows Server 2012 and above?

A. Highly available printing underwent a major architectural change in Windows Server 2012. Prior to Windows Server 2012 highly available printing was achieved through a print spooler cluster resource that moved between nodes in the cluster however this model had a number of challenges including complexity, compatibility problems with drivers that had to be cluster aware, replicating drivers and so on. Windows Server 2012 removes the cluster-aware print spooler and instead highly available print services are now achieved through a VM running on Hyper-V and within the VM the print services run. The VM is then made highly available through clustering of the Hyper-V hosts but also utilizes the monitoring feature of Failover Clustering on the Hyper-V hosts that enables clustering to monitor the status of services running on Hyper-V VMs. Using this functionality if the print spooler inside the VM fails the clustering component can restart the VM after 3 services fails and even move the VM to another host if a subsequent failure occurs. It is for this reason Hyper-V is specified as the hypervisor for the print service VM as only Hyper-V with failover clustering provides the monitoring and action on service fails within a VM.

More information on this change can be found at https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj556311.aspx.

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