I need to add the Print Services role to one of the windows Server 2008 R2 machines on my network and I am looking for advice on the best option.
I have a small network with six smallish Dell printers and one large multifunction copier/scanner/printer/fax machine. The desktop clients are all Windows 7. Currently all printers are defined on the primary DC and shared through Active Directory, but there is no true print server in the mix. Each print queue is maintained independently in the memory of each printer. I have to start providing print capability to linux and Mac users, specifically to the multifunction printer. The only driver available for the multifunction printer is a postscript driver which behaves badly on anything but Windows. I am attempting to use LPD ports to enable the Mac and linux clients to use the big printer.
I do not have additional hardware to use for new machines, but virtual is an option.
Here are my current options. Please feel free to add more if there is something I completely missed.
- Install printing services to the existing DC (where the printers are currently defined). I do not like this option because of previous bad experiences with the print spooler going south and causing issues on Server 2003. In 2008 R2 can I take this risk on a DC?
- Install print services role to the existing file server.
- Create a VM (likely running on the file server) with just the printing services role enabled. This would allow better control over file vs. print at the cost of RAM on the file server.
I really like option three for separation of duties, but I would like to know what others think.
Note: this question is about where to put the print server. if I cannot get the Mac and linux clients to work with LPD ports I will ask that as a separate question. I need something to centralize printing just to get a better handle on the volume and any recurring problems.