Common Site Server Questions
This KB article covers common issues/questions about PaperCut Site Servers.
No. The Site Server does not maintain its own data and does not need backing up. If a Site Server fails, a new one can be quickly re-established by re-installing. By contrast, the Application Server does maintain important configuration and history data and should be backed up.
No. The Site Server does replicate key tables from the PaperCut database related to configuration. This includes User, Group, Printer, Device and Attribute tables. Importantly, the Site Server does not replicate the Printer Log table from the App Server, as this data is not needed. For many customers, the Printer Log table is by far the largest table in the database.
Yes. The Site Server performs all communication with the App Server over a secure HTTPS connection. A Site Server cannot be connected to the App Server without the approval of a PaperCut administrator with sufficient admin rights.
No. The PaperCut Site Server also ships with an internal database in the same way the Application Server does. However if your preference is for an external database, we support these too. The steps to configure a Site Server to use an external database are exactly the same as the steps for setting up a main PaperCut server to use an external database use an external database, except that you will perform these steps on the Site Server.
PaperCut developed its own database replication strategy to remove the requirement for costly enterprise database licenses.
The failover from online to offline mode for the site server is an automatic process and happens without the need for intervention from an administrator. The failover time is also instantaneous for the MFDs and configurable for the print provider, so users can continue to function without interruption.
The status of a Site Server can be validated through the PaperCut admin interface via the
Sites tab as well as via the
Yes. Filters and restrictions set at the queue level are supported when the Site Server is offline from the Application Server. However, print scripts and any conversions controlled by script will not run when offline.
Yes. Site Servers are able to be configured in a way that they can validate username and passwords when the Application Server is unavailable, however this is not enabled by default. If a link between a remote site and the main site is unavailable, there is a high likelihood that the directory server is also not available to validate credentials.
For example, if the device is set up on the Site server, does it contact the site server to validate the authentication or the Application server?
Fear not - even when the device and Site Server can contact the main Application server, it will validate the ID and PIN with the Site Server.
Cross server releasing of print jobs (where the physical queue and virtual queue are on different print servers) will be supported during an outage when both source and target queues reside on print servers connected to the same Site Server.
Customers implementing clustering of the Application Server to maintain high service levels should continue to do so. The Site Server offers additional protection, but many features of the Application Server, such as Web Print, BYOD printing and external payment gateways are not currently available through a Site Server.
In the initial release, we are not claiming scalability benefits for the Site Server. However it is true that the Site Server is distributing workload - and as we gather more data and continue to build the solution, we may well see some scalability benefits.
Where a Site Server has multiple IP addresses, devices that look for PaperCut may need to know which IP address is the correct address to connect to. On the Application Server, this is easily set under
Server Address. On the Site Server, you may specify the address to use on the
Details page in the
DNS name (or other IP) field.
Jobs which were printed to a local print server prior to an outage will reappear in your held jobs list a few minutes after the Application Server becomes unavailable.
You can perform a silent install or upgrade of your Site Server using the command
pcmf-setup.exe /TYPE=site_server /SILENT as described in our article Automated PaperCut Server Deployment. However after the initial installation, you still need to access the web browser to enter Site server’s name, Application server’s IP address and admin’s credentials.
This task only needs to be done during the initial installation, so when upgrading the Site Server these detail do not need to be entered again.
The Site servers sync with the primary Application server every 120 seconds, and it can be adjusted by changing the following config key -
Information on how to change a config key is given here.
I’m unable to Change Print Job Settings at my copiers during an Application Server outage. Is the Change Print Job Settings feature supported by Site Servers in Offline Mode?
In PaperCut MF 18.2, we introduced the ability for users to Change Print Job Settings at the device. As one example, this allows users of supported copier devices to change their color job to a grayscale one at the point of release.
By default, the ability to Change Print Job Settings is disabled for devices hosted by a Site Server which currently cannot reach the Application Server (i.e. a Site Server running in Offline Mode during an Application Server outage). This is because changes to a print job’s settings made during an outage will not persist after the outage ends, and the Site Server is able to reconnect to the Application Server. For many Site Server deployments, the average duration of an outage might be very short, which could result in behavior confusing for your users; changes they make during a brief outage may suddenly disappear when the outage ends moments later, and the jobs they release may seem to have “ignored” the changes they had selected.
For deployments where it is known that outages tend to be rare and of considerable duration, or when taking a Site Server into Offline Mode for a known length of time is planned, it may be preferable to allow the Change Print Job Settings functionality to remain active. This can be achieved by changing the value of the
system.site.offline-change-print-job-settings.enabled config key from
Y using the Config Editor, as described in the relevant section of our online User Manual.
Keywords: Site Server, Resiliency, High Availability, Failover, change print job settings