This KB article covers common issues/questions about PaperCut Site Servers.
Q. Do I need to backup my PaperCut Site Server?
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.
Q. Does the Site Server replicate the entire PaperCut database?
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.
Q. Is communication between the Site Server and App Server secure?
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.
Q. Do I need to run a Site Server on an external database?
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.
Q. What database replication technology do you use?
PaperCut developed its own database replication strategy to remove the requirement for costly enterprise database licenses.
Q. Is failover automatic, and how quickly does it happen?
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.
Q. How do I check the status of a Site Server?
The status of a Site Server can be validated through the PaperCut admin interface via the
Sites tab as well as via the
Q. Will features like conversion to grayscale or force duplex work in offline mode?
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.
Q. Will username and password login methods be supported if the Application Server isnt available?
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.
Q. How does PaperCut authentication works when authenticating using ID/PIN? If the device is set up on the Site server, does it contact the site server to validate the authentication or the Application server?
When the device can contact the main Application server, it will always validate ID and PIN with the Application Server. Only when the main site is unavailable, PaperCut contacts the site server to validate the credentials.
Q. Will cross server releasing of print jobs work during an outage?
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.
Q. Will Site Servers replace the need for clustering?
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.
Q. Will Site Servers improve scalability of my system?
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.
Q. How do I specify the Site Server network address for my Web Services device?
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.
Q. What happens to my existing held print jobs when the Application Server becomes unavailable?
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.
Q. Can I automate installation or upgrade of Site Servers?
You can perform a silent install or upgrade of your Site Server using the command
pcmf-setup.exe /TYPE=site_server /SILENT
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.
In addition, upgrading the Site Server does not require entering of these details again.
Q. How often do the Site Servers sync with the main Application Server?
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.
Q. 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