Load Balancing Microsoft Print Server

Configuration has yet to be fully verified, Kemp Support will gladly assist if your Microsoft Print Servers is not flowing as expected.


1   Introduction

 Using the Kemp Load Master it is possible to Load Balance your Microsoft Print Servers.


1.1  Document Purpose

This section details a configuration for a specific application that has been provided by a customer but has yet to be fully tested.

This specific configuration will enable your Microsoft Print Servers to be Load Balanced.

Configuration has yet to be fully verified, Kemp Support will gladly assist if Print Server traffic is not flowing as expected.


2  Configuration Required

2.1  Before you configure your Virtual Service you will need to configure the Print Servers in your cluster and configure the second print server with the same print queues, assuming two print servers.

Some Registry edits are required to allow printers to be addressed by their Netbios name and should be made on your version of windows server.


Windows Server 2008 Reg Edits

Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlLsa

Value: DisableLoopbackCheck


Data: 1


Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServiceslanmanserverparameters

Value: DisableStrictNameChecking


Data: 1


Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServiceslanmanserverparameters

Value: OptionalNames


Data: PrintSerice (this is an example)


Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServiceslanmanserverparameters

Value: srvcomment

Type: REG_SZ

Data: Server 1 of PrintService cluster


2.1   Direct Server Return

 Direct Server Return is also required for this to work correctly. Please see our guide (https://support.kemptechnologies.com/hc/en-us/articles/203861685-Configuring-DSR)

Please note in DSR guide section 3.2. "Changing Network Interface Metric" in order to have the value permanently configured,  you will need to change this value using NETSH.

"NETSH INT IP Set <Interface ID> metric = 254"   without quotes.


2.2   Activate NETBIOS

Since we are using a NETBIOS based service (the Load Balanced Name of the Print Service), NETBIOS should be activated on the Loopback NIC, to register the Name in the NETBIOS Name Table on the system.   



2.3    Disable DNS registration

Since the loopback NIC is configured with the load balanced IP, registering in DNS would conflict with the (static) DNS Record that will be created for the Load Master.


2.4   Deactivate NETBIOS

NETBIOS must be deactivated on the LAN Adapter on each system. Failure to do so would cause a failure where only one of the load balanced servers could register the load balanced NETBIOS Name. This would result in a situation where only the system that registered the load balanced name, answers requests for the load balanced name. Rendering the other systems unusable.



2.5      Implement DNSOnWire Registry Key on Servers

The DNSOnWire Registry Key specifies if the Host tries to resolve the load balanced name via DNS. This functionality has to be deactivated.
[HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print] "DnsOnWire" (REG_QWORD) Decimal = 0


3.0  Global Configuration

     >No Changes Required


3.1  Virtual Service Configuration: 


3.2    Virtual Services 

      > New Virtual Service

      > Enter IP Address

      > Port =  *   (Wild Card)

      > Name = MS Print Servers

      > Add New Virtual Service


3.3    Standard Options   

      >  Disable Force L7

      >  Persistence = Source IP

      >  Persistence Time = 1 Hour

      > Scheduling Method = Round Robin

      >  Idle Connection Timeout = 660  (Default)

3.4    Real Servers

      > Checker Parameter Type = TCP

      > Check Port = 135

      > Add New 


      > Enter Real Server IP Address

      > Port = *  

      > Forwarding Method = Direct Return

If you have successfully Load Balanced your Microsoft Print Servers environment by implementing this specific configuration, please give a thumbs up or please leave a comment on a possible alteration that was required to make it function. Thank you








This procedure is simple and efficient. I succedded to implemant it easily with 2 W2012R2 print server and a VLM-2000

It's working almost fine but I receive a lot of error from the Kemp about "Real Server Connect ".


For example:

Apr  3 12:13:48 SrvLM01 kernel: L7: Real Server Connect failed (clientIP:63715->PrintClusterIP:*->RealServerIP:49158)L7: Real Server Connect failed (ClientIP:63716->PrintClusterIP:*->RealServerIP:49158)

And there is often a latency (<10s) from the client to open printer properties. I think it's in relation with the error.

Have you got an idea to resolve this trouble.

Thanks in advance.Best regards

Franck THERY





Severin Adou

Hi Franck, 

I and the server team have crossed checked the configuration following the link and infos you sent. I made some changes on kemp VIP. We made some progress. However i did not make the global change for "Subnet Originating Requests" as i am not sure if applying globally will affect others VIP's. 


When i look at enabling " Subnet Originating Request" on the VIP I can only do if L4 is disabled which break Direct return. 

Can you please spare with us on a call few minutes to cross check the configuration and confirm if enabling " Subnet Originating Requests" globally will not have an impact of others VIP's ? 

We are available today if possible with your team.






Hi Sev

Yes, I am available today. You can call me about 16:15 CET.







We have tried this with Windows 2012 R2 Print servers and got it to work. But now we are trying with Windows Server 2016 and we are not that successful. Has anybody tried this (with Windows Server 2016) and got it to work?







Hi Denis.

I'm still under W2012 and at this time don't try W2016.

If you find the way, don't hesitate to share tips because I think it will come soon for me too.

Best regards




Gavin Ross

Any luck on getting this working with Server 2016? We just did an upgrade it everything stopped working. We get an error on the client when trying to access the Hostname of the VIP ... this is the error we are getting;

An attempt was made to logon, but the network logon service was not started

The only way around this for now was to change our DNS entry to point directly to one of the servers, so I know the issue is with the config on the LB.






Darren Morrissey

Hello Gavin, 

I'm not aware of any necessary Load Balancer config changes for server 2016. Would it be possible to create a support ticket?  you can put it for the attention of Darren and we can troubleshoot together. Thank you



Tom Aitken

Thanks for the guide - followed to the letter and works fine with Server 2016 machines in our environment - ensure you have "Force L4" set and ensure your backend servers are set to "Direct return" for the forwarding method.

One way I did improve on this is to install the "LPD Service" by enabling the "Print and Document Services" role. Now set your check port to TCP 515 - if your print spooler stops (either by crashing or being stopped manually), this port closes and the LM marks the server as down.



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