News From the Server Farm

Windows Server 2019 Status

We continue to struggle with the Windows Server 2019 implementation on the ActiveApplications Hosted Servers. The original plan was to have ALL servers switched to 2019 on AA Hosted by now. Instead, we have gone sideways and even gone back to Windows Server 2012 in some cases. In other cases we did not even attempt to transition servers because of the issues.

The first reason is that 2019 is 40% slower than 2012 when running on the same hardware. That is a big difference. Our testing has shown that on a 2019 RDP server a print job can take 14 seconds to start printing while on 2012 it is eight seconds. That is a HUGE difference. When you consider that multiple people might be trying to do the same thing the time could get worse. We have made some changes to reduce that difference but in a lot of cases it is still slower.

The second reason is that Server 2016 and 2019 lose the default printer. Windows knows what the default printer is but the program cannot find it. It becomes necessary for the user to select a printer every time a print job is selected. There are ways to program around it but the program loading slows down when the program is changed and there are a lot of programs to change. We may implement a better method if we have to change the program anyway, why not change it once and remove all the Windows print spooling dependance? See the related Blog posts about the printing issue.

The third and biggest issue is that Windows does a poor job of managing print services. Multiple crashes in a day on an RDP server is common. We have even had to restart print spoolers during a day. The way printing services work is poor. A large driver base must be created and maintained on each server. This is time consuming and frustrating since print drivers frequently change. If a matching driver is not found on the server and the workstation printing the document then the print method becomes grossly slow. Instead of seconds it can take minutes to print. When printing slows for one person it directly affects other people on that server. It is a hair pulling nightmare.

Nothing in Windows Server 2022 has been announced to alleviate these issues. In fact the issues are apt to multiply. The outlook for the future is bleak. In the next few years Microsoft will certainly terminate support for Windows Server 2012 as it has for other versions of Windows.


There are possible solutions that will take programming to get done but these methods might be a better solution. See the related Blog posts that explains the Print to PDF method and how it could solve the problems.

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