Amalgamate printer queues

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Q Is there a way in PaperCut to amalgamate printer queues? We have multiple queues for the same printers. This is partly to split the load between servers and also to act as backup queues.

This is a complex area! Organization’s with large networks may also wish to consider clustering.

We have no easy way to amalgamate print queues in the web interface. It is something that have been requested before but does not yet have enough votes to push it forward onto the TODO list. There is however the ability to alias at the server-level. This may helpful in this “backup” queue situation. I’ll explain, by example, how server aliasing can be useful:

Setup:

  • Two print servers (to distribute load and/or act as a backup).
  • Both servers have the same set of physical printers installed under matching/identical names.
  • This example assumes both servers run Windows, but the concept can equally be applied to Mac and Linux.

Normal Setup in PaperCut:

  • Each server would report their printers to the central server.
  • Printers are prefixed by the server name (server\printer) so we have separate printers for each queue on each server.

Aliased setup in PaperCut:

  • Aim: Force one server or servers to report itself as the same name as the other server.
  • On one of the servers, set the ServerName= property in the file:
    C:\Program Files\PaperCut NG\providers\print\win\print-provider.conf
  • Now jobs from this server will list under the same name as the other server.
  • Jobs will now appear under the one printer name in PaperCut. The old queues can be deleted.

Exceptions & Known Issues:

The following features may not work as excepted using server aliasing:

  • Find-me printing will transfer the jobs to the server who’s name matches the selected alias rather than selecting the local server’s queue. This is because queues are selected via a fully qualified queue name.
  • Conversion Filters (forced grayscale, forced duplex) and Watermarking will also transfer the jobs to the server who’s name matches the selected alias.
  • Queue error alerts will not identify the server - the server alias name will be required.
  • Hardware page count validation may not work if multiple queues from different servers point to the same device.
  • Web Print will only print to the aliases server.
  • PaperCut’s internal printer load balancing will only load balance on the aliases servers queues.

keywords: load balance, distributed queues, join


Catagories: Printers

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Article last modified on July 08, 2013, at 04:54 AM
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