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HP-UX Printing

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A.W.R
Frequent Advisor

HP-UX Printing

Hi,

I am quite new to this environment. We have an application that does a lot of printing. The printing is difficult to manage, and unreliable.

Is there a maximum on the number of print queues/print jobs on HP-UX?

Are there any other print solutions for HP-UX?

Thanks
Andrew
13 REPLIES
V. Nyga
Honored Contributor

Re: HP-UX Printing

Hi,

maybe it's better you tell us more about your system.
What os?
Which printers, how configured?
What application and how does it direct the print jobs to the system/printer?

V.
*** Say 'Thanks' with Kudos ***
Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor

Re: HP-UX Printing

> We have an application that does a lot of printing. The printing is difficult to manage, and unreliable.

Perhaps some details would be helpful here. Are you printing to a bunch of serial printers using modems or a roomful of USB printers connected to a PC? Or a wide collection of different manufacturers (ie, IBM, HP, Ricoh, Canon, Lexmark, etc) with widely varying connections?

> Is there a maximum on the number of print queues/print jobs on HP-UX?

No practical limit. HP-UX can be configured with hundreds to thousands of printers. Print jobs are not limited except for space in /var/spool/lp where each print job must be copied.

> Are there any other print solutions for HP-UX?

Google is helpful:

LPRng
CUPS
EasySpooler


Bill Hassell, sysadmin
A.W.R
Frequent Advisor

Re: HP-UX Printing

HI,

Here is a bit more detail. We have HP-UX 11i v1.

We use the default UNIX lp printing sub system.

We have 500 print queues and on average 200 print jobs. The print jobs vary and they peak at nearly double this. The print queues wait a long period of time to resume printing .

Printers attached to Windows workstations â parallel port or serialâ and a few directly to lan.

Thanks
Andrew
V. Nyga
Honored Contributor

Re: HP-UX Printing

Hi again,

>We have 500 print queues and on average 200 >print jobs. The print jobs vary and they >peak at nearly double this.

Well, per hour, per day, per week? Pending jobs at a moment?

>The print queues wait a long period of time >to resume printing .

I would expect, that the lan printers are
much faster then those attached to Windows workstations. Can you see any differencies?

What's about pinging the different printers - any differencies?
Is it one UX print server?
Is Windows printing itself too?

V.

*** Say 'Thanks' with Kudos ***
Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor

Re: HP-UX Printing

> The print queues wait a long period of time to resume printing .

This needs a lot more detail. By 'resume printing', do you mean that printing stops for some mysterious reason and takes a long time to resume?

> Printers attached to Windows workstations â  parallel port or serialâ  and a few directly to lan.

Serial printers, especially with print jobs that use different fonts and graphics, will print very slowly because the serial port is incredibly slow and the amount of data for a single page may require several megabytes of data. Do these serial printers run slowly when printing directly from Windows?

> The printing is difficult to manage, and unreliable.

This is now quite clear. Trying to mix HP-UX and Windows printing will always have difficult problems. They were not designed to work together and is not a recommended production solution. Your best solution is to move the printers off the Windows boxes and onto HP JetDirect External LAN adapters. Now your Windows and HP-UX systems will run at full speed and you will have the tools needed to find and fix printing problems.


Bill Hassell, sysadmin
A.W.R
Frequent Advisor

Re: HP-UX Printing

Hi,

Here is some more detail:-

It is 200 print jobs per hour.

It is happening to both Lan and Remote printers. During peak periods it is so bad that the print queues are put on hold for a long period which then causes the system to hang â system running out of resourcesâ .

We then have to delete 100 or more print queues and then the hanging symptom is fixed.

We are planning on migrating to HP integrity and need to get an idea if we will experience the same problem. Is this a pinter spooler limitation on hpux?

Could it be the way the printers were configured â remote printersâ .

We are interested to know Customer the maximum permitted print queues and configured remote or lan printers allowed.

We have no problem pinging the printers.

There is one HP-UX rp3440 production/print server.

Regards
Andrew
V. Nyga
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: HP-UX Printing

Hi again,

>which then causes the system to hang â  system running out of resources

Can you determinate which recource is affected?
RAM? Disk (/var/spool/lp)? kernel (nfile, maxdsiz, others)?

>Could it be the way the printers were configured â  remote printersâ  .

As Bill mentioned - network based printer should be better.

V.
*** Say 'Thanks' with Kudos ***
Gordon Sjodin
Frequent Advisor

Re: HP-UX Printing

An excellent print solution for a large amount of jobs is "Vista Plus Output Manager" from Quest software. But I do think you have a greater problem and should find your root cause.
Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor

Re: HP-UX Printing

> It is 200 print jobs per hour.

This is a trivial number -- thousands of print jobs per hour would not be a problem. This is often the case for label printers.

> It is happening to both Lan and Remote printers. During peak periods it is so bad that the print queues are put on hold for a long period which then causes the system to hang - system running out of resources.

Printing won't cause the system to hang. There is something else wrong with your system. The first question is how are your patches? Are they up to date within the last year? Secondly, when the system hangs or slows down, what does top report? How about syslog.log?

> We then have to delete 100 or more print queues and then the hanging symptom is fixed.

This is sounding a ot like a very bad network problem. Are you connecting to the printers over a 10 Mbit network? Are any of these printers located over the Internet or a WAN?

> We are planning on migrating to HP integrity and need to get an idea if we will experience the same problem. Is this a printer spooler limitation on hpux?

Nothing you have described is a limitation for HP-UX spooling. Hundreds of printers, thousands of print jobs per hour are nothing special unless you are ignoring messages on the console (dmesg) or in /var/adm/syslog/syslog.log, or your network cards are experiencing duplex mismatch. Do you have just one LAN card in the server? To check on each LAN interface, run lanadmin -g for each LAN number (like 0 for lan0, 1 for lan1 and so on). How about space on your filesystems (the bdf command)?

You'll need to gather more information about the state of your system when things slow down. Printing problems seem to be a symptom and not the real problem.


Bill Hassell, sysadmin
TwoProc
Honored Contributor

Re: HP-UX Printing

Andy,

I've never seen 200 print jobs per hour to be a problem on any HPUX system. Unless your system is already at cpu or I/O max from running other applications, databases, etc. from this server, I just can't see that few printouts per hour as an issue. I held up more volume than that back in the early 90's on servers that had to also had to run Oracle Applications, LanManagerX, a GIS Oracle database, onshore and offshore surveying applications, and NFS services across 10baseT coaxial hubs on a server with only two 32bit 75Mhz processors with only 256Mb of ram. Meaning: I don't see how you could possibly have a problem with 200 print jobs per hour. Something else is wrong.


For starters run "top" or better yet "glance" and see if you've got something maxxed out. Run "dmesg" and see if you've got errors. Check your network connections for errors, or misalignment (making sure to match Full Duplex ports on server to Full Duplex ports on the switches, etc).
We are the people our parents warned us about --Jimmy Buffett
A.W.R
Frequent Advisor

Re: HP-UX Printing

Thank you for all your suggestions,

I will use the utilities suggested to try and identify the bottleneck.

Andy
A.W.R
Frequent Advisor

Re: HP-UX Printing

I will investigate further.
Dennis Handly
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: HP-UX Printing

Make sure you check this recent thread about a spooling patch:
http://forums.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?threadId=1438717