8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 8, 2018 2:05 PM by Paul LaFollette

    MobilePrint incorrectly "load balancing" Mono jobs

    Paul LaFollette Guide

      We're running MobilePrint 2.1.0.88281 and for the most part, it is working well except for places where one Release Station serves two printers (one mono and one color).   When releasing multiple mono documents, MobilePrint "load balances" the mono print jobs between both printers even though the device attributes have been set to only allow Color on the color printer and only allow Mono on the mono printer.   When releasing multiple color documents, MobilePrint correctly prints the color documents all on the color printer.  It's only the mono documents through MobilePrint that get "load balanaced" regardless the allowed attributes of the printer devices.

       

      With the Attributes set to allow Mono only on the mono printer, MobilePrint should NOT be sending mono jobs to the color printer (which has Attributes set to not allow Mono).

       

      Any ideas how to correct this?  Or did I discover a "bug" with MobilePrint 2.1.0.88281?

       

      This item is a problem for me because of different paper and different costing we're trying to do with the color printers.  This "load balancing" of the mono MobilePrint jobs breaks the costing and printer assignments.

       

      Thanks,

      - Paul L.

        • Re: MobilePrint incorrectly "load balancing" Mono jobs
          Jeff Herald Guide

          Paul,

           

          A thought; when you set the allowed attributes of the print devices, do you have Mono as an allowed attribute on the Color device?  Would removing this attribute cause problems for your system?  The functionality you describe is the Uniprint system (not MobilePrint) working as designed, though it may be undesirable in this case.  The station, when set to release to multiple printers, is supposed to load balance across the available printers, as long as the attributes of the printer are of the type needed for the job.  In this case, you may have a Mono and a Color printer, but both may have Mono Attributes enabled.  So the stations sees both as available and appropriate for the mono jobs.  Can you check the attributes on the print device and see how they are set, related to the Mono option?

           

          -Jeff Herald

          Pharos Systems

            • Re: MobilePrint incorrectly "load balancing" Mono jobs
              Paul LaFollette Guide

              Jeff,

              I have the Mono attribute not allowed for the Color printer.

               

              To make sure I didn’t have any conflicts with settings for the users of the non-Mobile (on campus) print connections, I did the following:

               

              1.       For the Mono printer, Removed the Mobile Print group and allowed All Attributes.

               

              2.       Created a second Mono printer (pointed at the same printer) assigned only the Mobile Print Group, and set Job Attributes to not allow Color.

               

              3.       For the Color printer, Removed the Mobile Print group and allowed All Attributes.

               

              4.       Created a second Color printer (pointed at the same color printer) assigned only the Mobile Print Group, and set Job Attributes to not allow Mono.

               

              5.       All four print devices (both traditional and Mobile Print devices) are all released using the same Release Station.

               

              Thus, two printer devices for each printer.  One for Mobile Print and the other for all other print jobs.  The Mobile Print Mono device set to not allow Color, and the Mobile Print Color device set to not allow Mono.

               

              The result:

               

              1.       Mobile Print submitted Color print jobs only come out on the Color printer.

               

              2.       Mobile Print submitted Mono print jobs come out on both the mono and color printers (appears to be load balancing).

               

              3.       Traditional non-Mobile print jobs all release normally to the correct printers.

               

              Does that better explain what I’ve tried?

               

              Thanks,

              - Paul L.

              • Re: MobilePrint incorrectly "load balancing" Mono jobs
                Paul LaFollette Guide

                Jeff,

                So I guess the answer to your question would be, Yes, I did set the attributes to allow or not allow Color or Mono for the Mobile Print devices, but did NOT set those attribute controls for the traditional Uniprint "non-Mobile" print devices.   I'm hesitant to set traditional Uniprint "non-Mobile Print" group devices to allow or disallow Color/Mono because there are often times users just submit print jobs to the print queue of their choice without consideration if their document is Color or Mono....

                 

                But then I reviewed the Attributes of print jobs in the Pharos Administrator, Job Management, Printed Jobs and it looks like ALL of the print jobs being sent to the Mono print queues are Attribute "Mono" and it looked like the print jobs being sent to the Color print queues were all attribute "Color"... until I looked at print jobs going to a Xerox color printer we have and there I'm seeing both Color and Mono attribute jobs being sent to that Xerox color printer (which has only "Color" print queues).

                 

                I could try setting the Uniprint "non-Mobile Print" color device to not allow mono, but I'm concerned I'll then get reports of users being unable to "select a suitable printer" for some print jobs.  The Xerox is in a location where we have Art and Communications studies and they tend to want to use the "extra nice" printer (the Xerox) for all kinds of artistic creations.

                 

                I'll set the attributes on the Uniprint "non-Mobile Print" devices and see if that impacts how this behaves, and will report back.

                 

                CONFIRMED:  Changing the attributes for the "non-Mobile Print" devices had no impact.  Despite the Mobile Print color device being set to not allow Mono... the mono Mobile Print jobs still come out on both the mono and color printers.

                 

                Thanks,

                - Paul L.

              • Re: MobilePrint incorrectly "load balancing" Mono jobs
                Scott Perkins Wayfarer

                Paul,

                 

                We had the same problem.  I thought it was a bug so I called support.  They told me it was "functioning as designed".  My response is that the design is not a good one.  In my case, I have a B&W printer and a color printer on the same release station the same as you.  I wouldn't care except the cost of a B&W click on the color device is twice as expensive as the B&W device.  So printing black on the color device is costing real money with no way to recover it except to charge a color rate.  That would not go over well with the users.

                 

                Scott

                Georgia Tech

                  • Re: MobilePrint incorrectly "load balancing" Mono jobs
                    Paul LaFollette Guide

                    Scott,

                    You exactly described my biggest problem with that behavior.  For me, it also means the B&W jobs usually look a LOT better when printed on the color printer and the user gets away with a really nice print job for less than it cost to make it.

                     

                    I have a problem with the "functioning as designed" (if that is the end decision) because if the Attributes for the color printer are set to not allow Mono, it should never use the color printer for load balancing the B&W (mono) jobs.

                     

                    Thanks,

                    - Paul L.

                  • Re: MobilePrint incorrectly "load balancing" Mono jobs
                    Jeff Herald Guide

                    All, this issue has been addressed in the upcoming release of Uniprint 9.1, due out in March 2018.

                     

                    Excerpt from the (Beta) documentation:

                     

                    Force mono jobs to be printed on mono devices only

                    A new setting called Printer Selection for Mono Jobs has been added to the Release Stations context of Pharos Administrator. This setting lets you choose whether to load balance mono jobs or force mono jobs to be printed on mono devices only in cases where you have multiple devices associated with a single Release Station. Previously, mono jobs were load-balanced over all devices (as color devices are capable of printing mono jobs).

                     

                    The Printer Selection for Mono Jobs setting has two options:

                    Load balance across all available devices - Mono jobs will be load balanced across all available devices (associated with a Release Station), including color devices. This is the default value.

                    Force mono jobs to mono devices only - Mono jobs will only be printed to available mono devices where there is a choice between a mono and a color device at a Station.

                     

                    Important Notes:

                    -  If no mono devices are associated with the Release Station, then the color device(s) will be used for mono jobs.

                    -  If there's only one device associated with the Release Station, the default is 'Load balance across all available devices'.

                    -  Paper size overrides mono settings - When set to Force mono jobs to mono devices only, mono jobs will normally only go to mono devices. However, if a mono job has a paper size that can only be supported by an associated color device, then the job will be sent to the device that supports the paper size regardless of the 'force mono jobs to mono devices only' setting, in order to support printing on the requested paper size.

                    -  It is recommended generally, but particularly where a color device supports more paper sizes than the other associated mono devices, that Device Level Costing is used. Create a Job Cost Method for the higher-cost color device (including an appropriate mono charge) so that any mono jobs that do print on the color device due to paper size can be charged at a cost appropriate to the device.

                     

                    -Jeff Herald - Pharos Systems