31 Replies Latest reply on Feb 27, 2015 1:09 PM by Timothy Grzeczka

    Fun with Beacon

    John Siegel Guide

      Anyone else running Beacon yet?

       

      We just installed it this week. Install was easy and the documentation is easy to follow.

       

       

      So far we have only been monitoring the Uniprint scout; we plan on adding the device scout in a few weeks.

       

      Anyone else using Beacon? Any issues? comments?

       

      The only complaint I have so far is that the system isn't importing the device name when showing printer statistics, only the IP address. May be that I don't have it configured correctly yet (SNMP settings?). We are using  Xerox devices, so it's possible that others using another manufacturers equipment might see different info in the reports.

       

       

      ~John

        • Re: Fun with Beacon
          John Siegel Guide

          Update: We've worked around the fact that not all the device names are being captured/displayed by manually updating the correct info in the "friendly name" category.

          • Re: Fun with Beacon
            Tracker

            Hi John,

            That should resolve. Looking into it on our side.

            --Jesse

              • Re: Fun with Beacon
                John Siegel Guide

                Hi Jesse,

                 

                                Here's a few more questions;

                 

                               (1) How do you delete items from the print scout\device scout dashboard.

                               (2) I have 20 devices I added initially to device scout, but when I try to add more via the device scout configuration tool, they never show up in the Beacon dashboard.

                Note : I have to add each device manually as a single IP rather than scan ranges. Here at Area 51 (better known as CU Boulder) we have different sub-nets for almost every single print device. We aren't interested in discovering other devices, only in adding the devices we monitor\support. I gave the Beacon system 24 hours to import the added printers, but they never show up in the dashboard.

                                (3) When I make changes and customize the dashboard, for example making friendly name the first column, it doesn't hold the settings after I close the browser. Is there a way to save the settings so I don't have to customize it each time I log on?

                 

                Thanks,

                 

                              John

                  • Re: Fun with Beacon
                    Tracker

                    Hi John,

                    Great questions!

                     

                    1. Currently there's no way to remove a device once it's been found by either the print scout or the device scout. However, we're working on new functionality right now that will allow you to "expire" a device, if for example you no longer want to track it, or took it out of commission.

                     

                    2. Adding individual devices instead of subnet ranges is definitely supported by Beacon. I'd expect the device scout to pick up the new IP's and discover them within 24 hours, however, you can manually initiate a discovery if you want. From the Device Scout server, open the Device Scout Discovery utility and click Scan. When the scan finishes, you'll be presented with a list of discovered devices. Click the arrow icon in the lower right-hand corner of the scan results window, and select "Upload to Server." You should then see the devices in Fleet Manager.

                     

                    3. Fleet manager customizations (like re-sizing or moving columns) are stored locally, so if you change browsers or PC's, you'll have to make the changes again. Customizations should be retained session to session though, if you're using the same browser on the same PC. Anything unusual about your browser setup that may prevent this, for example, using a browser in incognito mode?


                         I'm also putting in an enhancement request for this, I think it would be helpful if Beacon remembered your settings between browsers/computers. Let me know if you have any thoughts to add! 

                     

                    --Jesse

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Fun with Beacon
                        John Siegel Guide

                        Thanks Jesse, I missed the upload part after scanning

                         

                        Regards,

                         

                                       John

                        • Re: Fun with Beacon
                          Paul LaFollette Guide

                          Jesse,

                          Good to know a means to remove ("expire") devices is being worked on.  We replace about 52 SFP and about 12 MFP units each year.  Very important to be able to remove 'gone' devices.  For that, I suggest devices be identified by their serial number, since that is a unique identifier that is very likely to never change regardless how the device is connected, used, or upgraded.   I mention this because HP used to identify printers in their Web JetAdmin by the Mac# and that would get messed up whenever a NIC was replaced. (HP's Web JetAdmin now identifies devices by the serial number).

                           

                          Regarding #3 and your enhancement request, I say "Do It!" as the behavior would be very beneficial.

                           

                          - Paul L.

                            • Re: Fun with Beacon
                              Scott Olswold Guide

                              Paul,

                               

                              Serial Number can be your best friend and worst enemy as well. Both Xerox and HP devices (and probably more; I've only experienced it on these two) have service procedures that, if not followed completely by the technician, can leave the device either without a serial number or the dreaded "XXXXXXXX" serial number on HPs. And the device can sit in that state for a week or more until you notice it, completely causing a ruin to your day.

                               

                              The clincher is potentially using a combination of identifiers to create an über identifier (like a GUID) to maintain uniqueness.

                               

                              -Scott

                              • Re: Fun with Beacon
                                Tracker

                                Paul,

                                This probably hasn't happened yet since installing Beacon, but if a NIC is replaced causing a MAC address change, a new device will show up in Beacon. However, you can use the "Merge" function on the inventory tab to combine the 2 devices. Merge can only be used if Make/Model is the same, and there is no overlap in reported device data.

                                 

                                Merge devices.jpg

                          • Re: Fun with Beacon
                            Tracker

                            Hi John,

                             

                            Regarding the hostnames not showing up in Print Analytics, we've verified there is a bug here and are working on a solution. Thanks for the catch!

                             

                            --Jesse

                          • Re: Fun with Beacon
                            brad Pioneer

                            Slightly off-topic, but had to share - every time I see this topic showing up on my screen, I initially mis-read the title, my mouth starts to water, and I think to come in here looking for some good recipes... unfortunately, the content is not quite what my stomach would have me believe... but it IS good to have a bit of feedback about how these new tools are going, for those of us that haven't had opportunity to try them out yet

                            • Re: Fun with Beacon
                              wendell hill Wayfarer

                              We have been runing the device scout. Under the Fleet\status tab  we can customize our display by adding the Host name column( button on top right). Then we can go to edit mode and cut and past host name info into friendly name column which is available on screens in Fleet mgt. Slow but sure!

                                • Re: Fun with Beacon
                                  John Siegel Guide

                                  Hi Wendell,

                                   

                                                    That's pretty much what we've been doing. What's curious is that the same model devices, configured exactly the same produce different results when populated in Beacon. Out of four, three will show up with the data in the location field and one will be blank.

                                   

                                  Regards,

                                   

                                                 John

                                • Re: Fun with Beacon
                                  John Siegel Guide

                                  FYI - I've already copy-written "Beacon and Eggs!"  Feel free to use it but it will cost you a quarter in royalties each time.

                                  The money raised goes to the homeless printers refurbishing foundation.  

                                   

                                  John

                                  • Re: Fun with Beacon
                                    Mike Dorris Tracker

                                    Just started running it as well.  It does however look like it sin't picking up the information from devices that have an ACL enforced.  Is there a workaround for this?  Should it matter, or am I looking in the wrong place?

                                    • Re: Fun with Beacon
                                      Paul LaFollette Guide

                                      I just noticed a flaw in how Beacon determines "who printed from this building".  It picks up the location the users "are printing from" based on their location as specified in the AD.  This may be correct in some organizations but I can picture that being VERY wrong at many education institutions.

                                       

                                      Beacon indicates the "printed from" based on the Location (or "Office") in the AD record for the user, instead of the location where the printer actually resides.

                                       

                                      While full-time users (staff and faculty) may have specific offices/departments that is their base of operation, where they actually work may be in many places.  If "Joe" is in the English department located in the "Harrison" building, his classes may not be in the "Harrison" building and may be in the "Johnson" Building and if he prints while teaching a class in the "Johnson" Building, if the AD record for "Joe" has the location of "Harrison" building for him, Beacon will indicate he printed from the "Harrison" building on a printer in the "Johnson" building when he was actually printing while in the "Johnson" building.

                                       

                                      Sound nit-picky?  Yeah, I thought so too after I typed it out.  Maybe this describes it better:

                                       

                                      I (myself) am housed in a building named "McKay" while the I.T. head office is in the "Kimball" thus my AD record indicates I'm in the "Kimball".  I print on the printer in my office in the "McKay" and Beacon reports my printing as having come from the "Kimball".

                                       

                                      -- screenshot attached --

                                       

                                      What about students?  Their AD records may not have a Location or Office specified in their AD records (for our students the field is blank).  This means their print jobs are shown in Beacon as having printed from "Unknown".

                                       

                                      I can see the value of showing the Location based on the AD record, but I think the option should be there to have it determined by the location specified for the printer.  ... Yes, I understand that is manually entered for each and every printer ... unless Beacon can read that from the printer's information fields?

                                       

                                      Thanks,

                                      - Paul L.

                                      • Re: Fun with Beacon
                                        John Siegel Guide

                                        FYI, just in case no one else has noticed, if you misspell Beacon, one of the first suggestions is actually bacon.  

                                         

                                        bacon.jpg