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Printer pool queue optimization Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028346D
Original Publication Date: 2004-May-11
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-May-11
Document File: 4 page(s) / 79K

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Shared printer pool queue optimization

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Printer pool queue optimization

When it is needed to print a document on a shared printer pool, the user must choose the printer whrere he prefers to print among the available pool, and then queue his print job to that printer queue. The common practice is to define a default printer.

Usually after the user have submitted his printing job to the default printer (the closest one, maybe), inquiring the printer queue status, he realizes that there is a long queue and then he starts inquiring all the other available printers, checking a suitable one, with the shortest queue. Moreover the queue length alone is not a complete indicator of the waiting time. If the user does not realize that before his printing job there is a document with 2000 pages, even if his job is the 2nd in queue he will wait a lot of time; more worst, if in addition there could be a document conversion before printing (like postscript or bitmap/jpeg images conversions), that case the user will wait almost forever.

    The idea is to provide a smart optimization mechanism/algorithm that realizes a queue wait time on the printer and based on user customizable parameters, determines which is the best printing queuing option in terms of wait time for the user.

The advantages are:

    1. For the user that waits the lowest possible time to get his output without any further actions

    2. For the printing management, so that there could be a major queue balancing

3. For the printers' usage, so that the pool is all better used in average.

    It is quite usual that there is a pool of shared printers. If we consider a large company with different buildings and located on different floors, there could be several shared printers available.

    An user can define his sub-pool of printers among all the available ones, for example choosing all the allowed printers on his floor, or on the closest upper and down floor.

    Once the user submits his printing job, the optimization algorithm will evaluate the wait time for each printer in the sub-pool. This time is updated in the printer server every time a new job is queued. This according to the following formula:

    The evaluation will consider the number of printouts in queue, the Kb size of the printouts in queue, the conversions that they will need (ex. PostScript, jpeg, bitmap) and so on, this basing on the printer characteristics too (ex. PPM, printer


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