Articles

Printing in the enterprise

In enterprise, Linux desktop, open source on January 27, 2011 by oli4444

In an enterprise organisation there might be 10000 to 100000 users, and 1000 to 5000 printers. There are a couple of tricky things in such a situation.

First is print queue scalability. Converting the print job to the right format for the right printer is quite CPU intensive. If you let the desktop handle this it scales nicely with all your desktops, but if you want the server to handle this it becomes a scalability nightmare.

Users need to select their printer. Showing a list with 5000 printers doesn’t help the user, he wants to search by location, by name, by department etc. Worse: showing 5000 printers and trying to show their status (as system-config-printer does) will eat 100% cpu.

Finally you need to configure the printers. How do you deal with 5000 printers on 50000 desktops?

If anybody has a good primer how to do such things with for example CUPS please leave a comment below!

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