NDPS Best Practices Guide

(Last modified: 15Jan2004)

This document (10063279) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


NDPS Best Practices Guide


Novell Distributed Print Services


You will always want to first read all product documentation located on the product CD or at NDPS Product Documentation.

In order to properly plan for NDPS implementation in your environment you will want to answer the following questions:

1.  How many sites is NDPS going to be implemented into?
2.  How many printers are there at each site currently?
3.  What are the WAN link speeds between each site?
4.  What is the possible growth of printers at each site?
5.  How heavy is the user printing at each site?
6.  What hardware is going to be available for NDPS servers?
7.  How will your organization plan on migrating from current printing environment to NDPS?

1. BROKER - The general rule is to have at least one Broker per site.  This can vary if you have only a few printers at a site and are willing to allow for printing traffic across a WAN link.

The Broker is in charge of storing all drivers, banners, fonts and printer related information.  Each time you install a printer to a workstation it must attach to the Broker.  The heavy usage of the Broker is mainly during installation of printers.  After installation the Broker will be accessed when the Manager loads and will attach each Printer Agent to it's Broker.  For this reason you will want to keep the Broker service local to the Manager and PA's if at all possible.

2.  NDPS MANAGER - The general rule is to have at least on Manager per site.  This can also vary if you have minimal printers and are willing to allow for traffic, but it is not suggested.  You will also want to add more Managers to each site if you have a large number of printers and a high printing volume.

Here is a general guideline for the number of Managers and configuration.  Remember that this can vary greatly depending upon your environment.  

2A.  If you have over 100 printers in a high volume printing environment then you may want to have a dedicated NDPS Manager.  This will also allow for growth for new printers without having to move the Manager to a different server.

2B.  Generally for a high volume, mid- to high-level hardware server you can run around 200 to 250 printer agents to a Manager.  

You will want to add new dedicated NDPS servers for any higher number of Printer Agents.  This will also help with Fault Tolerance at each site.  You may want to consider having multiple Managers in order for a minimal printing down time if a server were to fail.

2C.  For a low volume, with mid- to high-level hardware server you may be able to run around 300 to 350 printer agents to a Manager.

2D.  Generally, any site that has under 100 printers can have a non-dedicated server running the NDPS manager as long as the print volume is fairly low.  You will want to look at the server you plan on adding the NDPS services, and verify that NDS, GroupWise or other applications are not going to affect the performance of your printing.  

3 GATEWAYS - There are multiple vendor gateways, but unless your enviroment requires the added functionality provided by a 3rd party gateway, Novell SNMP gateway is the recommended one to use

-  If you ever need to troubleshoot a gateway or printer communication related issue you should first of all create the PA with the Novell Gateway and see if the issue still occurs. 
-  In a clustered NDPS enviroment ,  the Novell Gateway is the best option in terms of performance, failover speed and reliability
-  Novell does not fix 3rd party gateways.  If you are having issues with your third-party gateway, please contact the gateway vendor for assistance. 
   There is a tool available to migrate all Printer Agents from one gateway to another, see TID 2965194

4.  PRINTER AGENTS - There are a couple of issues to be aware of when creating and configuring your Printer Agents.

4A. You will want to verify the 'Security Level' of the Printer Agent that you would like set.  There are High, Medium, and Low Security Levels.  Each level performs a different level of user to printer verification.  On a High Level you will have an increased amount of Network Traffic.  By default the Security Level is set to Medium.  For more information on what each level allows for please review document Understanding NDPS Security Levels .

4B.  You will also want to set the Preferred Broker for each Printer Agent on creation.  This will prevent the Printer Agent attaching across WAN links or to incorrect Brokers on the wire.  NDPS has steps it walks through in order to find a Broker Service.  If the local Broker is not the first to be found it will connect to another service in order to load.  

You will want to set the Preferred Broker for RMS and ENS in order to verify that you do not connect to an incorrect Broker.  If your Preferred Broker is not available then it will attempt to find the Broker Service from another server.  

For more information on Broker Service refer to document Controlling which NDPS Broker service the Manager connects to.

5. CLUSTERING - There are several documents available for setting up and configuring NDPS with Clustering.  Please review the links below for more information.

NDPS on Clustering - Common Mistakes and Traps

How to configure and NDPS Cluster Volume (Refers to link for Online Product Documentation same link as Clustering Online Documentation)


Unable to Migrate Manager from one Cluster to another Cluster Server

RMS "Error Code 1" when Attempting to Enable Broker Service

Errors associating NCS cluster-based NetWare queues to NDPS printers

Please review the http://support.novell.com Knowledgebase for any new or updated documentation.

6. IMPLEMENTATION -  After determining how your environment will be configured for NDPS, you will need to determine how you will get there.  There are different methods for transitioning from a NDS print queue environment to an NDPS environment.  Please review the Product documentation for detailed information on transitioning your printing at Determining Your Implementation Strategy

You will need to determine you strategy for implementing NDPS on both the backend and on the client workstations.  You will also want to determine the time frame and speed at which you will want to test and roll out your printing environment.

Another option is to have your NDPS Printer Agents service the current Print Queues.  This will also allow your current environment to stay active while NDPS is being installed.  You can then remove the associated Print Queues at a later time. For more information on how to configure this please see document How to configure an NDPS printer to service a queue.



Document Title: NDPS Best Practices Guide
Document ID: 10063279
Solution ID: NOVL51816
Creation Date: 27Jun2001
Modified Date: 15Jan2004
Novell Product Class:NetWare


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