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Monitoring Printers
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Windows Server 2003 provides several methods to monitor printers and printing resources.
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Using System Monitor and Performance Logs and Alerts
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The System Monitor and Performance Logs And Alerts snap-ins, both of which are included in the Performance MMC, allow you to observe real-time performance of printers, log metrics for later analysis, or set alert levels and actions. System Monitor and Performance Logs And Alerts are discussed in detail in 12, Monitoring Microsoft Windows Server 2003. To add a counter to System Monitor, right-click the graph area and choose Add Counters. Select the performance object (in this case Print Queue), the desired counters, and the instance representing the logical printer to monitor. After selecting Print Queue as the performance object, a list of all available performance counters is provided. You can select any counter and click Explain to learn about that particular performance metric.
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Maintaining, Monitoring, and Troubleshooting Printers
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The most important performance counters for monitoring printing performance are the following:
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Bytes Printed/Sec The number of bytes of raw data per second that are sent to the printer. Low values for this counter can indicate that a printer is underutilized because there are no jobs, print queues are not evenly loaded, or the server is too busy. This value varies according to the type of printer. Consult printer documentation for acceptable printer throughput values. Job Errors Number of job errors. Job errors are typically caused by improper port configuration; check port configuration for invalid settings. A printing job instance will increment this counter only once, even if it happens multiple times. Also, some print monitors do not support job error counters, in which case the counter will remain at 0. Jobs The number of jobs being spooled. The number of jobs sent to the printer since the spooler was
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Total Jobs Printed started.
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Total Pages Printed The number of pages printed since the spooler was started. This counter provides a close approximation of printer volume, although it may not be perfect, depending on the type of jobs and the document properties for those jobs.
Exam Tip
The Total Jobs Printed and Total Pages Printed counters are cumulative. They represent the number of jobs or pages printed since the system was started or since the spooler was restarted.
Using System Log
Using Event Viewer, you can examine the System log as a source of information regarding spooler and printer activity. By default, the spooler registers events regarding printer creation, deletion, and modification. You will also find events containing information about printer traffic, hard disk space, spooler errors, and other maintenance issues. To control or modify spooler event logging, open the Printers And Faxes folder and choose Server Properties from the File menu. Click the Advanced tab to access the properties as shown in Figure 8-9. From this page, you can control printer event log entries and print job notifications. This is also the tab that enables you to move the print spooler folder an important task when configuring an active print server or when an existing print spool folder s disk volume becomes full.
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Figure 8-9 The Advanced tab of the Print Server Properties dialog box
Auditing Printer Access
Printer access, like file and folder access, can be audited. You can specify which groups or users and which actions to audit for a particular printer. After enabling object access auditing policy, you can view resulting audit entries using Event Viewer. To configure auditing for a printer, open its Properties dialog box, click the Security tab, and then click Advanced. Click the Auditing tab and add entries for specific groups or users. For each security principal you add to the audit entry list, you can configure auditing for successful or failed access based on the standard printer permissions, including Print, Manage Documents, and Manage Printers. You must then enable the Audit Object Access policy, which is located in group or local policy under Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Audit Policy. After the policy has taken effect, you can examine the Security event log to see and analyze entries made based on printer auditing.
Printer auditing creates dozens of entries for a single print job. It is, therefore, useful when troubleshooting only very specific problems. Printer auditing should not be used to monitor use or to bill for printer usage. Instead, performance counters such as Total Jobs Printed or Total Pages Printed should be analyzed.
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