PaperCut is designed to scale to 60,000+ users. To ensure reliability on networks of this size, network architects may adopt strategies including:
PaperCut is a cluster compatible application. Clustering is supported under Windows (either Microsoft Cluster Server or Veritas Cluster Server) and Linux (such as via Linux-HA) at all levels of the application, including:
Printer load balancing can also be implemented at different layers, including:
A simple scenario for printer load balancing
PaperCut adds value to the load balancing available in clusters and operating systems by ensuring equal load between printers. For comparison the primary objective of Windows printer pools is to provide fault tolerance while load balancing is secondary and to a large extent non-existent.
Printer pooling on Windows will often simply pick the first available printer in a predefined order. The result is that wear and tear of printers is not even; the first printer in the group will see the heaviest usage and the others may be mostly idle. System administrators often mitigate this by rotating printers periodically.
With load balancing in PaperCut none of this is necessary: jobs are distributed evenly between queues based on intelligent algorithms taking into account several factors including printer load and error conditions.
PaperCut's printer load balancing functionality is a good companion to its find me printing feature.