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Reference Systems

Updated: February 7, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003

Microsoft has studied print server performance at external customer sites and also studied print server performance internally. Two sample configurations from this testing are presented in this section to provide additional reference information that can be used when sizing your print server requirements.

Standalone Print Server

Workgroup-class hardware like the HP/Compaq DL560 or DL580 with 1.5GB RAM, ample, high-performance disks and sufficient network throughput can host approximately 1,500 printers, serving 5,000-10,000 customers.

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It is important to note that the primary limitation of the print server in this configuration is related to remote management and not the result of constraints imposed by the print server hardware or core spooler component. Specifically, when viewing and sorting columns in the Printers and Faxes folder, one may begin to experience delays if the server is hosting more than 1,500 printers.

Another important factor to consider is the number of client connections handled by the server. Often, a single client will have multiple connections to the print server. For example, one for each document, one for monitoring the printer status and possibly more resulting from other applications running on the client. Because of this, the factors traditionally considered in server capacity planning play a less significant role in print server capacity planning than they might when planning more traditional server functions. Factors such as CPU speed, RAM usage, Virtual Memory consumption, and Disk Read/Write times, are not constraining factors until there are more than several thousand printers per server or there are more than 10,000 clients using the server.

The table below shows the hardware configuration used by Microsoft for performance testing and benchmarking. In actual customer deployments, Microsoft expects the system configuration selected and deployed by customers to be superior to the system described in the table below. Specifically, Microsoft believes that faster processors, additional RAM, and higher capacity drives will be deployed by customers.

 

System Manufacturer

Compaq

System Model

ProLiant DL580

System Type

X86-based computer

Processor

x86 Family 6 Model 10 Stepping 4 GenuineIntel ~902 Mhz

Processor

x86 Family 6 Model 10 Stepping 4 GenuineIntel ~902 Mhz

BIOS Version/Date

Compaq P20, 4/5/2002

SMBIOS Version

2.3

Total Physical Memory

1,024.00 MB

Available Physical Memory

473.55 MB

Total Virtual Memory

3.41 GB

Available Virtual Memory

2.47 GB

Page File Space

2.41 GB

Disk

Compaq SCSI Drive Array (4 Ultra3 18GB disks)

Clustered Print Server

Microsoft has studied clustered print server performance at many customer sites. Using this information, a clustered print server consisting of a two-node cluster was selected to test print server performance internally. Each system in the cluster was configured as described in the following table.

 

System Manufacturer

Compaq

System Model

ProLiant DL380 G2

System Type

X86-based computer

Processor

x86 Family 6 Model 11 Stepping 1 GenuineIntel ~1396 Mhz

BIOS Version/Date

Compaq P24, 12/11/2001

SMBIOS Version

2.3

Total Physical Memory

256.00 MB

Available Physical Memory

53.66 MB

Total Virtual Memory

875.91 MB

Available Virtual Memory

517.17 MB

Page File Space

620.38 MB

Based on these tests, Microsoft found that such a clustered system could be used to host up to 2,500 printers and service up to 10,000 clients running a mix of Windows operating system versions.

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