PMP Mail Archive: RE: Feedback - PMP> Minutes of the MFP Teleconference 20060214

RE: Feedback - PMP> Minutes of the MFP Teleconference 20060214

From: McDonald, Ira (
Date: Wed Feb 15 2006 - 01:06:26 EST

  • Next message: Paul Tykodi: "RE: Feedback - PMP> Minutes of the MFP Teleconference 20060214"

    Hi Paul,

    Harry Lewis (IBM, chair of PWG) has repeatedly suggested that a
    good project would be a PWG standard "Printer MIB Implementor's
    Guide" - similar in purpose and scope to the IETF Proposed Std
    "IPP/1.1 Implementor's Guide" (RFC 3196, November 2001).

    Volunteer PWG editor bandwidth is the problem - that and the very
    complicated problem space of SNMP optimization biased by MIB
    optimization biased by the fact that printers (and spoolers) are
    supposed to "print first and bother me later".

    A first step was that Printer MIB v2 (RFC 3805) contained a great
    many improved DESCRIPTION clauses that clarified and recommended
    implementation choices for many of the columnar objects.

    But the problem you've identified is a whole system problem, not
    just a Printer MIB implementation problem.

    - Ira (co-editor of Printer MIB v2)

    Ira McDonald (Musician / Software Architect)
    Blue Roof Music / High North Inc
    PO Box 221 Grand Marais, MI 49839
    phone: +1-906-494-2434
    -----Original Message-----
    From: []On Behalf Of Paul Tykodi
    Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2006 10:50 PM
    Subject: RE: Feedback - PMP> Minutes of the MFP Teleconference 20060214

    Dear Bill,
    The host I was most recently analyzing was an IBM iSeries - AS/400 host. The
    MIB itself worked flawlessly. I am not suggesting that it was somehow the
    culprit for the slow printing or that it did not work correctly. The
    communication started OK and then the host was concerned that a response
    packet was not received in a timely fashion. It began a significant SNMP
    based questioning process to determine the current hardware status of the
    device and interspersed with the SNMP questions about whether the device was
    in error or not came a re-transmission of a potentially lost packet just to
    be safe.
    Pretty soon the majority of the communication on the wire revolved around
    SNMP discussions as to the device's status and data packet re-transmissions
    and confirmations from the printing device that it had indeed received the
    packet re-transmissions. As you mention, the whole idea of printing
    information had become unfortunately a secondary concern.
    In the end, all of the data was printed and no errors were reported by the
    host. Unfortunately the method utilized to determine that everything was
    actually fine was so intrusive on the printing process that I feel
    comfortable saying I believe that a typical customer (having paid a fee for
    their printing device related to its rated engine performance) would
    probably not have accepted the result as commercially viable.
    So my previous comment is directed more towards device managing software
    product's use of MIB capabilities (especially if more interesting things to
    check are added into future MIB's) and the impact that significant device
    status verifications can have on the actual process (in this case printing),
    which is being monitored.
    Thus in the future if some type of RFC or other standards document were to
    be produced, my suggestion would be to include some examples that tried to
    help steer software developers implementing use of MIB data away from
    creating the issue you outline in point b. below.
    Best Regards,

    Paul Tykodi
    Principal Consultant
    TCS - Tykodi Consulting Services LLC

    Tel/Fax: 603-343-1820 Mobile: 603-866-0712 E-mail: WWW:

    From: [] On Behalf Of Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2006 10:33 PM To:; Cc: Paul Tykodi Subject: RE: Feedback - PMP> Minutes of the MFP Teleconference 20060214 Paul, Thanks for sending in your observation. I have worked with printers and SNMP management for many years and have not seen anything like the sort of slowdown that you cite. Perhaps this is because I have worked with slower machines and printers/MFPs with separate NICs. At any rate, a basic SNMP tenet is that servicing of SNMP is secondary to the main purpose of the device. Indeed, reflecting this, I have seen missed or late SNMP responses during periods of high print activity. Of course, it is desirable to have efficient MIBs, something that sometimes gets lost in this era of "human readability". Although you may have contradicting data, I would suggest that the current public MIBs are not in themselves inefficient and that the problem you observed may be due to other factors such as: a. certain private MIBS use an indirect addressing approach, particularly for writes, which may make for some elegance but does complicate interaction b. many management applications are terribly inefficient, repeatedly querying the same (sometimes status) variable, and often unnecessarily dumping blocks of data. c. Drastically underpowered controllers and/or poor handling of priorities Although I understand that it may be difficult to release such information, it would be useful to have some information on the specifics of the slow-down... the condition the management station was querying, the objects being queried, etc. Bill Wagner, TIC -------------- Original message -------------- From: "Paul Tykodi" <> Dear List, During the last year, I have been involved in some network analysis looking at how certain hosts use the current printer MIB to determine device status (including that of MFP's) and what effect a significant number of SNMP queries and responses can have on effective printing throughput (at times rather dramatic reduction in achievable throughput). In looking at the minutes from today's meeting, I would suggest that it might be a good idea to consider whether MIB optimization should be a category for an MFP alerts project. The idea would be to at least minimally describe some best practices for MIB usage, which would result in the host obtaining the required information using the smallest SNMP query and response packet transmission overhead possible. In case people are wondering how dramatic a reduction in PPM I have observed when SNMP traffic is significant (host trying to determine whether device is in error or not - multiple queries are sent asking more and more specific questions of the printer MIB), I have seen printers and MFP's with rated speeds in the 75 - 125 PPM range reduced to achieving actual throughput in the 10 to 20 PPM range. HTH Best Regards, /Paul -- Paul Tykodi Principal Consultant TCS - Tykodi Consulting Services LLC

    Tel/Fax: 603-343-1820 Mobile: 603-866-0712 E-mail: WWW:

    From: [] On Behalf Of Bergman, Ron Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2006 7:02 PM To: Subject: PMP> Minutes of the MFP Teleconference 20060214 The minutes can be found at: Ron Bergman Chairman, Printer MIBs Working Group

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