Policies determine how a queue selects a destination when a print job is scheduled and how the queue handles a destination failure. Choosing the right policy is important when more than one destination is associated with a queue. If only one destination is available, the policy selection is ignored.
Note: When more than one destination is entered, the printers must either be the same model or support a common printer language (for instance, two HP Laserjet 4 printers that support PCL or two printers that support the PostScript printer language).
The broadcast/multicast policy spools each print job to all destinations associated with the queue.
- Destination Selection: The print job is originally scheduled for every destination.
- Failure Handling: When a given destination fails, the print job fails to that destination.
- When to use: Use this policy when you want to spool each print job to more than one destination simultaneously.
Using the failover policy, the first destination is always tried first. If the first destination fails, the print job then tries to the next, and so on until all destinations have been tried. As soon as a destination is successful, no further destinations are tried.
- Destination Selection: The first destination is always scheduled first.
- Failure Handling: The next destination in the list is tried.
- When to use: Use this port policy if you have a faster or more reliable printer and any number of slower printers. You might also use this policy if you have a printer with a large paper tray and one or more smaller paper trays.
The round-robin policy attempts to balance the load between multiple destinations or printers. This policy remembers the previously tried printer and schedules the job for the next destination in the list.
- Destination Selection: The print job is scheduled on the "next" destination in the list.
- Failure Handling: The next destination is tried.
- When to use: Use this policy when you have multiple printers that are similar in print speed or paper tray size and want them to be used in a predictable manner, such as when job sizes are consistent.
The destination balancing policy keeps statistics on the amount of data sent to each printer. Any new print jobs will be sent to the printer that has been the least used.
- Destination Selection: The least used destination is attempted first.
- Failure Handling: The destination that is the least used, not counting the first destination tried.
- When to use: Use this policy when you have multiple printers that are similar in print speed or paper tray size and job sizes that are inconsistent.
SLP (Service Location Protocol)
The SLP policy queries the network for any SLP Directory Agents or Service Agents for a list of printers available. This policy allows the user to select the destination if more than one is found. In the Destinations window, users can select a destination as the default; if so, the default destination is printed to regardless of how many destinations are available.
- Destination Selection: When multiple destinations are found, the user is prompted to select the most appropriate destination. When only one is found, or if a default destination has been selected, no user interaction is required.
- Failure Handling: The print job fails and is not tried again unless reprinted by the user.
- When to use: Use this policy if the Service Location Protocol is implemented in your organization.