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HP IP/IPX Printer Gateway - Discontinued, HP IP/IPX Printer Gateway 2.10 Produces "HPGATE Could not Destroy the Stats Portal" in Novell

Issue:
 note:
HP has a strong commitment to provide support for Novell products. With this commitment in mind, HP has been providing the HP IP/IPX Printer Gateway for NDPS (HP Gateway) to enable printing on Novell networks. However, after careful testing and evaluation, HP believes that the Novell SNMP Printer Gateway (Novell Gateway) is the preferred solution for enabling printing on Novell networks. Therefore, the HP Gateway product has been discontinued as of January 1, 2005.
Customers are encouraged to migrate to the Novell Gateway as soon as possible. For information about migrating to the Novell Gateway, click here to go to the Novell support Web site. Search for NDPS Printer Agent Conversion Utility.
When HP 2.10 gateway is installed in Novell, an error may pop up on the Novell server/console that says, “HPGATE could not destroy the stats portal.”
This may render the Printer Gateway statistics screen unavailable. The printing may also be very slow or even the server console may seem to respond slowly.
Solution
Configure the HP Gateway settings as described below.
To configure the settings for the HP IP/IPX Printer Gateway
  1. At the server console, toggle to the Hewlett-Packard NDPS Gateway screen.
  2. Select the Configuration menu item from the Main Menu to start the Configuration menu screen.
  3. Select the Gateway Configuration menu item to start the Gateway Configuration menu screen.
  4. Select the menu item(s) you want to configure and then press ENTER.
  5. Enter the value you want for the menu item parameter and then press ENTER to save the new value or press ESC to restore the old value. See the online help for detailed information about each menu item.
  6. Press ESC to return to the previous menu.
Setting suggestions
 note:
Because settings vary by printing needs, it is difficult to specify the exact number of nodes and service threads required for each environment.
  • Minimum Available Inactive Service Threads: The minimum available inactive service threads setting is the number of available service threads remaining after a memory clean up process. When using a NetWare server primarily as a print server, the minimum available inactive service threads can be increased as the printing requirements increase. In order to help determine the minimum available inactive service threads setting, use the HP Gateway Statistics on the main HP Gateway screen. This text box shows the following statistics:
    • Processes Running: the number of service threads running
    • Processes Waiting to Run: the number of processes waiting for an available service thread
    • Processes Delayed: the number of time-delayed processes (status updates and memory clean up).
      The Processes Waiting to Run will help in determining the minimum available inactive service threads setting. As printing demands fluctuate, the Processes Waiting to Run will also fluctuate. If the Processes Waiting to Run is consistently over five times the processes running, it may be appropriate to increase the minimum available service threads. It is not necessary to increase the available service threads unless the Processes Waiting to Run is consistently high.
      If you choose to increase the minimum available inactive service threads setting, use the following equation: [Processes Waiting to Run, minus the available service threads setting, divided by two]. For example, if the Processes Waiting to Run is consistently above 60 and the Minimum Available Inactive Service Threads is 10, the equation would be: (60 – 10)/2 = 25
      If memory is available, increase the Minimum Available Inactive Service Threads to 25.
  • Maximum Service Threads: The Maximum Service Threads should be the maximum amount of server RAM the administrator is willing to allow the HP Gateway to use during times of high volume printing. Each service thread takes 20 KB of server RAM.
  • Memory Clean Up Interval (HR:MN): The Memory Clean Up Interval is the interval in hours and minutes that the HP Gateway will use to perform an unused memory collection. It takes system resources and time to perform a Memory Clean Up. If this interval is too low, the HP Gateway’s performance will suffer.
  • Minimum Available Job Nodes: There is a one-to-one correlation between print jobs and job nodes. The HP Gateway requires one job node for each print job being processed. If 10 print jobs are sent at the same time, 10 job nodes are required.
  • Minimum Available Data Nodes: Three data nodes are used for each print job. However, data nodes to job nodes do not increase at a three-to-one ratio. Typically, by the time an additional data node is required, one that was performing an earlier request will be available to perform the next request. A starting point is to add one additional data node for each additional job node up to 20 data nodes. For example, one print job requires three data nodes; 10 print jobs sent simultaneously may require 10 data nodes; and 50 print jobs sent simultaneously may require 20 data nodes.
  • Minimum Available Process Nodes: The numbers of process nodes vary from print job to print job. As the minimum job nodes setting is increased, the minimum process nodes setting may also be increased.
  • Minimum Available Request Nodes: The numbers of request nodes vary from print job to print job. As the minimum job nodes setting is increased, the minimum request nodes setting may also be increased.
  • HP IP/IPX Printer Gateway 2.10a new features:
  1. The HP IP/IPX Printer Gateway 2.10a Gateway-to-printer connection timeout is now an adjustable parameter (from the HP Gateway's Configuration page at the console). This parameter is used to define how long the HP Gateway will wait before closing the print job connection. The default value is 50 seconds. Typically, this parameter addresses older printers that may take longer to print or print jobs that do print completely, e.g., the last page(s) do not print.
  2. A test page can now be printed from the HP Gateway's Configuration page at the console.
  3. The complete version now appears in the title area of the HP Gateway console screen.
Summary
By increasing the minimum settings, the administrator saves the time required for the HP Gateway to create additional nodes and service threads. However this time savings is at the expense of using server memory. The key for NetWare administrators is to determine the balance between the time it would take the HP Gateway to create the additional service threads or nodes as required, and the amount of RAM necessary to keep these extra service threads and nodes in the available pool.
The default HP Gateway Configuration settings are appropriate for most printing environments. NetWare servers used primarily as print servers (high print volumes) can be optimized by adjusting these settings. The optimal settings are a balance between memory usage, printing requirements, and the desired response time of the HP Gateway.
Below are descriptions of the terminology, a discussion of how the HP Gateway works, and some setting suggestions.
Terminology
  • Service Thread: A basic unit of execution that monitors and acts upon requests. Each service thread uses approximately 20 KB of RAM.
  • Node: A specific piece of data in memory used to perform or track tasks. The HP Gateway has four types of nodes, each with unique memory requirements.
  • Job Node: Tracks a job. Each time a print job is processed by NDPS, a job node is required to track the job. Each job node requires less than 1 KB of RAM.
  • Data Node: Carries the data for the job nodes. Each data node requires approximately 8 KB of RAM.
  • Process Node: Controls and tracks processes. Each process node requires less than 1 KB of RAM.
  • Request Node: Communicates with the NDPS Manager. Each request node requires less than 1 KB of RAM.
  • Active and Available (Inactive): Service threads and nodes can exist in one of two states: active or available (inactive). When a service thread or node is performing a task, it is active. When a service thread or node is not performing a task, it is available or inactive. The memory requirements remain the same whether a service thread or node is active or available.
How the HP Gateway works
Minimum node setting
The HP Gateway uses nodes when processing requests. If a request comes in, the HP Gateway will first look for nodes in the available pool to complete the request. If all nodes are busy performing other requests, the HP Gateway will create a new node. The process of creating additional nodes takes time and may cause slight performance degradation. By increasing the minimum node settings, it is more likely that there will be nodes in the available pool. If there are available nodes, the HP Gateway can process requests faster.
Minimum and maximum service thread settings
The concept of the minimum service thread setting is the same as the minimum node setting discussed above. Unlike nodes however, because service threads require so much memory, service threads must also have a maximum value set. This value restricts the number of service threads the HP Gateway will be allowed to create during times of high volume printing.
Releasing memory back to the server (memory clean up)
The HP Gateway creates additional nodes as required. After performing the request, the new nodes are moved into the pool of available nodes. In order to release the memory being used by these nodes back to the operating system, the HP Gateway must perform a memory clean up process. If there are available service threads and nodes above the minimum settings, the memory clean up will release that memory back to the operating system.

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