V10 Crashing/stalling Follow

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Hey everyone. This may be a BarTender or Commander issue so this forum got the short straw.

We have been running BarTender for about 7 years now and though we've had various issues throughout the life of our install, we are currently running on a stable 9.01 platform. We sometimes run into memory leak situations where we need to reboot, but thankfully those are only on really busy days and for the most part, a nightly reboot suffices.

Our implementation uses flat files dropped on a linux box with Commander polling every 1/4 of a second. We have about 10 - 12 BarTender processes running with single processes dedicated to specific printers so that we can enforce a print order and a group of 5 that service all ancillary printers where print order is not an issue.

We are working on implementing a 10.x install under vmWare Windows Server 2003 R2 32 bit (same as our 9.01 install) and have found a few issues that are causing us some concern. The scenario is we have 83 .btw files that we drop into a folder for processing so that we can gauge printer performance. We have an OkiData B6300 with HPLaserJet 6P driver, an OkiData B6500 that we've used with the HP LaserJet 6P and the OkiData B6500 PS driver, and a Ricoh SP5210DN also using the HP LaserJet 6P driver.

1) The first problem is that Commander appears to stop processing files after a bit and this causes the printer to pause for about 15 - 20 seconds 9 times out of 10 and this drives our ppm down. Commander appears to magically wake up after this pause and finish processing the files.

2) The second problem is that the system just up and freezes sometimes on this drop of files and reboots itself.

We are increasing the HEAP for the commander processes to 1024 but wanted to get this topic opened up to see if anyone has suggestions or ideas of what could be causing the problem. We are also going down the route of a Windows Server 2008 64 Bit as well.

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Ian Cummings
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BarTender v10, in general terms, is a huge improvement over v9.01 for Commander performance and stability. We just need to work through your particular problem.

1. When you say that you drop 83 btw files (btw is the file extension for a BarTender document file) to gauge performance; are these in fact trigger files? And if so what sort of trigger files are they? Delimited data, Commander Script, XML Script? Please advise.

2. It sounds to me that the BarTender process is crashing for some reason, which Commander then gracefully handles this by re-spawning a new BarTender process to continue on printing. Are there any BarTender dump files being created on this system?

3. How are the printer drivers installed on the computer running BarTender/Commander? For the best performance and stability it is recommended that you make a local install of the driver specifying the port of where the printer is located. If the printer is shared off a different computer then specify the UNC path of the local port to point to where the printer is located. For example in the local install of the driver create a new local port and specify the UNC path of the printer share in the following syntax: \\ComputerName\SharedPrinterName

4. The Commander trouble-shooting document might also be helpful in solving your problem.

http://seagullscientific.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/55-commander-troubleshooting
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[quote name='Ian C - Seagull Support' timestamp='1344592174' post='3045']
BarTender v10, in general terms, is a huge improvement over v9.01 for Commander performance and stability. We just need to work through your particular problem.

1. When you say that you drop 83 btw files (btw is the file extension for a BarTender document file) to gauge performance; are these in fact trigger files? And if so what sort of trigger files are they? Delimited data, Commander Script, XML Script? Please advise.

2. It sounds to me that the BarTender process is crashing for some reason, which Commander then gracefully handles this by re-spawning a new BarTender process to continue on printing. Are there any BarTender dump files being created on this system?

3. How are the printer drivers installed on the computer running BarTender/Commander? For the best performance and stability it is recommended that you make a local install of the driver specifying the port of where the printer is located. If the printer is shared off a different computer then specify the UNC path of the local port to point to where the printer is located. For example in the local install of the driver create a new local port and specify the UNC path of the printer share in the following syntax: \\ComputerName\SharedPrinterName

4. The Commander trouble-shooting document might also be helpful in solving your problem.

http://seagullscientific.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/55-commander-troubleshooting
[/quote]

1) Yes, these are commander trigger fiels that contain the comannd, data layout, and data.
2) We have not seen any dump files but will check
3) The printer is local to the computer. These are laser printers; we've tried the PostScript, PCL, and generic HP LAserJet 6P for the 3 different printers we've tested (OkiData B6300, B6500, and Rico 5210) and generally end up with the same performance regardless.
4) I checked otu the document - thanks.

We actually have an open incident with support (my counterpart is on the phone with them right now) but follolwing are some interesting test results we've seen...

1) If we setup a server with 3 commander tasks, each watching a differnt folder on our network (boils down to eahc folder being for a specific printer), and each with 2 bartender processes
, the overall performance suffers and we see pausing on each printer

2) IF we separate these commander tasks onto SEPARATE MACHINES, and run the same test were we load up each of the folders that are being watched, printing executes with no pausing whatsoever.
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[quote name='Ian C - Seagull Support' timestamp='1344592174' post='3045']
BarTender v10, in general terms, is a huge improvement over v9.01 for Commander performance and stability. We just need to work through your particular problem.

1. When you say that you drop 83 btw files (btw is the file extension for a BarTender document file) to gauge performance; are these in fact trigger files? And if so what sort of trigger files are they? Delimited data, Commander Script, XML Script? Please advise.

2. It sounds to me that the BarTender process is crashing for some reason, which Commander then gracefully handles this by re-spawning a new BarTender process to continue on printing. Are there any BarTender dump files being created on this system?

3. How are the printer drivers installed on the computer running BarTender/Commander? For the best performance and stability it is recommended that you make a local install of the driver specifying the port of where the printer is located. If the printer is shared off a different computer then specify the UNC path of the local port to point to where the printer is located. For example in the local install of the driver create a new local port and specify the UNC path of the printer share in the following syntax: \\ComputerName\SharedPrinterName

4. The Commander trouble-shooting document might also be helpful in solving your problem.

http://seagullscientific.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/55-commander-troubleshooting
[/quote]

1) Yes, these are commander trigger fiels that contain the comannd, data layout, and data.
2) We have not seen any dump files but will check
3) The printer is local to the computer. These are laser printers; we've tried the PostScript, PCL, and generic HP LAserJet 6P for the 3 different printers we've tested (OkiData B6300, B6500, and Rico 5210) and generally end up with the same performance regardless.
4) I checked otu the document - thanks.

We actually have an open incident with support (my counterpart is on the phone with them right now) but follolwing are some interesting test results we've seen...

1) If we setup a server with 3 commander tasks, each watching a differnt folder on our network (boils down to eahc folder being for a specific printer), and each with 2 bartender processes
, the overall performance suffers and we see pausing on each printer

2) IF we separate these commander tasks onto SEPARATE MACHINES, and run the same test were we load up each of the folders that are being watched, printing executes with no pausing whatsoever.
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[quote name='Ian C - Seagull Support' timestamp='1344592174' post='3045']
BarTender v10, in general terms, is a huge improvement over v9.01 for Commander performance and stability. We just need to work through your particular problem.

1. When you say that you drop 83 btw files (btw is the file extension for a BarTender document file) to gauge performance; are these in fact trigger files? And if so what sort of trigger files are they? Delimited data, Commander Script, XML Script? Please advise.

2. It sounds to me that the BarTender process is crashing for some reason, which Commander then gracefully handles this by re-spawning a new BarTender process to continue on printing. Are there any BarTender dump files being created on this system?

3. How are the printer drivers installed on the computer running BarTender/Commander? For the best performance and stability it is recommended that you make a local install of the driver specifying the port of where the printer is located. If the printer is shared off a different computer then specify the UNC path of the local port to point to where the printer is located. For example in the local install of the driver create a new local port and specify the UNC path of the printer share in the following syntax: \\ComputerName\SharedPrinterName

4. The Commander trouble-shooting document might also be helpful in solving your problem.

http://seagullscientific.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/55-commander-troubleshooting
[/quote]

1) Yes, these are commander trigger files that contain the comannd, data layout, and data
2) We have not seen any dump files but will check
3) The printers are IP based but setup locally to the computer processing the data. These are laser printers; we've tried the PostScript, PCL, and generic HP LaserJet 6P for the 3 different printers we've tested (OkiData B6300, B6500, and Rico 5210) and generally end up with the same performance regardless of driver.
4) We have reviewed the document and one thing we've tried is HEAP and it helps with crashes but not with printing speed.

We actually have an open incident with support (my counterpart is on the phone with them right now) but following are some interesting test results we've seen thus far...

1) We setup a windows 2008 64 Bit server 6GB of RAM with 3 commander tasks, each watching a differnt folder (each folder is for a specific printer), each with 1 bartender processes

A) Drop to 1 printer and there is pausing
B) Drop to multiple printers and the pausing is more prevalent
C) Increase bartender processes to 2 per watcher and drop to one printer and printing runs without pauses
D) Add printes to the mix and pausing once again is introduced
E) Printing sometimes stops alltogerher - commander processes all the files but doesn;t appear to send them to a bartender process

2) If we separate these commander tasks onto SEPARATE MACHINES - i.e., one machine per printer - and have 2 or more bartender processes for each watcher, and run the same tests, printing executes with no pausing whatsoever - EVERY TIME.

It's almost as though Commander and/or BarTender are not executing multithreaded.

Perhaps there is an incompatibility running it on a 64bit system however we see the same type of lag on a 32bit environment under 9.x as well so...
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Ian Cummings
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Can you attach the task list file so I can see what you are doing in Commander?

It is not clear exactly how many in total, but it sounds like you are running a lot of BarTender processes, and therefore you might be running into memory heap issues. The task list will allow me to establish exactly how many BT processes in total are to be running, for what duration, and if this is using a separate or shared desktop heap.

We have countless users running successfully on x64 systems, so this is unlikely to be a general compatibility issue.

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