Tutorials : TRAINING CENTER : Client-Server architecture
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Tutorials : TRAINING CENTER : Client-Server architecture


Welcome to this new training video about Caldera’s Client-Server architecture. The following topics will be covered: What is Client-Server architecture in Caldera? How to share the license between several RIP stations? How to setup a Print Client and a Print Server? How to manage the job queues? We’ll also go over Client-Server & cutters configuration. Client-Server architecture is usually setup for complex production environments but it can also be set up for smaller workshops, as long as the production requires several rip stations like in the current example. Put simply, deploying Client-Server architecture ensures that a rip station is setup to submit jobs to print to a remote rip station located on the same local network. Based on the following example, User 1 acts as a Print Client and User 2 is the Print Server. The Client submits the job to print while the Server handles the RIP processing. One single platform to control the whole production. Hardware and resource optimization: Use your most powerful computer to rip files for the biggest machines and keep your smaller computer to submit the jobs through the network. Also, It’s easily scalable: In case of a new equipment purchase, just install the driver on the right computer and drive the printer locally and / or remotely. In case of hardware failure, just change a few IP settings to drive the equipment from another rip station. All stations must run the same rip software version. The operating system doesn’t matter, it can be Mac OS or Linux Debian. Make sure that all Caldera stations communicate with each other through the first Ethernet controller incorrect configuration could lead to connection failures and difficulties in initializing the printers modules. To test the connection between rip stations or printers, you can enter “ping” plus the remote IP address in a Terminal. Here for instance, we want to test the connection with the User 1 station. We can either type the name of the computer or its IP address. Here we have a ping response meaning that we can reach the remote device. When submitting a file from a Print Client to a Print Server, the preset must be available on the Client side. It doesn’t matter if the preset is not available on the Server side. For instance, if User 1 wants to print a job on Printer C, using the “Stickers” preset, this preset must be imported on User 1 workstation. To transfer a preset from one rip station to another, use the buttons “export” and “import”, available from the configuration management tab, in the Print Module. Let’s start with licenses. Using several rip stations in the same workshop requires the license to be shared with all rip stations through a License Server. This is the RIP station where the license is installed. In the case of a Hardware License, it’s the computer where the dongle is plugged in, in the case of a Software License, it’s the computer from which the fingerprint has been generated. To learn more about how to activate your rip stations, watch our dedicated video. It’s possible to share a license with several rip stations depending on the number of Users allowed by the license. Here for instance, the current license allows 3 Users meaning that 3 people can work at the same time on 3 different rip stations. In the current company example, the license is installed on User 1, so we need to share the license with User 2 and User 3. To do so we need to launch CalderaRIP software on User 2. As expected, the software is not activated yet. Let’s click on “Configure license”. Click on “Manage licenses”. The remote license should be listed next to the corresponding License Server IP address. So here, User 1’s IP address. Select the license, then click on “Attach” Finally, close the windows to restart the CalderaRIP and apply changes. User 2’s rip station is now activated. Let’s repeat the same process on User 3 station. As expected, if we go into the KeyManager module, all Users are now active from the same shared license. Even if just a single User is provided for in the license, it is possible to run as many Black Box computers as needed. A Black Box computer is a rip station without the rip software interface launched on it. So, because it doesn’t require any graphical interface a black box is not considered as User. It’s also possible to launch the Spooler on it since a Spooler session doesn’t require a User either. To run only the Spooler on a Caldera station, just log on to the Spooler session when starting by typing “spooler” as the password. Then, depending on your production environment and the Spooler settings, you will be able to see and manage job queues. To explain how to set up a Print Client and a Print Server, Let’s say we want to submit data to print from User 1 to Printer B. First the Printer B driver must be installed on the User 1 station. Because User 1 will act as a Print Client for Printer B, we don’t need to configure the Printer connection from ServerAdmin. This will be done later from User 2. Then we go to the Config module reachable from the ApplicationBar. From there, we select the Printer B icon and we click on the “Edit” button. As we can see, the Host name is set to “localhost” by default, meaning that the files will be ripped locally for this printer. Of course, we must change this information and define User 2 station as the ripping computer for Printer B. To do so, we simply type User 2’s IP address in the Host name field. In this example it would be 10.59.25.24. We click “OK” to validate then we restart the software to apply changes. Print Client is now setup. It’s time to jump on User 2 station to setup the Print Server. First, we must install the Printer B driver just as we did before on User 1. Then we make sure that “localhost” is selected when editing the printer from Config. Because ripped files will be submitted to the printer by the current User we must now properly configure the driver connection from ServerAdmin. So we go to ServerAdmin. Then we click on “Printer B”. “Configure” “Connection” Here we must type Printer B’s IP address. In this case it would be 10.59.25.41. Let’s click a proceed to validate then enter the caldera password to apply changes Finally we can quit ServerAdmin. The print client and the print server configuration for Printer B’s driver is done. Now, if we print a file from User 1, the job will be submitted to User 2, which will handle the rip processing. Let’s check if everything works as expected. Indeed, if we move to the User 2 Spooler, we can see that the file is ripped locally, as expected. The client computer’s IP address is also displayed inside the job information tab, meaning that our Client-Server setup is running well. After configuring all rip stations, we assume that we get the following configuration. User 1 acts as Client and Server for Printer A, since it drives the printer locally. This User also acts as Client for printers B, C and D. Meaning that 4 printers are installed and visible in the ApplicationBar. User 2 acts as Client and Server for printers B and C since it drives these printers locally. User 3 acts as a Client and Server for Printer D, because it drives this device locally as well. In summary, User 1 is able to see all the job queues from its Spooler since it can already submit files to all company printers. However, if User 1 rips a file for Printer A, B or C User 3 won’t see these job queues For some reason you may want to manage specific job queues from another rip station, even if this station doesn’t have the drivers installed. So, in this scenario, let’s assume we want User 3 to be able to see and manage every job queue. To do so, we must switch its Spooler to “Administrator mode”. Here’s how to do it: First we open User 3’s Spooler. Then we click the “Setup” button. Then, by going to the “Misc” section, we can switch the Spooler to “Administrator mode”. By switching to the “Administrator mode” it allows us to choose the host we want to display and manage. Obviously, the localhost IP address is already listed. Let’s click on “Search” to retrieve the hosts located on the local network. Here we want to add both hosts User 1 and User 2. So we click on “Add all”. As you can now see, we have all the company’s printers listed inside the Spooler. For easy hosts and printers visibility, we go back to setup and select “Show host names in server list”. This way, the host name of each printer will be displayed underneath each printers icon. Let’s enable the “Display running server only” option as well. This way, only the running drivers will appear in the left panel. This will increase the Spooler visibility even further, mostly if the company is running a lot of printers. Now, if User 1 prints a job on Printer A, User 3 will be able to display the processing job next to the remote printer. Based on each Spooler settings. Let’s recap who can manage what job queues User 1 can drive all printers, so basically he or she can manage all company’s Spoolers, even if the Spooler is set in “User mode”. User 2 locally drives printers B and C. This Spooler is set up as user mode so it can only manage Printer B and Printer C job queues. User 3 locally drives Printer D. However Since we set up its Spooler in “Administrator mode”, User 3 can see and manage all the printers job queues. With CalderaRIP software, it’s also possible to manage the cutter through the Client-Server architecture. Let’s say a roll-to-roll cutter has been installed in the Solvent department. In this example, the cutter is plugged into the same local network and is therefore visible from all Users. Here, we assume that both User 1 and 2 need to submit cut files to this device, but only the Solvent department is in charge of the production. Here’s how to proceed from User 1: First, we must properly install the cutter driver from the Config module, since a VisualCut interface is required to drive the cutter. Let’s name it “cutter-1” The cut-queue folder must be reachable from both workstations This is why we create a cut files folder locally in /home/public, which is a shared folder. Be careful: since CalderaRIP Version 13 release, the public folder path has changed. You will find the repertory by going to /opt/caldera/var/public whether you’re working on Linux or Mac. Cutter installation is done. We can restart the software to apply changes. The icon to access the VisualCut interface has been added to the ApplicationBar. It’s now time to set up the cutter from User 2. No need to install the cutter from the Config module since User 2 doesn’t require any VisualCut interface. We can install the cutter driver straight from the Print Module by going to the cut tab. The name in this window is important, as it’s specific to the remote cutter we want to submit files to. So, here we must type “cutter-1”, just as we did before on User 1. Also, the queue needs to be pointed to the shared directory that we created previously from User 1. If using Linux Debian, you will find the mounted folder in /mnt, after mounting. Using MacOS, the mounted folder should be located in /Volumes. Cutter installation is done. Let’s launch a print & cut job from User 2 to check if the cut files are arriving in User 1’s VisualCut interface. Well done! The cut file is loaded in the corresponding cut queue. After typing the cutter’s IP address in the “Host” field, User 1 is ready to launch the cut process. That’s the end of this training video about Caldera’s Client-Server architecture. See you next time, and stay tuned for more training content!

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