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Pulling Networked Printer Data Without Using SNMP

Posted on 2013-05-18
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Last Modified: 2013-05-28
I would like to pull page count data from over 50 networked printers. It works fine of course if I have SNMP enabled, but the network security guy forced us to turn it off on all printers. I am trying to save labor hours a tech spends printing out a page count total from each printer (adds up when factoring different floors ect), and I am also trying to avoid disrupting production (or using overtime to have a tech wait after business hours).

So is there a way to pull page count data from a networked printer without using SNMP?

I of course got the IP's and they receive data from users  . . . pretty sure there is a way?

Anyone's constructive input would be appreciated.
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Question by:gmar777
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by:eerwalters
eerwalters earned 250 total points
ID: 39178024
All of the usual reporting tools with which I am familiar work via SNMP.  However, there are some other options.

   1- Since it is only 50 printers, you could connect to the web page of each to get the statistics.  Just open a browser to http://PrinterIPaddress .
   2- Some newer printers have AutoSend capabilites.  Meaning that they can send scheduled emails with usage/supply statistics.  This would require that they can access a SMTP relay on your network and you would need to setup each one once (also normally set via the printer's web page).
   3- Have SNMP enabled on the printers but lock down the printers so only the print servers, the admin workstations and the SNMP monitoring workstation can access them via TCP/IP.  That is assuming that the environment is not allowing everyone to print directly to the printers.
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hdhondt earned 250 total points
ID: 39178374
If the printers support PJL, it is possible to get the page count by sending the correct PJL command. Note that reading the reply over the network will be a lot more difficult than sending the command! This site gives some details:

http://www.cacr.caltech.edu/~mark/sysadmin_CITA/hint/hp-pjl.html

Nota all PJL printers will support this command, so test them. With PostScript printers it is also possible by sending the following PS commands.

statusdict begin pagecount end ==

That returns the current page count of the printer engine over the communication line.
Note that every modern PS printer also supports PJL.
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Author Closing Comment

by:gmar777
ID: 39201933
Thanks very much for the input, both comments helped. Totally forgot about PostScript and did not know about PJL. I also will find use of hitting the printers status page, and have submitted some security suggestions to help mitigate security concerns over SNMP. Thanks very much guys this really helped broaden the options and they are doable, thanks!
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