take a look here - Managing Conversions - 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) It should be possible to have multiple refineries for a single content server. There was even a separate license called Content Conversion Server if the other refinery runs on a separate server. Note that each provider (as seen in User Interface - 11g Release 1 (11.1.1)) has its own queue.
I have to admit that I don't know, and I could not find it in the documentation, how to setup the system to send jobs to the particular provider, but I am sure you should investigate the multiple providers' way.
Hope that helps, Jiri
Thanks for your reply,
I can have multiple IBR for the same content server yes. I tested this as well however since both IBR needs to accept the same conversion (DAM) then the first provider will accept all jobs until it's queue is full and then the second provider will accept the remaining jobs. If I launch a bulk import it can either span across multiple IBR or simply go to the first one is queue is big enough. The issue is that it will be the same for the single upload done in the meantime. If bulk import takes a full queue on IBR1 plus 200 image on IBR2 then I have to wait for IBR2 to finish the 200 conversions and then convert my single image. Or even worse, queue of IBR1 is 1000 and images get converted so queue is 923 for example when user submits job so he will need to wait for 923 content to be converted before having his image in the system.
Eventually, having 2/3 or even 4 IBR could be a solution because bulk upload would be faster and so single content upload would have to wait less but if I can prevent having 4 servers/licences etc I'd be more than happy
So, you already know more than I do
I'm afraid I can only comment your last paragraph: if you have all the IBRs installed on the same hardware you don't need extra licenses. And even if you don't, get in touch with your local sales rep and ask for Content Conversion Server license - it's no longer in the price list, but I believe there is still a way to get it, if needed (e.g. via a restricted license). If I remember it was 5 or 10 times cheaper than UCM's license.
Now, to the other paragraph - if I were you I would try to find someone who has done it before. OCS is the first choice, but maybe a partner will also be able to help. There might be some best practices to fine tune IBR servers to what you need, or perhaps, some customizations. I've been looking for prioritization of jobs in the queue - there seems to be none OOTB, but one never knows if it does not exist somewhere in the world. You could also try to customize it yourself.