How to manage printers – Part I
The management of printers has always required a certain burden to system administrators. But with the advent of Windows 2000 and Active Directory, printer management has become a bit more comfortable. In this first part we take care of how to assign a name to a printer and how to assign a name to the Location field.
With the term network printer, we intend any printer that meet at least one of the following two statements:
- the printer has a network adapter and the printer is assigned an IP address (possibly static or reserved via DHCP);
- two or more workstations can print, more or less simultaneously, on the same printer.
During this post, we will consider only network printers and workstations that belong to an Active Directory domain. The first question we consider is this: what does name to give a network printer? I believe that when you have to give a name to a network printer, you should consider the following golden rules:
- do not use names longer than eight characters;
- use only alphanumeric characters;
- not enter in the printer name, parts that can change over the time, eg acronyms of office, or numbers of room;
- match the printer name with the shared name of the printer queue.
For example, for an HP Laserjet 2100DN, a good printer name could be: HPLJ01 Where the first two letters are an acronym of the manufacturer (Hewlett-Packard) printer, the second two are a acronym of the type of printer (LaserJet) and the last two digits are a numerical sequence (01). Following this rule, the HP Color LaserJet CP1815NI, will be called: HPLJ02.
Once you have chosen the name for a printer, is a good idea to put a label on the printer where you can find the printer name and if the printer is equipped with network card, his IP address.
The second issue I want to face is: where are my printers? This is an extremely important point! To learn how to fill in the Location field you should read what is written in the Microsoft document Best Practices for Deploying Printer Location with Active Directory. A name can be entered in the Location field could be the following: Italy/ReggioEmilia/ViaBrigataReggio/HQ/FirstFloor/Room112 Where Italy is the country where the printer is located, ReggioEmilia is the name of the city (Reggio Emilia), ViaBrigataReggio is the address of headquarters, HQ is the Headquarter where the printer is located, FirstFloor indicate that the printers is in a room at the first floor, Room112 indicate that the printer is in the room with the number 112:
In the second part of these post series, I will explain how to use the Location field to improve the search for the printers in Active Directory.