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Creating a printing pool

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Creating a printing pool

You can create a printing pool to automatically distribute print jobs to the next available printer. A printing pool is one logical printer connected to multiple printers through multiple ports of the print server. The printer that is idle receives the next document sent to the logical printer. This is useful in a network with a high volume of printing because it decreases the time users wait for their documents. A printing pool also simplifies administration because multiple printers can be managed from the same logical printer on a server.

With a printing pool created, the user prints a document without having to find out which printer is available. The logical printer checks for an available port and sends documents to ports in the order that they are added. Adding the port connected to the fastest printer first ensures that documents are sent to the printer that can print the fastest before they are routed to slower printers in the printing pool.

Before setting a printing pool, consider the following:

  • All printers in a pool must use the same driver.

  • Because users will not know which printer in the pool prints a given document, make sure all printers in the pool are located in the same place.

For procedures on how to set a printing pool, see Set up a printer to print to multiple devices.