Administering Windows Server 2008: The Basics
Setting Up a Network Printer
You can easily set up a printer connected to a server (or workstation) so other network
users can access it. However, for networks with more than about 20 users, you're better
off either buying printers with network interfaces and built-in print servers or using
dedicated print server boxes that interface between a printer and the network. For most
laser printers, adding a dedicated network interface and server increases the cost of the
printer by about $150 to $300. This is money well spent, because sending a print job to a
printer requires the print server to do a lot of processing. If that print server is also your
main file server, its overall performance will decrease significantly while it is printing
(and particularly while it services large print jobs).
Also, printers with built-in print servers are far easier to relocate on the network.
They can go anywhere a network connection exists and where power is available. Once
connected to the network at a new location, the printer logs in to the network and starts
doing its work immediately.
If you want to share a printer connected directly to a Windows Server 2008 server,
this is easy to do. First, open the server's Printers folder (from the Start menu, choose
Control Panel, and then choose Printers), which lists all the installed printers. Right-
click the one you want to share and choose Sharing from the pop-up menu. The
Properties dialog box for the printer will appear, with the Sharing tab activated, as
shown in Figure 17-15.
In this example, the printer and its Windows 2000 driver are already installed properly, as they
would normally be during the installation of Windows Server 2008. If they are not properly installed,
open the Printers folder and use the Add Printers icon to set up the printer on the server itself.
Overview of the network printing process
and OS send
print job to
Print job never
instead it is
Voila! Print job
sends print job
takes print job
out of queue
Print job arrives
at server and is
placed into a
queue, where it
waits to be