Windows Server 2008's print server role offers a new Print Management console. (An earlier form of the console was part of Windows Server 2003 R2.) The Windows Server 2008 version, which is provided to the server when the print server role is added, allows you to retrieve information and the state of printers and other print servers. For clean installations, you can also use the Print Management console to install printers to client systems via Group Policy.After installing the print server role, the Print Management console appears and offers a central view for the printers and print servers. Figure A shows the main screen of the Print Management console. Figure A
The Print Management console is one of the stronger features for Windows Server 2008 simply because of the deployment options of printers through Group Policy. For a printer deployed through Group Policy, the corresponding Group Policy Management configuration is shown in Figure B. Figure B
As with other Group Policy configurations, it can be applied to User or Computer objects. This flexibility can avoid risky scripts or inconsistent driver situations that can result from haphazard printer deployment.
You can apply the Print Management console to a permission model for delegated control so a help desk technician could clear a queue or even deploy the printer to a client. Printer drivers can also be managed within the Print Management console, avoiding issues where unnecessary printing features complicate the support of the solution.
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Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.