Printer naming convention

Hi, I'm reviewing my printer naming convention and I'd like to get some suggestions, especially if you manage a large pool of printers in a multi-site organisation.

Number of print queues in each site range from 5 to 300.  We usually make 1 color queue and 1 B&W queue for each printer. We sometimes need to create a PS and PCL queue for compatibility reasons.

My actual naming convention goes like this :

4 letter Site Code - Department - PrinterBrandCode Model and Driver type - Color/BW

WXYZ  Promotions  HP4600 PS  Black and White

The problems with this naming convention are :
When the printers change department, the queue name has to be changed.
  - The solution to this seems to be to remove the physical location from the queue name but:
  Department name helps differentiate multiple identical model printer in a single site. It's epecially important for big sites that can have 10 HP4600 for example.
  Makes it easier for user to determine where they are physically printing
The names can get rather long and we had 1 instance where printing failed in a legacy app.
  - Again the solutions seems rather simple, abbreviate more and remove some information from the queue name.

So basically, if anyone could share their experience with printer naming convention I'd appreciate it.

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I don't know if there is a way around some of those challenges.  We usually name printers by location/department (collections, front check in, etc).  If we have a queue going to a specific tray (for a specific paper type) then the queue name will reflect that as well (i.e. Collections Tray 2 or Collections Letterhead).  In my opinion, location is a critical component in the naming standard as you need to know where the physicial printer is for printing and troubleshooting purposes.  

If you need to shorten the name I'd likely get rid of the PrintBrandCode Model and Driver type.  

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When moving a printer from one department to another, you may want the queue name to change so that people realize the printer moved. You wouldn't want all the people in Sales to keep printing to a printer that is now in Marketing, would you?

Something you can do is remove most of the information from the queue name and use the Location and Comment fields for more specific information. When you do a search for a printer in AD, you will be able to see the these fields and find the specific printer you are looking for. Also, the Model field should specify which driver was used (PS or PCL) so you probably wouldn't need to include that anywhere else either.

Another option would be to use GPOs to deploy your printers (assuming you are using Server 2003 R2 or later) and only deploy certain printers to certain users/computers. This way a user would only have the printers installed that are physically located near them. This type of setup would depend on how your users actually use their printers. For instance, if people regularly print to printers in other departments, this wouldn't work so well.

Hope this helps.
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Windows Server 2003

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