A printer pool associates two or more identical printers with one set of printer software. To set up such a pool, add a printer using the Add Printer wizard and assign that printer as many output ports as there are identical printers. Windows 2000 places no limit on the number of printers in a pool. When a document is sent to the printer pool, the first available printer receives and prints it. This configuration maximizes print device use while minimizing the time users wait for documents.
Efficient printer pools have the following characteristics:
All printers in the pool are the same model.
Printer ports can be of the same type or mixed (parallel, serial, and network).
It is recommended that all printers be in one location. Because it is impossible to predict which printer will receive the document, keep all printers in a pool in a single location. Otherwise, users might have a hard time finding their printed document.
If one device within a pool stops printing, the current document is held at that device. The succeeding documents print to other devices in the pool, while the delayed document waits until the nonfunctioning printer is fixed.