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I am working on building a new AD print server and have been pondering the idea of renaming the printers. Right now we have a mix of names that varies between a mashup of some that reference location, some that reference functional area, and some that are rather generic. Some examples include the following:

  • Dell 5210 - Building Name
  • HP 4350 - Functional Area
  • Dell Color 3100 - Location and Building Number
  • HP 6500 - Mailroom

I was curious what other people used to name their printers with. What conventions do you use and how to design a method that will be able to be used for a while without needing to rename them all again. Also, the naming methodology needs to be understandable for regular computing users so that they can relatively easily find the printer that they need. I was looking at some ideas from here, but I was not sure how practical some of them are. Any help that you can provide is appreciated.

Note: I have reviewed many of the postings on here in relation to server naming conventions and found that they were not specific enough for the use case I present above.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Whatever you do, I would make sure the printer has it's name on it in very large clear lettering where end-users can see it - the bigger and more obtrusive the better - I use a large black on yellow label printer. Make sure this name is used consistently in software.

Old printers do sometimes get replaced and re-used in other locations. You have to have the discipline to rename them and re-label them.

I tend to keep records in an online web-page or Wiki that is easy for everyone to view and easy for me to update.

So long as you have clear labelling, diligent relabelling and well-maintained easily-found online documentation, you can use any naming system, even "printer_1" .. "printer_134" ..

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Name them entirely based on their location, ignore make/model/features, these can/do change but location rarely does if it does well it deserves a name change.

This is a very user-centric policy, why confuse them with anything other than "Main Building 4th floor North" or whatever?

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I would strongly recommend including the model number somewhere in the description. I know you're trying to avoid having to reconnect to the printer when the name changes after replacing it, but you're probably going to have to install/select a different driver for the new model anyway. And I don't particularly want to deal with blasting through 10 reams of paper per hour because 100 users are still using an old PostScript driver to print to the new high-capacity multifunction that doesn't support PostScript. – db2 Mar 18 '11 at 16:50

We name our printers based upon the department they are in, since this also takes care of the location for us. Not having something in the name specific to the printer's model works well for us because we can upgrade printers without having to update as many scripts or retrain users.

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I like printer names that describe the model but, otherwise, are meaningless.

I'm of the opinion that users should use the built-in search functionality to locate printers based on location, model, features, etc and that they shouldn't be just browsing to the print server. The search functionality is fairly nice, actually. I'd propose worrying more about developing a consistent and clear location naming convention and sticking to it.

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I work in a school so we have a limited number of rooms but the naming scheme is 4-digit room code-model number-asset (database) tag, for example T182-CP3525-3222. Can tell where it is, what printer it is and the asset tag to look any more info up in the database. Does need you to know where the room in the building is though.

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