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Introduction (Windows Print Server Scalability and Sizing Technical Overview)

Updated: February 7, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Capacity and scalability are key factors in planning the purchase and deployment of Microsoft Windows print servers. This paper describes several of the key factors that influence the capacity of a given print server configuration. While this paper cannot provide a predictive formula to determine the printing throughput of a given configuration, it does describe several reference systems and their capacity. This paper also presents the information necessary to help the system administrator or capacity planner to estimate and later monitor their server workload.

Some of the factors that influence print server performance and capacity include:

  • The number of print server clients

  • The operating system version or versions on each client’s machine

  • The number, size, and frequency of print jobs

  • The types of print jobs sent to the print server

  • The number and type of printers served by the print server and the types of printer drivers each printer uses

Based on customer feedback, analysis of past print server deployments and performance testing Microsoft has performed in its labs, Microsoft can recommend certain system configurations for specific workloads.

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