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Designing a Group Policy Infrastructure

Designing a Group Policy Infrastructure

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CHAPTER 2

Microsoft\u00ae Windows\u00ae Server 2003 Group Policy enables administrators to manage configurations for groups of
computers and users, including options for registry-based policy settings, security settings, software
deployment, scripts, folder redirection, Remote Installation Services, and Microsoft\u00ae Internet Explorer
maintenance. By using Group Policy, you can significantly reduce an organization\u2019s total cost of ownership.
Because of factors such as the large number of policy settings available, the interaction between multiple
policies, and inheritance options, Group Policy design can be complex. By carefully planning, designing, and
testing a solution based on your organization\u2019s business requirements, you can provide the standardized
functionality, security, and management control that your organization needs.

In This Chapter

Group Policy Overview............................................................... ...........................52 Planning Your Group Policy Design................................................... .....................58 Designing Your Group Policy Model.......................................... .............................68 Deploying Group Policy................................................................ .........................82 Maintaining Group Policy............................................................................ .........115 Additional Resources.............................................................................. .............117

Related Information
\u2022
For more information about the Active Directory\u00ae directory service, see the Directory Services
Guide of the Microsoft\u00ae Windows\u00ae Server 2003 Resource Kit (or see the Directory Services
Guide on the Web at http://www.microsoft.com/reskit).
\u2022
For more information about security in Windows Server 2003, see the Distributed Services
Guide of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit (or see the Distributed Services Guide on the
Web at http://www.microsoft.com/reskit).
\u2022
For more information about managing Group Policy, see the Distributed Services Guide of the
Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit (or see the Distributed Services Guide on the Web at
http://www.microsoft.com/reskit).
Designing a Group
Policy Infrastructure
52 Chapter 2 Designing a Group Policy Infrastructure
Group Policy Overview

Group Policy enables Active Directory\u2013based change and configuration management of user and computer
settings on computers running a member of the Microsoft\u00ae Windows\u00ae Server 2003 or Microsoft
Windows\u00ae 2000 families of operating systems, or the Microsoft\u00ae Windows\u00ae XP Professional operating system.
You use Group Policy to define configurations for groups of users and computers, including policy settings for
registry-based policies, software installation, scripts, folder redirection, Remote Installation Services, Internet
Explorer maintenance, and security. You can also use Group Policy to help manage server computers, by
configuring many server-specific operational and security settings.

The Group Policy settings that you create are contained in a Group Policy object (GPO). To create a GPO, use the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). To edit a new GPO, use the Group Policy Object Editor snap- in for the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), which you can start from GPMC. By using GPMC to link a GPO to selected Active Directory system containers \u2014 sites, domains, and organizational units (OUs) \u2014 you apply the policy settings in the GPO to the users and computers in those Active Directory containers.

To guide your Group Policy design decisions, you need a clear understanding of your organization\u2019s business
needs, service level agreements, and security, network, and IT requirements. By analyzing your current
environment and users\u2019 requirements, defining the business objectives you want to meet by using Group Policy,
and following this chapter\u2019s guidelines for designing a Group Policy infrastructure, you can establish the
approach that best supports your organization\u2019s needs.

To see example standard desktop configurations and the actual policy settings used for those configurations, see
the Group Policy scenarios in the whitepaper at the Implementing Common Desktop Management Scenarios
link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources. For a list of these
sample configurations, see Table 2.3 later in this chapter.

IntelliMirror refers to the ability to provide users with consistent access to their applications, application
settings, roaming user profiles, and user data, from any managed computer \u2013 even when they are disconnected
from the network. IntelliMirror is delivered by means of a set of Windows features that enable IT administrators
to implement standard computing environments for groups of users and computers.

Additional Resources 53
IntelliMirror can significantly boost user productivity and satisfaction by doing the following:
\u2022

Allowing users to continue working efficiently in intermittently connected or disconnected
scenarios by enabling uninterrupted access to user and configuration data under these
conditions.

\u2022

Delivering a consistent computing environment to users from any computer when their desktop
or laptop computer is unavailable or in scenarios where users are not assigned a specific
computer.

\u2022
Minimizing data loss by enabling centralized backup of user data and configuration files by the
IT organization.
\u2022
Minimizing user downtime by enabling automated installation and repair of applications.
Implementing IntelliMirror also boosts administrator efficiency and reduces IT costs by doing the following:
\u2022
Eliminating the need to manually configure user settings, install applications, or transfer user
files to provide users access to their computing environments on any computer.
\u2022
Enabling scenarios where users do not have an assigned computer but log in to any available
computer in a pool of computers. This helps reduce hardware and administration costs.
\u2022
Easing the IT task of implementing centralized backup of user files while satisfying the need
for these files to be available on the user\u2019s computer.
\u2022
Reducing support costs by using Windows Installer to automatically repair broken application
installations.
\u2022
Enabling rapid deployment of security settings to ensure resources on the network are secure.
Windows features that implement IntelliMirror include Active Directory, Group Policy, Software Installation,
Windows Installer, Folder Redirection, Offline Folders, and Roaming User Profiles.

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