Chapter 9. Managing Change in Vista

Change management is one of the key aspects of system administration. Yet, change is at the heart of Information Technology (IT) because IT systems are constantly evolving and mutating as new hardware or software is released and new ways of doing things are implemented along with them.

The key to change management is structured control: planning and making sure that when change does occur, it occurs the way you want it to and does not adversely affect the systems you manage. In Windows Vista, this means dealing with two administrative activities:

  • First, you need to control change: This is performed both locally and centrally through Group Policy.

  • Second, you need to track change: Here, you can rely on the Vista Event Log, which along with the Task Scheduler, can help you know which events occur on a system and automatically trigger activities when expected events do occur.

These tools should form the core of your change management and change tracking strategies with Windows Vista.

Managing Change through Group Policy

System settings in Windows are controlled through changes in either the graphical interface or the command line. These changes are recorded in the System Registry, a central database that is located on each Windows system and is used to store configuration settings and otherwise control the behavior of a computer. As seen in Figure 9.1, the Vista registry is divided into hives or sections that either affect the computer or the users who ...

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