Chapter 8. Controlling Windows Server: Group Policy

Group Policy is a technology that has been around since Windows 2000 was introduced. Since its introduction, it has proven to be the most powerful and efficient technology available to centrally manage Windows computers. To top it off as a viable technology, it is free within every Windows computer that is released.

Group Policy provides a centralized solution for managing all aspects of the computer and user environment. Within a single Group Policy Object (GPO), there are thousands (more than 5,000 on last count!) of potential settings that you can configure. The options in a single GPO can configure settings both for the computer and for the user. Settings can be configured that control security, desktop settings, printer installation, mapped drives, local group membership, and Registry settings. Of course, with 5,000 settings, these are just a few of the potential settings.

Group Policy is a technology that you can leverage on a single computer or using Active Directory. The power of Group Policy within Active Directory is substantial and impressive. We will discuss Group Policy for Active Directory in the companion book in the series, Mastering Windows Server 2008: Essential Technologies; here, we will discuss working with Group Policy on an individual computer, which are referred to as Local Group Policy Objects (LGPOs).

Every Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 computer comes with the ability to configure the LGPOs. These ...

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