IN THIS CHAPTER
Group policy overview
Creating policy and change-management plans
Applying Group Policy
Managing Group Policy
This chapter discusses Group Policy, a collection of technologies that enable administrators to enjoy centralized workplace management and change control over workstations, servers, and services. Group Policy governs many aspects of the computing environment on a Windows network, such as security, communications, application delivery, and more.
Group Policy has been greatly enhanced in Windows Server 2008 (changes that were incorporated into Vista even before the server OS had been released). These include the following:
New categories of Policy Management (some of which are discussed in this chapter). Internet Explorer can now be totally managed through GP and you no longer need to shell out to extensions kits or hard edit the registry.
New format and functionality of the administrative templates. The format changed to XML in 2007 and the templates are now known as ADMX files as opposed to the old ADM format. The ADMX format has been further enhanced in Windows Server 2008 and Vista.
Policy application is no longer reliant on the PING protocol (ICMP) and GP instead uses a new technology called Network Location Awareness. This means start-up and processing times are more efficient and GP can be applied through firewalls that filter out ICMP.
GP has been decoupled from WinLogon and is now applied via ...