What is Group Policy and how can it help me? ~ Ask The Admin

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What is Group Policy and how can it help me?

I am sure all you readers out there in Admin land have heard of Group Policy or GP/GPOs before. A lot of people know what it is but do not know how to use it well enough to make their lives easier. At the request of one of our loyal readers Bavat0r I have decided to create a series of posts starting with this brief introduction and guiding you through setting Group Policy up, utilizing it to install applications, map network drives and do pretty much anything you want it to. The possibilities are endless!

Think of group policy like your Bitch Underpaid Intern. Microsoft describes Group Policy as:

Group Policy is an infrastructure used to deliver and apply one or more desired configurations or policy settings to a set of targeted users and computers within an Active Directory environment. This infrastructure consists of a Group Policy engine and multiple client-side extensions (CSEs) responsible for writing specific policy settings on target client computers.
Before we get into the lessons I wanted to tell you that most of my examples will be of Domains running Active Directory BUT you can still do a lot of these tasks on Windows 2000/XP Pro/Vista Business even if they are not part of a domain. You can use the Group Policy editor to connect to a local machine and set this up.

What do you want to see us write about? Now is the time to send me your Group Policy questions!