Group Policy Blog

Group Policy Tips, Tricks, and News from Darren Mar-Elia

Are We Moving Towards a “Post-AD” World?

Over the past year, I’ve had occasion to work with some large enterprises that are pushing the envelope in terms of what the next generation of client computing will look like. In the process of this work, I’ve come to recognize what I think will be an inevitable trend. Namely, that on-premise Active Directory will become increasingly marginalized, as the services that it once provided becom…

Searching Group Policy Settings

Group Policy search results from the GPO Exporter cmdlet

It seems like a logical thing to be able to do–you have a bunch of GPOs and you want to search for settings across them. In fact, it turns out to be a fair bit of work with native tools. It’s true that Microsoft has provided, for a while now, an Azure-based website that provides the equivalent of the Group Policy ADMX settings spreadsheet in an online, searchable database. This allows you to…

Folder Redirection–To the Cloud (Storage)!

Using Item-level targeting to test for the correct cloud storage folder

There’s no question that traditional file services (e.g. Windows file servers, NAS filers, etc.) are slowly being usurped in the enterprise, by cloud storage vendors such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, Dropbox and Citrix Sharefile. And while some organizations justifiably still have concerns about putting their corporate documents and data in the cloud, I think the trend will only…

Deploying Desired State Configuration through Group Policy

Adding a DSC script to a GPO

For those of you who read my blog, you’ll know that I am a big fan of the Desired State Configuration feature Microsoft introduced in PowerShell v4. For more information, you can see my early walkthrough of DSC and a comparison of Group Policy vs. DSC. And while I think DSC adoption is still pretty “early-days”, I do think this technology presents a lot of important capabilities for the future of…

SDM Software Group Policy Products Now Available to Government GSA Customers

SDM Software Group Policy products now available to GSA customers

We just wanted to make a quick announcement for our US government customers that SDM Software is now an approved GSA contractor, and all of our products are available via GSA Schedule. That includes our powerful Group Policy products such as GPO Compare, GPO Exporter (and the combined GPO Reporting Pak), GP Automation Engine and GP Auditing & Attestation.  You can get mor…

Group Policy Auditing & Attestation 1.1

Group Policy attestation options in GPAA 1.1

Hope everyone is having a great Summer (or Winter for you Southern Hemisphere folks)! We have been busy here at SDM, hence the lack of recent blog posts on my part. But I did want to drop a quick post to talk about our recent release of an incremental update to our Group Policy Change Auditing & Attestation product (GPAA). The 1.1 release shipped a couple of weeks ago, and provides a few new…

Group Policy Attestation Explained

Group Policy Attestation Explained

One of the cool features available in our Group Policy Auditing & Attestation (GPAA) product is the ability to perform attestation on Group Policy Objects (GPOs). In the video below, I spend some time discussing what GPO attestation is all about–the ability to assign ownership to GPOs in your environment, so that you can keep track of the responsible party for Group Policy Objects as they…

Delegate Group Policy Update in Windows 8.x

RSOP Logging Permisison in GPMC

When Microsoft shipped Windows 8 & Windows Server 2012, they added a new feature in GPMC, that allows you to perform remote Group Policy Updates on OUs of computers. I covered this feature in my previous roundup of Windows 8.1 Group Policy features. This feature is shown in the figure below:

As I was exploring this feature, I got to wondering how you might delegate the rights to…

Finding Group Policy Differences Between OUs

A frequent scenario that we come across here at SDM Software, are customers looking for help in discovering Group Policy differences between OUs. Namely, they may have a Marketing OU and a Sales OU that have GPOs linked to them, and they’d like to know how those are different (or the same) in terms of the Group Policy settings that are delivered to computers or users. The good news is that our…

Group Policy Preferences Passwords Bite the Dust!

Warning Using GP Preferences Passwords

For those of you following this issue, which I blogged about previously, you’ll know that several areas within Group Policy Preferences allowed for defining of passwords that were stored with the GPO settings storage in SYSVOL. These passwords were stored using an encryption method that was published publically by Microsoft (and had been for several years). In addition, the fact that t…

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