In this video, Darren Mar-Elia, SDM Software’s CTO and Founder, demonstrates the SDM Software GPO Compare product, a tool for being able to perform actions such as comparing group policy objects across your Windows enterprise network and creating reports about GPOs. GPO Compare greatly improves the manageability of group policy.
This Darren Mar-Elia CTO and Founder of SDM Software and the GPOGUY.com website. SDM Software is the leader in solutions for Group Policy Management and today I’m going to walk you through a quick demo of our innovative GPO Compare tool. GPO Compare let’s you compare live or backed up GPO’s and provides a lot of great interactive functionality for quickly finding GPO differences. It works against one or more trusted AD domains and let’s you generate nicely formatted reports in PDF or Excel for showing to management. There is also a PowerShell interface that let’s you do command line comparisons and manipulation of that difference data. So let’s take a tour through the product now.
I’m going to go ahead and choose to compare two live GPO’s. I’m going to browse my current active directory domain and go down and choose for example the default domain controller’s policy and I think I will compare that to the default domain policy in my domain. If I go ahead and run the comparison you will see it goes out, talks to my domain and grab those GPO’s and prepares a difference report for them. I could have also chosen to do comparison between a live GPO and a GPMC back up or two GPMC back ups, this lets me be able to compare live GPOs versus GPO back ups from un-trusted domains so lets go ahead and scroll up to the top of each tree and as you can see we have got some differences here.
The metadata section is the kind of general information related to the GPO’s such as its version modified time where it is linked, what security filters are on it etcetera and I can scroll down into the body of the settings GPO you will see here I have got some password policies in this GPO. Red indicates here that this value is different from GPO B or the Default Domain Policy. Green Indicates that this setting exists in this policy but not in the other one. So I can go ahead and click the red and click jump to setting in GPO B and it takes me right to the different setting and I can see that its value is set to 24 as opposed to this one set to 22 or I’m sorry to two. Let’s go ahead and change the view I can also do a grid view of the differences so I can see all the policy settings paths and I could see where the values are different in each GPO.
I can also search for policy settings so if I want to find all of the policy settings that have the word password in them I can go ahead and do that quickly and there is one and there is another. And I can find all of the settings and it contains that keyword. You can also as I mentioned earlier create a report that lets you view the GPO comparison in a nice format by going ahead and select the report button. You will see that is created a nice formatted report that I can send to a printer. It categorizes the differences based on whether it is different settings missing in GPO A or missing in GPO B and I can also save this to Excel or PDF. Okay, now let’s finally look at the PowerShell interface into GPO Compare. If I go ahead and paste in my command that I have got here you will see that I have got a commandlet called Compare SDM GPO and it takes some parameters in this case GPO name A and GPO name B and I just provided with the names the two GPO’s I want to compare. I could also tell it to include or exclude metadata to compare GPO’s from a different domain or even compare GPO back ups which are also supported within power shell interface.
I go ahead and hit enter here, what you will see is it goes out and runs the comparison and returns a PowerShell object since everything in PowerShell is objects that includes properties like the path the setting I can’t see the full setting here but those are the path to the setting. The setting value in A, the setting value in B and the difference type in this case, it is different. So you can imagine that with PowerShell and the power that it has you could do lots of manipulation of this data based on the type of difference it is, the values, the power etcetera.
So that concludes this GPO Compare Demo and if you are interested in getting more information or downloading a demo copy of the product please visit our website at www.sdmsoftware.com. Thank you.