Testing and Deploying Your Configuration
Updated: March 28, 2003
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
Most organizations have change management processes in place to ensure that any new configurations or deployments made to production systems go through rigorous testing within a non-production test environment prior to migration to production. This kind of change management process is especially important for Group Policy changes, because Group Policy can affect everything from registry settings to security settings to deployed software on a workstation or server. In addition to the many configuration settings that Group Policy accommodates, Group Policy objects can be linked to a number of different scopes, and their effect can be filtered by the use of user or computer security groups.
The ability to test Group Policy objects in a pre-production test environment, and to test the various ways that they can be deployed prior to committing them to live users and computers, is critical to maintaining your Windows infrastructure.
You should consider the testing phase to be essential to any successful Group Policy deployment. For complete information about testing and staging your group policies, see "Staging Group Policy Deployments" in this book.
Figure 9.9 illustrates the steps that you will take to test and deploy your configuration.
Figure 9.9 Testing and Deploying Your Configuration