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Overview of Deploying a Managed Environment Process

Letzte Aktualisierung: März 2003

Betrifft: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

The IntelliMirror technologies included in Microsoft® Windows® 2000, Microsoft® Windows® XP, and Windows Server 2003 operating systems provide the capabilities for directory-based configuration management. By using IntelliMirror on the server and the client, you can ensure that a user’s data, applications, and settings remain constant throughout the user’s environment. You also use Group Policy to centralize the process for deploying and managing security for servers running Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 and clients running Windows 2000 and Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional. Together, Active Directory and Group Policy provide the foundation for IntelliMirror. Based on the Group Policy settings you specify, IntelliMirror can deploy, recover, restore, and replace user’s data, software, and personal settings. You can set policy definitions once and rely on the system to apply the policy settings without further administrative intervention. By using IntelliMirror, you can centralize and simplify the management of users, servers, desktops, and security.

The term configuration management as used in this guide refers to a subset of technologies in Windows Server 2003 (and Windows 2000) that administrators can use as part of their overall infrastructure for change and configuration management. By using the IntelliMirror management technologies provided in Windows 2000 and later, you can design configurations for servers, desktops, and users.

Microsoft has developed guidelines you can use to help you effectively design, develop, deploy, operate, and support solutions built on Microsoft technologies. The guidelines are organized into two integrated frameworks, Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) and Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF). The guidelines include white papers, operations guides, assessment tools, best practices, case studies, templates, support tools, and services. MOF provides technical guidance that enables organizations to achieve system reliability, availability, supportability, and manageability of IT solutions. MOF addresses the people, process, technology, and management issues pertaining to operating complex, distributed, heterogeneous IT environments.

For more information about MOF, see the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) link on the Web Resources page at For more information about Microsoft Solutions Framework, see the Microsoft Solutions Framework link on the Web Resources page at

Advantages of Using IntelliMirror

IntelliMirror refers to the ability to provide users with consistent access to their applications, application settings, roaming user profiles, and user data, from any managed computer – even when they are disconnected from the network. IntelliMirror is delivered via a set of Windows features that enable IT administrators to implement standard computing environments for groups of users and computers.

IntelliMirror can significantly boost user productivity and satisfaction by doing the following:

  • Allowing users to continue working efficiently in intermittently connected or disconnected scenarios by enabling uninterrupted access to user and configuration data under these conditions.

  • Delivering a consistent computing environment to users from any computer when their desktop or laptop computer is unavailable or in scenarios where users are not assigned a specific computer.

  • Minimizing data loss by enabling centralized backup of user data and configuration files by the IT organization.

  • Minimizing user downtime by enabling automated installation and repair of applications.

Implementing IntelliMirror also boosts administrator efficiency and reduces IT costs by doing the following:

  • Eliminating the need to manually configure user settings, install applications, or transfer user files to provide users access to their computing environments on any computer.

  • Enabling scenarios where users don’t have an assigned computer but log on to any available computer in a pool of computers. This helps reduce hardware and administration costs.

  • Easing the IT task of implementing centralized backup of user files while satisfying need for these files to be available on the user’s computer.

  • Reducing support costs by using Windows Installer to automatically repair broken application installations.

IntelliMirror is implemented by means of a set of Windows features, including Active Directory, Group Policy, Software Installation, Windows Installer, Folder Redirection, Offline Folders, and Roaming User Profiles.

Deploying IntelliMirror technologies for configuration management provides the following advantages.

User data management   IntelliMirror facilitates the centralized backup and restore of user data. Storing the users data on servers simplifies data backup and security and ensures that data is protected and highly available. Users can access their data from any computer on the network. User data management relies on Active Directory, Group Policy, Folder Redirection, Offline Files, and disk quotas.

User settings management   Using the user settings management capabilities, you can manage user settings and preferences (such as user-defined screen colors and display fonts) and make them available to users regardless of which networked computer the users log on to. You can centrally define managed configurations for users and mirror user settings to the network. User settings management relies on Active Directory, Group Policy, Roaming User Profiles, Folder Redirection, Offline Files, and Synchronization Manager.

Security settings   Using Group Policy, you can manage the following types of security options for users, clients, servers, and domain controllers: Internet Protocol security (IPSec), security settings, software restrictions policies, and wireless network policies.

Group Policy–based software installation   Using Group Policy–based software installation, you can manage software installation throughout an application’s life cycle. You can centrally manage software installation, repairs, updates, and removal.

Internet Explorer policy settings   Using Microsoft® Internet Explorer policy settings you can customize the appearance of the browser, define connection settings, and define custom Universal Resource Locators (URLs), security settings, and program associations.

Scripts   You can specify scripts to run when the computer starts and shuts down and when users log on or log off.

Remote setup and configuration   Using Remote Installation Services (RIS), you can simplify operating system installations by remotely setting up and configuring operating system installations on computers throughout the enterprise.

To ensure the success of your managed environment deployment, you must create a configuration management plan that defines the resources to be managed and the processes that you are implementing.

You start your deployment plan by defining your business objectives for change and configuration management and determining the scope of your configuration management deployment in terms of the users and resources you need to manage. In the first phase, you also need to perform an assessment of your current environment and determine the requirements for configuration management.

Next, determine which IntelliMirror configuration management technologies meet your business requirements, and then design managed configurations for the various types of users and computers in your organization based on those requirements.

Before you deploy configuration management technologies into your production environment, you must fully test your designs in a controlled test environment, and then review your test results to determine whether the systems meet the design requirements. It is strongly recommended that you stage your deployment of Group Policy and related technologies. For more information about staging, see “Staging Group Policy Deployments” in this book.

After you complete the testing of your design in a controlled environment, you can deploy to production. To learn about using the Windows Server 2003 Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) to facilitate testing and staging your deployments of Group Policy, see “Designing a Group Policy Infrastructure” in this book.


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