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Process for Implementing a Group Policy Solution

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

The process for implementing a Group Policy solution entails planning, designing, deploying, and maintaining the solution. These steps are illustrated in Figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1   Implementing Group Policy

Implementing Group Policy

When you plan your Group Policy design, make sure that you design the OU structure to ease Group Policy manageability and to comply with service level agreements. Establish good operational procedures for working with GPOs, such as those defined in this chapter, make sure that you understand Group Policy interoperability issues, and determine whether or not you plan to use Group Policy for software deployment.

During the design phase, define the scope of application of Group Policy, determine the policy settings that are applicable to all corporate users, classify users and computers based on their roles and locations, and then plan desktop configurations based on the user and computer requirements.

The deployment phase begins by staging in a test environment. This includes creating standard desktop configurations, filtering the scope of application of GPOs, specifying exceptions to default inheritance of Group Policy, delegating administration of Group Policy, evaluating effective policy settings by using Group Policy Modeling (formerly known as Resultant Set of Policy planning mode), and evaluating the results by using Group Policy Results (formerly known as Resultant Set of Policy logging mode).

Staging is critical. Thoroughly test your Group Policy implementation in a test environment before deploying to your production environment. After you complete staging and testing, migrate your GPO to your production environment by using GPMC. Consider an iterative implementation of Group Policy: rather than deploying 100 new Group Policy settings, initially stage and then deploy only a few settings to validate that the Group Policy infrastructure is working well.

Finally, prepare to maintain Group Policy by establishing control procedures for working with and troubleshooting GPOs by using GPMC.

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