Admit it, you did the same thing as everybody else: You jumped into Group Policy objects (GPOs) and started using them. Why wouldn’t you? They’re possibly the best desktop management technology on the market today, and arguably the “killer app” for Active Directory itself. But the more crucial they become to your business, the more that simple mistakes or poor management practices can result in significant negative production impact—or what the lay person would call “a bad day.” Sure, you might work for one of the many companies that has implemented change management processes around GPOs—but are you really managing your GPOs properly? I’ve identified five key capabilities that everyone should have for their GPOs: Backup and recovery, change control, comparison, auditing, and offline editing.
Yeah, I know, you already back up your GPOs. Well, think again, because I’m not just talking about using the GPMC to run a backup, nor am I talking about the backups provided by your run-of-the-mill all-purpose backup software. In order to really make GPOs a recognized part of your production infrastructure, there are some very specific capabilities and features that you need to look for. Unfortunately, Microsoft won’t provide you with most of these, but Microsoft has built the Group Policy infrastructure in such a way that third-party tools can give you what you need. In this video I use some of the native tools to show how these GPO capabilities are missing and when you need them.
Have you realized that you're missing any of these capabilities? What 3rd party tools are you using, if any?