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What is GPP(Group Policy Preferences)

GPP is a new technology introduced with Windows Server 2008 to make life of administrators much easy. There are variety no. of settings available in GPPs which helps you manage your system effectively. 
Using GPPs you can administer the following components of Operating System. You can manage both these user-based and computer based settings from GPPs. The below list shows the settings available in GPPs. A setting can be applied to either a computer or a user or to both based the setting.
  • Applications (User-based)
  • Drive Mapping (User-based)
  • Environment Variables (User-based and computer-based)
  • Files (User-based and computer-based)
  • Folders (User-based and computer-based)
  • Ini Files (User-based and computer-based)
  • Registry (User-based and computer-based)
  • Shortcuts (User-based and computer-based)
  • Network Shares (Computer-Based)
  • DataSources (User-based and computer-based)
  • Devices (User-based and computer-based)
  • Folder Options (User-based and computer-based)
  • Internet Settings (User-Based)
  • Local Users and Groups (User-based and computer-based)
  • Network Options (User-based and computer-based)
  • Power Options (User-based and computer-based)
  • Printers (User-based and computer-based)
  • Regional Options (User-based)
  • Scheduled Tasks (User-based and computer-based)
  • Start Menu (User-Based)
  • Services (Computer-Based)
If no targets are applied, all the computer/users under this policy will get these settings. If you want to restrict this policy to specific users/computers  inside OU, then you need to use targeting. There are 25 targeting options are available which can be used alone or in conjunction with other items. Some of the interesting targets are battery present, computer name, disk space, IP address range, LDAP query, OU, Regkey match, security group, site name, user name and wmi query.
Some of the uses of GPPs are…
  • You can restrict the desktops local administrators group membership. If any one adds their account to local admins, that will be taken off during the next GPO processing due to GPP setting.
  • You can execute scripts, commands in user context at scheduled times.
  • Control power options on laptops/desktops
  • Easily deploy files to desktops based on user and computer
  • Push short cuts to user/desktops
  • And GPPs can definitely replace some of the settings which are being handled by your computer/user login scripts now. Using GPPs for these settings considerably less time than using scripts.
Compatibility…
I am sure many of the users will look for this information after going through the GPP exciting features. Though this feature released with Windows 2008 server, you can happily use GPPs in your existing Windows Server 2003 domain which has XP clients. The only thing you need to do is deploy GPP Client side extensions package from Microsoft. The latest buddies like Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 2008 server will come this CSE by default.
You can read more details about this from below sources…
Happy Learning…,
Sitaram Pamarthi
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