Ever since the first time I went to TechEd….a really, really long time ago, the first presentation that really impressed me for both content and presentation skills was on Group Policies. As a hint to when this was, Group Policies were just being released! For about another 10 years after that, I taught Group Policies at a well known computer training company. You would think at least from an Academic perspective, I would have been at least at a 400 level of knowledge; and at the time I was, but the wheels of change just don’t stop! Later, I worked on an Active Directory migration project from Windows Server 2003 to 2008R2. While many things were the same, quite a few things in Group Policies had changed. Even later, I was fortunate to be part of the Windows Server 2012 (Server 8 beta then) Rapid Deployment team at Microsoft. Although I did not directly work on Group Policies on that project, I realized that there were enough significant changes throughout Server 2012, that surely the Product Groups had listened to our customers and made a few changes under the hood. They did, and so I started talking with folks in the product groups for both Active Directory and the Group Policy team. They were kind enough to share their tips and tricks which I wrote down ferociously! I also found on the web a nice old download called the Group Policy Documentation Survival Guide. With all the changes in Server 2012, I thought it could use a little refresh, so here is my first try at it. I took what was still applicable from what existed out there, and added all the tips and tricks that I got from the real experts on the subject for Server 2012 plus other Gems that many people often miss!
For part II of this blog, I will list out many of the subtopics related to this handout I made, that I will be speaking on soon! Additionally, as questions or comments are shared/learned during my presentations, I will post those findings here as well. I hope this information is useful for you as it has been for me, whether you are new or experienced with Group Policies, there is something for everyone to learn! Enjoy.