Complementing Group Policy in Desktop Management

It is evident, that Microsoft Active Directory and Group Policies are the fundamental infrastructure provided to manage the Desktops in your network. In this blog i’ll share about the AD and GPO, its power and limitations. Group Policies in Microsoft Active Directory can be used to define user or computer settings for an entire group of users or computers at one shot. The configured settings are stored in a Group Policy Object (GPO), which is then associated with Active Directory objects such as sites, domains, or organizational units.

Looking back the History, Group Policy was introduced in Windows 2000 for applying changes to computers and users throughout an organization. In contrast to system policies (which existed in windows NT), group policies differ in many ways i.e. supports single client (user or computer), to bulk (sites, domains, and OU) configuration pushing, highly secured, set and unset values specified situations and can do far more than just a desktop lockdown which is done by system policies. Group policies, allows administrators to define detailed settings that are to be enforced on users throughout the organization and ensures that the system will take care of things. GP configurations cover many different aspects of the network, desktop, Script policies, Security policies and software configuration environment etc.

Eventhough GPO offers many good features, in my opinion there are some important fucntionalities that are still missing. The most basic limitations of the Group Policy object is that, it can manage only within the Active Directory perimeter. Apart from the mentioned global issues, other practical gaps, an administrator would expect are; Status update for the applied configurations, Active Directory Reports, Applied configuration summary, Web based Console for configuration, Easy usability of the configuration etc.,

Desktop Central 3.0 fills up these Gaps and complements Group Policy objects. The power of group policy and Active Directory is leveraged perfectly to Manage desktops and address the above mentioned issues by providing status update, Free Active Directory reports, Web management console, Predefined configuration set for easy usability, provision for powerful target definition etc. Organizations that have the blend of Active Directory, GPO and Desktop Central will be able to increase user productivity, simplify daily tasks improve reliability.