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Working in the Group Policy Management Snap-In

The Group Policy Management snap-in makes it easy for you to view the Group Policies linked to objects in the Active Directory tree. It also provides two wizards that help determine how a GPO actually affects the users or computers in a particular domain container: the Group Policy Modeling tool and the Group Policy Results tool.

The Group Policy Modeling tool enables you to determine how a set of GPOs will affect a particular object in the Active Directory tree such as a user or computer. The Group Policy Results tool enables you to take a look at the resultant set of policies, meaning how both direct and inherited policies actually affect an object in the Active Directory.

So, the Group Policy Management snap-in provides all the information related to the various containers in the domain and the Group GPOs that have been assigned to these containers. When you actually create or edit a Group Policy, you use the Group Policy Object Editor, which has been available since the release of Windows 2000 Server.

You can run the Group Policy Management snap-in via the Server Manager or in the MMC. To open the Group Policy snap-in in the Server Manager, expand the Features node and then select your Forest node to view the Active Directory containers and Group Policy tools provided by the Group Policy Management snap-in.

You can also open the Group Policy Management snap-in in the Windows MMC. Select Start, Administrative Tools, and then Group Policy Management. Figure 11.3 shows the Group Policy Management snap-in in the MMC.

Figure 11.3. The Group Policy Management snap-in.

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To view the domains in the current forest, expand the Forest node and then expand the Domains node. Although Group Policy can be applied to both sites and domains, this hour’s discussion centers on domain Group Policies and the Group Policies of containers within a domain, such as an Organizational Unit.

Did you Know?

The Group Policy Management snap-in is actually quite flexible in terms of getting the most out of existing GPOs. You can import GPOs from other forests and you can copy any GPO available in the current forest. This means that you have plenty of existing GPOs that you can copy and then “dissect” to determine how they will affect objects in the domain. Although creating Group Policies is discussed in the next section, you may want to begin your exploration of Group Policies by editing copies of existing GPOs.

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