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Windows Group Policy Administrator's Pocket Consultant (ISBN: 9780735626768) was published on February 11. It’s my 98th published book and 30th for Microsoft Press. My 99th and 100th books will be Windows 7 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant and Windows Server 2008 R2 Inside Out, not necessarily in that order. Buy the book.

The Introduction for Windows Group Policy Administrator's Pocket Consultant follows. Windows administrators, hope its first paragraph grabs you:

Windows Group Policy Administrator’s Pocket Consultant is the only book on the market written from start to finish with both Group Policy preferences and Group Policy settings in mind. It is also the only book on the market written from start to finish with the Group Policy Management Console and Advanced Group Policy Management in mind. As a result, Windows Group Policy Administrator’s Pocket Consultant offers Windows administrators a unique approach. The result, I hope, is a concise and compulsively usable resource for Windows administrators.

Because I focus on providing you with the maximum value in a pocket-sized guide, you don’t have to wade through hundreds of pages of extraneous information to find what you’re looking for. Instead, you’ll find exactly what you need to get the job done. In short, the book is designed to be the one resource you consult whenever you have questions regarding Group Policy administration. To this end,
the book concentrates on daily administration procedures, frequently performed tasks, documented examples, and options that are representative but not necessarily inclusive.

One of the goals is to keep the content so concise that the book remains compact and easy to navigate while ensuring that the book is packed with as much information as possible—making it a valuable resource. Thus, instead of a hefty thousand-page tome or a lightweight hundred-page quick reference, you get a valuable resource guide that can help you quickly and easily perform common tasks, solve problems, and implement features such as filtering Group Policy processing, migrating the SYSVOL, implementing change control, restoring Group Policy objects (GPOs), and troubleshooting.

Who Is This Book For?
Windows Group Policy Administrator’s Pocket Consultant covers Group Policy for small, medium, and large organizations. The book is designed for:

Current Windows and network administrators
Support staff who maintain Windows networks
Accomplished users who have some administrator responsibilities
Administrators transferring from other platforms

To pack in as much information as possible, I had to assume that you have basic networking skills and a basic understanding of both Windows and Active Directory. With this in mind, I don’t devote entire chapters to understanding Windows architecture, Windows networking, or Active Directory. I do, however, provide complete details on the components of Group Policy and how you can use these components. I explore the ins and outs of Group Policy. I cover how to keep pace with Group Policy changes, installing Group Policy extensions, applying Group Policy, and much more.

I also assume that you are fairly familiar with Windows commands and procedures as well as Active Directory. If you need help learning Active Directory basics, a good resource is Active Directory Administrator’s Pocket Consultant (Microsoft Press, 2009).

How Is This Book Organized?
Windows Group Policy Administrator’s Pocket Consultant is designed to be used in the daily administration of Group Policy, and as such the book is organized by job-related tasks rather than by features. Speed and ease of reference is an essential part of this hands-on guide. The book has an expanded table of contents and an extensive index for finding answers to problems quickly. Many other quick reference features have been added as well. These features include step-by-step instructions, lists, tables with fast facts, and extensive cross-references. The book is organized into both parts and chapters.

Group Policy is a collection of preferences and settings that can be applied to user and computer configurations. Part I, “Implementing Group Policy,” reviews the fundamental tasks you need for Group Policy administration. Chapter 1 provides an overview of tools, techniques, and concepts related to Group Policy. Chapter 2 examines important changes to Group Policy and how these changes affect the way you use Group Policy. The chapter also provides detailed advice on using both policy preferences and policy settings, including tips on which technology to use when.

Part II, “Managing Group Policy,” discusses the core tools and techniques you’ll use to manage Group Policy. Chapter 3 explores techniques for configuring both Local Group Policy objects (LGPOs) and Active Directory–based Group Policy objects (GPOs). Not only will you learn about essential implementation considerations, you’ll also find tips and techniques for working across domains, sites, and forests. Chapter 4 examines the change control features available when you implement Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM). You’ll learn how to manage workflow within the change control system and how to configure AGPM itself. In Chapter 5, you’ll learn how to search and filter Group Policy. You can use the techniques discussed not only to find policy settings and search GPOs but also to control the security groups and computers to which policy is applied.

The book continues with Part III, “Maintaining and Recovering Group Policy.” GPOs have two parts: a Group Policy container (GPC) stored in Active Directory, and a Group Policy template (GPT) stored in the SYSVOL. Chapter 6 shows you how to migrate the SYSVOL to Distributed File System (DFS) Replication and how to maintain SYSVOL storage. You’ll also find tips and techniques for troubleshooting replication. Chapter 7 discusses essential Group Policy concepts and provides tips and techniques for managing the way Group Policy works. Chapter 8 examines how to maintain, restore, and troubleshoot Group Policy. Finally, Appendix A provides a reference for installing Group Policy extensions and tools.

And here’s the book’s structure at a glance:

Contents at a Glance

Introduction xiii

Part I Implementing Group Policy
Chapter 1 Introducing Group Policy
Chapter 2 Deploying Group Policy

Part II Managing Group Policy
Chapter 3 Group Policy Management
Chapter 4 Advanced Group Policy Management
Chapter 5 Searching and Filtering Group Policy

Part III Maintaining and Recovering Group Policy
Chapter 6 Maintaining and Migrating the SYSVOL
Chapter 7 Managing Group Policy Processing
Chapter 8 Maintaining and Restoring Group Policy

Appendix A Installing Group Policy Extensions and Tools





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