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Use Group Policy Modeling in Windows Server 2008

By Codrut Nistor

Posted in How-to, Windows-server-2008-operating-systems

In already established network infrastructure especially domain-based it becomes practically impossible for the administrators to change the configuration settings just for testing and trial purposes. In order to test and try several new implementations in the network infrastructure administrators use a test lab in which they prepare a small model of the complete network infrastructure and then they apply the changes on it. This ensures that the production infrastructure is untouched and the configuration on it remains intact. Many administrators nowadays also use virtual machines to prepare their lab setups and they used that setup to test new implementations that they may want to integrate into existing production setup. However with the help of Group Policy Modeling feature provided in Group Policy Management Console in Windows server 2008 administrators can simulate the entire group policy settings that they may want to implement. This process generates the report indicating the outcome of the network setup after the real implementation of the group policy settings. This feature also eliminates the requirement of any lab setup or virtual machine infrastructure that otherwise administrators normally use to test the settings. As an administrator if you want to simulate group policy settings you are required to follow the steps given below:

1.       Logon to Windows server 2008 domain controller and open Group Policy Management Console by going to Administrative Tools from start menu.

2.       On the opened box right click on Group Policy Modeling and from the appeared menu click on Group Policy Modeling Wizard.

3.       On the opened welcome page click on Next button and on Domain Controller Selection page choose This domain controller radio button and select the desired domain controller from the available list.

4.       Click on Next button.

5.       On the next page under Computer information ensure that Container radio button is selected and click on Browse button to locate and select the container where the target computer is situated.

6.       Click on Ok button when selected and click on Next button on Users and Computers Selection page.

7.       Click on Next button on the appeared page and on Computer Security Groups page click on Add button to add the user account or group for which you want to stimulate the settings.

8.       Click on Next button when selected and click on Next button again on the next page.

9.       On Summary of Selections page click on Next button and finally on the next page click on Finish button to complete the wizard.

10.   Once completed successfully you will be displayed with the complete generated report in the right pane which you can scroll up and down and expand the categories for detailed simulated results.