Windows Server 2003 provides a number of tools and utilities to manage the Group Policy objects (GPOs) that you've created. Individual GPOs can be managed using commands within the Active Directory Users & Computers utility that you're quite familiar with, as well as Active Directory Sites and Services. Since GPOs can be linked to a site, domain, or OU, you can manage Group Policy settings in either of these utilities, depending on the scope of the GPO.
You can use a number of utilities to monitor and troubleshoot Group Policy settings; some of these are included in the Windows Server 2003 operating system, and others are freely available via the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit. GPUpdate is an update to the secedit utility in Windows 2000; you'll use it to force a client or server to update its Group Policy settings after you make a critical change.You'll use GPResult, GPMonitor, and other Resource Kit utilities to monitor and troubleshoot Group Policy behavior from the command line, whereas WinPolicies provides a graphical interface to view monitoring and logging information.
The Resultant Set of Policies (RSoP) MMC snap-in allows you to analyze a specific user/computer combination to determine exactly which GPOs and settings are being applied to a given client. This information is invaluable in troubleshooting an environment with multiple (and potentially conflicting) GPOs that have been applied to various points within Active Directory. When you work with a Windows Server 2003 domain, RSoP also allows you to simulate changes to a given GPO to determine how client settings might change before applying a new policy to a production environment.
Finally, the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) is a new feature ofWindows Server 2003 that provides a unified reporting and troubleshooting interface for Group Policy settings across one or more Windows domains.You can use GPMC to manage multiple Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 forests across your enterprise. GPMC provides easy access to all GPOs and GPO links on your network and can provide functions similar to those of the RSoP snap-in using improved HTML-formatted reporting. GPMC also installs with many preconfigured command-line scripts to assist you in automating the maintenance of Group Policy operations.
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