Group Policy Management

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Has anyone looked into Group Policy Management products (outisde of the functionality provided by Microsoft's Active Directory)? I'm trying to choose a product, and wanted to compare based on what current users thought (rather than what the sales departments tell me). The products I've been able to identify so far are FullArmor's GPAnywhere and Intellipolicy products, NetIQ's Group Policy Management Suite, Destop Standard's GPO Vault, and ScriptLogic's Active Administrator. Can anyone comment on how you chose the Group Policy management product you're currently using? What are the strenghts and weaknesses of the products you looked at? How easy are they to set up and use, and what would you want those products to do that they don't do? Also, pricing: are they all based on per user? Which is great if you have a small number of users, but bad if you have a large number. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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I have used NetIQ GPA and if you are looking for ways to control GPO’s this works well. If you are going to be the only one administering GPO’s then this really isn’t the tool for you.

NetIQ GPA gives you some good reporting tools and also some additional management utilities but it’s best feature is the ability to control who approves the final version of the GPO. THere are actually about 5 or 6 roles that you can assign to admins. The last one actually give the admin the ability to apply the GPO to AD.

Some of the other good features are versioning, reporting and rollback of GPO’s. You should be able to download a fully functional trial and install it in the lab if you have one. I know they recomend putting the database (MS SQL) on a different box but that’s really for an enterprise environment where you have multiple child domains and multiple admins managing GPO’s.

Good luck on your search!

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