Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Windows 7 and Group Policy

I am now in the process of beginning the conversion to and testing of Windows 7 on our Server 2003 R2 Domain. The biggest hurdle I need to jump is getting Group Policy in order and get Windows 7 specific policies in place. Along with this will be our new wireless policy which still needs much testing. More on that to come.

So far I have my Windows 7 admin workstation, with it I have installed the Remote Administration Tools for Windows 7/2008. (You cannot manage Windows 7 Policy from a 2003/XP machine, it must be from Server 2008 or Windows 7) If you've never done this in Windows 7 before, once you install the package you must go to Control Panel, Programs and click 'Turn Windows Features On or Off'. Scroll down to Remote Server Administration Tools and check the tools you need. Only then can you access them using the MMC snap-ins. With this installed I do think the new design is nicer than XP/2003 MMC admin tools. Browsing through the GPO's I noticed several changes, for example, you can now manage your Wired and Wireless Domain policies separately for both Win 7 and XP.

My goals are as follows:

- Configure and test wireless policies using the updated Windows 7 Remote Server Administration Tools.
- Configure and test drive mapping as well as newer security policies using said tools.
- Configure and test field network interoperability between Windows 7 and Windows XP.

Once these are done I plan to gradually convert several team members to Windows 7 as a pilot crew. These folks work in the field a lot so call me crazy but I'd like to slowly introduce such an OS change into our environment rather than dump everyone on Windows 7 at once. I don't think my phone would ever stop ringing.

I will post progress as I go in parts relating to the above goals.