IT admins are concerned about the future of GPOs (Group Policy Objects). Why so?
On one hand, GPOs are a powerful and sought after tool for managing Windows®-based systems. On the other hand, modern system environments are heterogeneous (e.g., Windows, Mac®, and Linux®), but GPOs only work for Windows.
Another cause for concern is that GPOs are typically deployed from the Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) platform on-prem. Yet, according to a Suse research report, many IT admins believe that software-defined infrastructure hosted in the cloud is the future of the data center.
Of course, there are other factors, but it’s easy to see why IT admins are concerned.
In this blog, we discuss the future of GPOs. But first, let’s talk about the significance of GPOs from a holistic perspective.
What are Group Policy Objects in Active Directory?
Group Policy Objects, or GPOs for short, are essentially commands, scripts, and task execution templates that enable IT admins to remotely manage system policies on Windows devices. IT admins typically leverage GPOs to disable USB ports, configure screen lock timeout, restrict control panel access, and manage a variety of similar policies for enterprise devices running Windows.
The idea behind GPOs was to give IT admins a way to manage their fleet of Windows-based systems with security policies, task execution, and remote system management – all from one centralized management console. In doing so, IT admins could effectively manage groups of systems at once, without having to configure the same policies locally on the system itself.
Where did GPOs come from?
Microsoft debuted their concept of group-based policy management in 1999 with the introduction of the Active Directory platform. Microsoft referred to this concept as Group Policy, and GPOs are the expression of this concept.
When AD was initially released, Windows endpoints represented the vast majority of enterprise systems. This is why the concept of group-based policy management for Windows systems made so much sense at the time. IT admins needed a way to manage fleets of Windows (Read more...)