In this video from ITFreeTraining I will look
at the new Group Policy features in Windows Server 2012 R2. Windows Server 2012 R2 offers
feature improvements in 3 different areas for Group Policy. The first area of improvement is IPv6 support.
Additional support has been added in 3 areas for IPv6 support. More on that in a moment.
The next area is policy caching. This feature reduces the time it takes to login to your
computer. The last feature is detailed event logging. Group Policy now puts *more* information
in the Event Viewer than before, making it easier to troubleshoot Group policy. I will
now have a look at each of these features in more detail. Windows Server 2012 R2 adds additional support
for IPv6. The first new IPv6 feature is an additional option in Group Policy Preferences
for IPv6 support. If I now open Group Policy Management Editor.
The new option can be found under User Configuration, Preferences, Control Panel Settings and Printers.
Next, I will right click printers and select “TCP/IP Printer” under new. Notice that the IP address is version 4 by
default. If I tick the tick box “Use an IPv6 address” this field will change to
an IPv6 address. If you have a printer with an IPv6 address, it is just a matter of adding
it here. The next feature is IPv6 item-level targeting
in preferences. This applies to all Group Policy settings and allows them to be targeted
towards a range of IPv6 addresses. To show this feature, I will go back to Group
Policy Management Editor. I will enter in an IPv6 address and a printer name as this
setting requires them to continue. Once entered, I will select the common tab. The common tab is available for all Group
Policy preference settings, so the setting I am about to show you is available for all
other Group Policy preference settings. I will now tick the tick box “Item-level targeting”
and then press the button targeting. The targeting editor has a large number of
settings that can be configured. If I select new item, the setting I am interested in is
“IP Address Range”. Like the last setting, to configure the IPv6 settings I need to tick
the tick box “Use IPv6”. Once ticked, all I need to do is enter in an IPv6 address
and then enter in the Prefix length. If you are using IPv6 on your network this setting
will allow you to better target Group Policy Preference settings to meet your business
requirements. The last new IPv6 setting that I will look
at is in VPN connections. This allows the administrator to configure Group Policy settings
for IPv6 VPN Connections. To access the setting, select Network options,
right click it and then select “VPN Connection” under the New menu. Just like before, to change
the IPv4 address to an IPv6 address, tick the tick box “Use IPv6”. That’s it for
the 3 new IPv6 features in Windows Server 2012 R2 for Group Policy Preferences. You
can see that the options are easy to use and configure. The next new feature is policy caching. Policy
caching stores a copy of group policy on the local computer. To understand how this works,
consider what happens when a computer starts up. When the computer starts up, a copy of
Group Policy is downloaded from the domain controller. This copy of group policy is then
applied to the computer. If policy caching is enabled, this process
changes. What happens is this. A copy of Group Policy is stored on the computer. *This* copy
of group policy will be used during start up, rather than the copy from the domain controller.
This means that the computer will start up quicker because it does not have to wait for
the Group Policy to be downloaded from the Domain Controller. The problem with that, is that
recent changes to Group Policy may not be applied. These changes will be applied later when Group
Policy is automatically refreshed. The only problem with this approach is that the changes
may require a restart before they can take effect. If the Group Policy is download during
start up, this restart is not required. The last new feature is more detailed event
logging. This includes information like download times, processing time and WMI processing.
This extra information will assist the administrator in trouble shooting Group Policy. I hope you have enjoyed this video from ITFreeTraining
and found it informative. I hope to see you in other videos from this course and others.
Until next time, thanks for watching.