[gptalk] Re: General Question about Group Policy / Software Deployment.

  • From: "Nelson, Jamie" <Jamie.Nelson@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <gptalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 10:12:53 -0600

GP is sufficient for doing Software Deployment, but I've never been a
very big fan. It is too unreliable in my opinion, and too hard to verify
the end result. When using GP to do software pushes I generally bypassed
Software Installation Policy altogether and relied on scripted
installs/uninstalls via GP Startup/Logon.

Generally, larger environments have a configuration management product
such as Microsoft System Center ConfigMgr (formerly known as SMS),
Altiris, Novell ZenWorks, or LANDesk. These products are specifically
for inventory and software deployment and do a much better job than GP
could ever hope to do. Of course they're not free though either. SCCM is
relatively inexpensive if you already have an EA in place with
Microsoft, and I'm not really sure what other competing products cost.
It all depends on the size of your infrastructure and how much you
really need the level of functionality products like this provide.

If money is an issue, you might look at the WPKG project. It is open
source software that gives you much more flexibility in software
deployment, upgrade, and removal and it is free. You can run the scripts
through GP startup or I think it can even run as a service. I've never
had the need to actually try it but I've always been interested. It
seems to be fairly well supported and appears to be a significant
improvement over what you can do natively in Group Policy. And it makes
things a little simpler for those who aren't all that adept at scripting
installations themselves.

You can find out more about it here: http://wpkg.org/

Regards,

Jamie Nelson | Operations Consultant | BI&T Infrastructure-Intel | Devon
Energy Corporation | Work: 405.552.8054 | Mobile: 405.200.8088 |
http://www.dvn.com

-----Original Message-----
From: gptalk-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:gptalk-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Dave Sharples
Sent: Monday, January 19, 2009 9:33 AM
To: gptalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [gptalk] General Question about Group Policy / Software
Deployment.

Hi, general question really. Do many people still use group policy for
pushing out software or have you migrated onto other means. If you use
different tools do you have a way of delegating access to other
departments (while maintaining overall control) so they can manage their
own machines.  

If still on group policy how do you deal with uninstalling stuff which
wasn't part of an MSI (we have an issue where we do a remove policy) but
laptops might not be back on the domain for a few months and might miss
it

Thanks

Dave
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