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Chapter 3.1. Getting Started as a Window... > Tips and Tricks to Automate Administ...

Tips and Tricks to Automate Administrative Tasks

What you do not want to do is spend all your nights and weekends in the server room, installing software and troubleshooting problems. Here are ways to "work smart" and automate mundane management tasks:

  • Use Group Policy to define logon and logoff scripts, manage the security configuration of remote computers, configure a multitude of settings for the users' desktop environments, and limit the users' ability to modify those settings.

  • Use offline folders for mobile users.

  • Redirect My Documents and other key folders to shared locations on the network where they can be backed up centrally.

  • Create Microsoft Installer packages for applications and distribute them through Group Policy or through software distribution tools such as Microsoft Systems Management Server.

  • Learn scripting. The Windows Scripting Host, when combined with Active Directory Services Interface (ADSI), is a very flexible environment for executing simple scripts that can save many hours of administrative effort. To assist you in learning scripting, Microsoft created Course 1080, "Essentials of Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition 3.0 for Web Site Development," which is freely available from http://www.microsoft.com/train_cert/Courses/1080Afinal.htm.

  • Create your own MMC consoles. By observing which tasks you do most often, you should be able to create one or more MMC consoles with taskpads that will save lots of time and effort. Place your console files (.msc files) on a share on the network so they are always available for you to use.

  • Install Terminal Services on your servers so that you can perform remote administrative tasks in a secure way that does not require a power-user desktop environment.

    For more information on managing desktop settings, see Part 6, "Managing User Desktops," and Part 7 "Managing Applications."

    For more information on consoles, see Chapter 3.2, "Using MMC Consoles."

    For more information on using Terminal Services for remote administration, see Chapter 8.8, "Terminal Services."


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