Group Policy Sessions at Microsoft TechEd North America 2012

So after reading, re-reading, and re-reading again the TechEd Content Catalog, I can’t say I’m any closer to having a definitive schedule.  How do you choose between so many great speakers? If you’re still working out your schedule and have anything to do with Group Policy in your organization, there are several really good looking sessions that you should check out:

Best Practices for Designing and Consolidating Group Policy for Performance and Security | WSV206
Speaker: Darren Mar-Elia
Session Level: 200 – Intermediate
Monday, June 11 at 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM in N210

Description:  Customer Group Policy Implementations have grown and morphed over the years to perform a variety of Windows configuration management tasks. Today many customers find themselves with many, many GPOs, some of which have duplicate settings or are not optimized for the user’s desktop experience. In this session, we provide best practices for designing Group Policy implementations with performance and security in mind. In addition, we present techniques using PowerShell and other Group Policy tools and features to help consolidate and streamline your existing deployments.

Comments: I’ve been following Darren’s blog for a while and I’ve been to several webinars where he has spoken.  Darren is best well known as the GPOGuy, the Founder of SDM Software, and a Microsoft MVP.


Total Desktop Lockdown: Your Action Plan | WCL206
Speaker: Jeremy Moskowitz
Session Level: 200 – Intermediate
Monday, June 11 at 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM in S320A

Description:  Total workstation lockdown isn’t for every machine in your organization but some machines require it. It’s usually those “public walk up” machines that we need to manage a little bit differently. These kinds of machines are in the cafeterias, the lobby and the library. Microsoft has a variety of technologies you can choose (and mix and match) to ensure your workstations as locked down as they need to be. In this session, Group Policy MVP Jeremy Moskowitz demonstrates a myriad of ways to make your public desktops more secure. If your team is already using Group Policy, come learn about common GP Scenarios, the GP Preferences, and how to efficiently use loopback processing. Learn about some non-Microsoft tools to help enhance your PC control.

Comments: Jeremy Moskowitz is also a Microsoft MVP and has written several books on Group Policy.  Between my home and work offices I have at least 4 various copies of his books laying around.  So minor disclaimer… I’ve seen this particular talk and won’t be attending.  However, if you have public use/kiosk systems or other systems in need of serious lockdown, this is a must see!  Also, Jeremy is an awesome speaker regardless of the topic. I had the pleasure of getting to see him speak not once, but twice (once on Windows InTune and again on Group Policy) last Friday at the Atlanta Techstravaganza that was hosted by the Atlanta Active Directory User Group, Atlanta PowerShell User Group, and the Atlanta Systems Management User Group.


Group Policy Reporting and Analysis with Windows PowerShell | WSV415
Speakers: Jeffery Hicks and Jeremy Moskowitz
Session Level: 400 – Expert
Wednesday, June 13 at 8:30 AM – 9:45 AM in N310

Description:  In this session led by PowerShell MVP Jeffery Hicks and Group Policy MVP Jeremy Moskowitz, we discuss techniques for analyzing Group Policy objects to identify potential problems. We look at ways to identify Group Policy settings using PowerShell scripts and third-party tools.

Comments:  Jeffrey Hicks is also a Microsoft MVP and, ironically, I have one of his VBS books sitting on the shelf right next to the latest copy of Jeremy’s Group Policy book. I had a work friend/colleague that attended this session last year at TechEd 2011 in Atlanta. As a general rule, when this person says something like “I wouldn’t miss this session,” I listen.  PowerShell has been on my todo list for way too long anyway…  I’m looking forward to seeing how I can leverage PowerShell with my existing Group Policy knowledge.


Getting the Most Out of the Power of Group Policy | WCL380
Speaker: Jeremy Moskowitz
Session Level: 300 – Advanced
Wednesday, June 13 at 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM in S310A

Description:  Want more out of your Group Policy? See how you can unlock the power of Group Policy in your organization and reduce administrative overhead. This session includes a number of demos that can make you a “Winner” when it comes to managing your environment, and shows you some of the new features in Group Policy with Windows 8.

Comments: A few weeks ago, Jeremy solicited tips on his newsletter for one of his TechEd Sessions (cheater!).  Based on the description, I’m guessing this is the session he was talking about.  With the community involvement, there should be some very interesting content here. 


I’m guessing things are going to be a little hectic next week, but I’m planning on posting as much as possible about the Group Policy sessions and anything else interesting that comes up. If you’re attending TechEd next week and would like to add your $.02 on any of these sessions, feel free to drop me a line and I can link to your blog or publish your article here.

See you in Orlando!

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