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PolicyPak Cloud: QuickStart
Hi. This is Jeremy Moskowitz, Group Policy MVP and Founder of PolicyPak Software. In this video, we’re going to do a super-fast quick start of PolicyPak Cloud.
To get started, you should have two welcome letters in your inbox. Welcome letter number one is for the PolicyPak “Customer Portal.” The “Customer Portal” lets you “Download Latest Paks” for PolicyPak Application Manager (we’re not going to need that right now), “Download Latest Bits” (which is what you’re going to put on your own machine, the admin station), “Download Latest Manuals” or you can just “Download Everything” if you’re so inclined.
I’m going to assume that you’ve downloaded the latest bits. Go ahead and do that now if you haven’t done that already.
Then you’ll have another welcome letter for the PolicyPak Cloud service. The Cloud service is made up of various components that do special magic. We have “PolicyPak Administrative Templates Manager,” “PolicyPak Application Manager,” “PolicyPak Preferences” manager and “PolicyPak Security Manager.”
To make this quick start as quick as possible, we’ve preinstalled four directives for you, four things that you’re going to do. For instance, if you already have “WinZip” installed as I do on my test machine, you will see “WinZip” get automatically manipulated using “PolicyPak Application Manager.” You will automatically see a “Shortcut” on the desktop because of “PolicyPak Preferences” “Shortcuts.” You will automatically see a “Security” setting get updated from “PolicyPak Security Manager.” You’ll also see “Screen Saver” get updated with “PolicyPak Administrative Templates Manager.”
The first thing you’re going to need to do is go to “Company Details” inside PolicyPak Cloud and “Download PolicyPak Cloud Client Installer” for “32-bit” or “64-bit” or you can do them together as one “Zip file.” This file is what’s going to enable you to join your instance of PolicyPak Cloud.
I’ve already downloaded that file, and it’s waiting for me right here on my test machine. Here’s the best part: PolicyPak Cloud works for both domain-joined and also not domain-joined machines. In fact, in the case of this particular machine, he’s not even domain-joined.
Just to prove I’m not pulling a fast one on you here, let’s take a look at “WinZip.” You see if I go to “Options/Configuration,” I have nothing particularly set here. If I were to right click and go to “Personalize” and look at the “Screen Saver” options, you’ll see I have nothing particularly set here either.
The goal is as soon as we install our “PolicyPak Cloud Client” and it joins PolicyPak Cloud, those four directives that we’ve pre-uploaded are going to automatically perform the magic right away so you can see PolicyPak Cloud in action in under a minute.
I’ll just go ahead and say “Yes” here. We’re joining PolicyPak Cloud. As soon as PolicyPak Cloud Client joins the PolicyPak Cloud service, it will download those four directives and you’ll see all four things occur.You can see “This computer is a member of the following groups.” One is called “All,” and that is where these four directives are linked to.
You can see right there we just gained a shortcut on the desktop, and that’s from PolicyPak Preferences manager.
If we right click and go to “Personalize” here and go to “Screen Saver,” you can see we’ve now dictated a particular number of minutes, a particular screen saver and forced the password prompt on logon when the screen saver has resumed. We’re doing all that using PolicyPak Cloud.
Remember, “WinZip” didn’t have any particular configuration. If we now go to “Options/Configuration” and go to “Passwords,” you can see that PolicyPak has delivered settings and made sure that users can’t work around the changes.
Lastly, if we go to “gpedit.msc” and we take a look at “Computer Configuration/Windows Settings/Security Settings/Local Policies/Security Options,” if you look really close, you’ll see that we’ve renamed the guest account (something very innocuous) to “policypakGuest.” You can see that item is configured and not configurable by anybody on the system.
Let’s get the PolicyPak Cloud service back in view here, and let’s see and understand how we did that. Again, the idea is that there are these “XML Data Files.” We’ve preconfigured four of them just so you can make sure the PolicyPak Cloud is working.
Those “XML Data Files” are automatically linked to this special “All” group. When your computer joined, it automatically shows up here under “Computers” under “All.” You can see that there’s the computer “Name.”
At this point, you can create your own “Company Groups.” If I want to “Add company group” and call this “Branch Office 1,” and then inside “Branch Office 1”, I can “Assign Computers to Group.” I’ll go ahead and pick that computer right there. The “Name” is “Win8Pro.” I’ll “Add” that computer in right there.
At this point now, the next thing I can do is go to my own management station. Over here, I have got my management station set up. I can create a new GPO. This GPO doesn’t really have to be in a real domain at all. It could be in a test lab. I can call this “____Upload Demo for PolicyPak Cloud.” Right click and click “Edit” here.
The assumption is you’ve installed the PolicyPak Admin Console, giving you the PolicyPak node and the ability to do anything you need to in “Application Manager,” “Administrative Templates Manager,” “Preferences Manager” and “Security Manager.”
For instance, if I want to in “Application Manager” right click “New/Application” and pick settings for “Firefox,” “Chrome,” “Internet Explorer” and so on, it’s super-easy to do. I’ll double click there and make my configuration changes for things like “Proxy server” and “configuration script” and so on and so forth. We have tons of videos on how to do these things.
Once you’ve got the thing you want set up, you simply right click and “Export settings to XMLData File.” That is what you will upload back to PolicyPak Cloud in “XML Data Files.” You’ll “Upload XML Data File.” Then you’ll simply click on, say, the “Branch Office 1” and “Link XML Data to Computer Group.”
That’s all there is to it. That, my friends, is the super-fast PolicyPak quick start. Said a different way, you don’t have to do any of that. If you just want to see Group Policy stuff go over the Internet in no time flat, all you need to do is download the “PolicyPak Cloud Client” and install it on a test machine.
As soon as you do, again, you’ll see those four directives. One thing will be an application to be managed, and that’s “WinZip” 14. Another thing will be a Group Policy Preferences item automatically appearing on the desktop. You saw the “Screen Saver” gets a bunch of configuration items. Lastly, if you run gpedit.msc, you’ll see a configuration of us changing the name of the guest account.
That’s it. Hope you love getting Group Policy through the Internet as much as we love bringing it to you. If you are not really trialing yet your PolicyPak Cloud service and you want to trial a PolicyPak Cloud service, get in touch with us and we’ll get you started real soon.
Thanks so very much, and we’ll talk to you. Thanks.