PolicyPak: Using Shares to Store Your Paks (Share-Based Storage)

Starting in build 601 of the PolicyPak MMC snap in, you’ve got the ability to store Pak files on shares — as well as the traditional Local and Central stores. This video shows you how it works.

PolicyPak: Using Shares to Store Your Paks Video Transcript

Hi. This is Jeremy Moskowitz, Group Policy MVP and Founder of PolicyPak Software. In this video, I’m going to show you how to use shares for your Pak storage.

Now traditionally, PolicyPak has had two locations that you can put your PolicyPak Pak files. That would be the Local Store, which is “Program Files/PolicyPak/Extensions.” You can see I’ve got on Pak there. Another location is the “PolicyPak Central Store.”

Let’s just do one thing at a time here. Just to show you what happens if I “Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here….” I’ll call this “A TEST 1” or something. What we’re going to see is that when we go to “PolicyPak/Applications/New/Application,” you can see that the only Pak I’ve got available is this “PolicyPak for WinZip 14 and Later.” It tells me that it’s “Local Storage.”

If I were to add a Pak to the Central Store – and the Central Store is replicated to all domain controllers, and it’s still the best solution. You should always try if you have the ability to create the PolicyPak Central Store under “sysvol”/domain name/“Policies,” a folder called “PolicyPak.” What you’re going to want to do is take the “PreConfigured PolicyPaks” that you have or the Paks that you’ve created, and you’re going to take the DLL file and “Copy here” to the Central Store location.

Now when you do this, if you right click and go to “All Tasks/Re-scan for Available Applications” here, now we’ve scanned for the Local and the Central Store. We know that “PolicyPak for WinZip 14 and Later” is “Local Storage.” We know that “PolicyPak for Adobe Reader X” is “Central Storage.” You can see that Central Store goes right there.

Now again, the Central Store is the best location, but we had a lot of requests from people telling us that they can’t create the Central Store. They’re not a domain admin, and they can’t create the Central Store, and is there a way for us to get share-based storage? And there is.

Let me show you how to do this. First things first, is you’ve got to have a share. I do have a share. I will go to my “Computer” here. I happen to have a share called “SHARE.” Not very fancy. All you’re going to do is you’re going to put the Paks you want – maybe I’ll put all the “Autocad” Pak files here. There’s AutoCAD here and AutoCAD this. You get the general idea. I’m just putting the AutoCAD Pak files into a share of my choosing.

Now that I’ve done that in a share called “SHARE,” all I need to do then is right click over the “Applications” node, go to “All Tasks” and “Manage Share-Based Central Stores.” What you’re going to do at that point is add your share. I’ve already done this, but you would simply go to “\dc\share,” click “Add” and you’ve been able to do that. You don’t need it twice there. I’ve added it, and you’ll click “OK.”

Now that you’ve done that, you see the scan occurs really fast. We’ll go to “New/Application” and there they are. These “Autodesk” guys are coming from a particular share. If you had more than one share, that’s totally fine. You can specify that, and you can see that we call it “Share-Based Storage.”

That’s the general idea here. Just to put a fine point on it, if you make some settings changes here or whatnot and then you decide you no longer want to use a particular share, by unchecking the checkbox and clicking “OK” here, the next time you click Edit on the Group Policy Object, however, if I go back to “A TEST 1” and click “Edit,” the very next time you click in you’re going to see that it says “DLL not found.”

Why is that? Because the definition, you are not using that share anymore. If you roam to another machine and you’re using the latest management console that supports share-based storage, you might see “DLL not found.” Not a big deal. All you’ll need to do is go to “All Tasks/Manage Share-Based Central Stores” and either type it in or select it if you’ve already pre-entered it. Click “OK” and then that’s it.

The next time you click edit in the Group Policy Object here, if we go back to “A TEST 1” and click “Edit,” you’ll see right there “Share-Based Storage.” So you’re not losing anything. You just have no way to get to the changes that you made.

That’s it for share-based storage. If you do have questions about the new share-based storage or if you have questions about the idea where you need to “Re-scan for Available Applications,” then do please post your question to the support forums and we’ll be happy to help you out.

Thanks so very much, and we’ll talk to you soon.

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