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Group Policy by Jeremy Moskowitz

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Appendix E Microsoft Intune and PolicyPak Cloud

Here are some scenarios you might have in your world:
  • Roaming users with laptops. Yeah, you’ve got those.
  • Non-domain-joined machines.
  • BYOD (bring your own device) machines.
  • Branch offices with or without their own domains.
  • Multiple, unrelated customers, but with some shared common requirements.

And, oh yeah, it’s up to you to manage these situations.

So in these cases, using “out-of-the-box” Group Policy might not be the best for you. This is because Group Policy (out of the box, anyway) means you’ll need to have an on-premises domain controller and GPOs with directives for what you want to do.

Instead, if you have one of these situations you might want to check out a cloud-based way of getting Group Policy settings (or at least some Group Policy settings) out to your machines.

So in this appendix, we’ll talk about two cloud options: Microsoft Intune and PolicyPak Cloud.

These two systems have pretty different goals and don’t overlap that much.

Microsoft Intune

Microsoft Intune is Microsoft’s pay-as-you-go endpoint and user management service (delivered as a cloud service). Here’s the general idea:

  • As of this writing, you pay between $6 and $11 a month per user. (That’s in US dollars; your price may vary.) Any user can have five managed devices.
  • You get a handful of common management features to manage desktops, laptops, and phone devices. Windows machines can be domain-joined or non-domain-joined.
  • Some functions overlap ...

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