Windows 10 Roll-out: WSUS, Group Policy and Installation
As a software development company we need to be a little ahead of the curve when it comes to our adoption of new releases of Windows Server and Desktop environments as we need to ensure that our software will continue to function when our clients decide to upgrade to the latest technologies. However until recently due to our customers being large enterprises, which traditionally are slow to adopt new technology, we didn’t need to jump in immediately when a new OS was released. That has changed since we started to gain clients in emerging markets, Kenya and Nigeria specifically, who appear to be quicker to adopt the latest OS as they are experiencing rapid expansion and growth of their infrastructure.
So just over two months since the release of Windows 10 I undertook a pilot program to roll it out to a limited number of developers and create a small number of virtual machines for testing.
Edit: Since first writing this up the number of people that I have rolled Windows 10 out to now encompasses almost a third of the company.
But prior to the actual roll-out there are a couple of tasks that need to be done to ensure that the infrastructure for managing Windows 10 is in place namely WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) and Group Policy.
WSUS was pretty simple as the product list it uses is updated automatically with new entries so it is just a matter of ticking the boxes to receive updates for those products. Open up the WSUS console, click on Options and then Products and Classifications. Tick all the relevant boxes to receive the Windows 10 updates.
Installing the Group Policy Administrative Templates (admx files) was more involved but again was pretty straightforward. I downloaded the ADMX files Microsoft Administrative Templates for Windows 10 I also downloaded the ones for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 as I’d realized that I’d somehow overlooked these previously.
Logged into one of the Domain Controllers and found the path to the SYSVOL folders location in the Central Store. Please note if you’re following these instructions and do not have a central store in your domain then the SYSVOL location will have different path.
Then opened the msi installer to start the installation of the Administrative Templates. At the Select Installation Folder window I changed the folder from the default to the folder of the SYSVOL folder in the central store that I found previously.
If you have a Central Store for ADMX files, the location should be the same or similar to the path below, just replace
Installed both sets of templates and then took a quick look at the Group Policy Settings reference spreadsheet to see what new settings have been added, the total number of settings is now over 3700!
The actual installs of Windows 10 have all gone very smoothly so far. As well as the relatively new developer PCs (1-2 years old) I have carried out Windows 10 upgrades on a variety of different older systems including a 5 year old desktop PC and a 4 year old laptop.