A Clean naming Convention for GPOs


Many people ask me: “Is there an ideal way to name GPOs?”

Well, yes and no.

First, the big “problem” is that the “swimming pool” where the GPOs live – that is, the Group Policy Objects node in the GPMC just sort of all runs together. One big blaaaah of all the GPOs.

So, first off – there is no way to ‘partition’ them or organize them. They’re all just “there.”

Therefore, having a naming convention that works for your company could prove to be a lifesaver.

There no “right” or “perfect” way to create a GPO’s name. One suggestion is a “four part” naming convention.

Part I: The “Where”.

Part II: The “What”.

Part III: The “Who”

Part IV: The “Type.”

For instance a GPO might be in charge of opening Port 123 on Sales Computers. Great. So, here’s a name I might use:

“EAST SALES COMPUTERS – Firewall Open Port 123 (C) – JeremyM”

All four elements are there. And in the Group Policy Objects list, all the GPOs are listed Alphabetically, so you’ll see each “Where” together quickly. The (C) tells me that the C-omputer side of the GPO is used and not the user side. The name on the end shows who is the ultimate “owner” of the GPO or who is in charge or who to contact for issues or updates. (You could also put this in the GPO comment fields.)

Another perfectly fine choice is to re-arrange this list. Like:

“(C) EAST SALES COMPUTERS – Firewall Open Port 123 – EAST SALES COMPUTERS – JeremyM”

This will sort with all the Computer side GPOs grouped together first, then WITHIN that, all the EAST SALES COMPUTERS linked GPOs.

Again – you’re welcome to have the names be anything you want.. just note that whatever’s first – that’s what’s sorted upon based upon Alpha. Having all four elements makes things a lot easier, in this guy’s opinion.

A final trick here, is that sometimes I use an Underscore character _ to signify GPOs which are domain linked or are special in some way. For instance  “_PolicyPak License GPO – Expires 1-1-14” will bubble up to the top quite easily seen by everyone (as underscore is sorted BEFORE the letter A.) q

What’s your naming convention? There’s Shoot me your email with your “solution.” Thanks !