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What options do I have to block users from applications and websites with Windows Server (any version)

Posted on 2011-09-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Im looking for options that are avaiable to me, that I can create a controlled environment for users on one of my clients windows servers.  Currently they have Server 2003.  Right now the server is doing nothing but acting as a workgroup share.  I plan to change the server to a domain controller, and begin using Active Directory.

Im not entirely clear on what it is that Im actually looking for, as in what it would be called or how to properly go about it.  I've seen these types of user accounts on networks in the past, however I've never had the privilegde of setting this up myself.  

To describe what it is that I have seen, which is what Im trying to accomplish for my customer is that in the user profile the user is only able to see and open Internet explorer pointed to one website with no deviations from that site.   No applications other then Word and Excel were visible.  

Any advice will be appreciated
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Question by:scsone
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 36544054
The easiest way to control that is either Terminal Services
Users have a Desktop Computer with just an OS and an RDP client
They fire up the RDP client and logs them on to a desktop actually running on a Windows Server 2008 or higher acting as a Terminal Services Server.   Then you control at that level what is happening.

Since you clearly indicate you don't have experience in this realm, you may want to consider working with another partner who does

This could be accomplished in other ways such as Group Policies and Account Priviledges

How many end users in this company?   Have they requested this big change or are you suggesting it?
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Author Comment

by:scsone
ID: 36547083
The client im working with has approximately 20 users.  
I plan on implementing this in a testing environment long before it would go live to the client.  And to answer your question about whether it was requested or suggested, I would have to say a little of both.  Unfortunately in my case there isn't anyone in my area with direct access to this knowledge so it is my duty to learn it for this client as well as future clients thus the reason I'm asking the question here.

I've seen what I'm asking about done without RDP as well as with RDP, so I do understand the concept.  I will research Group Policies and see what I can learn.  However the question is still open for discussion.  Again any additional advice would be great.
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Cris Hanna earned 250 total points
ID: 36547104
If you don't think they are going to grow much in the next couple years, I'd recommend Small Business Server 2011 Essentials which supports 25 users.   Then purchase the premium Add-on which would give you a second server license and you'd just need hardware and CALs for the Terminal Server.

I can't believe there are no Microsoft Gold Partners in your vicinity...if you want to go that route, I can help you find one.
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Author Comment

by:scsone
ID: 36552831
Is a demo of that software available with the microsoft action pack?  After doing some heavy reading I will most likely be able to do everything necessary with Active Directory and Group Policies as mentioned by you earlier.  So either way I will just increase mine and my employees tech abilities by testing scenarios we are looking for with what we have available to us, as well as demo'ing some of the newer server OS's by MS..

Thanks for your time Cris, any other advice will be greatly appreciated but I think at this point I have the information needed to move forward with testing and training myself and my employees.

Brandon
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 36552837
Not sure about action pack but you can get a trial and lots of info here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/gg604826.aspx

Good Luck
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