To create system policies, do the following:
Launch the Exchange System Manager (Exchange System Manager.msc).
Select the container for the administrative group where the policies should apply. Right-click it and choose New→ System Policy Container.
Right-click the System Policies object and choose New→ Public Store Policy. Select the property pages you wish the policy to handle. Click OK. Assign a name to the policy and click Apply.
Specify the policies you wish enforced on servers in this Administrative Group. Click OK.
Specify the object(s) that the policy will apply to by right-clicking the policy, and selecting Add Public Store. Type the name of the Public Store the policy will manage, and click OK.
To copy system policies between administrative groups, do the following:
In Exchange System Manager, right-click the original policy and choose Copy.
Right-click another System Policy container and choose Paste.
Refresh the view.
Apply the policy to servers, mailbox stores, or public stores as appropriate.
Exchange system policies can help apply consistent settings for some server- and database-specific behaviors across an enterprise. Preferred settings can be defined and then applied to servers and databases throughout the organization. Once a policy is created, it can be copied to system policy containers in other administrative groups. Table 4-2 lists the objects that can be set by the three types of Exchange system policy objects: mailbox store policies, public store policies, and server policies.
Table 4-2. Exchange system policies for public stores, mailbox stores, and server policies
Mailbox store policy
NameDefault public storeOffline address listArchive all messagesClients support S/MIME signaturesDisplay plain-text messages in a fixed-size font
Issue warning atProhibit send atProhibit send and receive atWarning message intervalKeep deleted items forKeep deleted mailboxes forDo not permanently delete mailboxes until the store has been backed up
Public store policy
NameClients support S/MIME signaturesDisplay plain-text messages in a fixed-size font
Replication intervalReplication interval for alwaysReplication message size limit
Issue warning atProhibit send atProhibit send and receive atWarning message intervalKeep deleted items forDo not permanently delete items until the store has been backed upAge limit for all folders in this store
NameEnable subject logging and displayEnable message trackingRemove log filesRemove log files older than
System policies take priority over settings on individual servers and databases. Once an Exchange system policy is applied, the configured options are not available on the object's property pages. This helps ensure consistency between servers, while still allowing administrators in separate administrative units to edit their own policies. To remove an object from a policy so that it can be individually managed, simply navigate to the policy, right-click the name of the object, and select Remove From Policy.
Don't delete a policy, either by right-clicking it or selecting it and pressing the Delete key. If you do, ESM will ask you if you really want to remove your Exchange server, and that's exactly what it means! If you agree to the deletion, your Exchange server's configuration data will be removed from the configuration NC. MS KB 841516 explains this (dangerous) design decision, and points out that once you delete the server, the only way to get it back is to perform a disaster recovery on that computer—not a lot of fun.
If you apply a policy to an object that is already under the control of another set of policy settings, a dialog box will warn you of the policy. You will be asked to confirm that you wish the new policy to replace the old; the newer one always takes precedence.