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Exchange Server Cookbook by Devin L. Ganger, Missy Koslosky, Paul Robichaux

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4.5. Applying Exchange System Policies

Problem

You need to apply policy settings to multiple Exchange servers, mailbox stores, or public folder stores.

Solution

Using a graphical user interface

To create system policies, do the following:

  1. Launch the Exchange System Manager (Exchange System Manager.msc).

  2. Select the container for the administrative group where the policies should apply. Right-click it and choose New System Policy Container.

  3. 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.

  4. Specify the policies you wish enforced on servers in this Administrative Group. Click OK.

  5. 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.

Tip

Server and mailbox store policies are created in the same manner as public store policies.

To copy system policies between administrative groups, do the following:

  1. In Exchange System Manager, right-click the original policy and choose Copy.

  2. Right-click another System Policy container and choose Paste.

  3. Refresh the view.

  4. Apply the policy to servers, mailbox stores, or public stores as appropriate.

Discussion

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

Policy class

Property page

Setting

Mailbox store policy

General

NameDefault public storeOffline address listArchive all messagesClients support S/MIME signaturesDisplay plain-text messages in a fixed-size font

 

Database

Maintenance interval

 

Limits

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

 

Full-text indexing

Update interval

Public store policy

General

NameClients support S/MIME signaturesDisplay plain-text messages in a fixed-size font

 

Database

Maintenance interval

 

Replication

Replication intervalReplication interval for alwaysReplication message size limit

 

Limits

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

 

Full-text indexing

Update interval

Server policies

General

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.

Warning

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.

See Also

MS KB 256141 (How to Create System Policies in Exchange), MS KB 319098 (How to Use System Policies to Configure Public Folder Storage Limits in Exchange 2000 Server), and MS KB 822938 (How to Use System Policies to Configure Mailbox Storage Limits in Exchange Server 2003)

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