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Windows Small Business Server 2011 : Managing Group Policies (part 2) - Order of Inheritance, Order of Implementation

12/1/2013 8:31:25 PM
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3.1. Order of Inheritance

As a rule, Group Policy settings are passed from parent containers down to child containers. This means that a policy that is applied to a parent container applies to all the containers—including users and computers—that are below the parent container in the Active Directory tree hierarchy. However, if you specifically assign a Group Policy for a child container that contradicts the parent container policy, the child container’s policy overrides the parent Group Policy.

If policies are not contradictory, both can be implemented. For example, if a parent container policy calls for an application shortcut to be on a user’s desktop and the child container policy calls for another application shortcut, both appear. Policy settings that are disabled are inherited as disabled. Policy settings that are not configured in the parent container remain unconfigured.

3.1.1. Overriding Inheritance

Several options are available for changing how inheritance is processed. One option, called enforcing a GPO link, prevents child containers from overriding any policy setting set in a higher level GPO. This option is not set by default on all GPOs.

3.1.2. Enforcing a GPO Link in the GPMC

To enforce a link, open the Group Policy Management Console, right-click the Group Policy object link in the console tree, and select Enforced, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Enforcing a GPO link


A second option is Block Inheritance. When you select this option, the child container does not inherit any policies from parent containers. In the event of a conflict between these two options, the Enforced option always takes precedence. Simply stated, Enforced is a link property, Block Inheritance is a container property, and Enforced takes precedence over Block Inheritance.

3.1.3. Setting Block Inheritance

To enable Block Inheritance, open the Group Policy Management Console and right-click the domain or organizational unit (OU) for which you want to block inheritance. Select Block Inheritance, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5. Setting block inheritance for a domain


3.2. Order of Implementation

Group policies are processed in the following order:

  1. Local GPO

  2. GPOs linked to the site in the order specified by the administrator

  3. Domain GPOs, as specified by the administrator

  4. OU GPOs, from largest to smallest OU (parent to child OU)

The GPO with the lowest link order is processed last, and therefore has the highest precedence. If multiple GPOs attempt contradictory settings, the GPO with highest precedence wins.

Exceptions to this order are GPOs with enforced or disabled links, GPOs with disabled user or computer settings, and OUs (or the whole domain) set to block inheritance. To see the order of precedence for GPOs for a domain or OU, open the Group Policy Management Console and, in the console tree, select the domain name or the OU. In the details pane, click the Group Policy Inheritance tab, as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6. Viewing a domain’s Group Policy order of inheritance

 
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