Monday, November 28, 2011

User State Virtualisation (Roaming Profiles / Folder Redirection)


Folder Redirection provides a way to selectively synchronise parts of the user environment (Documents, etc). This is especially useful in a XenDesktop and XenApp environment to make the experience seamless.

This is so much better then the old profile (NTUser.dat and file) that had to be copied in XP and earlier. The disadvantage is that by default the user cannot use the redirected folders when disconnected. But you can setup the user to have a cached copy of redirected files and folders.

To Set up the Folder Redirections using GPO

  • Edit a Group Policy Object that is targeted to your users and navigate to User Configuration, Policies, Windows Settings, Folder Redirection, Documents

By default all folders that are redirected are automatically made available offline so that users can still access their files if when disconnected from the server. In Windows 7 the folder synchronisation is done in the background not on logon/logoff. Also Windows 7 has ‘Fast First Logon’ allows users to logon to their computer without having to wait for the folder to be moved first.

Prof redir1

  • In the advanced options you can select a different folder based on the users group membership. Think about this for load balancing or WAN issues.

prof redir2

  • Disable ‘Grant the user exclusive rights to Documents’. Because if an administrator needs to access these files they will need to ‘take ownership’ which removes the users’ permissions.
  • Also you can ‘Redirect the folder back to the local userprofile location when policy is removed’. Which means if a user is no longer affected by the GPO it will copy this back to the computer and can take minutes or hours depending on the size.

Repeat for any other redirected folders.



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