Best Practice: Roaming Profiles / Offline Files / Folder Redirection


Question:  What is the best practice for setting up roaming profiles with folder redirection and selective offline file synchronization?  Selective as in we select who uses Offline Files.

We are setting up Windows Essential Business Server 2008 and plan on setting all the users up with roaming profiles.  We would prefer to redirect their my documents folders to the server to speed up the settings load / save time for the users.  

In the past they had used Offline Files on all the workstations.  We would prefer offline files be available only to laptop users.

Profiles go to \\Server\Profiles$\%UserName%
Folder Redirection goes to \\Server\FldrReDir$\%UserName%

If you need other specifics, ask away.  If this is just a bad idea please let me know =]

Thank you in advance!
Dongle311Asked:
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johnb6767Commented:
How are your OUs setup, seperate ones for laptops/desktops?

That would be the easiest thing to do, set the computer policy to Enable Offline Files, and use the Administratively Assigned Offline Files policy to mandate that %appdata%, and "\\Server\FldrReDir$\%UserName%"....

Kind of a high level approach.....

Also are these users all exclusive users of thier own laptops, or do multiple people use each one?
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Dongle311Author Commented:
Thanks for the response John,

The old way it was setup they were all using the default domain policy on a Windows 2003 Small Business Server.  I had nothing but trouble working with OU assigned group policies but I'll give that another shot.

Could you elaborate a bit on the Offline Files policy for %appdata%, are you saying to have the laptop users only have folder redirection with Offline Files for their entire profile (no roaming profile?)

The laptop users will pretty much only use their laptops and it wouldn't be a problem to train them that their profiles wont roam exactly like the other users.
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johnb6767Commented:
Shouldnt need to cache the whole profile via OPffline Files, as Windows already has a locally stored copy.....But to ROAM properly, your %appdata% needs to follow you.....

Do you really need roaming though, if they arent going to use multiple systems, or are you wanting that strictly for backup purposes?
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Dongle311Author Commented:
This is all for backup purposes, secondary goal is convenience of use.  

So let me re-cap:

Desktops:
Roaming profiles with folder redirection (offline files disabled in the OU's GPO)

Laptops:
Laptops will have folder redirection for My Docs, Desktop and Appdata and laptops will have Offline Files enabled in their own GPO.

Last question:
I was planning to disable offline files at the folder level with Sharing Tab / Caching / "Files or programs from the share will not be available offline"

Should I make a separate redirection folder for the laptops or just leave the folder settings alone?
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johnb6767Commented:
You can use the same folder structure for both the laptops and desktops....

I just dont see the need for Roaming Profiles as a convenience (second point granted), because when they get out of synch, they a re aheadache. Some apps dont even like roaming profiles.....

For backup purposes, if you dont have anything at the client level (like Connected Data Protector), then sure....

Might want to reconsider redirecting the Desktop, unless you dont have any space issues......

And one thing I need to stress, if you have a roamer log into a non roaming user's pc, it will start synching..... I would either choose one or the other. Roaming for the desktops is fine with the laptops AND the desktops..... As long as you are aching logons via GPO, youll be ok....

Its a toss up really... To get features, you give up some in any config you look at.....
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Dongle311Author Commented:
Answered questions I had
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