Server 2008 Roaming Profile cache data

Mfinch used Ask the Experts™
I am setting up a Server 2008 Terminal Server farm and have a question relating to the roaming profile cache data location on server 2008 and how to change it properly. The attachment shows Microsoft's recommendations for limiting the size of the cache but also mentions that best practice is to cache the profile data on a separate drive. I am confused if this is just referring to the location of the roaming user profiles or the actual local location of the roaming profile cache data. If it refers to local cache data, how do I change the location from the default %systemroot%\users to a separate, faster local drive on each session host?

I hope this makes sense :)

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The document is referring to the actual location of the romain profile cache data on the users machine. Most of the time, the best practice set by M$ will not be suited for end user. Here in this case, M$ have assumed you have two HDD and the first drive is experiencing high read/write activity and gets heavily fragmented, whereas the second drive is left idle, thus moving the cache location to this second unfragged drive with no or less iops will increase the performance. i always feel it is utterly  ridiculous to follow the best practice without analyzing whether it fits our needs - but thats me.
As long as the HDD has decent space, and your company IT defrags the hdd once in a while, and you are not running a highly intensive iops dependant application, you should be fine with the default setup.
Ideally you would have roaming profiles AND a mechanism to prevent them from growing (using folder redirection for example). In that scenario you would set the server NOT to cache what means once the users logoff their roaming profiles changes are copied back to the network AND the locally cached copy is deleted.
Of course you can set the local cached copies to go to a different drive.
This explains it:

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - Remote Desktop Services
Citrix CTP



It never occurred to me that the local cache for roaming profiles was actually the local profile, d'uh!

I have configured folder redirection so only minimal changes will be copied back at logoff and I also configured background refresh so as the users will not often log out. The reason for that being that this is for 2 Server 2008 session hosts (Terminal servers) accessible only via rdweb.

As this is critical to users and I will have people logging in to the UK (head office) from both Australia and Canada, I didn't want profiles to be a bottleneck for users so adding a high performance disk for this purpose is something I am willing to do.

Tsmvp, thanks for the link on how to change the profile path but it doesn't seem very stable to me and as this would have to be performed on 2 critical Terminal servers, it's probably not the best idea.....

Thanks for the input anyway guys and I will share the points (more to tsmvp for the attempt at providing a solution)



Grade B as the solution was not really suitable, more advice than a solution.

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