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Roaming Profiles vs Folder Redirection

Posted on 2011-04-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
Hi all, need your expert recommendation on the following situation...
Windows 2008 R2 ADDS
Assume RDS/Citrix is not an option.

Multiple sites 20
30 users per sites
Users have to work at different sites on a regular basis at desktop workstations
-They need their Desktop, Bookmarks, Recent Files, Outlook 2010 config (cached), IM config to follow them
-If they login to a station for the first time, they need it to mirror their settings in less than a minute

All servers are located at Colo all sites connect to internet/colo via 10Mbps MPLS with heavy VoIP and some RDS traffic

What would be the best technology to implement....
Roaming Profiles or Folder Redirection or something else?
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Question by:BigBadWolf_000
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16 Comments
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:spiderwilk007
ID: 35475088
If you guys are capable it might be good to implement a virtual environment and use thin clients to access desktops stored on the server.
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LVL 37

Assisted Solution

by:Carl Webster
Carl Webster earned 800 total points
ID: 35475169
I would not implement roaming profiles without also implementing folder redirection.  If you do not implement folder redirection along with roaming profiles then the roaming profiles will become huge and cause you all kinds of issues.

You will want to also investigate DFRS for the folder redirection share.
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Accepted Solution

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arnold earned 600 total points
ID: 35475390
Roaming profiles with folder redirection while the shares where those are stored should be configured within DFS with DFS-R as Carlwebster pointed out.
One caveat deals with multiple-logins by the same user.
The other question deals with whether you want to allow the users offline access to the shares where the redirected folders are stored or require direct access to the data in the redirected folder.
The offline deals with the user not-synching their data ....
 
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Carl Webster
ID: 35475557
AGree with arnold, if you are going to have users logging in at multiple end-points, you will have trouble my friend (right here in River City, oops, sorry I digress).  If this is a possible scenario for you, then you will need to investigate the plethora of vendors out there with solutions for this very issue.  But then you will be looking at spending some $$$ all the way up to some very serious $$$.
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Author Comment

by:BigBadWolf_000
ID: 35477528
Thanks. No, there will be no offline. Also, user will be logging into one PC at a time
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Carl Webster
ID: 35477574
Then Roaming Profiles with Folder Redirection will work just fine.
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LVL 31

Assisted Solution

by:Cláudio Rodrigues
Cláudio Rodrigues earned 600 total points
ID: 35483382
Make sure to be VERY careful on what you redirect. For example, Application Data when redirected is known to cause several slowness issues on applications. Usually things like Documents, Desktop and Start Menu are redirected and AppData is only done if you know 100% sure your applications do behave properly. If you are not sure, do NOT redirect AppData.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Citrix CTP
Microsoft MVP - RDS
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Carl Webster
ID: 35483427
There you are Claudio, where the heck you been boy?
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Cláudio Rodrigues
ID: 35483473
Busy, busy, busy my friend. Back to the real world for now. :-)

Cláudio Rodrigues
Citrix CTP
Microsoft MVP - RDS
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Carl Webster
ID: 35483559
Good to see you back here.  See you in a month in SF.
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 35483929
I've only had issue with the redirection (not application data only) with Adobe 9 and newer.
Application data \appdata can get large under some circumstance which will slow the login process.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Cláudio Rodrigues
ID: 35483966
Well if DeleteRoamingCache is set to 0 that should not be an issue. The problem with AppData redirection is the way certain apps read/write files, making local filesystem type calls that do NOT behave well over the network.
This is for example the reason why PSTs are not supported by Microsoft on network drives. It even puts in certain cases extreme loads on the fileserver, basically killing it.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Citrix CTP
Microsoft MVP - RDS
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LVL 37

Assisted Solution

by:Carl Webster
Carl Webster earned 800 total points
ID: 35484002
Most Java based apps can have many thousands of reads/writes to the AppData folder.  Citrix will tell you to redirect the AppData folder and Shawn Bass will tell you NEVER to redirect the AppData folder.

http://www.sepago.de/d/helge/2010/05/31/should-appdata-be-redirected-or-left-in-the-user-profile

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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Carl Webster
ID: 35484017
And the Citrix view point: http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX114884

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LVL 31

Assisted Solution

by:Cláudio Rodrigues
Cláudio Rodrigues earned 600 total points
ID: 35484193
My experience tells me it gets down to your apps. I have seen some that would simply come to a crawl with AppData redirected. Once we got rid of it, they performed 100x faster.
My take is redirect it if there is a reason to do so. If it works great without doing it, do not bother touching it.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Citrix CTP
Microsoft MVP - RDS
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Author Closing Comment

by:BigBadWolf_000
ID: 35513189
Thanks All
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