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Hardware recommendations for roaming profiles and folder redirection

Posted on 2014-12-23
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Last Modified: 2014-12-29
I have several sites using roaming profiles and folder redirection. The sites are not very big, say between 5-20 users. The users seem to work well with this setup. They occasionally roam (not really that often, but sometimes) and on occasion I have to clear some huge ISO or something like that from a user's profile to stop it from grinding to a halt, but that's rare.

Because the user count is pretty low, I haven't had to give much thought to server resources. At this number of users, there is not a significant drain on the servers to cause any problems. Each site operates 1-2 servers. It works well.

Now they want another site to go to roaming profiles/folder redirection, but this is going to be a larger site - 30-60 users, possibly more.

Is there a recommendation on hardware sizing for this application? I'm not sure 1-2 servers is going to cut it for this, but I have no firm grasp. This site is currently storing all its profile data on the desktops, so I have no point of reference.

There's all sorts of warning about appropriate server sizing for roaming profiles, but I can't seem to find any advice about WHAT calculation should be made.
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Question by:milhouse537
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 40516146
There are no hard and fast rules. How large is the average user profile? What would the surge percentage be for logon's i.e. all 60 users logon between 8:55 and 9:05 weekdays? Do you have the disk iops and network bandwidth to handle this?
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Don S. earned 1000 total points
ID: 40520181
I've had roaming profiles and redirected folders setup in quite large networks (100+ users)  with a single file server and separate DC server.  The issues really aren't bandwidth so much as storage space for the redirected folders which can get huge.  Because of the offline background caching of the redirected folders, there really isn't that much of a bandwidth hit at logon or log off - unless something is broken and something big gets stuck in the user's profile.  But then it usually is a bandwidth issue on the user's machine and not the server.  That's the whole point of redirected folders - to minimize bandwidth usage at logon and logoff.
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