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Is FSLogix useful in environmemts which already have folder redirection and UE-V?

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Last Modified: 2020-08-27
Hi, I've been asked to look at what benefit can be gained from implementing FSLogix on our Windows Virtual Desktop environment.  I'm no expert on user profile management and I've never used FSLogix before.

What he have at the moment is a folder redirection GPO which redirects Windows folders (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Screenshots, and Camera Roll) to the user's OneDrive.  We also have User Environment Virtualisation (UE-V) which roams settings for apps such as Office and some basic Windows settings, like if the user changes their desktop background.  Both the folder redirection and UE-V work across our physical and virtual desktop estate.

I guess my question is, given the setup I have described, is there any benefit to implementing FSLogix along side (or instead of) what we already have? and if so what are the benefits?

Thanks in advance!
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Media Hound
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Hey thanks James, that's very useful.  I guess my main concern with FSLogix is that it seems to only be suitable for our WVD environment?  Sometimes we have user's who come into the Office and use a physical machine, and the rest of the time they work remotely and use WVD.  I'm thinking of maybe keeping UE-V and combining it with FSLogix so for example, if a user changes some setting in MS Office on a physical machine when they are in the office, then that change would be reflected when they login to WVD, and vice versa.  Does this sound sensible?  

I'd also be interested in hearing from anyone who has used UE-V in combination with FSLogix.
James RankinMedia Hound
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You can use FSLogix on physical but if they are dedicated devices, what is the point? They (generally) have local profiles. If you *do* use FSLogix on physical devices, they either need excellent network connectivity (<3ms), or you need to configure the setting that allows the profile to be cached locally as well.

The only instance I've used FSLogix with UE-V is if you wanted to roam settings between different OS profile types (so, for instance, a change on Office on Windows 2012 R2 would also be updated into a Windows 10 Office installation). I'd be tempted, if possible, to simply use FSLogix on its own if all your machines are Windows 10. However - are you expecting users to have sessions open to the physical machines AND the WVD hosts at the same time? This may complicate matters.

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Great, I didn't know you could use FSLogix on physical machines, I'll look into that.  We have some users who hot desk and some use dedicated machines, but even users with dedicated machines can sometimes hot desk when they visit other sites.

We are Windows 10 across the board now.  I'm not expecting users to have open sessions on both WVD and physical machines at the same time.
James RankinMedia Hound
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In that case then, I'd look at FSLogix native. if you've got the storage, it makes sense. If users *do* open sessions on multiple machines at the same time, the second session will get a read-only disk. However, you can turn on "concurrent user sessions" and configure to "try for read-write and fallback to read-only" but, if you're not expecting it to be common, I wouldn't bother to enable this.

naturally, the storage requirements usually mean multiple file servers, we spread users across our file servers using some PowerShell, there are other ways you can do this.

Of course, if you start talking resilience, you need some form of replication (CloudCache ships natively with FSLogix) and then obviously, twice the storage. However, we have chosen to forego resilience in favour of using Known Folder Move to ship most settings to OneDrive. The idea is, if a profile store fails, then the users simply create new profiles and get back things like Documents and desktop shortcuts from the OneDrive sync. They do have some manual recreation involved, but a) we haven't had a storage failure yet, and b) the cost of the extra storage outweighs the perceived benefits.

Author

Commented:
That's great, so I think we will continue with the known folder move to OneDrive for all the reasons you mentioned and we've already set it up.  Very useful information about FSLogix and multiple sessions, that's good to know.

So initially I think we will look to store the profiles on-prem by setting an FSLogix VHDLocation pointing a DFS path backed by our in-house NetApp storage; that way there's no additional initial cost for storage and the data can be stored on couple of NetApp's with replication in between, I'm hoping this will work performance/latency wise.  Ultimately (and budget permitting) I think Cloud Cache would be the way to go.
James RankinMedia Hound
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When it comes to replication, make sure whatever you use to replicate understands block level replication. I know a lot of people use bvckup2 to do it from the command line

Author

Commented:
Thanks.  NetApp uses SnapMirror replication which is block based. So it sounds like I've now got a reasonable way forward.  So I guess the next step would be to set something up on our WVD test host pool and see what the performance is like using the on-prem storage.  

Thanks very much for all your insight!  
James RankinMedia Hound
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No probs

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