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Managing User Data in a Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services Deployment

Summary

Although roaming profiles (read-write or read-only) are often the best model for storing user profiles in an RDS environment, the complications involved in making them work well can be daunting. This chapter has explained how profiles work, including how the User Profile Service loads and saves configuration data. You’ve learned about best practices, including how to keep profiles manageable in size to speed user logons and how Folder Redirection and profile caching also contribute to faster logons. You’ve seen how to set up Group Policy to enable automatic profile creation and how to use security filtering and loopback policy processing to ensure that the policies are applied correctly with RDS. Finally, you’ve learned how to set up and use mandatory profiles with RDS and how to prevent users from losing files when using mandatory profiles.

  • There are three types of profiles: local, roaming, and mandatory (including super-mandatory).

  • Combining roaming profiles with Folder Redirection is generally the best way to store user data in remote environments. Folder Redirection is very important for keeping logon times short and profile sizes small.

  • Mandatory profiles work best when you don’t want to save any changes to the profile and have prevented users from writing files to profile folders.

  • Profiles don’t merge—they overwrite. For best results, open only one copy of the user profile at a time. For this reason, you should generally not use the same roaming profile for both local logons and RD Session Host server logons.

  • Implementing Group Policy correctly from the beginning is key to making roaming profiles work.

  • Folder Redirection is very important to making profiles work properly, as follows.

    • Folder Redirection keeps profiles small.

    • Folder Redirection reduces the data that must be written back to a file stored in a profile folder.

    • Using Folder Redirection, you can share folders between two profiles for better integration of local and remote user experiences.

    • If using mandatory profiles, you must use Folder Redirection to allow users to save files to any of their normal document storage locations (for example, Documents and Favorites).