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FSLogix Apps 2.0 Profile Containers

Real Time access to User Profiles with no Roaming Profiles or Folder Redirection

Windows® Profiles are a required part of every Windows desktop, whether physical or virtual.  They include everything from a users vacation photos and desktop personalization, to critical application configuration information.  Without real-time access to profile data, users can have a terrible and sometimes unusable experience with their corporate workspace.  Depending on the user type, profiles can range in size from 50MB to 4GB and larger.

As anyone who has ever administrated Windows desktops knows, user profiles have been a major stumbling block to implementing virtual desktops whether Citrix XenApp or VDI. Over the years a variety of vendors have released products in an attempt to solve the problem. In the past, when storage was expensive, the main impetus of most profile vendors was to save disk space.

With today’s abundant solutions for storage optimization, storage is no longer the most expensive variable in the equation. Today, other hardware, such as file servers --along with the cost of IT administrative support -- consume the majority of budget.

It’s time for a new approach: Instead of placing all of the user’s files on a network share like in the redirected files approach, FSLogix encapsulates the entire profile --including the registry-- in an in-guest container. This has several benefits:

1. Eliminates the chance of a file server bottleneck.

In a typical redirected folders scenario, where a user’s files reside on a network share there occurs a situation such as at the beginning of the workday or just after lunch when all of the users attempt to logon at once. This “run on the bank” can create delays for the user while the file server attempts to service their request. In a typical redirected folders scenario, Windows must open each file on the desktop in order to extract the file name and icon. Because file opens are handled synchronously a server can quickly succumb to the stress of trying to handle all of the file open requests.

2. Eliminates the need for “Just-in-time” files copying.

Just in time delivery of files was important when disk space was expensive. Certain legacy profile management solutions attempt to delay the performance hit of downloading files until the exact moment the file is needed by a particular application.  

The correct solution is to only stream the blocks of the file just in time when needed by the application.

3. Solves the problem of virtual applications running over the network.

Some applications such as ThinApp perform poorly over SMB. However, these applications when streamed via FSLogix perform very well.4. Large files such as Outlook .OST file cause issues with legacy profile solutions.  Copying the file down, either at logon or upon first use can cause considerable delays. Storing the file on a network share leads to poor performance whenever the file needs to be extended. Because an extension to any file is performed synchronously delays can occur when other processes are waiting on the file extension to complete. By encapsulating the file within a container all file operations are handled at a lower level bypassing gating operations.

Conclusion

Slow logon and application launch times are one of the top complaints in virtual desktops.  Legacy products and folder redirection add unnecessary network traffic and server utilization. Additional management and configuration systems add complexity, but don’t address the root cause.

FSLogix advanced filtering approach removes the maximum amount of resource utilization from processing user profile data and eliminates the need for legacy profile products and folder redirection.  User profile performance is near-local, yet administrators receive the benefits of centralized profiles, including easy off loading for data retention and compliance, with little or no ongoing administration.

How to Get FSLogix Apps

Profile Containers are part of FSLogix Apps 2.0, and are fully integrated with our core Unified Base Image management solution.

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