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Profile Containers FAQ

How Profile Containers Eliminate the Need for Legacy Profile Management in Virtual Desktops

What is a Windows User Profile

A Windows User Profile is a collection of settings that make the computer ‘personalized’ for the end user.  Each user account has at least one profile associated with it.  A User Profile includes files and folders that are seen in Windows Explorer as ‘your’ folders. These include Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, etc.  In older Windows versions they have been labeled as ‘My Documents’, ‘My Pictures’, etc.  While these used to be located in the \Documents and Settings folders, recent versions of Windows now have them under the \Users folder. User Profiles also include registry information, which is stored in a file in the users profile folders, and loaded into the registry as HKEY_CURRENT_USER when the user logs on.

What is a Windows Roaming Profile?

A roaming user profile is a feature that enables users with a physical or virtual computer joined to a Windows Server domain to log on to any computer on the same network and domain and receive their ‘personalization’ as described above.  That way the user can have a consistent PC experience if they log on to more than one physical or virtual computer.  Without the basic functionality of roaming profiles, users would lose their settings and local documents when logging on through a different computer.

Profile Container

User profiles can range in size from 500MB to 5GB or larger.  Performance issues arise due to the massive number of files that must by copied locally (or otherwise synchronized) every time a user logs in.  Since it is very common for large numbers of users to login at the same time (the start of a shift, after lunch, etc), network traffic and file server performance can be substantially impacted, causing system bottlenecks and user logon times of several minutes.

Although this problem is reduced significantly through folder redirection, even well optimized folder redirection solutions can create heavy network traffic, server loading, and poor end-user performance. 

Managing User Profiles in RDSH and Virtual Desktops

There are multiple approaches and vendor products for managing user profiles in server based computing environments, starting with the standard options included by Microsoft.  Other products from AppSense, Citrix UPM, RES and others tend to focus on optimizing which folders are redirected, the granularity of redirection, caching, and various methods of streaming files and settings.

What are Profile Containers?

Starting in version 2.0 Profile Containers is a core feature of FSLogix Apps that enables all of the profile files and folders to be moved to a VHD or VHDX container typically stored on a file server.

How do Profile Containers Work?

FSLogix Apps uses advanced filtering and redirection to enable Profile Containers and our other core functionality.  At logon, the FSLogix Apps agent connects to the profile container for the specific user and streams only the information required in real time.  This approach reduces the amount of file open requests and network traffic by nearly 99%.  This process is transparent to the client operating system and integrates seamlessly with Citrix, VMWare, and MS server and VDI OS virtualization technologies.

What are the Performance Benefits of Profile Containers?

Profile Containers have been tested and demonstrated to provide the following benefits

1. Shorter logon and logoff times, with an improvement of 85% being commonly seen.

2. Less traffic and processing load on file server(s), since files are only accessed if needed, not synced whether needed or not.  Some environments have seen nearly 99% reduction in file requests, network traffic, and server utilization.

3. Lower chance of profile corruption.

What Versions of Windows client OS are Supported?

Windows 7 and later, 32 & 64 bit; Windows Server 2008 R2 and later.

What Versions of Citrix and VMware are supported?

Since the FSLogix agent runs inside the Windows client operating system, there are no limitations on versions of Citrix or VMware.

How Do Profile Containers Work with Application Virtualization?

Profile Containers integrate seamlessly with the client operating system and are fully compatible with, and easily manage virtualized applications.

What Client Environments are Supported?

Profile Containers are designed to eliminate the need for Folder Redirection and legacy profile management in any Windows based virtual desktop solution, and virtualized presentation solutions like Xenapp.

How are Profile Containers Sold?

Profile Containers are a part of our core product offering and included with all shipping versions of FSLogix Apps starting with version 2.0.

How Do I Get an Evaluation Version and Technical Support?

You can request an evaluation copy of FSLogix Apps via the request form here, or by calling (678) 871-9647.  You can also request a free customized online demo, or setup assistance from an FSLogix Tech Ninja.