BriForum2014-Profile Madness with Nick and Dan from CCS

Profile Madness: Roaming, UE-V, AppSense & UPM.  WTF Should I do?

Nick Rintalan and Dan Allen from Citrix Consulting  They both have been there for over 10 years.

Every OS had to change the Start Menu and Desktop have to change because they hate us and they may be a little evil.

Keep updating NTUSER.DAT versions and we had v1 for a very long time and now v2 for Vista\7 and v3 for 8 and v4 now for 8.1 if you didn’t know we went from 1-4 in just 4 years.

3rd Party isn’t always the answer you would expect and the complexity some of them have outweighs the benefits they could provide as a profile management solution.

Nick is using GPP plus roaming profiles with exclusions and using folder redirection and beat AppSense with 1 second at a client.

Bad expectations trying to do a lot of things that are not possible with a physical workstation that you are trying to replace like desktop background or word normal.dot files needing to be replicated to another session instantly or to another datacenter.

Mandatory, Roaming, UE-V, UPM/VPM and 3rd Party are your Profile Hell Options.

Every folder should be redirected other than LocalAppData in most cases.

Redirecting AppData is the biggest fighting within redirecting fight and Shawn Bass and Nick like the battle about it on a regular basis.

The largest Citrix customer using 250,000 users is using Mandatory Profiles and it is fast and does not care about what someone changes because it will not write anything.

Server and Desktop and 64 and 32 bit device types should be separated on the profile side because of all the known incompatibilities

UE-V requires MDOP to have access, so smaller shops may not have it and might be able to afford it.  UE-V will exclude everything until you tell it what to include which is better in a couple ways and can make it easy to skip things.  UE-V isn’t the only answer but it does bolt on well even with other solutions.

Future Thoughts:

It will keep changing as V4 and V5 start happening and then Microsoft is on the AA 12 step program to try and make itself better to change things up.  3rd Parties will still be out there to fill the void and to add on things that Microsoft will not be able to. The biggest thing for the future is the keep realistic expectations that you don’t want to promise the Profile Panacea and everything is synced to everything everywhere all the time and your dictionaries, app settings and background picture will follow you to any OS from and to any device.

Real World Example with Dan Allen:

50,000 Users, 4 Datacenters around the word, traditional fat PC deployment, tons of branch locations and they centralized Exchange and File shares and then noticed that everything was slower so CCS came in to do XenApp and XenDesktop.  20% stayed on fat PCs (Remote and High End), 20% of the users were on laptops, 20% migrated persistent XenDesktops (Using SSCM to tame the madness) and 40% XenApp Published Desktops.

Profiles for this customer Physical Desktops

Short Term was to just keep local profiles and didn’t want to change anything.

Long Term was to evaluate UE-V and or UPM and recommended the customer to only redirect the Documents folders

Profiles for this customer Laptops

Local Profiles and use a simple script they made to sync documents folder and dump them back to the home directory on their desktops. Short Term didn’t change anything

Long Term check out UE-V

Profiles for this customer Persistent VDI

Implemented UPM didn’t delete the local profile at logoff and didn’t turn on Profile Streaming or Active Write back.  Implement Folder Redirection and Did NOT redirect the AppData and Shawn Basss was happy and only use Folder Redirection for the documents.

Profiles for this customer using Published Desktop

Implemented UPM, enabled profile delete at logoff and didn’t turn on Profile Streaming or Active Write back.  Implemented Folder Redirection and redirected everything including AppData and Shawn Bass was sad.  NetApp Profile Share was 10GB away on a NetApp Filer.

Profiles for this customer using Published Apps

Used the same settings as above from the Published Desktop if they were in the same silo.  There were some App Silos  that had some different settings to include and exclude based on the needs of the applications.

Started was a fresh profile with this deployment and just kept Favorites, Desktop and stuff like that.  Kept the profiles per Datacenter and didn’t setup replication between US and Europe so there wasn’t any value based on the users habits of launching the same thing from the same datacenter for the next X years.  It wasn’t worth 5 million dollars based on the quote they got.

User always mapped their home directory and kept Home, Roaming Profile and Redirected Folders in separate directories and they plan on using Version numbers to those shares and V3 and V4 becomes a possibility.  WAN links are faster and SMB 2.1 has made things a little better with remote data and file as it relates to profiles more okay.