How to Manage User's profile on Horizon View
Now a days while we use Horizon view as our anytime anywhere available virtual machine, Administrators go for floating automated linked pools to save storage and making flexiblity in assignment.
But still we have some concerns, basically they are about the User Data and Profiles.
Along with high availability, users still want their profiles to be available when they log into the VDI solution, basically they want their data available on there desktop , my documents and the application configuration they have done.
eg. include outlook configuration, Users will love if every time they log in to their new VDI they get their outlook configuration with them and they don't have to configure outlook each time they login.
So to help in such cases we have some solutions that we can try out.
1) Persona Management
2) Folder redirection + Writable volume
Lets talk about Persona management and how to implement the same.
Persona is basically few settings that we will implement using Active Directory Group Policy which will redirect user profile to defined share path. It will sync data to share path every time user logs off and loads user profile every time user logs in.
It makes use of share path which can be controlled by setting up quota limits and same can be informed to users. Basically persona management works like this, it will need same amount of free space in C drive, which is equal to the user profile size on the share path, as it will need this to sync the data from share path to local machine.
eg. persona management may not work properly for example if user profile has 15 GB data and there is only 10 GB available on C drive of user machine. In this case persona will not load and due to space issues user will loose their profile. Its not like the profile got deleted but it will not load.
User profiles hold personal data and settings that users can access from wherever they open their desktops.
A user profile contains:
• User data, such as My Documents files
• User desktop settings, such as for desktop appearance
• Application-specific data and settings, such as customized application toolbars, or Windows registry entries
generated by applications
• Other user-generated information
Using persona management we can control where we want to save user profile, for that we need to import persona management ADM template to group policy or local polity and configure the same as per requirement.
In group policy editor once we import persona adm template it will profile options to configure user profile related configuration.
Lets now talk about the other options we have which is folder redirection + writable volume
if we are not using persona management then we can think of a combination of solutions to manage user profile.
the other option include implementation of VMware App Volumes, which will provide us the option to use writable volumes.
A bit on writable volume : Writable Volume is another virtual disk which gets attached to user machine when a user logs in. There will always be a writable volume for each user who logs in and same gets detached one the user logs off or machine gets restarted/reset/refresh.
Writable volume comes up with few options, which administrator has to decide before provisioning writable volumes that what is going to be in writable volume.
1) User Profile Data only
2) User Installed Applications only
3) User Profile data and user installed application.
Generally if we are not going to allow users to install applications other than provisioned apps them. We will go for 1st option and this will take care of our requirements.
and again for desktop, my documents and download folders we can use group policy to redirect them to a share path.
This is really important and needed, to manage user profiles and provide user's, uniform VDI experience on floating pools which makes administrators flexible enough to do any back end activities despite of user connections.
Use any one option mentioned above to configure the same.