Citrix User Profile Management (UPM) and User Profiles
If you manage a VDI/TS/RDS/ or any centralized desktop environment , you know one of the biggest challenges are managing User Profiles. The User’s Profile and his/her personalizations need to be saved and persist across each session. In my organization and I am sure many other organizations, we have a software standard. So, we either “bake -in” the application into the desktop image or Stream, Publish that application from our Citrix Xenapp environment. However, we know that Users will want to install applications that they prefer to use etc. So, over time Administrators will notice that user profiles will begin to bloat and cause slow logins, corrupted profiles and calls to the Help Desk. I use Citrix UPM and Folder Redirection to manage User Profiles to keep logins fast and profiles thin and healthy. So, I wanted to share some tips I have been using in our remote desktop environments (TS/VDI/RDS) .
Folder Redirection is the basic building block to any good Roaming Profile solution. Whether these are physical, Shared or Virtual desktops. The My Documents/Documents and Desktop directories need to be redirected to a NFS or CIFS share. In my organization we place quotas on the User Profile store so we can manage how much personal storage each user can use. In my environment we limit User Profiles to 500MB. For the rest of the profile you will let Citrix User Profile Management handle it. By redirecting the “larger areas” of the User profile your Users can expect faster login times.
Citrix User Profile Management
When using the Citrix User Profile Management client you can either use the local .ini file to control what is managed by UPM or you can use a Microsoft Group Policy. Citrix provides an ADM Template that can be imported into your Group Policy Management console and manage your users globally for all desktops running the Citrix UPM Client. In my opinion it is much easier to manage multiple desktop images running the Citrix UPM client via Group Policy. To enhance the performance of your user profiles you will want to create an Exclusion List to prevent certain directories from roaming and causing bloat in the User Profile. Here is a sample of some basic directories I feel should be excluded from Roaming. However, you will need to take a look at the applications in your environment and which folders they use to store their application files in to find out what additionally can be removed.
|AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Plugin Data|
|Application Data\Local\Temporary Internet Files|
|Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files|
|Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla|
|Local Settings\Application Data\Google|
|Local Settings\Application Data\Temp|
|Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects|
|Local Settings\Application Data\IBM|
As a general rule of thumb, the UPM_Profile directory should only be as large as 50MB, of course the smaller the better. In addition to excluding certain directories using Citrix UPM, you can also synchronize certain files in and out of your session. I use non-persistent disk, so some applications have user specific files that need to be present in order to run correctly. If not, the application will treat each session as if it was the first time the user has used the application. So, for an example .. some applications will not use the %userprofile%\application data\ location to place user specific configurations . So, using this feature .. I could copy a file from the profile store into the C:\Program files\application directory\sub folder for each and every login. This will help deliver a customized user experience for the end-user on every login.
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