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Configuring User State Management Features

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

While the Folder Redirection, Roaming User Profiles, and Offline Files technologies are complementary, they are functionally independent. You can apply them either in combination or one at a time. The preferred method is to use these technologies in Active Directory environments with Group Policy because this approach provides the full benefits of IntelliMirror.

Using Active Directory and Group Policy to implement the IntelliMirror technologies helps you accomplish the following tasks and responsibilities:

  • Centrally create and manage desktop configurations for all users and computers in your organization.

  • Allow users to access their files from any location at any time by using Roaming User Profiles and Folder Redirection in combination with Offline Files.

  • Manage how software is deployed and installed on computers to ensure that users have the software that they need to perform their jobs.

  • Manage and enforce centralized data storage. This helps you keep important corporate data backed up.

  • Replace computers efficiently by using the following technologies:

    • Remote Installation Services and Group Policy–based software installation to replace applications

    • Roaming User Profiles to recover user profiles

    • Folder Redirection to centrally store files

As you determine which technologies to deploy, consider how the deployment of one technology, such as Roaming User Profiles interacts with another, such as Folder Redirection. For example, redirected folders are not copied back and forth with Roaming User Profiles. Implementing Folder Redirection before implementing Roaming User Profiles provides two benefits:

  • Converting users profiles from local to roaming causes new logon delays because folders that were previously local are copied from a shared folder on the network during logon.

  • Redirecting My Documents before implementing Roaming User Profiles ensures that the My Documents folder is never copied back and forth during a logon session. This also ensures that copies of My Documents that are left in profiles from previous logon sessions do not remain on workstation hard drives.

Figure 7.5 shows the processes you use to implement the user state management features that you select.

Figure 7.5   Implementing User State Management Features

Implementing User State Management Features

Implementing new technologies in phases has a significant advantage: Testing is simpler. Because you have introduced fewer variables in each phase, it is easier to trace unexpected results back to their source.

It is important to include in your plan adequate time for testing the technologies that you intend to implement so that you can prevent problems. For more information about testing, see "Preparing for Deployment" earlier in this chapter.

Implementing the IntelliMirror deployment plan entails selecting group policies for GPOs and then applying those Group Policy objects to selected groups of users or computers. For more information about working with GPOs, see "Designing a Group Policy Infrastructure" in this book and the Group Policy topics in Help and Support Center for Windows Server 2003.

For information about managing desktops in environments that do not use Active Directory, see "Desktop Strategies for Computers Running Windows 2000 and Windows XP Without Active Directory," later in this chapter.

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