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Implementing User State Management Overview

Updated: March 28, 2003

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

To ensure that users’ data, applications, and settings remain constant throughout the users’ environments, you can use IntelliMirror technologies on the server and the clients. Active Directory® directory service and Group Policy provide the foundation for IntelliMirror. Using Group Policy to define managed desktop configurations enables IntelliMirror to deploy, recover, restore, and replace users’ data, software, and personal settings.

By deploying IntelliMirror technologies to manage users’ data and settings, you provide the following advantages:

  • Users’ data is protected, up to date, and highly accessible. Users can access their data from any computer on the network. To enable these capabilities, you can redirect specific user data folders, such as the My Documentsfolder, to a network location, and then make this location available to users for offline use.

  • Users’ preferences and settings for the desktop and applications are available wherever the users log on. By creating a preconfigured, customized desktop, based on the users’ jobs, you can provide a consistent desktop environment and system settings, and you can reduce support calls and minimize the time and cost that is associated with replacing computers.

  • You can also centrally manage software installations, updates, repairs, upgrades, and software removal by performing a Group Policy–based software installation.

You start your deployment plan by defining your objectives for managing user data and settings, and then you assess the needs and resources of your organization. You can then determine which IntelliMirror technologies meet the needs of your users and your organization. After you design the managed desktop configurations for the various types of users and computers in your organization based on their requirements, you must test your designs in a controlled environment and instruct your users about the technologies that you are deploying.

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