Profile Management

Mobile or static

Are your machines permanently connected to the Active Directory domain? Laptops and similar mobile devices probably are not. Similarly, some deployments might have fixed machines with persistent local storage but the machines are separated from the data center for significant periods of time. For example, a remote branch office is linked to the corporate headquarters by satellite communications. Another example is disaster recovery, where infrastructure is being restored and power or communications are intermittent.

Typically, Profile Management is resilient to short network outages (less than 24 hours) so long as the user does not log off while the network is unavailable. In these circumstances, you can optimize Profile Management in several ways that significantly speed up the logon process. This is the static case.

Where extended periods of disconnection are expected or users must be able to log off or shut down their computers while disconnected from the corporate network, you cannot optimize Profile Management. When users reconnect, logons are slow while the entire profile is fetched from the user store. This is the mobile case.

The mobile case

For extended periods of disconnection (and only intermittent periods of connection to the Active Directory domain), enable the Offline profile support policy. This approach automatically disables the effect of the following policies, controlling optimizations that are not supported. The policies might not appear to be disabled in Group Policy but they have no effect:

  • Profile streaming
  • Always cache

Note: If Offline profile support is enabled, Active write back is honored but can only work when the computer is connected to the network.

The static case

Policy: Offline profile support

For short periods of disconnection, disable the Offline profile support policy. This allows the configuration of any of the following policies.

Policy: Streamed user profile groups

Set the Streamed user profile groups policy to Unconfigured. Enabling this policy is effective only if Profile streaming is also enabled. Streamed user profile groups is used to limit the use of streamed profiles to specific Active Directory user groups. It is useful in some scenarios when migrating from older versions of Profile Management. For instructions on setting this policy, see Stream user profiles.

For information on high availability and disaster recovery as it applies to this policy, see Scenario 4 - The traveling user.

Policy: Timeout for pending area lock files

Set the Timeout for pending area lock files policy to Unconfigured to apply the default operation, which is a one-day timeout for the pending area lock. This is the only supported value, so do not adjust this policy.

Policy: Active write back

For information on this policy, see Persistent or provisioned and dedicated or shared

Mobile or static