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Configuring user data within VDI

What are the best practices for configuring user data within VDI.

Are there any recommendations on how to configure the users home directories and profile data?

Are there any guides on how to automate the creation of users home directories and profile areas?

Are there any recommendations around making the VDI machines persistent or auto-provisioned given the above?

Re: Configuring user data within VDI

My guess it would be the same as physical machines but it does raise an intersting issue.

Have you registered for this yet?

http://communities.netapp.com/community/technet/ask_the_expert

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Date: March 23-27, 2009

Hope it helps

Brendon

Re: Configuring user data within VDI

Opps

How dumb do I feel pointing back to this forum...

Bren

Re: Configuring user data within VDI

I think this is what you are looking for.

http://blogs.netapp.com/virtualization/2009/03/netapp-and-vm-2.html

Bren

Re: Configuring user data within VDI

Chris,

Another great post. I am sure every customer deploying VDI will have these questions in design/architecture phase of the project.

NetApp best practice is to store the user data and profile in a CIFS share on a NetApp NAS volume and served using Microsoft® roaming profiles and/or folder redirection. This allows better management and protection of the important user data. Also, this will make the virtual desktops persistent in terms of retaining the user data and profile settings. Also leverage GPO to manage the CIFS user data and profiles.

Configuration best practices would be the same as for physical desktops. We have a strong resource base of best practices for configuring CIFS home directories and profile data. Please contact the NetApp SE for getting the best practices documentation on design, deployment and management around CIFS home directories and user profile.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Abhinav



Re: Configuring user data within VDI

I essentially see this as a "take two" on the roaming profiles question -- same set of questions but better answers than we had 3-5 years ago.

And while I'm wandering outside the "user data" theme, the other large difference I see is what ThinApp brings to the table -- allows shrinking the base image that much more and app updates without even touching the base image (of course there's Citrix XenApp -- but that option has been out there for a while). ThinApp I think makes auto-provisioned desktops even more possible.

For home directory management, the best option I've seen (and used personally) is File System Factory (now Novell Storage Manager) -- works with AD and centers around home directory creation, management, deletion, moves, etc. I must admit I'm not sure about NetApp CIFS compatibility though.

http://www.storagemgr.com/nsm/

My apologies for the scattershot post but wanted to put some thoughts out there before it got too late....

Re: Configuring user data within VDI

I see user profile data as much more important in a VDI environment than a physical environment. It helps make the VDI environment more flexible and easier to deploy if the user data is more flexible and easily provisioned. VDI brings in new features (ThinApp, Linked Clones, hot provisioning, etc.) and along with these new challenges. Rethinking the way users are rolled onto these environments simply makes the whole thing more flexible, and ultimately more efficient.

Some great details, and some very interesting reading. Thank you all for your input!