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Hi,

 

I wanted to find out if most of you still use roaming profiles. Also, what are the benefits or pitfalls of using roaming profiles according to the  users and administrators?

 

Regards,

--

Anshul Singla

System Administrator | University of Houston

832-842-4744

 

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

I’ve wanted to implement roaming profiles because I assume that you can then sit down at any machine, and everything is the same (if one machine dies, or you want to work elsewhere, it’s no problem).  I never did, due to a lack of labor to do it.  Is there any downside?

 

Downsides:

 

1.       If the profile is large, it takes a significant time for the user to log in the first time they sit at a machine as the profile info has to be copied to the local machine.  You can mitigate some of this by using redirected folders to a network share for parts of the profile.

2.       The profile info is left behind on the machine the user used, and if you have many users sharing a machine, you risk filling the local hard drive without employing some mechanism for pruning profiles on a periodic basis.

 

Best regards,

 

Michael Merker

Director of Technology Infrastructure

Voice (561) 868-3252      Fax (561) 868-3259

merkerm@palmbeachstate.edu

Palm Beach State College

4200 Congress Avenue

Lake Worth, FL 33461

 

Please note: Palm Beach State College e-mail addresses have changed.  Please update your address book to reflect the new domain name for all College faculty and staff e-mail addresses: palmbeachstate.edu. 

Example: OLD: Smithz@pbcc.edu   NEW: Smithz@palmbeachstate.edu.  My new address is merkerm@palmbeachstate.edu.

 

 

 

Thank you Michael and Kevin.

 

We have roaming profiles implemented. Besides the issues listed by Michael, the other issues is to make the profiles highly available on a server. So one either needs a SAN solution (that is replicated), DFS, Cluster, etc. So the questions that I have are:

1.       If you use roaming profiles, what is the value that you see for your customers and how is the cost justified?

2.       What folders do you redirect or not?

3.       How do you make the profile data highly available?

 

Thank you.

 

- Anshul

 

Benefits:

 

1.       If a user’s desktop computer needs repair, we can take the old machine out, put a new machine in place and the user is back in business (minus whatever settings are saved in the Local Data folder on the old machine).

2.       We can make a Terminal Server available to employees so they can work remotely without needed a laptop computer, VPN (except to secure the RDP session), or a copy of their files on removable media.  Their documents are available to them whenever they need to work and there are no issues with synchronizing the files that might be on a laptop or removable media with the actual Documents or My Documents folder.

 

The data is on a SAN, and we have had network issues from time to time, but more critical is to be sure that you don’t have disk contention for the physical disks on the SAN as you could have many users accessing the profile folders at the same time.  We redirect almost the entire profile – I’m not in charge of that function, but was involved in the design, so I can’t be specific, but Documents, IE settings, favorites, and so on, are redirected.  We lock desktops so there is one uniform desktop across the institution and we don’t have to worry about users keeping huge files on their desktops.

 

Best regards,

 

Michael Merker

Director of Technology Infrastructure

Voice (561) 868-3252      Fax (561) 868-3259

merkerm@palmbeachstate.edu

Palm Beach State College

4200 Congress Avenue

Lake Worth, FL 33461

 

Please note: Palm Beach State College e-mail addresses have changed.  Please update your address book to reflect the new domain name for all College faculty and staff e-mail addresses: palmbeachstate.edu. 

Example: OLD: Smithz@pbcc.edu   NEW: Smithz@palmbeachstate.edu.  My new address is merkerm@palmbeachstate.edu.

 

 

 

Very interesting.

 

By the way, you may also be interested in the Stanford e-mail list for Windows in Higher Ed list:

 

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit

                https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/windows-hied

or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

                windows-hied-request@lists.stanford.edu

 

You can reach the person managing the list at

                windows-hied-owner@lists.stanford.edu

 

 

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