This post continues the series that started here.
Just a short post today, due to the brevity of this topic and a work event that’ll be occupying the majority of the day.
Continuing on from the last two posts in this series, I want to discuss the storage of User Data, specifically with respect to Folder Redirection.
Windows allows for the redirection of folders within the user profile, such as My Documents. The path to this data resides on a file server where it is centralised and may be backed up. Unfortunately, this is another trigger for synchronous Group Policy processing (which I’ve already discussed at length as being undesirable for user logon performance). If you choose to implement Folder Redirection, avoid the redirection of the %userprofile%\appdata folder as there’s a significant performance impact incurred.
Enabling Folder redirection (via GPO) automatically enables Offline Files and this configuration supports exclusions. For example, you may choose to exclude all mp3 files from being uploaded to your file server.
In all supported versions of Windows, Offline Files synchronises data immediately which avoids the need for sync at logoff.
Once again, I’d encourage you to explore alternatives to Folder Redirection such as OneDrive for Business and Work Folders. Both of these newer technologies provide you with the ability to store User Data in centralized locations but avoid synchronous Group Policy processing.