Profiledisk as a solution for large profiles

In this blog I will take a closer look at the ProfileDisk solution from Liquidware. With the capability to handle large profiles it can also help the offline use of Office 365. Microsoft has no built-in solution to fix the issues you will encounter when running Office 365 Outlook offline on your Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop, VMware Horizon or RDS/RDSH only virtual desktops, so you need a solution if you want an acceptable user experience.

The main issue with Office 365 Outlook offline and Virtual desktop is the .OST cache file. By default, the .OST  for offline Outlook use is stored in the user’s profile, on a local device this will work fine but in a virtual desktop environment having large profiles causes many issues such as a long logon times. Disabling the .OST caching file disables the offline use of Outlook and, in general, causes a poor performance and end user experience, leading to  unhappy end users.

There are other solutions on the market that help to fix these options but Liquidware is currently the only vendor that offers this functionality as part of their User Environment Management Solution ProfileUnity. This limits the amount of tooling that you need to deploy to provide a good performing desktop and also makes support easier with less vendors that you need to maintain.

Fixing the Office 365 Office offline use issues is only one of the many use cases for ProfileDisk , this technology can be used for all kinds of situations that require a large profile:

  • Applications that need to store large files in the profile
  • .PST Outlook email archives
  • Microsoft Onedrive cache

Let’s take a look how the ProfileDisk works. The profile will be stored on a provisioned VHD or VMDK. This VHD or VMDK will be mounted at an early stage in the logon process before the user profile will be loaded. Because the mounted VHD/VMDK becomes part the local storage available to Windows, the required data is thereinstantly with block-level performance instead of transferring  1GB+ of data over the network.

If you combine this with ProfileUnity’s capability to have one profile for mixed versions of Windows, then you can switch between version of Windows and even switch between Citrix/VMware/Amazon.


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