I'm developing a remote desktop services in Windows Server 2008 R2. It's going on one server but in the future it's possible that another server could be added to the farm.

I'm creating roaming profiles and folder redirection to save space. I have some doubts... if I'm redirecting all the folders I can do that through GPO (start menu, desktop, appdata, My Documents, Videos, Music...), does it make sense to use roaming profiles?

I mean, I'm redirecting almost everything. So, if I don't use roaming profiles, what kind of data is not shared/roamed?

Perhaps it is not necessary and if I set roaming profiles, I will add more unnecessary complexity to the infrastructure.

Do you have and advice or recommendations?

2 Answers 2


The profile of a user contains the personalizations that the user configures in their user interface as well as the HKCU registry hive. If you don't use roaming profiles and have multiple servers users are logging into, a new profile will be created that will not contain any of the previously configured settings from any of the other servers.

IMO, roaming profiles along with redirected data folders are a good strategy for keeping all user data apart from servers that the users interact with. That way, if you ever lose a server or pull one from the farm for any reason, its pretty much plug a new one in and go forward.


Using a combination of both is the strategy that Microsoft recommends.

You should redirect as much as you can, as this reduces the amount of data that is copied during the logon/logoff process to the roaming profile folder. All it takes is for a user to copy a 200 MB PowerPoint file to their desktop to blow a hole in your roaming profile strategy.

I would not redirect Application Data though. This folder typically incurs a lot of activity during normal operation, and redirecting it can cause performance issues.

  • Thanks for the answer. Redir appdata could be a problem, but i think if you don't redirect that folder, you can have problems for example with Outlook PSTs, don't you think? Feb 24, 2011 at 7:54
  • What is your opinion about PST files? If you don't redir the folder appdata, the size of appdata can grow a lot because of PST user files. Regards and thank you. Feb 24, 2011 at 22:02
  • There aren't any good answers for pst's. Microsoft does not support or recommend them on network drives.
    – Greg Askew
    Feb 25, 2011 at 3:17
  • 1
    PSTs are a database file and as such does not play well with replication. Microsoft's answer is to use an exchange server.
    – Ape-inago
    Nov 21, 2011 at 14:18

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