Microsoft have a concept called User State Virtualization (USV) this is a solution based on redirecting some of the profile folders to a central server. For laptops it also means using offline files for a offline version of this. You should also be able to combine this with Vista+ and XP
There are a really good step-by-step guide for this here. http://www.grouppolicy.biz/2010/08/best-practice-roaming-profiles-and-folder-redirection-a-k-a-user-virtualization/
You set the home folder path to e.g. (if you want it) \servers\users$\%USERNAME%
You set the profile path to e.g \servers\users$\%USERNAME%\profile (profile for WinXP and profile.v2 for Vista+ should be be automatically created)
You redirect som folders to the root of the homefolder e.g. \servers\users$\%USERNAME%\Favorites \servers\users$\%USERNAME%\Desktop \servers\users$\%USERNAME%\Documents and so on
But it seems I over look / misunderstand something in the article regarding these sentences below.
"Note: This consolidated storage of users information can only applies to Windows Vista/7 systems. Otherwise you will need to create a separate share for roaming profiles with offline caching disabled for Windows XP systems."
"If you are still using Windows XP then I would recommend configuring the roaming profile folder is the same as the Users folder for the redirected folders except that you need to disable file caching. Simple repeat the steps above for “Setting up file server share for User State Virtualization” instead use the folder name called “Profiles” and a share name called “Profiles$”."
We will use both Win XP and Win 7, there are possibilites that the sane user will logon to both Win XP and Win 7 machines.
Can someone shed some light / put this information in differently worded sentence. Should we continue with the above example and just remove the "file chaching" on the share, even if we actually want it for the Win7 scenario. Or should the profile path then be a new share instead, due to the offline chaching disabled for both Win XP and Win 7. And the offline cache will only be on the "home folder" / redirected profile folders.