Information on User Experience Virtualization and High Availability


Symptoms


A common request for Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) file shares is to make the shares highly available.  There are two classes of UE-V files:  shared templates (Settings Template Catalog Path data) and user settings (Settings Storage Path).  Shared templates tend to be fairly static and are normally updated only by administrators when applications are added, modified or removed.  User settings contain profile-specific information and are therefore highly volatile.  These characteristics influence the choice of replication mechanism available for each share.  In general, offline files and file server clustering offer the best choices for optimal redundancy and availability for the UE-V Agent.

More Information


UE-V supports storing user data on any writable share.  However, certain additional criteria must be met:

  • The volume must be formatted with an NTFS file system.
  • The share may use Distributed File System (DFS) replication, but Distributed File System Replication (DFSR) is specifically not supported.  See
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2010/09/01/microsoft-s-support-statement-around-replicated-user-profile-data.aspxfor additional details.
  • Distributed File System Namespaces (DFSN) shares are supported.
  • Because SYSVOL uses DFSR for replication, it is not possible to use SYSVOL for UE-V data file replication for the reasons listed in the blog post above.
  • The share permissions and NTFS ACLs must be configured as specified in http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj680024.aspx.
  • High availability can be guaranteed through a combination of using offline files and file server clustering in conjunction with theUE-V agent to provide access to copies of user state data in the event of communications failures.
  • Both Settings Storage Path data (user data) and Settings Template Catalog templates can be stored on clustered and/or DFS-N shares.