Feb 052016
 

I had the chance to have a closer look at the Citrix User Profile Management, and I am sharing some of my notes in this article.

Introduction

The Citrix User Profile Management (UPM) v5.41 optimize Roaming Profiles with a “streaming” feature in order to improve user’s logon times. The Citrix UPM has been initially designed for XenApp and server based environments, but with the VDI era it has been extended to classic Microsoft desktops (Windows 7, Windows 8.1). In the company the deployment of the Citrix UPM on classic desktops can solve very slow logon time that users are experiencing with the default Microsoft Roaming Profile feature.

Infrastructure design

Citrix UPM only requires, at best, a highly available file server cluster and a GPO to activate and configure the UPM client on desktops / Citrix session-hosts (VDA). A clustered shared volume from the EMC SAN will be served by 2 nodes. The nodes are Windows 2012 R2 servers in a cluster. Folder Structure: For this deployment, profiles for desktops will be separated from profiles for servers. Two folders will be created:

Workstations

XenAppClient

configuration: A GPO named “Citrix UPM for Desktops” will be created for the client deployed on Windows 7 and 10 desktops. The GPO will be filtered by a security group name “Citrix UPM for Desktops” and located in an organizational unit.

Profile Streaming

The Citrix UPM has a feature named “Profile Steaming” working along with profile caching. When the user opens a session on a desktop with a roaming profile using Citrix UPM, the user doesn’t need to wait for all of the profile being downloaded from the server before getting access to his desktop. Instead, the Citrix UPM will allow the user to log-on to his desktop by synchronizing a small set of files and then “stream on demand” other files and settings.  It is possible to always cache (download) big files on logon to enhance the user experience.For profile optimization we will be using the user shell folders redirection.

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 Citrix UPM Settings

The following settings are defined by GPO for Workstations (classic desktops):
Name – Enable Profile Management
Value – Enabled
Description – Turn UPM On or Off


Name – Path to User Store
Value – \\server\workstations\%username%.upm
Description – Define the profile storage path.

Name – Process logons of local administrators
Value – Disabled
Description – Allow local admins to logon using local profile instead of roaming profile. Useful for troubleshooting.

Name – Profile Streaming
Value – Enabled
Description – Turn the Profile Streaming feature on.

Name – Active Write Back
Value – Disabled
Description – Settings are written into the user profile store while the user session is running. Required for volatile desktops (pooled).

Name – Always Cache
Value – Not configured or Disabled
Description – The entire profile will be streamed into a local cache to save network IO on logon if treshold is set at 0. If the profile has big files to laod in priority set a size treshold in MB.

Name – Process Internet Cookies files on Logoff
Value – Enabled
Description – The UPM agent will read the IE index.dat and clear off unused cookies. IE11 or above use webcache.dat instead.

Name – Logoff user if a problem is encountered
Value – Disabled
Description – If the UPM profile is corrupt the UPM agent will deny logon access to the workstation. If disabled, the user can still logon but may be working with a temporary profile.

Name – Delete locally cached profiles on logoff
Value – Disabled
Description – On XenApp servers, profiles are usually deleted on logoff. On workstations the profile is kept on hard drive.

Name – Migration of existing profiles
Value – Local and Roaming
Description – The Citrix UPM agent will migrate Microsoft local and roaming profiles (cached on desktops) to the Citrix UPM Store.

Name – Local Profile Conflict Handling
Value – Rename local profile
Description – If a local profile exists and is detected as non-compatible with the Citrix UPM agent, the local profile will be renamed.  

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