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To maintain the integrity of virtual desktop images in a nonpersistent VDI deployment, virtual desktops are reset to a pristine state at the end of each session. As such, IT must maintain user profiles separately from the desktop images.
IT has several user profile management tools from which to choose. One popular option is to use Windows roaming profiles. Likewise, some VDI vendors offer products specifically for profile management. There are also some really good third-party tools for user profile management.
Third-party user profile management tools
ProfileUnity from Liquidware: ProfileUnity is easy to overlook as a user profile management product, because Liquidware often markets it as a Windows migration tool. In reality, though, ProfileUnity is a user profile management product.
Liquidware designed ProfileUnity to integrate with Active Directory. It uses virtual disk layering and supports virtual hard disks and virtual machine disk files. As a bonus, ProfileUnity supports application rights management. The software can authorize or prevent users from installing or executing individual applications.
RES One Workspace from RES Software: RES One Workspace provides a variety of enterprise capabilities, including automation, reporting and adaptive security. User profile management is its foundation, however. The tool maintains user profile data on a per-application basis and applies the profile data in real time as the user accesses an application.
Environment Manager from Ivanti: Environment Manager is one of the most popular user profile management tools. It is now integrated into DesktopNow from Ivanti, along with some other former AppSense products, including Application Control and Performance Manager. It is also available as a standalone product.
Environment Manager maintains user profiles independently from the desktop OS. It constructs user profiles to allow users' customizations to follow them from one device to another, regardless of the device type. These profiles combine with a policy configuration component that determines which resources users can access.
User profile management pop quiz
How good are built-in user profile management tools?
What to look for in a user profile management tool
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