User Data and Settings Management

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Published: March 1, 2002

By Craig Marl

This white paper explains the IntelliMirror user data and settings management features in Microsoft Windows Server 2003. These key components of change and configuration management can help administrators reduce total cost of ownership (TCO).

In This White Paper

User Profiles Overview in User Data and Settings Management

User Profile Structure

Enhancements to User Profiles in Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP

How to Configure a Roaming User Profile

Security Considerations when Configuring Roaming User Profiles

Best Practices for User Profiles

Folder Redirection Overview

How to Configure Folder Redirection

Security Considerations when Configuring Folder Redirection

Best Practices for Folder Redirection in User Data and Settings Management

Related Technologies: Offline Files and Synchronization Manager

Common Scenarios for IntelliMirror User Data and Settings Features

Appendix: Group Policy Settings for Roaming User Profiles

Related Links for User Data and Settings Management

User data includes the documents, images, spreadsheets, presentations and e-mail messages on a user’s computer. User settings include application configurations, preferences, window sizes, toolbar settings and so forth on a users computer.

With Microsoft IntelliMirror management technologies, administrators can manage user data and settings in ways that reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) for the computing systems.

By using IntelliMirror on both the server and client, administrators can protect and manage user data and settings. Non-recoverable data from local workstations can be copied to servers, where it can be easily backed up and centrally managed. Personalized data, applications, and settings can follow each user to different computers throughout the network. Administrators can easily replace faulty computers and restore all user data and settings on a new computer.

When fully deployed, IntelliMirror uses the Active Directory service and Group Policy for policy-based management of user desktops. A Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003 computer can be automatically configured to meet specific requirements of a users business roles, group memberships, and location. Group Policy and the Active Directory are not necessary for every IntelliMirror feature. Some of the features can be set on the local level or through local polices. An organization can tailor use of IntelliMirror to its needs.

This paper discusses two of the key components that provide user data and settings management in IntelliMirrorUser Profiles and Folder Redirection. It also provides an architectural overview of these features, and presents sample scenarios showing how IntelliMirror is used throughout a computers lifecycle.