In a virtual desktop environment the profile solution provided by Microsoft, the roaming profile, is not sufficient. With the “Zero Profile Technology” RES Workspace Manager has a feature that captures users settings and injects them whenever needed, offering a more flexible solution than the roaming profile. More importantly only the required settings are captured and profile bloating and corruption is prevented.
Of course RES Software can’t replace the Windows profile so you end up with a hybrid solution, also referred to as a “hybrid profile”. Theoretically you can use any of flavor of the Microsoft profile solutions: local, roaming or mandatory and add the RES feature on top. A common used hybrid solution is a mandatory profile + RES Workspace Manager, but as Wilco van Bragt mentioned in his article about alternatives for the mandatory profile (link) this has it drawbacks.
One of the biggest “challenges” with mandatory profiles, or roaming profiles where cached copies are deleted, is the use of certificates. Especially if you use auto-enrollment of certificates. What we’re looking for in a profile are the following characteristics:
- Works with certificates – as described above
- Removed after logoff – to prevent the computer from filling up with garbage
- Stateless – or non-persistent. In other words, it does not store changes made by the user. Each time a user starts a session it should consist of the exact same settings, the profile solution (RES Workspace Manager) will inject the settings.
As Wilco describes in his article the local profile is the best candidate for a hybrid profile. But the local profile has one drawback: it persists on the computer.