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Contact Sales and Support: (678) 871-9647
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OneDrive for Business and FSLogix best practices

Introduction

Microsoft OneDrive is one of the most popular products in the Microsoft Office 365 offering. As such, there are lots of customers that want to use OneDrive in their hosted digital workspace. Popular platforms to enable these hosted digital workspaces are Citrix ( XenApp / XenDesktop ), Microsoft RDS, VMware Horizon View, Amazon Workspaces, etc.

Problem

Due to OneDrive’s dependence on a local cache, the full version of OneDrive that synchronizes files from the cloud to the users’ desktops requires a persistent desktop. As with other applications that depend on a cache, OneDrive does not perform well in non-persistent desktop environments because the cache would have to be downloaded each time a user logged in. Placing the cache on a network share is impractical, and can result in extremely poor performance not just as desktops, but also on the network and file server. Plus, since OneDrive can also sync data stored in SharePoint, the impact on usability is even greater.

Microsoft’s only viable option for affected users/desktops is the online experience of OneDrive – meaning that the customer has to use a browser to access their files. This user experience is very different from when the OneDrive for Business is installed locally on physical PCs, laptops, Surface devices, or persistent VDI desktops. Unfortunately that means users either have to download/upload their files each time they use them, or they have to use the browser versions of Office applications, which increases the difference in user experience between persistent and non-persistent platforms.

FSLogix allows customers to offer the same OneDrive for Business experience on their non-persistent digital workspace as they would on their persistent desktops such as physical PCs, laptops or Surface devices – without any compromise in the user experience or OneDrive for Business or SharePoint functionality.

Technology

To offer a native OneDrive for Business experience on hosted Digital Workspaces, FSLogix uses their patent-pending Container technology. FSLogix Container products enable customers to:

  • Install OneDrive for Business on ANY desktop – All users and desktops will have the same experience because the install is the same as it would be on any persistent desktop.
  • Seamlessly persist cached OneDrive for Business and SharePoint files - Placing the OneDrive for Business cache in an FSLogix Container allows the cache to follow the user between desktops without having to re-download it, and without any unnecessary file server impact.
  • Roam the OneDrive for Business application itself – OneDrive for Business is a great example of a modern application and how Microsoft designs these application to be installed into the User Profile. FSLogix can automatically capture the product installation for a seamless end user experience where OneDrive only ever has to be configured once.
  • Single Sign On – Once a user has successfully authenticated with Microsoft OneDrive for Business, FSLogix Containers will automatically roam the credentials so the user doesn’t have to manually log in each time they use OneDrive.

Products

FSLogix has two products based on our Container technology: Profile Container and Office 365 Container. Both are based on the same principle of offloading user data to a network-based VHD file that is dynamically attached at logon and appears as if it’s local to the desktop. The only differences are in the scope of the product:

Profile Container applies this approach to the entire user profile (including Office 365 data) and is a solution for companies experiencing long logon times, profile corruption, and folder redirection issues in addition to Office 365 roaming problems.

Office 365 Container is limited to just the Office 365-related data and works alongside any profile and application management platforms you might already have. In addition to being the only container solution that supports roaming the Outlook OST file and OneDrive, it also supports roaming SharePoint, Teams, and Skype for Business information. FSLogix Office 365 Container is also the only solution that can roam Search on persistent and non-persistent VDI desktops, physical desktops, and RDSH desktops.

For more information, check out third-party testing performed by RDS Gurus. You can also visit the following product pages, where you can sign up for an evaluation:

FSLogix Office 365 Container product page

FSLogix Profile Container product page

Frequently asked questions

  1. Do I have to allocate 1 TB per user/ FSLogix Container?
    No. Although Microsoft theoretically provides each user with 1 TB of OneDrive for Business storage it is extremely rare for any user to actually use the 1 TB.
  2. Can I control how much disk space a user consumes when I use OneDrive for Business in my hosted Digital Workspace? 
    The first way to do this is to use the OneDrive Admin Center to set the maximum size of the OneDrive across all devices. If you just want to limit the disk space that OneDrive can consume in your hosted Digital Workspace you can use FSLogix policies to set the maximum size of a Container.
  3. What is the user experience like when I limit the disk space for OneDrive for Business with FSLogix? 
    When the FSLogix Container is full, OneDrive will report that it cannot synchronize current or new files. The user experience is identical to PCs, laptops or Surface devices.
  4. Do FSLogix Containers support the Microsoft OneDrive for Business On-Demand Files feature? 
    Yes, as of FSLogix 2.9 On-Demand files are supported on Windows 10 (version 1709 and later).
  5. Is Microsoft OneDrive for Business On-Demand Files available for my XenApp / RDS etc environment? 
    Microsoft OneDrive for Business On-Demand Files currently (July 2018) is only available for Windows 10 1709 and higher. As such, the Microsoft OneDrive for Business On-Demand Files feature is not available on any server platform.
  6. Why would I need FSLogix Containers if my platform supports Microsoft OneDrive for Business On-Demand Files?
    In a hosted digital workspace without FSLogix Container, the files that the user has chosen to make “Available Always” – so they don’t have to download them all the time – will be downloaded again every single time a user logs onto their hosted Digital Workspace. These repetitive actions will put a strain on the network, storage and other servers hosting the desktops each and every time a user logs on, limiting the scalability and performance of the overall environment. In addition, the end user experience suffers because On-Demand files will not work as designed. With FSlogix Containers, the exact state of On-Demand files will be persisted so that that no files have to be downloaded all over again each time a user logs on.
  7. Can I limit what type files users can store in their OneDrive?
    Yes. Using the OneDrive Admin Center, you can enter a list of file extensions that are blocked.
  8. Do FSLogix Containers also work on Physical PCs, Laptops, Surface devices etc?
    Yes. There is no FSLogix dependency on any specific kind of virtualization infrastructure. It can be used on any version that is Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2 or higher. This has recently been covered by Citrix CTP George Spiers.
  9. Are there OneDrive features that FSLogix Profile Containers do not support?
    No. Because FSLogix Containers provide a native user experience, all OneDrive features (e.g. Protected Files, Version History, Autosave, etc.) are all supported.
  10. Can I use FSLogix Containers when my users have 2 or more concurrent sessions?
    Yes. With FSLogix Containers you can have multiple concurrent user sessions, either on the same server/desktop or on different servers/desktops.
  11. What happens when I lose connectivity to the share where my FSLogix Container is hosted?
    If the connectivity outage is brief (less than 30 seconds) FSLogix will automatically recover and the user experience should not be impacted. When the outage is longer, OneDrive will not function properly. FSLogix Cloud Cache offers a simple way to prevent this from happening by offering High Availability for FSLogix Containers. More information on Cloud Cache can be found here.
  12. Does Microsoft support the use of FSLogix Containers to enable OneDrive for Business in hosted Digital Workspaces?
    Microsoft does not provide endorsements or lead customers to work with particular partners. However, Microsoft and FSLogix have worked closely at an engineering level for a long time. We hold regular meetings with Program Management and Engineering. We share roadmaps, assist with engineering issues and generally keep abreast of Microsoft plans. FSLogix has enabled OneDrive on virtual desktops for hundreds of customers. If you have any questions you can have your Microsoft TAM contact us.
  13. Do FSLogix Containers support Personal OneDrive?
    Because FSLogix Profile Container encapsulates the entire user profile in a VHD container, it supports all flavors of OneDrive. FSLogix Office 365 Containers only supports OneDrive for Business.
  14. We also use SharePoint Online with OneDrive for Business. Do FSLogix Containers support this?
    Yes. Both FSLogix Profile and Office 365 Container products support synced SharePoint libraries.
  15. Can FSLogix Containers make searching my OneDrive files faster?
    Yes. On single-user operating systems such as Windows 10 or Windows 7, FSLogix Containers can roam the search index of OneDrive so searching for OneDrive files is always fast. Due to constraints in multi-user, RDSH-based environments, FSLogix cannot enable full Windows Search (and therefore OneDrive) capabilities, however we do support per-user Outlook Search in those environments.