What is the best type of Windows profile?

Whenever you make a windows server and use it as a domain controller, you have a choice to make. Do you use roaming or local profiles? Below I will try to explain a little bit about them both and then give my personal view.

Roaming Profiles

The basis of a roaming profile is for all of the profile data to be stored on the server. This has some advantages but also some quite big disadvantages. For example if you have multiple users with lots of data then the server can quite easily become very full. Having roaming profiles also means that you constantly have users accessing the server, this is not good for 2 reasons. Firstly it is slowing down the server and secondly in turn it is slowing down the users! The other potential issue is if your workers do not have a strong connection to the server, they can sometimes get logged in using a temporary profile because they cannot locate theirs on the server. Plus it also means that if the server goes down or needs to be temporarily taken offline for maintenance nobody can then access their computers!

Local Profiles

The local user profile is the default profile type windows uses. When using this type of profile most of the users data is stored on the local machines they log onto. However in most corporate environments you want your users to be able to access their files from anywhere, that’s where folder redirection comes into play. One main advantage to local user profiles is that it gives quicker logon times as it does not have to contact another computer (Server) on the network. Another advantage is that when you use local user profiles and redirect documents etc. it gives much better document management for administrators, it also enhances the security of files.

In Conclusion

Personally I will always stick with local user profiles, however they both have their advantages and disadvantages. It mainly depends upon the purpose of your server and your needs. However for most if not all applications you should be able to make local user profiles work.

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