As a XenApp administrator, Windows profiles may be a thorn in your side. In an effort to ensure the your XenApp users are experiencing the best end-user experience, you have most likely deployed Terminal Services roaming profiles with strategic folder redirection configurations to help optimize login/log off times and ensure a consistent end user experience between local and virtualized applications. You have done all your due diligence to ensure that the proper checks and balances are aligned, but maybe a small portion of your end users are still reporting profile issues. The users are complaining that their personalized settings simply disappear on occurrence. But now, you hear that Citrix has released a new tool to address complex profile requirements and in particular, help address the mysteriously disappearing profile settings more commonly known as “last writer wins.” (It’s not that the user’s profile settings are actually disappearing. Instead the settings are being overwritten by another concurrent session where the desired setting change was overwritten.)
So, you might be nodding your head and saying, “Yes, you’ve described my environment. Are you going to tell me how to fix it?” The answer to that question is going to be yes and no. Yes, Citrix did release a new profile feature in January 2009: Profile management (also known as User Profile Manager). This tool can help an administrator resolve the “last writer wins” issue, but an administrator should evaluate Profile management in a lab setup to determine whether this new profile management tool is a good fit for your environment.

The Worldwide Consulting Solutions team worked in conjunction with representation from the engineering, product management, technical readiness, and consulting teams to identify realistic use case scenarios for Profile management. Profile management is a beneficial tool when used under the right circumstances and the details of these use case scenarios and best practices for deploying Profile management are included in this User Profile Manager Best Practices Guide.