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FAQ: How to use Office 365 and Profile Containers together RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • How to use Office 365 and Profile Containers together

    When using Office 365 and Profile Containers together there are settings you need to coordinate to configure correctly between them.

     

    What's the difference between Office 365 Containers and Profile containers

    Profile containers are designed to be a full Profile solution.  They allow you to capture the full user profile in a virtual disk.

    Office containers, also known as Office Data File Containers (ODFC), are designed to capture important user data that may not be compatible with another profile solution.  They are designed to run with another profile solution also in place and just capture the larger data in a virtual disk.  You can use Office containers with other versions of Microsoft Office than Office 365 going back as far as Office 2010, though some features may not be fully functional if you're not on the latest version.

    The Profile container can capture everything that the Office container can capture, however many people prefer to run both. 

     

     

     Why to use Office 365 and Profile Containers together

    The data in the Office container can be very large.  It needs to be persisted for performance reasons but if that data is lost or needs to be deleted it can be recreated, email is in the cloud or Exchange, OneDrive data is in the cloud, Search can re-index...  The need to delete some of these components arises more often than not because the most commonly corrupted bits of the profile are the Outlook OST and the search index.  Having those two pieces in a separate container makes it easier to delete them and allow them to recreate.

    Profile data does not recreate in the same way, so it needs to be backed up.  Using separate containers facilitates smaller backups by allowing for backup of only the Profile container, not the (often larger) Office container.

     

     

    How to use Office 365 and Profile Containers together

     FSLogix Office Containers were designed to work with FSLogix Profile Containers without the need for any special configuration.  Many of the settings are the same or server very similar functions, so you may want to make sure your settings match to avoid confusion.  

     

    Settings for Office 365 Containers:

    Office Container settings are in the ADMX template under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\FSLogix\Office 365 Containers and in the Registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\FSLogix\ODFC.

    Required:

    1. Enabled - This setting is required in order to use Office Containers
    2. VHDLocations or CCDLocations - This setting tells us where to put the Office Containers

    Commonly recommended:

    1.  FlipFlopProfileDirectoryName - This setting changes the folder created to hold the container to have the user's name in front of the user's SID
    2. RemoveOrphanedOSTFilesOnLogoff - This setting prevents VHD(x) bloat due to OST file corruption by deleting out of date OST files whenever a user logs off
    3. SizeInMBs - Unless otherwise configured Containers are created to be dynamically allocated, so they will start small and be allowed to grow, but only up to the maximum size set when the virtual disk was created.  This is the setting used on create to set that maximum size.  Resizing virtual disks after creation is difficult, so be sure to allow ample space for user data.
    4. VolumeType - VHDX file type includes more built in error checking to prevent corruption, so is recommended where the operating system supports VHDX file types.

    Commonly used configurations - These settings may be used to customize the behavior of the container based on the needs of the environment

    1. MirrorLocalOSTToVHD - In a clean environment this setting is unnecessary, however if the user's profile already contains an OST this setting can be used to migrate the OST into the Office Container.  Please note: this will only affect the user's first session, when the Office Container is created and the OST is copied or moved to the container.
    2. OutlookFolderPath - This setting is only needed if the OST location has been customized to a location other than the default on the local machine.
    3. VHDAccessMode - This is only needed in environment where users need to log on to more than one MACHINE at the same time (more than one session on the same machine is supported by default since they can just share the same already attached VHD).  If you are using Outlook in the Office Container and need to support concurrent sessions on different machines the only supported option is 3, or per session VHDs.  Other options are available if Outlook is not included in the Office Container.
    4. NumSessionVHDsToKeep - Only use in conjunction with VHDAccessMode, most commonly set to 1 or left alone
    5. OutlookCachedMode - This setting is only functional for Office 2016 or Office 365 implementations.  Most often left alone in the Office Container, but many who use both Office and Profile Containers will set this to disabled in the Profile Container to prevent downloading the OST into the Profile Container in addition to the Office Container in cases where the Office Container is unable to attach.  Please note, this setting is used in conjunction with group policy settings for Outlook and the NoOst value in the registry.
    6. PreventLogonWithFailure and PrventLogonWithTempProfile - This setting allows administrators to block users from logging on in cases where their containers cannot be attached, such as a fileserver or network failure.
    7. RoamSearch - When enabling the roaming of the Windows Search database (single user operating systems) or Outlook Search database (multi-user environments) you should choose which container should hold the search database.  This is most commonly the Office Container.  This setting should not be enabled in both Profile and Office Containers.

    Inclusions that are OFF by default - use these if you want to include these components in the Office Container

    1. IncludeOneNote
    2. IncludeOneNote_UWP
    3. IncludeTeams

    Inclusions that are ON by default - use these only if you do not want to include these components in the Office Container

    1. IncludeOfficeActivation - Disable this setting if you have any sort of single sign-on
    2. IncludeOfficeFileCache
    3. IncludeOneDrive
    4. IncludeOutlook
    5. IncludeOutlookPersonalization - Often disabled if another profile solution is capturing the AppData\Roaming portion of the profile, but no special configuration is needed when using FSLogix Profile Containers
    6. IncludeSharepoint
    7. IncludeSkype - Turn this off if Skype is not being used to prevent benign errors from being logged for users who do not use Skype

    Other configurations are available, but are rarely used or only used for specific troubleshooting purposes 

    Settings for Profile Containers:

    Profile Container settings are in the ADMX template under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\FSLogix\Profile Containers and in the Registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\FSLogix\Profiles.

    Required:

    1. Enabled - This setting is required in order to use Profile Containers
    2. VHDLocations or CCDLocations - This setting tells us where to put the Profile Containers

    Commonly recommended:

    1.  FlipFlopProfileDirectoryName - This setting changes the folder created to hold the container to have the user's name in front of the user's SID
    2. RemoveOrphanedOSTFilesOnLogoff - This setting prevents VHD(x) bloat due to OST file corruption by deleting out of date OST files whenever a user logs off
    3. SizeInMBs - Unless otherwise configured Containers are created to be dynamically allocated, so they will start small and be allowed to grow, but only up to the maximum size set when the virtual disk was created.  This is the setting used on create to set that maximum size.  Resizing virtual disks after creation is difficult, so be sure to allow ample space for user data.
    4. VolumeType - VHDX file type includes more built in error checking to prevent corruption, so is recommended where the operating system supports VHDX file types.
    5. DeleteLocalProfileWhenVHDShouldApply - This setting is not recommended early in the POC process, but should be implemented with CARE in most production environments.  This setting allows for seamless recovery from previous error states which may result in the creation of a local profile.  When using this setting FSLogix will delete the local profile for any user who is included in FSLogix Profiles if a local profile exists.  Be sure to use the FSLogix Profiles Exclude List for any users who should continue to have local profiles.

    Commonly used configurations - These settings may be used to customize the behavior of the container based on the needs of the environment

    1. ProfileType - This is only needed in environment where users need to log on to more than one MACHINE at the same time (more than one session on the same machine is supported by default since they can just share the same already attached VHD or VHDX).  
    2. OutlookCachedMode - This setting is only functional for Office 2016 or Office 365 implementations.  Most often left alone in the Office Container, but many who use both Office and Profile Containers will set this to disabled in the Profile Container to prevent downloading the OST into the Profile Container in addition to the Office Container in cases where the Office Container is unable to attach.  Please note, this setting is used in conjunction with group policy settings for Outlook and the NoOst value in the registry.
    3. PreventLogonWithFailure and PrventLogonWithTempProfile - This setting allows administrators to block users from logging on in cases where their containers cannot be attached, such as a fileserver or network failure.
    4. RoamSearch - When enabling the roaming of the Windows Search database (single user operating systems) or Outlook Search database (multi-user environments) you should choose which container should hold the search database.  This is most commonly the Office Container.  This setting should not be enabled in both Profile and Office Containers.
    5. RebootOnUserLogoff or ShutdownOnUserLogoff - Use this to allow FSLogix to complete processing the user's logoff prior to machine refresh for hosted desktops. Never use these options on session servers.
    6. RedirXMLSourceFolder - This setting may point to a Redirections.xml file in case there is a need to customize the contents of the Profile Container.

    Other configurations are available, but are rarely used or only used for specific troubleshooting purposes



    Thursday, August 1, 2019 6:04 AM
    Owner

All replies

  • Hi Micah,

    This is a great article. Some questions please.

    Environment.

    RDSH on Server 2019 with Files On Demand enabled

    FSL Profiles Containers deployed.

    Q.

    If I want to exclude the OneDrive directory from being written back to the VHD, would you recommend using redirections.xml and exclude the OneDrive folder?

    Q.

    If so how does this affect Files On Demand if at all as I assume the indexing must be stored in the same location and would have to be recreated at next login.

    Q.

    Office Containers has a special exclusion for this, so it is the same thing?

    Q.

    Do I have to use seperate VHD locations for Profile and Office containers or can they point to the same location?

    Also saw an option on WIndows 10 where Storatge Sense can be set to ensure all OneDrive files remain cloud based but I dont think this applies to Server 2019, unless you are aware otherwise.

    Saturday, October 19, 2019 7:55 AM
  • Thanks for this post.  Was curious why you would need to use the O365 container if already using the Profile container.  You explained it well!
    Friday, October 25, 2019 7:19 PM