User profiles are an important part of desktop images. A user profile consists of the folders, files, and configuration settings that are unique to a specific user. Setting up user profiles, choosing whether to assign users to persistent or non-persistent desktops or RDSH servers, and deciding when to use redirection are all part of image management.

In a virtual environment, user profiles are typically stored on a server instead of on a physical desktop. That way, the user profile data follows the user from desktop to desktop. When thinking about profile management in a virtual environment, it makes sense to start with assignments. Horizon Cloud Service has desktop assignments for dedicated, floating, and session-based desktops, along with remote applications.

Type of Assignment Profile Management Considerations
Traditional-clone, dedicated (persistent) desktops A virtual desktop is assigned to the user the first time the user logs in, and the user uses the same virtual desktop for subsequent logins. Users can customize the virtual desktop and use it to access their documents and applications. For users with a single, persistent desktop, the user profile can be stored directly on their desktop. Changes that the user makes are maintained on the same virtual desktop. However, consider storing user profiles on a server to preserve changes in case the virtual desktop becomes corrupt or the user also accesses remote applications.
Instant-clone, dedicated (persistent) desktops This assignment is similar to a persistent traditional clone in that the user uses the same virtual desktop computer name for all logins. The difference is that the virtual desktop is refreshed to a pristine state when the user logs out, and all changes are lost. To provide a persistent-like experience, the user profile must be stored on a server.
Traditional-clone and instant-clone, floating (non-persistent) desktops A new virtual desktop is assigned to users each time they log in, so they do not necessarily use the same virtual desktop for subsequent logins. A user cannot customize a specific desktop or add documents or applications to it, because the disk is refreshed to a pristine state when the user logs out, and all changes are lost. However, changes can be preserved by storing the user profile on a server. For users with multiple desktops or who access remote applications, the user profile follows the user and is available at each desktop or remote application access so that the user’s experience remains consistent.
Traditional clone, session (shared) desktops and remote applications Users are connected to the RDSH server with the fewest amount of connections, so they do not necessarily use the same server for subsequent logins. The RDSH server should be locked down, and users should not be allowed to make system changes or install applications. To preserve changes and provide a consistent user experience, store the user profile on a server.