Make the Most of FSLogix Support in Parallels RAS

Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) offers full integration with FSLogix Profile Containers, a user-profile management solution for Windows-based remote computing environments. Thus, you can use it to manage, deploy and configure FSLogix across Remote Desktop Session Hosts (RDSH), virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and Azure Virtual Desktop. FSLogix support in Parallels RAS enables faster rollout of the FSLogix agent to physical devices, eases configuration of Active Directory (AD) group policies covering users, and eliminates the need for scripts and complicated registry changes.

Discover the Motivation behind Microsoft’s Acquisition of FSLogix

Prior to Microsoft’s acquisition of FSLogix in November 2018, FSLogix built up its reputation as a next-generation application provisioning platform for virtualized environments. The acquisition was part of Microsoft’s strategy to strengthen its cloud-based services.

Microsoft also intended FSLogix to address a few weaknesses in its own profile management solutions, which included roaming user profiles (RUP), user profile disks (UPD) and enterprise state roaming (ESR) at that time. Lack of support for large Outlook data files and OneDrive, slow user profile load times, and expensive solutions that only larger enterprises could afford are some of these weaknesses.

Learn about FSLogix Capabilities

FSLogix Profile Container is one of the four FSLogix solutions, all designed to streamline application provisioning for organizations using Windows. This technology allows a local user profile to be created on the user’s physical device during initial login. The user profile is then redirected to virtual hard disk (VHD) or Hyper-V virtual hard disk (VHDX) profiles residing on a network file share, which then loads the virtual machine (VM) with the user’s desktop and applications.

By mounting user profiles on a network share instead of copying a profile to and from the network, FSLogix is significantly faster than similar solutions. Moreover, since FSLogix redirects network profiles using a filter driver, applications that did not work with remote profiles before can now do so. That’s because they see the profiles as residing on local storage, even if that’s not really the case.

Write operations on the user’s physical device are saved to the local profile first, then to the network profile. Exceptions are listed in a redirections XML file.

For organizations using Microsoft Office, FSLogix also offers Office Container, which is designed to redirect only the part of the profile with Microsoft Office data. This allows the solution to work with large Office files.

In case of network failure, FSLogix makes use of backup providers that have been set up on Cloud Cache, another FSLogix solution.

Application Masking and Java Version Control are the two other FSLogix solutions. The former eases application access for users on the network, and the latter specifies the version of Java to be used in applications running within the network.

Troubleshoot FSLogix

FSLogix has its own set of issues. Keep the following in mind when working with FSLogix:

Enable FSLogix Support in Parallels RAS

To enable FSLogix support in Parallels RAS, the following steps are necessary:

Configure installation method

Open the Parallels RAS Console, navigate to Farm > Site > Settings and select the Features tab.

Figure 1 - FSLogix Support with Parallels RAS

Select your preferred installation method from the following:

Configure Site defaults and hosts for FSLogix

To configure Site defaults or individual hosts for FSLogix, do one of the following:

Note: In release 18.2, Windows Virtual Desktop will change to Azure Virtual Desktop.

Figure 2 - FSLogix Support with Parallels RAS


Figure 3 - FSLogix Support with Parallels RAS

Either in the Site defaults or Properties dialog, the following options need to be configured:

The Deployment method field shows the currently set deployment method as configured in the previous step (configure installation method). You can click Change… and select a different method.

In the Settings section, specify the following:

Additional configuration may be applied by clicking on the Additional Settings button, which opens this window and has the following tabs:

Figure 4 - FSLogix Support with Parallels RAS

Provision VDI Workloads on Azure with Parallels RAS

Since Parallels RAS can use Azure as a hypervisor, it is perfect for provisioning VDI workloads on Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Thus, you can use it to scale VDI workloads on-demand, speed up VDI deployments and better manage your Azure infrastructure as a whole.

You can provide secure access to applications and desktops using any HTML5-compatible browser by deploying Parallels RAS on the Azure Cloud. Using prebuilt VM templates and configuration wizards, you can also use Parallels RAS to extend your Azure VDI.

Parallels RAS also supports on-premises, hybrid and public/private cloud deployments, as well as Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session hosts.

See how Parallels RAS can help streamline application delivery on Azure by downloading the trial.