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Microsoft introduced User Profile Disks (UPD) with Server 2012.

FSLogix introduced FSLogix Profile Containers in FSLogix Apps 2.0 (5/11/2015) and won Best of Synergy.

Both of these solutions provide extremely quick logon times and near-native performance when using the profile.  This purpose-built approach is ideal for non-persistent computing environments and has many advantages over traditional roaming profile solutions in these environments.

The FSLogix Office 365 Container feature is a subset of the FSLogix Profile Container feature. This feature solves the set of problems that are introduced with other roaming profile products for the applications contained in Office 365. This product is designed to give the benefits of FSLogix's superior technology but work in conjunction with existing roaming profile solutions like Microsoft UPD, AppSense, RES, Citrix UPM, etc.

Feature Comparison

Microsoft User Profile DisksFSLogix ProfilesNotes
Low integrity application supportNoYes

The following applications require low integrity support to work properly:

  • Microsoft Office applications
    • Viewing email attachments
    • Protected mode document viewing
  • Adobe applications
    • Acrobat DC fails to launch
  • Internet Explorer
    • Unable to download files
    • Some graphics do not display in pages
Supported computing environments
  • Requires pooled virtual desktop collections or session collections
  • Windows Server 2012+
Only requirement is the client OS. Supports Windows 7+ and Windows Server 2008 R2+ (32 and 64 bit). Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop, VMware, etc. all supported.
Migrate existing user profilesNo


  • Local profiles
  • Roaming profiles
  • Citrix UPM profiles

New user VHD/X (Profile container) creationWhen a new user logs on, a new VHDX file for the user is created by copying a template VHDX file
  • Supports in-line creation of a VHD/X as the user logs on. Size, type, dynamic, etc. is controlled via configuration.
  • Supports pre-creation of empty VHD/X files by the admin
  • Supports migration of existing profiles to new VHD/X containers

VHD/X and containing folder naming mechanismNamed by SIDFlexible naming controllable by the admin (e.g. "%username%.vhd" or "%username%-%sid%.vhd")It's easier to manage files and folders if their names contain the user name
VHD and VHDX supportVHDX onlyVHD and VHDXUse of VHD is required if the profile will be used in Windows 7 environments since VHDX support was not added until Windows 8.
Ability to attach container from multiple file serversSingle file server onlyAdmin can specify a list of file serversThis is important if the admin wants to spread the load among multiple servers or as a fallback mechanism
SupportNot clear. Several customers reporting long support waits (months?). There is a rumor that UPD technology may be used in Azure, but nothing definitive.Fully supported by FSLogix (Direct support, peer support). Active development with new features appearing regularly.
Attach VHD/X as user and/or computerVHDX is attached as the computer objectAdmin can choose to attach the container as the user object or computer objectMany (most?) admins prefer to manage file permissions on the network based on user objects rather than computer objects
Office 365 direct supportNoYesCompanies are embracing Office 365. FSLogix is the only company that enables all Office 365 features to work in a non-persistent environment at native speed.
Roam Windows Search databaseNo


If the Windows Search database is not roamed, indexing will be done when the user logs on. This is a huge CPU hit. Alternatively, the admin can disable the use of Windows Search.

If the Windows Search database is roamed, no re-indexing is required and Search is immediately available.

Support OST files in containerYes?YesIncluding the OST file (Outlook mail) in the profile provides huge performance gains and greatly increased reliability
Support for OneDrive cache in containerNoYesIncluding the OneDrive cache in the profile provides users a native experience when accessing any of the files
OneNote supportNoYes
Concurrent access to the profileNo. Single session direct access mode only.

Yes. In addition to single, direct access mode support, two concurrent modes are also supported:

  • One writer, multiple readers
  • Multiple readers
In many environments it is desirable to provide concurrent access to a user profile. For example, the user may have their desktop on one server but also be running remote applications from another.
Specify folders to be excluded from the containerYes. Specific list only.Yes. Admin managed list.
Redirection mechanismNTFS File System JunctionSupports either FSLogix Seamless Redirection™ or NTFS File System JunctionFSLogix Seamless Redirection™ is invisible to the system and is therefore provides a fully native and compatible experience
Ease of use
  • Evaluate - Medium
  • Deploy - Easy
  • Manage - Medium
  • Evaluate - Easy
  • Deploy - Easy
  • Manage - Easy

Reduces load on computing infrastructureYesYes

Compared to traditional roaming profile solutions, the "Profile in a VHD/X Container" model:

  • Reduces the amount of CPU utilization in the client
  • Vastly reduces the number of file system operations sent across the network
  • Reduces the amount of network traffic
  • Greatly reduces the load on file servers
Patent PendingNoYes

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