What is FSLogix?

FSLogix is a profile management solution used to apply personalization to user sessions for application and desktop virtualization technologies such as Citrix and Microsoft Azure AVD (Azure Virtual Desktop) and enable “roaming profiles”. It used to be common to copy a profile to and from the network when a user signs in and out of a remote environment. Because user profiles can often be large, sign in and sign out times often became unacceptable. FSLogix is used as it reduces user logon times by offloading user profiles to a VHD(X) file and redirect a user’s data and settings to a centralized share repository and attach to those VHD(X) disks at logon.

Mounting and using a profile on the network eliminates delays often associated with solutions that copy files. FSLogix used to have several solutions, all based on a single agent (filter driver). Acquired by Microsoft in 2018, the technology has now been tightly integrated within the Microsoft Portfolio. Most importantly for RDS/VDI and cloud digital workspace deployments, they offer Profile Containers and Office 365 Containers. The FSLogix agent driver sits as a filter driver on the file system. On a remote file server, for each user a VHD(X) is created. This VHD(X) is attached for each user when the user signs in. A separate VHD is used for the Profile container associated with a user, to the Office container, and either one or both may be implemented.

Key capabilities of FSLogix

There are several important roles this technology plays in the way you launch and run applications.

FSLogix has the ability to redirect user profiles to a resource providing physical or Azure cloud-based storage. Each profile is placed in a virtual hard disk file, which is then mounted at run time. Instead of slogging through copying an extensive user profile to and from the network during the sign-in/sign-out procedure, mounting from a storage provider speeds up the process to avoid delays.

FSLogix can also use an ODFC container (a special container type that stores profile content exclusive to Microsoft Office applications) to redirect only the part of the profile that contains Office data. This enables and enhances Microsoft 365 applications in multi-session, non-persistent desktop environments where data and settings are not saved after a user logs out.

Additionally, FSLogix obscures redirection using a filter driver so that applications won’t know the user profile is contained on the network. This prevents the typical issues that may arise when applications attempt to work with remotely stored profiles.

Used in conjunction with Cloud Cache, FSLogix profile containers work to avoid network storage failure and ensure high availability. Cloud Cache does this by caching containers locally as well as storing multiple copies of profile containers in remote locations.

Application rule sets (also known as application masking) manage application access, which can be controlled by users, IP addresses, or groups. These rule sets are responsible for making it easier to manage golden images for Azure virtual desktop deployment.

FSLogix monitoring

How FSLogix attaches and loads profiles will affect application availability and the time it takes users to log on and access the features they need. At this point, you may be wondering: what is FSLogix monitoring’s role in helping your organization thrive?

The answer is that capturing metrics, logs, and events for every logon helps IT professionals spot issues and identify slowdowns. This also allows them to properly configure profile containers for optimized logon times.

Typically, FSLogix is monitored by manually collecting and parsing event logs, which have no correlation to data about the configuration and performance of the associated IT infrastructure. Available as a SaaS-based service or an on-premises solution, eG Enterprise offers an automated fix that provides end-to-end proactive monitoring, historical reporting and auditing, out-of-the-box alerting thresholds, and root-cause diagnostics.

Some specific examples of this monitoring and troubleshooting include the following:

  • Figuring out if and why a profile has failed to attach
  • Understanding the type of profiles in use
  • Knowing whether the FSLogix disk is nearly full
  • Instantly alerting when the FSLogix profile loading is slowing down logins
  • Making sure that the “enabled” setting has a value of “1”
  • Examining the disk usage of a container
  • Answering the question: What is FSLogix’s disk space management like?
  • Issues with the storage on which the FSLogix container resides
  • Auditing resource usage to make cost-saving decisions based on real user need

eG Enterprise includes passive monitoring of FSLogix for Citrix virtual apps and desktops, Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktops and Microsoft Remote Desktop Services.