Win 2003 server roaming profiles

IT architecture
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
We are moving from a Win NT server and Win NT Workstation environment that use Win NT roaming profiles to something new. The roaming profiles have come in handy since 1) some folks work in several areas, and 2) the mfg shop floor folks use whatever PC they can find that is unused at the time. We are considering some type architecture/strategy that 1) creates a safe user computing environment, and 2) requires minimal maintenance/patching/support at the PC end. So we've looked at numerous products such as sandboxes, thin terminal or Citrix sessions, streaming operating system, diskless PCs, virtual PC/server, etc. In order to help finalize the strategy, we need to learn more about Windows roaming profiles in a Win 2003 Server and Win XP Pro workstation environment. So do roaming profiles exist in the latest Windows products, and how do they work? Or are there other ways to achieve similar functionality (is the roaming profile concept dying)? What are some good resources to learn more about user profiles and roaming profiles, and what they can and cannot do? Many of the ideas above may not work depending on how the user's profile works and where software applications get installed (local C: drive, registry, server, etc), so we are looking for info to help make these decisions. Thanks!

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Hello Anakin,
Roaming profiles are still suppported in both Windows 2000 and 2003 Server. Profiles are configured as an attribute for the user object in active directory and point to a network share located somewhere in the domain. Here is a link that gives a high level overview of the roaming profile technology, as well folder redirection:
In addition to roaming profiles, Windows 2003 also supports Terminal Services Profiles. Which apply to the user when they connect to a Terminal Server.
One thing to consider however, is that roaming profiles can cause a negative impact on overall network performance, primarily at logon and logoff time. Also, consider security implications on the shared folder where your clients will be storing their home folder.
For more information, just email me and I’ll answer any additional questions you may have on roaming profiles.

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