Q: I have 60% free space on 10,000 PCs. Can I consolidate it by mounting it as a volume and using a login script to map it to the desktops?

A: It's not practical to do this, as far as I know. With identical workstations, you're better off with a generic boot image and putting clients' desktop settings and files on a home drive mapped to the server. This is better because:

  1. Backups are consolidated. Home drives reside on protected servers and server storage is efficiently utilized.
  2. Backups don't fail because a user's system is off.
  3. Network performance improves without the traffic of 10,000 backup jobs moving across it.
  4. If a user loses a drive, the standard drive image can be quickly reloaded on a new drive. If users log in on another users' system, they see their own system.
  5. Support goes down.
You can still do this even with a variety of desktops and operating systems in your environment, to a certain degree. You won't have the advantage of a gold standard system's image, but user data will be protected and consolidated on the server. --Joel Lovell, storage networking specialist, Sistina Software

Additional Questions:

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This was first published in July 2003

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