So there was some talk at the conference about this. Currently, I use Crashplan on our laptops to backup the entire User profile folder (Windows only).
I know I can map documents/desktop/pictures/etc to OneDrive, but what about the other stuff that is in the user profile folder. It is nice with Crashplan that restoring to a new computer restores most if not all settings to stuff like Firefox and other things in the appdata folder.
Does anyone sync the entire User folder to OneDrive?
Should we sync the entire User folder to OneDrive?
We’ve not tried redirecting the appdata folder or any of its subfolders. To be honest, the concept of that harkens back to the days of roaming profiles and anybody who has ever dealt with roaming profiles will probably tell you they are NOT fun. In theory, the idea of using symlinks should work, but when we look at things like this we’re looking for supportable things we can easily scale to thousands of users across multiple client sites. I realize that doesn’t necessarily apply for you, but it’s just a reality for us.
I can tell you there’s no GPO setting or official method for doing this from Microsoft. As for redirecting the entire user profile folder, I would expect you’d have some file locking issues with that due to the way windows handles the profile .dat files. But it would certainly be an interesting experiment.
Maybe not terribly helpful info, but those are my thoughts.
Thanks for the replies. I really want us to get away from Crashplan. Tired of paying for it and we could use the reduction of expenses right now.
I noticed in Group Policy editor there is a Folder Redirection for “AppData(Roaming)”. I assume that will only redirect the Roaming folder under AppData. Never done roaming profiles so I am unsure what is different from this folder, Local and LocalLow folders. I am not even sure why there seems to be some appdata in the local and some in the roaming.
I guess for now, I plan to only redirect what I can using GPO. Except maybe the Appdata(Roaming) since I am unsure what that would do.
Not sure what I think about OneDrive as a backup solution. It’s not really. If you’re using the OneDrive for Business sync client, there are a number of limitations around number of files synced, invalid characters, etc. Also, there’s a 2GB file size limitation. The fact that it gets synced could be problematic if there is a crypto-malware infection. Even if versioning is turned on for files, I think it would be a nightmare to try to restore in bulk.
I think cloud-storage and backup storage solutions have very different qualities.
Joel, you’re definitely right that file sync and backup are not the same thing. But our experience has shown the file size and name restrictions aren’t a big issue for most users (now that MS has addressed most of the common tripping points from the past like increasing the individual file size limit to 10GB, allowing path lengths of 400 characters, etc.). That’s not to say there aren’t still some issues, just that they tend to be few and far between in our experiences so far.
As for ransomware issues, MS recently announced a new feature that allows an admin to ‘rollback’ a onedrive to a recent point in time specifically to deal with this possibility. You could always call support before and have them do it, but soon you’ll be able to do it yourself from the admin GUI.
Again, I agree it’s not a backup product, but we find it’s ‘good enough’ in that capacity for most user workstations and brings lots of other benefits to users like mobile/remote access and collaboration options that backup solutions don’t provide.
We are beginning to redirect documents and desktop folders to OneDrive for new staff to try it out. I’m nervous about what this will do to our network utilization, but worst case we’ll throttle OneDrive traffic.
I know this doesn’t replace backups, but we previously weren’t backing up end user workstations since all files should “be on the network” anyway. Now those files will automatically “be on Microsoft’s network” but without backups which still feels weird to me.
I feel that while there is some ground lost, there is enough ground gained for this to be a massive net positive for us.
Plus, there’s a chance our “emailing myself a file” needs will be reduced as well