Running Office 365 in VMware Horizon? You need FSLogix

VMware recently released white paper detailing Best Practices for Delivering Microsoft Office 365 in VMware Horizon 7 with Published Applications. This is a handy reference if you’re deploying Office 365 ProPlus on RDS hosts under VMware Horizon. It’s even worth reading even if you’re not a VMware customer.

The paper covers the installation and configuration of Office 365 ProPlus in a shared desktop environment including some great details on managing Office activation in RDS.

Surprisingly, the paper has two recommendations that VMware doesn’t seem to be able to address with their own add-on products to Horizon – recommendations for Outlook cached-mode and OneDrive for Business.

To improve the user experience under RDS and non-persistent environments, organisations have been looking at ways to enable Outlook cached-mode to provide users with a more local PC-like experience. Microsoft has actually supported Outlook cached-mode under RDS since Outlook 2010; however, is does come with some challenges. The recommendation by VMware in their white paper, follows Microsoft’s recommendation to place OST files on a network share. In practice, this doesn’t always perform well and often results in corrupted OST files.

Additionally, VMware talks about the OneDriveMapper PowerShell script to enable a mapped drive into OneDrive under RDS environments. While Microsoft does not support OneDrive for Business under RDS

Given that VMware has an application layering solution in App Volumes, I’m more than surprised to see VMware’s recommendations for these two key components of Office 365 in this white paper.

Fortunately a solution to enabling cached-mode without placing OST files on the network and getting OneDrive for Business working under RDS exists in FSLogix Office 365 Containers and Profile Containers.

With these solutions you can provide users with a dependable, performant and native user experience for Outlook and OneDrive for Business increasing user experience and productivity. Additionally you can even enable Windows Search under Horizon RDS to enable the last piece of the puzzle. Imagine being able to give users a local PC experience for their applications with the great remote desktop performance that Horizon provides – whether that’s on-premises with Horizon or in the cloud wit Horizon Cloud.

For more information on FSLogix Profile Containers and Office 365 Containers, drop me a line and I can assist you in evaluation the FSLogix solution in your Horizon environment.

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