Create an FSLogix profile container for a host pool using Azure NetApp Files

We recommend using FSLogix profile containers as a user profile solution for the Windows Virtual Desktop Preview service. FSLogix profile containers store a complete user profile in a single container and are designed to roam profiles in non-persistent remote computing environments like Windows Virtual Desktop. When you sign in, the container dynamically attaches to the computing environment using a locally supported virtual hard disk (VHD) and Hyper-V virtual hard disk (VHDX). These advanced filter-driver technologies allow the user profile to be immediately available and appear in the system exactly like a local user profile. To learn more about FSLogix profile containers, see FSLogix profile containers and Azure files.

You can create FSLogix profile containers using Azure NetApp Files, an easy-to-use Azure native platform service that helps customers quickly and reliably provision enterprise-grade SMB volumes for their Windows Virtual Desktop environments. To learn more about Azure NetApp Files, see What is Azure NetApp Files?

This guide will show you how to set up an Azure NetApp Files account and create FSLogix profile containers in Windows Virtual Desktop.

This article assumes you already have host pools set up and grouped into one or more tenants in your Windows Virtual Desktop environment. To learn how to set up tenants, see Create a tenant in Windows Virtual Desktop and our Tech Community blog post.

The instructions in this guide are specifically for Windows Virtual Desktop users. If you're looking for more general guidance for how to set up Azure NetApp Files and create FSLogix profile containers outside of Windows Virtual Desktop, see the Set up Azure NetApp Files and create an NFS volume quickstart.

Note

This article doesn't cover best practices for securing access to the Azure NetApp Files share.

Note

If you're looking for comparison material about the different FSLogix Profile Container storage options on Azure, see Storage options for FSLogix profile containers.

Prerequisites

Before you can create an FSLogix profile container for a host pool, you must:

Set up your Azure NetApp Files account

To get started, you need to set up an Azure NetApp Files account.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal. Make sure your account has contributor or administrator permissions.

  2. Select the Azure Cloud Shell icon to the right of the search bar to open Azure Cloud Shell.

  3. Once Azure Cloud Shell is open, select PowerShell.

  4. If this is your first time using Azure Cloud Shell, create a storage account in the same subscription you keep your Azure NetApp Files and Windows Virtual Desktop.

    The storage account window with the create storage button at the bottom of the window highlighted in red.

  5. Once Azure Cloud Shell loads, run the following two cmdlets.

    az account set --subscription <subscriptionID>
    
    az provider register --namespace Microsoft.NetApp --wait
    
  6. In the left side of the window, select All services. Enter Azure NetApp Files into the search box that appears at the top of the menu.

    A screenshot of a user entering "Azure NetApp Files" into the All services search box. The search results show the Azure NetApp Files resource.

  7. Select Azure NetApp Files in the search results, then select Create.

  8. Select the Add button.

  9. When the New NetApp account blade opens, enter the following values:

    • For Name, enter your NetApp account name.
    • For Subscription, select the subscription for the storage account you set up in step 4 from the drop-down menu.
    • For Resource group, either select an existing resource group from the drop-down menu or create a new one by selecting Create new.
    • For Location, select the region for your NetApp account from the drop-down menu. This region must be the same region as your session host VMs.

    Note

    Azure NetApp Files currently doesn't support mounting of a volume across regions.

  10. When you're finished, select Create to create your NetApp account.

Create a capacity pool

Next, create a new capacity pool:

  1. Go to the Azure NetApp Files menu and select your new account.

  2. In your account menu, select Capacity pools under Storage service.

  3. Select Add pool.

  4. When the New capacity pool blade opens, enter the following values:

    • For Name, enter a name for the new capacity pool.
    • For Service level, select your desired value from the drop-down menu. We recommend Premium for most environments.

      Note

      The Premium setting provides the minimum throughput available for a Premium Service level, which is 256 MBps. You may need to adjust this throughput for a production environment. Final throughput is based on the relationship described in Throughput limits.

    • For Size (TiB), enter the capacity pool size that best fits your needs. The minimum size is 4 TiB.
  5. When you're finished, select OK.

Join an Active Directory connection

After that, you need to join an Active Directory connection.

  1. Select Active Directory connections in the menu on the left side of the page, then select the Join button to open the Join Active Directory page.

    A screenshot of the Join Active Directory connections menu.

  2. Enter the following values in the Join Active Directory page to join a connection:

    • For Primary DNS, enter the IP address of the DNS server in your environment that can resolve the domain name.
    • For Domain, enter your fully qualified domain name (FQDN).
    • For SMB Server (Computer Account) Prefix, enter the string you want to append to the computer account name.
    • For Username, enter the name of the account with permissions to perform domain join.
    • For Password, enter the account's password.

Note

It's best practice to confirm that the computer account you created in Join an Active Directory connection has appeared in your domain controller under Computers or your enterprise's relevant OU.

Create a new volume

Next, you'll need to create a new volume.

  1. Select Volumes, then select Add volume.

  2. When the Create a volume blade opens, enter the following values:

    • For Volume name, enter a name for the new volume.
    • For Capacity pool, select the capacity pool you just created from the drop-down menu.
    • For Quota (GiB), enter the volume size appropriate for your environment.
    • For Virtual network, select an existing virtual network that has connectivity to the domain controller from the drop-down menu.
    • Under Subnet, select Create new. Keep in mind that this subnet will be delegated to Azure NetApp Files.
  3. Select Next: Protocol >> to open the Protocol tab and configure your volume access parameters.

Configure volume access parameters

After you create the volume, configure the volume access parameters.

  1. Select SMB as the protocol type.

  2. Under Configuration in the Active Directory drop-down menu, select the same directory that you originally connected in Join an Active Directory connection. Keep in mind that there's a limit of one Active Directory per subscription.

  3. In the Share name text box, enter the name of the share used by the session host pool and its users.

  4. Select Review + create at the bottom of the page. This opens the validation page. After your volume is validated successfully, select Create.

  5. At this point, the new volume will start to deploy. Once deployment is complete, you can use the Azure NetApp Files share.

  6. To see the mount path, select Go to resource and look for it in the Overview tab.

    A screenshot of the Overview screen with a red arrow pointing at the mount path.

Configure FSLogix on session host virtual machines (VMs)

This section is based on Create a profile container for a host pool using a file share.

  1. Download the FSLogix agent .zip file while you're still remoted in the session host VM.

  2. Unzip the downloaded file.

  3. In the file, go to x64 > Releases and run FSLogixAppsSetup.exe. The installation menu will open.

  4. If you have a product key, enter it in the Product Key text box.

  5. Select the check box next to I agree to the license terms and conditions.

  6. Select Install.

  7. Navigate to C:\Program Files\FSLogix\Apps to confirm the agent installed.

  8. From the Start menu, run RegEdit as administrator.

  9. Navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\software\FSLogix.

  10. Create a key named Profiles.

  11. Create a value named Enabled with a REG_DWORD type set to a data value of 1.

  12. Create a value named VHDLocations with a Multi-String type and set its data value to the URI for the Azure NetApp Files share.

Assign users to session host

  1. Open PowerShell ISE as administrator and sign in to Windows Virtual Desktop.

  2. Run the following cmdlets:

    Import-Module Microsoft.RdInfra.RdPowershell
    # (Optional) Install-Module Microsoft.RdInfra.RdPowershell
    $brokerurl = "https://rdbroker.wvd.microsoft.com"
    Add-RdsAccount -DeploymentUrl $brokerurl
    
  3. When prompted for credentials, enter the credentials for the user with the Tenant Creator or RDS Owner/RDS Contributor roles on the Windows Virtual Desktop tenant.

  4. Run the following cmdlets to assign a user to a Remote Desktop group:

    $wvdTenant = "<your-wvd-tenant>"
    $hostPool = "<wvd-pool>"
    $appGroup = "Desktop Application Group"
    $user = "<user-principal>"
    Add-RdsAppGroupUser $wvdTenant $hostPool $appGroup $user
    

Make sure users can access the Azure NetApp File share

  1. Open your internet browser and go to https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/webclient/index.html.

  2. Sign in with the credentials of a user assigned to the Remote Desktop group.

  3. Once you've established the user session, sign in to the Azure portal with an administrative account.

  4. Open Azure NetApp Files, select your Azure NetApp Files account, and then select Volumes. Once the Volumes menu opens, select the corresponding volume.

    A screenshot of the NetApp account you set up earlier in the Azure portal with the Volumes button selected.

  5. Go to the Overview tab and confirm that the FSLogix profile container is using space.

  6. Connect directly to any VM part of the host pool using Remote Desktop and open the File Explorer. Then navigate to the Mount path (in the following example, the mount path is \\anf-SMB-3863.gt1107.onmicrosoft.com\anf-VOL).

    Within this folder, there should be a profile VHD (or VHDX) like the one in the following example.

    A screenshot of the contents of the folder in the mount path. Inside is a single VHD file named "Profile_ssbb."

Next steps

You can use FSLogix profile containers to set up a user profile share. To learn how to create user profile shares with your new containers, see Create a profile container for a host pool using a file share.