RDS 2016 Farm: Configure File Servers for User Profile Disks

In the previous topics of this series, we have deployed the RDS Farm in Azure. Now we need a file service in high availability to manage user profile disks (UPD). To support the high availability, I leverage Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) and Scale-Out File Server (SOFS). For more information about the deployment of S2D, you can read this topic (based on hyperconverged model). For Remote Desktop usage, I’ll deploy a disaggregated model of S2D. In this topic, I’ll configure file servers for User Profile Disks. This series consists of the following topics:

I’ll deploy this file service by using only PowerShell. Before following this topic, be sure that your Azure VM has joined the Active Directory and they have two network adapters in two different subnets (one for cluster and the other for management). I have also fixed the IP addresses from Azure portal.

Deploy the cluster

First of all, I install these features in both file server nodes:

install-WindowsFeature FS-FileServer, Failover-Clustering -IncludeManagementTools

Then I install the RSAT of Failover Clustering in the management VM.

Install-WindowsFeature RSAT-Clustering

Next I test if the cluster nodes can manage Storage Spaces Direct

Test-Cluster -Node "AZFLS0","AZFLS1" -Include "Storage Spaces Direct", Inventory,Network,"System Configuration"

If the test is passed successfully, you can run the following cmdlet to deploy the cluster with the name UPD-Sto and the IP

New-Cluster -Node "AZFLS0","AZFLS1" -Name UPD-Sto -StaticAddress -NoStorage

Once the cluster is created, add the Cluster Name Object (UPD-Sto) the right to create computer object on the OU where it is located. This permission is required to create the CNO for SOFS.

Enable and configure S2D and SOFS

Now that the cluster is created, you can enable S2D (I run the following PowerShell on a file server node by using Remote PowerShell).


Then I create a new volume formatted with ReFS and with a capacity of 100GB. This volume has the 2-Way Mirroring resilience.

New-Volume -StoragePoolFriendlyName S2D* -FriendlyName UPD01 -FileSystem CSVFS_REFS -Size 100GB

Now I rename the folder Volume1 in ClusterStorage by UPD-01

rename-item C:\ClusterStorage\Volume1 UPD-01

Then I a add the role Scale-Out File Server role in the cluster and I call it SOFS.

Add-ClusterScaleOutFileServerRole -Name SOFS

To finish I create a folder called Profiles in the volume and I share it for everyone (not recommended in production) and I call the share UPD$

New-Item -Path C:\ClusterStorage\UPD-01\Profiles -ItemType Directory
New-SmbShare -Name 'UPD$' -Path C:\ClusterStorage\UPD-01\Profiles -FullAccess everyone

Now my storage is ready and I am able to reach \\SOFS.homecloud.net\UPD$

Next topic

In the next topic, I will deploy a session collection and configure it. Then I will add the certificate for each Remote Desktop components.

About Romain Serre

Romain Serre works in Lyon as a Senior Consultant. He is focused on Microsoft Technology, especially on Hyper-V, System Center, Storage, networking and Cloud OS technology as Microsoft Azure or Azure Stack. He is a MVP and he is certified Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE Server Infrastructure & Private Cloud), on Hyper-V and on Microsoft Azure (Implementing a Microsoft Azure Solution).


  1. How do you intend to backup the user profile disks?

  2. I feel like I am missing something here. When do the extra data disks added to the file servers come into play? I am trying to set up something similar but using less VMs that share roles and currently those disks are just sitting uninitialised in Windows. Should they be assigned to the cluster?

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