Getting Started with File Director

File Director

The File Director virtual appliance is a data broker that forms a connection from your existing file store, through the enterprise firewall, to File Director clients on end-user workstations and mobile devices. After configuration, the broker allows the File Director client application to make encrypted connections over public networks or the Internet to files inside the organization.

The appliance connects to an Active Directory using Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and reads the location of home folders for all users. When a user connects a File Director client to the appliance, it provides a channel to securely synchronize the user’s network home folder to their device.

Configured appliances are easily be backed up and can be recreated quickly. Configure map points and define related policies, using the appliance to manage behavior for specific organizational units, users, and groups of users.

Best Practice

Whether you are planning your initial implementation, looking to scale it up, or maintaining a stable deployment - best practice remains the same. The process of plan, do, review is cyclical and key to ensuring your system meets requirements.

1 Review prerequisites

Ensure your prerequisites are in place and prepare firewall configuration.
Refer to Appliance prerequisites.

2 Software configuration decisions

Determine how you wish to configure the software:

The type of storage for profile data - and which connector to use

Authentication model (Kerberos or username/password)

Deployment method – ADMX, EM etc

3 Download File Director software

Mandatory components are a Hypervisor Template (ESXi or Hyper V) and Appliance Patch.

Clients for Web, Windows, IOS, Android and macOS are available.
Refer to:

Install File Director software

Apply a File Director Patch

4 Consider which files to sync

Consider which files to synchronize and which features to enable on the client.

Refer to:

File Sync Controls

Policy Config Tool

5 Plan rollout schedule

Determine batch size of users (such as 20-30), certification and requisites of end-users.
Refer to Roll out File Director.


6 Prepare monitoring solution

The File Director Performance Monitoring Tool uses auditing data from your appliance(s) to deliver customizable performance dashboards. It requires a Windows server to run.
Refer to Sizing and monitoring your deployment.

7 Prepare SQL Server

(Applies only to File Director 2020.3 or earlier)

Refer to the prerequisites for Clustering.

8 Complete setup & configure appliances

Recommended tasks:

Apply a File Director Patch
Note, File Director updates can be uploaded manually via the Appliance Admin UI or on a Cluster-wide basis using the Rest API.

Configure DNS

Configure AD

Configure Cloud Connectors

Configure map points and Map point policy

Follow Clustering help topic to setup cluster

Setup Load balancer

Setup auditing and confirm dashboards working


Monitor Results
9 Monitor appliances

Monitor performance of appliances.
Refer to Sizing and monitoring your deployment.

10 Review user storage provision

Review how much storage you need for those users files.
Refer to Dashboards.

11 Review deployment

Review deployment:

Do I need more appliances?

Do I need more application IDs (OneDrive)?

Is the time taken to back up files acceptable?

Do I need to change my exclusions?