In computing, and specifically in the context of Microsoft Windows operating systems, Microsoft refers to Folder Redirection when automatically re-routing I/O to/from standardfolders (directories) to use storage elsewhere on a network.
It is often used in an office network environment, to ensure that users do not store data locally, when a network device is the preferred storage location. Folder Redirection allows saving data regardless of storage location and separates user data from profile data decreasing the time required to log on.
Other advantages include:
Data is stored on a server where it can be backed up
If the same redirection is applied to multiple users, all data is stored in the one location
Allows for sharing of data between users directly from the server rather than creating shares on individual workstations
Allows system administrators to spend less on workstation hard drives, and more on file server hard drives
If all user folders are redirected and caching is disabled, no files are stored on the workstations and thus data is better protected from theft