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Chapter 14: Using Software Virtualization Solution

Created: 07 Jun 2007 • Updated: 12 Feb 2013
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This chapter describes the following tasks you can perform using Software Virtualization Solution in a Notification Server environment.

Creating and Using Notification Server Virtual Software Packages

After you have created Virtual Software Layers and Virtual Software Archive files, you can create Virtual Software Packages. For general information about Virtual Software Packages, see Virtual Software Packages Overview.

There are two ways to create Virtual Software Packages.

  • Creating Virtual Software Packages
  • Manually Creating Virtual Software Packages

This section also describes the following:

  • Editing Virtual Software Packages
  • Virtual Software Packages Page
  • Checking for Package Download Errors
  • Changing the Check for Updated Package Files Schedule

Creating Virtual Software Packages

The Software Virtualization Wizard simplifies the steps of creating and delivering new and existing Virtual Software Packages. Because packages are delivered through Virtual Software Tasks, this wizard guides you through creating packages and setting up tasks to deliver those packages. This is the easiest and most efficient way to create packages, assign programs to them, and set up tasks to deliver them. You can also select to Use the advanced wizard. When running the Advanced Wizard, you also have the option to configure package server options, event logging options, the package display name in the Altiris Agent, and task download and execute options. For a description of these options see Advanced tab (Virtual Software Package Page) and Advanced tab (Virtual Software Task Page). You can use the wizard in the following two ways:

  • Create a new Virtual Software Package and Task
  • Create a new Virtual Software Task with an Existing Virtual Package

Manually Creating Virtual Software Packages

Note To quickly create a new Software Virtualization Package and Task at the same time, use the Software Virtualization Wizard. For information, see Creating Virtual Software Packages.

To manually create a Virtual Software Package

  1. In the Altiris Console, click the Resources tab.
  2. In the left pane, select Resource Management > Resources > Software Management > Software Virtualization > Windows.
  3. Right-click the Virtual Software Packages folder, and select New > Virtual Software Package.
  4. In the right pane, specify the package properties. For information about package properties, see Virtual Software Packages Page.
  5. Click Apply.

Editing Virtual Software Packages

After you create a virtual software package, you can edit the package. To edit a package

  1. Open the Virtual Software Packages Page.
  2. Make any desired changes.
  3. Save the package.

Virtual Software Packages Page

Note

When configuring package programs, it is important to understand Virtual Software Package states and actions. For information on states and programs, see Creating Virtual Software Packages.

This page is used to configure Virtual Software Packages and specify Package Servers for the package. It contains the following four tabs:

  • Package tab (Virtual Software Package Page)
  • Programs tab (Virtual Software Package Page)
  • Advanced tab (Virtual Software Package Page)
  • Software Portal tab (Virtual Software Package Page)

To access the Virtual Software Packages page In the Altiris Console, click the Resources tab.

  1. In the left pane, select Resource Management > Resources > Software Management > Software Virtualization > Windows > Virtual Software Packages.
  2. In the right pane, double-click a software package resource or right-click to create a new package.
  3. In Resource Manager, click the Package tab. Virtual Software Package Toolbar

The Virtual Software Package toolbar contains icons that let you perform actions while using the Virtual Software Package page.

The clickable icons on the Virtual Software Package toolbar are as follows:

  • Right click menu for item -Displays the right click menu for the folder.
  • Export - Lets you export the software package to XML.
  • View as XML - Lets you view the software package as XML.
  • Properties - Lets you view the Properties page of the Virtual Software Package. The Properties page contains general information of the package and also lets you set up security for the package.

Package tab (Virtual Software Package Page)

This tab is used to configure a package. Items in italics are settings options.

Package tab page items

Item Description
Name Name of the package.
Description Description of the package.
Publisher Publisher of the package.
Language Language for which the package is designed.
Version Version of the package.
Archive File Source Drop-down list with the following options:
Package does not contain source files:
Select this if the package does not contain source files. Normally, you would not use this option for Software Virtualization Solution.
Access package from a local directory on the NS computer:
Select this to access the package from a local directory on the Notification Server computer. If this is selected, you must enter a Package Location. Notification Server will map HTTP URLs to this location through which Altiris Agents will access the package. Package Location: The location of the package on a local directory on the Notification Server computer. Access package from existing UNC: Select this to access the package from an existing Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path. In order for the Notification Server to access packages that exist at a UNC path, you must first enter the credentials that the Notification Server will use when connecting to the UNC path. To do this, go to the Package Server Configuration page and fill in the credentials in the Distribution Point Connection Parameters drop-down list. This option requires a package location. Notification Server will map HTTP URLs to this location through which the Altiris Agents will access the package. Package Location UNC: The location of the package at a UNC path. Access package from a URL: Select this to access the package from a URL. This option requires a package location URL. Package Location: The Altiris Agent will access the package through this anonymous URL. Archive File Directory: The alternate UNC package location when the Package source is Access Package from a URL. This UNC package location is used to generate a snapshot of all of the files in the package. The URL is the location where the Altiris Agent will download the package from. The snapshot is used by Altiris Agents as a list of files that will be downloaded. This UNC package location should be the path to the directory used to create the virtual directory.
Archive File Location The location of the Virtual Software Archive file. This can be a local directory, a UNC path, or URL location depending on the package source.
Apply Click Apply to save changes.
Cancel Click Cancel to discard changes.
Update Distribution Point Click this button to update this package information as soon as possible on all enabled Package Servers.

Programs tab (Virtual Software Package Page)

This tab is used to configure the programs associated with a package. Software Virtualization Solution provides several predefined programs. Select a program from the drop-down list to view the details on that program. To add a new program to the package, click New. To delete a program from the package, select the program from the drop-down list and click Delete.

Program tab page items

Item Description
Program Drop-down list that lets you select the program to be associated with the selected package. The programs defined here will be available when you create a Virtual Software Task for this package.
New Creates a new program definition using the information currently listed in the Program Details section of the page.
Delete Deletes the program definition selected in the Program drop-down list.
Name (Required) Name of the program.
Description (Optional) Description of the program.
Command line (Required) Command line entry to run the program, including switches and parameters if applicable. If you use a predefined program, the correct information is inserted. For information on command-line options, see "Advanced Virtual Software Layer Topics" in the Software Virtualization Solution.
Estimated disk space (Optional) Estimated disk space required by the installed program. This is only an information field.
Estimated run time (Optional) Estimated time in minutes required to complete the deployment. This is only an information field.
Terminate after (Optional) Terminates running of the program after the specified number of minutes.
After running (Optional) Specifies the action to take after running the program. The options are No action required, Restart computer, and Log off user.
Starting window Specifies the status of the program window when the program is run. The options are Normal, Hidden, Minimized, and Maximized.
Run with rights Specifies whether the program is run with the System Account, Logged in User, or Specified User account. If you select the Specified User, you must specify the user's domain, name, and password in the field below.
User domain Domain information of the account to use if you use Specified User in the Run with Rights field. Enter the domain, user name, and password of the specified user.
Program can run Specifies the conditions in which the program can run. The options are:
  • Only when a user is logged on
  • Whether or not a user is logged on
  • Only when no user is logged on

Advanced tab (Virtual Software Package Page)

This tab is used to specify Package Servers associated with a package. For information on Package Servers, see the Altiris Notification Server Help and Altiris Notification Server Reference.

Advanced tab page items

Item Description
Agent display name The name of the package that will be displayed on the Altiris Agent. This can be different than the package name you specified on the Package tab. The purpose of this field is for you to be able to supply package names to the end user that makes sense to users while also being able to have package names that make sense to you on an administrative level.
Agent display description The description of the package that will be displayed on the Altiris Agent. This can be different than the package description you specified on the Package tab. It is recommended that you enter a description here that will let the end user know what the package will do to the managed computer.
Enable verbose reporting of package status events This setting controls whether the Altiris Agent sends all package status events for this package to the Notification Server. Select the check box to enable sending all package status events to the Notification Server.
Note The Advanced Settings in the Configuration tab take precedence to this setting. Events are only sent if their corresponding check box is enabled in the Capture Event Name section of the Advanced Settings.

The following types of Status events are not sent if package verbose reporting events are disabled:

  • Package Updated
  • Package Added
  • Package To Be Removed
  • Package Removed
  • Unable To Check Package
  • Insufficient Disk To Download Package
  • Download Start
  • Download Complete
  • Package Download Blocked

For information on capturing events in large environments, see "Scalability" in the Altiris Notification Server Reverence.

Use Alternate Download Destination on Client Select this to use an alternate package download destination to the managed computer besides the default. This option makes it possible to deliver package files to computers at alternate destinations. When the task executes, the package files will be copied from the internal cache location to the location specified. After they are copied, the copied package files will never be deleted by the Altiris Agent. They will be recopied every time the task is run; so if the task is on a recurring schedule, the files will be copied repeatedly. This can be useful to ensure the user does not delete a required file.
Note The default of the internal cache location is install path\altiris\altiris agent\software virtualization\{package guid}\cache).
Package servers Settings
All Package Servers Select this to send the package to all available Package Servers.
Selected Package Servers Select this to show a table of available Package Servers. You can then choose the Package Servers that you want this package sent to.
Enabled Package Servers This table lists the Package Servers available for your Notification Server.

The Package Servers section lets you specify which Package Servers you would like this package to be replicated to. The grid contains a list of all Package Servers that have been created for the Notification Server. Select the box in the enabled column next to each of the Package Servers that you wish this package to be replicated to. The default and recommended option is to have the package replicated to all Package Servers (by selecting All Package Servers).

All selected computers will have the package copied to them.

Package Destination Location on Package Servers Enter the desired package destination location on the Package Servers if you do not want the default. Enter a UNC path.

The default package delivery location on Package Servers is install path\altiris\altiris agent\package delivery\{package guid}\cache).

Software Portal tab (Virtual Software Package Page)

This tab lets you view and modify Software Portal permissions for the programs found in this package.

Note The Software Portal tab will be visible only if Software Delivery Solution is installed.

The Software Portal is used to manage the availability of software that can be added manually by a user from the managed computer.

The table lists the programs that are currently defined for the package and the state of their Software Portal permissions.

When you click a program in the table, you can see who has permission to install the software without administrator approval (Install Software permission) and who requires administrator approval before installing the software (Install On Approval permission). When you click the Modify button, the Security Descriptor dialog appears. This lets you modify the security settings for the program by group, user, or Altiris role, by defining the Software Portal permissions you desire. You can use Alert Manager and the Software Portal to retrieve user software requests, approve or deny them, and send out e-mails if required. For information about how to use the Software Portal with Software Virtualization Solution, see the Best Practices section of the Software Virtualization Solution.

Checking for Package Download Errors

After deploying packages, we recommend verifying that the packages were deployed successfully. If some packages were not successfully deployed, you need to know on which computers the deployment was not successful. To facilitate this process, Software Delivery provides the "Package download errors" report. To determine package download errors

  1. In the Altiris Console, click the Reports tab.
  2. In the left pane, select Reports > Software Management > Software Delivery > Windows > Client Package Download > Package Download - Errors item.
  3. In the right pane, click the Run this report link.

A report using the latest data will be created displaying package deployment error information. You can click on items in the report to drill down for more details.

Tip For other client status information, use the above procedure, but select one of the other reports.

Changing the Check for Updated Package Files Schedule

By default, Notification Server checks all packages every day for changes. You can change this schedule as needed. For information on how software packages are updated, see Package Download Overview.

To change the check for updated package files schedule

  1. In the Altiris Console, click the Configuration tab.
  2. In the left pane, select Configuration > Server Settings > Notification Server Settings > Shared Schedules.
  3. In the right pane, click on the Package Refresh schedule link.
  4. In the Schedule Editor dialog, specify the desired schedule, and click OK.

Deploying Virtual Software Packages

Virtual Software Tasks deploy Virtual Software Packages.

Quick Links

  • Virtual Software Task Overview
  • Virtual Software Task Priority
  • Virtual Software Task Status Files
  • Disabled Virtual Software Tasks
  • Creating Virtual Software Tasks
  • Virtual Software Task Page
  • Verifying that a Policy Has Been Successfully Delivered to the Altiris Agent Computer

Virtual Software Task Overview

Virtual Software Tasks are policies that specify delivery and deployment information about a Virtual Software Package. For a Virtual Software Package to be downloaded to and deployed on the managed computer, there must be at least one Virtual Software Task associated with that package. Each package can have more than one task associated with it, but each Virtual Software Task is only associated with one package. Virtual Software Tasks have several options on how they are run, depending upon how they are configured. A Virtual Software Task can be run:

  • By the user of the managed computer through the Altiris Agent program or Software Portal.
  • As soon as possible after the task has been requested by the Altiris Agent and the run conditions are met. The run conditions are specified in the package definition policy on the Programs tab. The condition options are Only when a user is logged on, Only when no user is logged on, and Whether or not a user is logged on.
  • According to a schedule specified in the Virtual Software Task.

Each Virtual Software Task has availability dates associated with it. These dates specify when a task is first available and no longer available. The Virtual Software Package associated with a task specifies the security context under which a program runs (local system administrator or logged on user rights). For information on creating a Virtual Software Task, see Manually Creating a Virtual Software Task.

Virtual Software Task Priority

Each Virtual Software Task has an associated priority that is set in the definition of the Virtual Software Task. The priority is used to set a priority when more than one Virtual Software Task needs to download an associated package. The package associated with the Virtual Software Task having the highest priority is downloaded first. The Virtual Software Task will also be executed according to their priority order. Each task will be executed to completion before another task is started. The priority options are Low, Normal, High, and Very High. Virtual Software Task Status Files The Software Virtualization Solution Agent keeps track of package download status information for each package in a status file. The status is kept here: install path\Altiris\Altiris Agent\software virtualization\Status\package guid\log.xml. This file keeps track of the last 30 download attempts. This value can be adjusted by editing the registry value "Download history size" located under the key "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Communications\Package Delivery" on the client computer. The Software Virtualization Solution Agent keeps track of package execution status for each task in the install path\Altiris\Altiris Agent\software virtualization\AexSWDPolicy.xml file.

Disabled Virtual Software Tasks

If you disable a Virtual Software Task, or it is disabled due to platform mismatch, expiration, filtering, or unavailability, the Software Virtualization Solution Agent will keep that task's status information for 10080 minutes (one week) by default, including any downloaded packages. After one week, the associated status information is removed entirely from the Altiris Agent computer. If the associated packages are no longer referenced by any other active Virtual Software policies on the Altiris Agent, the packages are also removed. (If you re-enable the policy after one week, any associated software packages are downloaded again.) The one-week default can be changed by modifying the software virtualization package and changing the package deletion option. This cleanup process is performed once a day. For testing purposes, you can force a cleanup within the next 5 minutes by removing the AdsStatusLastCleanUp registry value under the following registry key:

HKLM\Software\Altiris\Altiris Agent\software virtualization 

The following registry setting configures how long, in minutes, a Virtual Software Task must be disabled before the status and packages are removed from the Altiris Agent computer.

HKLM\Altiris\Altiris Agent\software virtualization\RemovedSoftPkgsCleanUpPeriod 

Creating Virtual Software Tasks

There are three ways to create Virtual Software Tasks:

  • Create a new Virtual Software Package and Task
  • Create a new Virtual Software Task with an Existing Virtual Package
  • Manually Creating a Virtual Software Task

Create a new Virtual Software Task with an Existing Virtual Package

The Software Virtualization Wizard simplifies the steps of delivering existing Virtual Software Packages by setting up tasks to deliver those packages. This is the easiest and most efficient way to set up tasks to deliver packages.

The Software Virtualization Wizard can be accessed by clicking the Tasks tab and selecting Software Management > Software Virtualization > Windows > Virtual Software Tasks > Wizard and Status and clicking Run Software Virtualization Wizard. You can also select to Use the advanced wizard. When running the Advanced Wizard, you also have the option to configure package server options, event logging options, the package display name in the Altiris Agent, and task download and execute options. For a description of these options, see Advanced tab (Virtual Software Package Page) (page 121) and Advanced tab (Virtual Software Task Page). In this scenario, you will deliver an existing Virtual Software Package. For instructions on using the wizard to create and delivery a new package, see Create a new Virtual Software Package and Task.

Step 1 - Select Package Options

In this step, you select that you want to deliver an existing package and select the package you want to deliver. How would you like to begin?

  1. Select Deliver an existing virtual package.
  2. Select an existing virtual package.

    The existing packages in the default package location are displayed. If you have not yet created the package you want to deliver, see Creating and Using Notification Server Virtual Software Packages.

  3. Verify package details.

    Verify that this is the package you want by observing the name, description, and location of the package.

  4. Select a program to run from within the package.

    Select a program that has been attached to the package. If the program you want to run is not attached to the package, you must cancel this wizard and edit the package. For information about package programs, see Creating Virtual Software Packages.

  5. Click Next to go to Step 2 in the wizard.

Step 2 - Select Collection and Schedule

In this step, you select the collection of computers to which you want the package of software to be delivered. Next, you select when you want it delivered.

Note This step lets you set up a Virtual Software Task to deliver the package.
  1. (Required) Select the collection to which the package will be delivered.

    You can only select one collection per Virtual Software Task. If you want to send the package to more than one collection, you can either create a collection which includes all collections to which you want to send the package or you can run the Software Virtualization Wizard again.

  2. Select when to run this task.
    • Manual User must manually activate the task on the target computer. If this is selected, the task will not run on the target computer unless the user activates it manually.
    • On a Schedule If this is selected, the task will run automatically on the target computer. For information on scheduling options, see General tab (Virtual Software Task Page) (page 129).
  3. Click Finish to go to Step 3 in the wizard.

Step 3 - Advanced Settings

If you selected the Use the advanced wizard option, you can configure package server options, event logging options, and advanced task options.

Configure package options

  1. Configure the package server and event logging options. For a description of these options see Advanced tab (Virtual Software Package Page)
  2. Click Next to go to Step 4 in the wizard.

Configure advanced task options

  1. Specify the name and description of the virtual task this is displayed on the Altiris Agent UI.
  2. Specify download and execute options. For a description of these options see Advanced tab (Virtual Software Task Page).
  3. Click Finish to go to Step 4 in the wizard.

Step 4 - Summary

In this step, you enter a name for your task, review your settings, and then click the Finish button. In this step, you enter your task, package, and program names. Next, you review your settings, and click the Finish button.

  1. Enable or disable the Virtual Software Task.

    If the checkbox is selected, the Virtual Software Task will be enabled when it is created. Virtual Software Tasks must be enabled before they can be run.

  2. Enter the name for the Virtual Software task.

    This is the name of the task as it appears in the Altiris Console. You can use the default name or use your own.

  3. Verify the information in the table and click OK.
  4. Click OK.

    This creates the Virtual Software Package and attaches the selected package to the task.

    The task will be run according to your scheduling options.

    The task is available under the Tasks tab > Software Management > Software Virtualization > Windows > Virtual Software Tasks.

Manually Creating a Virtual Software Task

For general information on Virtual Software Tasks, see Deploying Virtual Software Packages.

Note To quickly create a new Software Virtualization Package and Task at the same time, use the Software Virtualization Wizard. For information, see Creating Virtual Software Packages.

To create a Virtual Software Task

  1. In the Altiris Console, click the Tasks tab.
  2. In the left pane, select Tasks > Software Management >Software Virtualization > Windows.
  3. Right-click the Virtual Software Tasks folder and select New > Virtual Software Task.
  4. In the right pane, specify the Virtual Software Task details.

    For information about task properties, see Virtual Software Task Page (page 128).

  5. If you want to verify that a Virtual Software Task has been deployed properly, see Verifying that a Policy Has Been Successfully Delivered to the Altiris Agent Computer.

Virtual Software Task Page

This page lets you configure Virtual Software Tasks. It contains the following three tabs:

  • General tab (Virtual Software Task Page)
  • Advanced tab (Virtual Software Task Page)
  • Status tab (Virtual Software Task Page)

To access a Virtual Software Task page

  1. In the Altiris Console, click the Tasks tab.
  2. In the left pane, select Tasks > Software Management > Software Virtualization > Windows > Virtual Software Tasks.

Virtual Software Task Toolbar

The Virtual Software Task toolbar contains icons that let you perform actions while using the Virtual Software Task page.

The clickable icons on the Virtual Software Task toolbar are as follows:

  • Rename - Lets you rename the Virtual Software Task.
  • Delete - Lets you delete the Virtual Software Task.
  • Clone - Lets you clone the Virtual Software Task.
  • Export - Lets you export the Virtual Software Task to XML.
  • View as XML - Lets you view the Virtual Software Task as XML.
  • Properties - Lets you view the Properties page of the Virtual Software Task. The Properties page contains general information of the task and also lets you set up security for the task.

General tab (Virtual Software Task Page)

General tab page items

Item Description
Enable Enables the Virtual Software Task when selected. Disables the Virtual Software Task when cleared.
Name Name of the Virtual Software Task.
Description Description of the Virtual Software Task.
Priority Defines the order in which packages associated with Virtual Software Task are downloaded. Can be Low, Normal, High or Very high. Packages associated with higher priority Virtual Software Task get downloaded before those for lower priority Virtual Software Task. Any package that is being downloaded will be suspended if a higher priority Virtual Software Task arrives.
Package name Specifies the package to be used by the Virtual Software Task. Clicking on the link will open the Package Selector.
Go to Package Opens the Package page for the package selected in the Package Name field.
Program Name Name of the program to run. The list of available options in the drop-down list depends on the value selected in the Package field.
Go to Program Opens the Program page for the program selected in the Program name field.
Applies to Collection Specifies the collection to which the software task applies.

Clicking on the link will open the Collection Selector.

Note You must select at least one collection before you can apply the Virtual Software Task.
Run - Manual Select manual to run the software virtualization task manually and not according to a schedule. You can choose one or both of the following: Notify the user when this task is available - Select this to notify the user when this Virtual Software Task becomes available to run. The user can then control when to run the Virtual Software Task. Warn the user before running this task - Select this to warn the user before a software virtualization task is run. The user can then choose to cancel the task, run the task immediately, or be reminded later.
Run - On a schedule Specifies that the software virtualization task is to be run according to a schedule. You can schedule for the software virtualization task to be run as soon as possible and/or set up a schedule for it to be run. You can choose one or more of the following: Run as soon as computer is notified (only runs once) - Select this to run the software virtualization task as soon as the package has been downloaded to the managed computer and the run conditions have been met. This option creates a mandatory software virtualization task that does not display a dialog on the managed computer before running. Run on a schedule - Select this to run the software virtualization task on a schedule. Click No schedule has been defined to open the Schedule Editor. Select one of the following:
  • Run 'as soon as possible' after the scheduled time - This option tells the Altiris Agent to run the software virtualization task as soon as possible after the time you have scheduled. The Altiris Agent will wait until the scheduled time, then run the software virtualization task as soon as it can. This option can help spread out the network load as the software virtualization tasks will most likely run at different times on each Altiris Agent.
  • Only run at scheduled time - This option tells the Altiris Agent to run the software virtualization task only at the scheduled time. This option will force all Altiris Agents to run the software virtualization task at the same time.

Power up the computer (Wake on LAN) - Select this to send a power up signal to the managed computer at the designated scheduled time. Immediately notify each computer of task - Select this to immediately notify all computers of the software virtualization task at the designated scheduled time. This can lead to increased network traffic and should be used carefully. User can run this task immediately - Select this to let the user run the software virtualization task immediately when it becomes available. Notify the user when this task is available - Select this to notify the user when this software virtualization task becomes available to run. The user can then control when to run the software virtualization task. Warn the user before running this task - Select this to warn the user before a software virtualization task is run. The user can then choose to cancel the task, run the task immediately, or defer the task.

Use Recovery to backup the computer If this is selected, Software Virtualization Solution performs a Recovery snapshot on the Altiris Agent prior to running the software virtualization task.
Note This option only appears if you have Recovery Solution 6.0 or greater installed.
Removal - Remove this task after successful install Removes the software virtualization task (and associated package) from the Altiris Agent user interface on the managed computer. This does not delete the package from the managed computer. However, this makes it so that the user of the managed computer cannot view this task or associated package from the Altiris Agent program.

We recommend that you use this for tasks that you only want to run once.

Availability Specifies the date that this software virtualization task becomes available and whether or not it expires. You can also select whether to use the Notification Server's time or the time of the managed computer.
Apply Click Apply to save changes.
Cancel Click Cancel to discard changes.

Advanced tab (Virtual Software Task Page)

Advanced tab page items

Item Description
Agent display name Specifies the name of the software virtualization task that is displayed on the Altiris Agent. You can leave this blank and the default name will be used.
Agent display description Specifies the description of the software virtualization task that is displayed on the Altiris Agent.
Enable verbose reporting of task status events Select this to track all status events for this task. The status events are added to the log files.
Download and Execute Options  

These options control how software virtualization packages are downloaded and executed. The default is to use the Altiris Agent settings found on the Altiris Agent Settings page.

Note If you choose Use the following settings when downloading and running, these options override the default Download and Execute Options (found on the Altiris Agent Settings page) for this software virtualization task.
  • Download the package files as soon as possible - Select this to download the package files right away.
  • Download the package files before running the program -Select this to download the package files only when the program is required to run.

Multicast package - Select this to multicast this package to other client computers receiving the same package

Note Multicasting must be enabled for a computer to participate in a multicast session. This is a configuration setting option available in each computer's Altiris Agent. This option can be found under Configuration > Altiris Agent > Altiris Agent Configuration > Collection Group > Altiris Agent Settings > Package Multicast. For information about multicasting, see the Altiris Agent Settings page and the associated Notification Server and Software Delivery Solution help.

Status tab (Virtual Software Task Page)

The Status tab displays details about the execution of the task on the managed computers.

Status tab page items

Item Description
Display computers on which this task ran Specifies the criteria for displaying computers on which the software virtualization task ran. When you select an item from the drop-down list, a table opens with status information.

Verifying that a Policy Has Been Successfully Delivered to the Altiris Agent Computer

To verify that a policy has been successfully delivered to an Altiris Agent computer using the Resource Manager

  1. Open the Resource Manager to display information about the desired Altiris Agent computer.

    For information on using the Resource Manager, see the Altiris Notification Server Reference.

  2. In the left pane, click the Policy Summary item.

    A list appears of all the policies that are enabled for the selected computer.

  3. Verify that the policy you are checking for is in the list.

To verify that a policy has been successfully delivered to the Altiris Agent computer

  1. In Windows Explorer or through My Computer, open the install path\Altiris\Altiris
  2. Agent\Client Policies folder (C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Client Policies by
  3. default).

    This is where policies are stored on the Altiris Agent.

  4. Using a text editor or Internet Explorer, open the notification_server_name.xml file.
  5. Review the contents of the policy file and confirm that the policy you are interested in is included in the file.

Using the Software Virtualization Status Page

The Software Virtualization Status page is available when Software Delivery Solution is installed.

Note For information on using the Software Virtualization Wizard, see Creating Virtual Software Packages.

The Wizard and Status page gives you access to the Software Virtualization Wizard and also provides status information for your software virtualization tasks. To access the Wizard and Status page

  1. In the Altiris Console, click the Tasks tab.
  2. In the left pane, select Tasks > Software Management > Software Virtualization > Windows > Virtual Software Tasks > Wizard and Status.

Page Items

Item Description
Run Software Virtualization Wizard Select this to access the Software Virtualization Wizard.
Use the Advanced Wizard Select to run the Advanced Wizard.
Task list criteria check boxes: Specifies the criteria for displaying available software virtualization tasks. When you select an item from the drop-down list, a table opens with task information.
Created for approved software Select this to display tasks that have been approved by the administrator.
Created for software requiring approval Select this to display tasks that require approval by the administrator.
Scheduled by administrator Select this to display tasks that have been scheduled by the administrator.

Software Virtualization Status Toolbar

The Software Virtualization Status toolbar contains icons that let you perform actions while using the Wizard and Status page.

The clickable icons on the Software Virtualization Status toolbar are as follows:

  • Right-click menu -Provides a shortcut for the right click menu for the item.
  • Display for - Lets you select which tasks are displayed by age, number of rows, or status.
  • Edit - Lets you edit the task.
  • Clone Failed Task - Creates a copy of this task for the computers where it failed. Enter the name for the new copy and then click OK to create the copy.
  • Run Task Again - Runs the task again.
  • View task status details - Lets you view the success, failure, and not-run details of the task.
  • Refresh - Refreshes the grid. Changes made to the grid will not appear until you perform a refresh.
  • Copy - Creates a copy of selected task row to paste elsewhere.
  • Find - Lets you search for a task in the table. Enter the search text in the Find field and then click the Find button.
  • Find Again - Finds the next task based on the last search criteria you entered in Find.
  • Grid right click menu - Provides a shortcut for the right-click menu for the selected row.

See Creating Virtual Software Packages.

Managing Virtual Software Packages Using the Resource Manager

You can use the Resource Manager to manage the state of Virtual Software Packages installed on client computers. You can do this in one of two ways:

From the computer resource Open a computer resource and view and manage the state of Virtual Software Packages on the computer.
From the Software Package resource Open a Virtual Software Package resource and view and manage it on the computers it is deployed to.

If you change the state of the Virtual Software Package for a client computer, the following is automatically done:

  • A new Virtual Software Package is created with the program set to run the package in the specified state.
  • A new collection is created for that computer resource based on the package and state.
  • A new Virtual Software Task is created using the new package and collection.

By default, the new task is enabled, assigned to the new collection, and scheduled to run once, as soon as the computer is notified.

To manage Virtual Software Packages on a computer resource

You can view all the Virtual Software Packages imported on a client computer and manage their states.

  • In the Resource Manager, right-click a computer and click Manage Virtual Software Packages.

    A list of Virtual Software Packages imported on the computer is displayed along with the current state.

  • To change the state of a package, click the state next to the package you want to modify, and select the new state from the drop-down list.

To manage Virtual Software Packages on the computers with the package installed

You can view all the computers that a Virtual Software Package is installed on and modify the state of that Virtual Software Package on those computers.

  1. In the Resource Manager, right-click a Virtual Software Package and click Manage this Package.

    A list of client computers with this package installed appears.

  2. To change the state of the package, click the state next to the computer you want to modify, and select the new state from the drop-down list.
Note For a list of package states, see Software Virtualization Solution Usage Overview (page 104).

Using the Software Portal

If you also have Software Delivery Solution installed, you can use the Software Portal to let users install software on their computers by executing software virtualization programs for which they have been given permission by the administrator.

Using Notification Policies and Automated Actions

Software Virtualization Solution supplies Notification Policies that provide active reporting for the Altiris Agent. Notification Policies automatically notify you when certain conditions exist. Notification Policies can be set on something as simple as a single software virtualization failure or specific set of conditions across multiple computers. Automated responses include sending of e-mail, running corrective commands and scripts, generating SNMP traps, and automatically generating a report and e-mailing you the URL of the report. The automatic actions that can be taken by a Notification Policy are defined by Automated Actions. Several Automated Actions can be associated with a single Notification Policy. For more information on Automated Actions, see the Altiris Notification Server documentation. The following table lists and describes the predefined Notification Polices.

Policy Description
Package Download May Be Too Late Sends an e-mail containing a web report, which summarizes the computers where the package download might not be in time. You can adjust the percent download and the number of days warning (Day Filter). Example: Report computers with less than 60 percent download and 4 days before mandatory first execution. This policy applies only to Virtual Software Tasks with mandatory schedules other than ASAP.
Note If you change the notification policy schedule, you must change the Days Filter parameter to match the interval.
Program Execution Failed Sends an e-mail containing a web report summarizing failed program execution.
Note If you change the notification policy schedule, you must change the Days Filter parameter to match the interval.
software virtualization Task Completed Sends an e-mail notification when a Virtual Software Task has run successfully (at least once) on all of the targeted computers. Both mandatory and optional Virtual Software Tasks are reported.
Note If you change the notification policy schedule, you must change the Days Filter parameter to match the interval.
Note Virtual Software Tasks with a repeating schedule will be continually reported.
software virtualization Task Expired Sends an e-mail notification when a Virtual Software Task has expired and not all of the targeted computers have successfully run the program. Both mandatory and optional Virtual Software Tasks are reported.
Note If you change the notification policy schedule, you must change the Days Filter parameter to match the interval.
software virtualization Task Expires In Less Than 7 Days Sends an e-mail notification when a Virtual Software Task is about to expire and not all of the targeted computers have successfully run the program. Both mandatory and optional Virtual Software Tasks are reported.
Note If you change the notification policy schedule, you must change the Days Filter parameter to match the interval.

You can also create your own notification policies using the Notification Policy template. For more information on creating notification policies, see the Altiris Notification Server Reference.

Note It is possible for multiple policies to monitor the same event. If you have more than one policy monitoring the same event, use caution so that the actions taken by the policies do not conflict with each other. Example: If two policies monitor the same event and the action taken by each policy is to add a log entry in the Notification database, you will have duplicate entries in your database.

Chapter 13: Getting Started with Software Virtualization Solution

Chapter 15: Configuring Software Virtualization Solution