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Symantec Workspace Streaming: Package Store and External Package Repository

Created: 07 Dec 2011 • Updated: 07 Dec 2011 | 3 comments
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Dwight Tanner's picture
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This document mainly deals with the steps to configure a common or shared storage space between Back End, Front End and the External Package Repository. A single copy of the package will be stored and shared among the above three elements. By implementing this we can reduce the amount of storage space required for storing the XPF packages.

Note: This is only applicable to XPF packages.

Introduction

Throughout this document we mainly use the following two storage references:

  • Package Store: It refers to the storage location of the Back End and Front End. For Backend (STE) the Package Store is set from Console>Configuration>Preferences and for Front End the Package Store is set using the launchserv.properties file.
  • External Package Repository: It refers to the external storage repository or a network file share which is set using the configurations through http://servername:<port>/externalRepos.awe

When any XPF package is uploaded to server, the XpfToXpa.exe in the backend machine converts the XPF package to XPA format. All the references of XPAs in this document will trace back to the XPF package after being uploaded to the server.

This document has two sections:

  • Section 1: Deals with the steps to configure a shared storage space for Back End(STE) Package Store and Front End Package Store
  • Section 2: Deals with the steps to configure a shared storage space for Back End (STE) Package Store, Front End Package Store and replicating the content to External Package Repositories that belong to other locales.

Prerequisites

  • Identify a common storage location which can be used as the Package Store.
  • This location or the file server should be accessible to all clients that are going to stream the packages from that location.
  • For this document, we will use \\FileServer1.Domain.com\PackageStore as an example for the common storage.
  • A shared location in the SAN storage can also be used as the common storage. The UNC path of the SAN storage should be provided in that case.

1. Sharing the STE Package Store and Front End Package Store

This section of the document provides the steps to configure a common/shared storage location for the Back End and the Front End components of Symantec Workspace Streaming.

A single copy of the XPA is stored in the Package Store.

Configuration Steps:

  1. On the Back End machine, go to Run>Services.msc> right click AWE Streamlet Engine>Properties>Log On> Select 'This account:' > Provide a domain account which has administrator privileges. This will enable the STE service run under admin context.
    Note: The admin user must have access to the common storage file share (in this example \\FileServer1.Domain.com\PackageStore ) or the package upload will fail.
  2. Login to Symantec Workspace Streaming Console as an administrator
  3. Navigate to Configuration>Preferences Tab>Repository Location: Provide the UNC path of the common storage location. By doing this we are setting the Package Store location for the Back End. In this example provide \\FileServer1.Domain.com\PackageStore as the STE package store.
  4. Go to the Front End Machine, Install Directory>launchserv> Open launchserv.properties file, set the following two values and save the file:

    package.sharedRepo=true
    package.location=\\\\FileServer1.Domain.com\\PackageStore

  5. On the Front End machine, go to Run>Services.msc> right click AWE Launch Server service >Properties>Log On> Select 'This account:' > Provide a domain account which has administrator rights.
  6. Restart the AWE Launch Server service.
    Note: If there are multiple FEs, and you want to share a common location for those also, please add the above values to all the FEs as applicable.
  7. Navigate to Console>Provisioning>Packages> Add: Upload XPF Packages and enable it to all Front Ends.
  8. For verification, go to the Front End Machine, Install Directory>launchserv> pkgRepo: Only 'PackageStore' file will be present. This is the metadata file. The XPAs will be stored in the common package location specified.
  9. Go to the client machine login to the portal and stream an assigned package, the package blocks will be pulled out from the package store.

Note: This will be applicable to the XPF packages uploaded after this configuration. There is a tool 'MigrateData.cmd' available under InstallDir\streamletEngine\bin to migrate the XPF packages which are already uploaded to the preferred location.

Fig 1: Shows a Client machine streams a package from the Package Store. The authentication is done against the corresponding Front End Server and the package is streamed from the Package Store.

Note: If a package is not enabled for a particular Front End, it won't be available for the user connected to that FE. As an example say, Package1 is provisioned to User1 and it is disabled on FE1, so if User1 connects to FE1, the package will not be available. In short the Package availability logic works well even if the Front End and the STE shares the common storage.

2. Sharing the STE Package Store, Front End Package Store, and replicating the content to External Package Repositories in different locations using DFS

How to configure an External Package Repository is described in the connect article: Workspace Streaming - Stream from a Network File Share

This use case is provided for users who have client machines in different locations and want to limit or assign an External Package Repository to each subnet / IP series. In this case we can follow the same steps which are mentioned in the above section. Instead of manually copying the XPAs to the External Package Repositories, we can make use of Distributed File System-Replication (DFS-R) to replicate the XPAs.

Configuration

  1. On the Back End machine, go to Run>Services.msc> right click AWE Streamlet Engine>Properties>Log On> Select 'This account:' > Provide a domain account which has administrator privileges. This will enable the STE service run under admin context.
    Note: The admin user must have access to the common storage file share (in this example \\FileServer1.Domain.com\PackageStore ) or the package upload will fail.
  2. Login to Symantec Workspace Streaming Console as an administrator
  3. Navigate to Configuration>Preferences Tab>Repository Location: Provide the UNC path of the common storage location. By doing this we are setting the Package Store location for the Back End. In this example provide \\FileServer1.Domain.com\PackageStore as the STE package store.
  4. Go to the Front End Machine, Install Directory>launchserv> Open launchserv.properties file, set the following two values and save the file:

    package.sharedRepo=true
    package.location=\\\\FileServer1.Domain.com\\PackageStore

  5. On the Front End machine, go to Run>Services.msc> right click AWE Launch Server service >Properties>Log On> Select 'This account:' > Provide a domain account which has administrator rights.
  6. Restart the AWE Launch Server service.
    Note: If there are multiple FEs, and you want to share a common location for those also, please add the above values to all the FEs as applicable.
  7. Navigate to http://servername:<port>/externalRepos.awe > Click on New Repository> Provide the location as that of the Package Store which must be at a different location than the launch server. In this example \\\\externalserver1.domain.com\PackageRepo
  8. Navigate to Repository Rules>Create a rule based on 'Match any' user.
  9. Navigate to Console>Provisioning>Packages> Add: Upload XPF Packages and enable it to all FEs.
  10. Go to the Front End Machine, Install Directory>launchserv> pkgRepo: Only 'PackageStore' file will be present. This is the metadata file. The XPAs will be stored in the common package location specified.
  11. Go to the client machine, Stream an assigned package, the package blocks will be pulled out from the External Package Repository (\\\\externalserver1.domain.com\PackageRepo).

Additionally, DFS-R is implemented to replicate the content of the main package repository to repositories at other locations.

To Configure DFS Replication:

  • The servers must run on Windows Server 2003 R2 or Windows Server 2008 / R2.
  • Identify one server which will install the DFS Management snap-in to perform DFS-R.
  • Identify the Repository File Servers on each locale which will act as External Package Repository Servers. All the servers must have Windows Server 2003 R2 or Windows Server 2008 and the DFS Replication service installed.
  • Enable DFS-Replication for the Package Repository Shared Folder in each identified File Server.

To enable Distributed File System-Replication (DFS-R) please follow the Microsoft documentation under http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732863(WS.10).aspx

Added Advantage - If the DFS-R is already implemented and if you have LS Package Store, STE Package Store and External Package Repository in different locations, then you can make use of DFS-R to replicate the XPAs in the LS Package Store to the External Package Repository instead of manually copying it.

Fig 4: Shows Client machines from different locale / subnets trying to stream applications.

  • Here the Backend Package Store, Front End Package Store are shared at Location A.
  • At Location B and Location C, there are two External Repository Servers are identified.
  • DFS-R is set among all the three Repository Shared Folders on the identified File Servers.
  • The repository rule based on IP is set on both of the Repository Servers at Location B and Location C to receive streaming requests from the client machines corresponding to the respective locations.
  • Depends on the IP rule set, the Clients will be able to stream the package from the corresponding Package Store-External Package Repository / External Package Repository .
  • The authentication is done against the corresponding Front End Server.

How it works?

  • When a new XPF package is uploaded after this configuration, it will get stored on the Package Store-External Package Repository at Location A.
  • So the Clients which are satisfying the rule on Repository at Location A will be able to stream the XPF package.
  • Since DFS-R is set among the folder shares of Location A, Location B and Location C, the newly uploaded XPF package will be replicated to both the locations. So the Client machines on Location B and Location C can stream the newly uploaded XPF application.

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EverythingVirt's picture

This is a great option to cut your required storage in half if your launch server is also backend server or if you run into space issues on the drive that you installed SWS to.

To clarify the syntax: Double slashes are required in the package.location =path line

i.e.

\\\\network\\folder

E:\\folder\\folder

Another tidbit I picked up during this exercise - when uploading packages in the add package java applet, it uses the system %TEMP% folder for temporary space during the upload.

So if you are getting that "insufficient space in the streamlet engine" error when uploading large packages - Check the Windows drive...

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