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How do I use Streaming to a computer group instead of a user or group?

Created: 27 Nov 2012 • Updated: 27 Nov 2012 | 8 comments

I heard it may be possible to use a workaround to use Streaming to a compuer instead of a user or group. Does anyone have any articles on accomplishing this?

I am just bringing up a 6.1 SP8 Workspace Streaming Server.

 

Any help is appreciated!

 

Comments 8 CommentsJump to latest comment

Palvaran's picture

Heya!

I'll see if I can dig up an old link, but from what I remember, you have to create a custom ini file that tricks the streaming engine into seeing it via computer instead of user.  I looked at the SP8 Admin Guide and this part is familiar from page 166:

Creation of .ini file
Each package requires an associated .ini file. The contents of this file are as
follows:
[{PackageName}]
AppTitle=
ServerHost=
AppExecCmd=
WorkingDir=
CommandLine=
PackageGUID=
ApplicationGUID=
ServerDCParams=
WebPageURL=
Port=9823
PackageLocation=
LicenseGracePeriod=

Systems Administrator
Rice University

Remember, "The happiness of your life, depends on the quality of your thoughts."

Palvaran's picture

Ah ha!  I found a bookmark to it, but I am having trouble finding the corresponding link to Symantec's Knowledgebase.  If you can find, here is the information I have:

 

AKB 52017: Changing a Package From User Based Installation to Machine Based

 

The hyperlinks point to https://kb.altiris.com/display/1n/kb/article.asp?a... and to https://kb.altiris.com/display/1n/index.asp?c=&cpc...

 

 

Systems Administrator
Rice University

Remember, "The happiness of your life, depends on the quality of your thoughts."

Nirmal R's picture

Palvaran,

what you are talking about is configuration for flexible package delivery, there is no streaming there, it is merely an import of package from a repository you specify when there is no connection to the server infrastructure.

Kharmon,

Can you give me your use case for streaming / provisioning to a machine rather than a user? If it is to a specific small number of machines (may be 5 or so) you could use the admin assigned license option or pre-populate the registry with a specific value for AppStreamUser key.

 

delvalled's picture

Hi Ken,

The Streaming system is designed to provision packages to users and groups, but not to computer accounts. Can you provide more details about the use-case you have in mind? Are you perhaps trying to pre-populate packages onto a specific machine, for example, to create a standard image with specific offline-enabled applications already in the Streaming Agent cache?

In another use-case I can imagine, I want to pre-populate the cache for large applications so that my users don't have to wait for the entire package to download before going offline. After configuring the application for offline mode, I would setup the workstation to precache the application as follows:

1. Create an .ini file for the application on a machine where I've previoulsy streamed the package.

a. AppMgrCmd.exe -ci <some_path>\<some_filename.ini> <Package GUID>

2. On the end user's machine, import the package by using the .ini file created above in step 1.

a. AppMgrCmd.exe -i <some_path>\<some_filename.ini>

 

For example in this scenario, I want to precache Visual Studio, so I will run the following command to create the .ini file for this application:

AppMgrCmd.exe -ci c:\vs2010.ini 3b4fbbc5-24f0-4f1e-aa51-147ca36f07df

Examining the contents of the .ini file, we can see the following:

[Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate 64-bit]
AppTitle=Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
ServerHost=group1.mydomain.local
AppExecCmd=%SystemDrive%\VS2010\COMMON7\IDE\DEVENV.EXE
WorkingDir=%SystemDrive%\VS2010\COMMON7\IDE\
CommandLine=
PackageGUID=3B4FBBC524F04F1EAA51147CA36F07DF
ApplicationGUID=
ServerDCParams=1/1
WebPageURL=http://streaming.mydomain.local/loginServlet
Port=80
PackageLocation=

Now I can prepopulate the end user's cache. On the end user's machine I can simply run:

AppMgrCmd.exe -i c:\vs2010.ini

This will begin installing the application from the streaming server specified in the application .ini file. If I wanted run this operation silently, I could have added -s to the command line:

AppMgrCmd.exe -s -i c:\vs2010.ini

As a bonus, I could also use this method with any remote management software to prepopulate the cache of any machine running on my network.

Let me know if this answers your question or let me know if I'm completely in left field.

Hope this helps,

Danny

kharmon@cocc.edu's picture

Danny, thanks I will take a look at the comments and see if it might meet our needs.

 

Since we are an education institution, We want to provide virtual software to a classroom(s). Our classrooms and dropin areas have numerous students and faculty and others use the machines. They can login to any computer in these areas with their network accounts.

Since we do not know who the users are, it would be better to use a computer based stream of apps from our streaming server and enable us to provide software to a particular lab when necessary. It does not make sense to provide access to all of them via active directory and since we don't know a specific user that might be using a machine, it rules out using a broader group to give access to an app.

Currently, we are in the process of developing for next years build cycle about 100 virtual  apps and try to distribute them to layer them on a base OS that only has just basic core application. This attempt is an attempt to try to limit the size of the profiles that are created when logging in. This has always been a nemisis for us because we use Faronics deepfreeze to lock the machines down. When you install all the required apps locally this cause the profile to grow dramatically. We are planning to use the layer technique via Workspace Virtualization delivery from our Altiris server to reduce the profile size on a machine. We are just bringing a Streaming Server online and would like to be able to use either Altiris Virtual layers or the streaming server delivery methods to the classrooms as well as staff and faculty areas.

So as you can see a computer based delivery for streaming would be the ideal. In previous conversation with support we were told within the next couple of years that Symantec would provide a computer based delivery for Streaming. I think the roadmap was 1-3 years out. I don't think you are including that function in the 7.5 release are you?

 

delvalled's picture

Ken,

I think we could piece together a solution using some of the information you've provided.

...and enable us to provide software to a particular lab when necessary.

...We are planning to use the layer technique via Workspace Virtualization delivery from our Altiris server to reduce the profile size on a machine. We are just bringing a Streaming Server online and would like to be able to use either Altiris Virtual layers or the streaming server delivery methods to the classrooms as well as staff and faculty areas.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm making an assumption that by Altiris server, you are running some version of Notification Server and have rolled out the Software Management Solution Plug-in.

Let me make sure I understand your goal:

We want to provide virtual software to a classroom(s).

You could probably achieve your goal by leveraging the Software Management Solution in your Symantec Management Platform (Notification Server) environment. For discussion's sake, let's say we have 3 classrooms with 25 computers each, so 75 in all. Each classroom has different software load-out requirements. You could create organizational groups in SMP's Management Console, populate these groups with their respective computers, then create quick delivery tasks for the required software and execute these tasks against the appropriate groups. I have to admit, I've greatly simplified the process and I'm not an expert in SMP or its software management solution, but I can get you in touch with an expert if you feel this is an option worth exploring.

So as you can see a computer based delivery for streaming would be the ideal.

Using the method I've described above, your classrooms could then be preloaded with the required software irrespective of the user. You could then complement this solution by using Workspace Streaming to make available additional software that might be required for the one-off user.

Once again, let me know if I'm on the right track or if I'm off barking up the wrong tree.

Hope this helps,

Danny

kharmon@cocc.edu's picture

We are currently using Altiris 7.1 Client Management Suite Rollup 4.

We have one Notification Server with an off box SQL and 4 Site Servers.

We have one Back-End Streaming Server and the Front-End Server is the Notification Server.

We build images currently for Windows 7 Enterprise,  which all get Agents and the following plugins:

Application Metering Agent

Base Task Handlers

Client Task Agent

Inventory Agent

Out of Band Agent

Software Update Agent

Deployment Solution Plug-in

Inventory Rule Agent

Software Management Framework Agent

Software Management Solution Agent

Symantec Managment Agent

Symantec pcAnywhere Agent

Symantec Workspace Virtualization Agent.

*** We will be adding the Streaming Server Agent in the near future.

 

When we build those images they have all the software they need installed when the image is built and captured for deployment through the NS console. Currently that is about 60 application per image.

In the future build we will virtualize 95% of those application and deploy them with Workspace Virtualization Agents and would like to use Streaming to augment that or replace it.

All of our computers are in containers (Organizational Groups in Altiris and Containers in Active Directory.

We deploy software and jobs/tasks via the console to manage all these systems. About 1600.

We use the software library extensively to distribute software both Virtualized and normal installations.

So I think we are already organized to do this but I need to understand how to get the Streamed software to a computer and have it available for any user on a computer.

I am out of time today but; will elaborate more tomorrow on how we might accomplish this; with your help.

This is a problem that all Colleges face; and to be able to solve it would be a benefit to all.

 

Ken

 

 

kharmon@cocc.edu's picture

Danny, one of the reasons I build the applications into an image is because many require configuration after they are installed even via the software delivery in the console. Once all are installed and configured we capture the reference computer.

I think we are definately willing to explore with an expert guiding us to accomplish application deployment using an appropriate delivery mechanism.

In your comments above:

------------------------------

"Using the method I've described above, your classrooms could then be preloaded with the required software irrespective of the user. You could then complement this solution by using Workspace Streaming to make available additional software that might be required for the one-off user."

------------------------------

Let me elaborate on how I am planning the future image with virtual applications:

First we are building as many virtual applications as possible that lend themselves to virtualizing. Some we cannot do this, ie apps that have drivers specific to them. Others like patches don't virtualize well.

Second, once I have them virtualized as XPF files we import them into the software library. We then create the appropriate jobs and tasks as quick delivery so that we can deploy them. We have included a partial activate command that will prevent them from running when I am in the process of capturing the image. So in essence they are preloaded in the image as a virtual application using the Workspace Virtualization method. These are available to all users once the machine is sysprepped. I would like to use the streaming method, even a cached offline method,  but; so far I don't understand how to get around the user based delivery. The one off method you mention above would not work because we could not use it for users as we don't know what users would need it. We have some 7000 users that can access a machine in the lab or staff environments.

Third, Once all the applications are installed we capture the image and deploy it to various platform machines. Most are Dell boxes and some are laptops. We have jobs that add the appropriate drivers for the type of machine that is imaged. Any after image jobs also are run to further customize the deployment. Examples of those would be upgrades or patches to a particular software package.

As you mentioned in another comment:

______________________________

For discussion's sake, let's say we have 3 classrooms with 25 computers each, so 75 in all. Each classroom has different software load-out requirements. You could create organizational groups in SMP's Management Console, populate these groups with their respective computers, then create quick delivery tasks for the required software and execute these tasks against the appropriate groups.

______________________________

Because we have Faronics Deepfreeze we would have to load all the software on an unlocked system and then relock it. There are various reasons it doesn't work to do in the way you describe. First it greatly extends the after image time to prepare an image for use. Second we have alot of classrooms and this seems like it would be an increase in mangement to accomplish what you describe. Third we would have to import, then partial activate, This increases the after image deployment time as well.

I am willing to experiment; but, we have limited time to get this process defined. In Feburary we are beginning our build cycle and want to have the method of imaging pretty well mapped out prior to that. We most likely will be upgrading to CMS 7.5 when it is released, as it will add some features we have been anticipating.

I hope I haven't made all this confusing. I am hoping that streaming will allow us to be able to target a group of computers. That would be the desired method of delivery for virtual apps; even though we can still use the built in method. At least with Streaming we have more control over what areas get what. If it turns out that we can't target computers then we may be forced to use in in a one off fashion as you mentioned previously.

 

Ken