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Endpoint Virtualization Community Blog
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Jeremy_Hurren | 31 Jan 2006 | 0 comments

You can adjust the level of compression that SVS applies when it creates a Virtual Software Archive (VSA). By adjusting this level, you can find a balance between performance and size. Jeremy Hurren shows us how to find the perfect balance.

If you have data that needs a different level of compression, you'll be happy to know there's a way you can change that (either per-layer or machine-wide). A perfect candidate would be my MP3 data layer which holds many gigabytes of data. Since the compression on MP3 files is infinitesimal, I choose to have them simply stored and not compressed at all to speed up the process.

The following setting will set the compression level machine-wide:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Altiris\FSL

CompressionLevel (DWORD) = 0-19 (5 is the default)

To set this for an individual layer, place the value under the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Altiris\FSL\1

(replace 1 with the...

Jared Payne | 31 Jan 2006 | 4 comments

The ability to apply a virtual patch to a software application is one of the exciting features we've been told to look forward to in a future version of SVS. Jared Payne has found a way to get this functionality today ... and he's given us the steps!

The ability to apply a virtual patch to a software application is one of the exciting features we've been told to look forward to in a future version of SVS. Here a few steps that will allow you to apply virtual patches using today's SVS.

  1. Start with an application installed to an SVS application layer.
  2. Reset the layer to make sure it is clean.
  3. Activate the layer.
  4. Run the application's update feature (do not enter capture mode).
  5. Create an empty layer (for this example, we'll name the layer "App_PATCH_1").
  6. Run WriteableSwap.
    WriteableSwap application App_Patch_1 -F
  7. Export App_Patch_1
  8. Send App_Patch_1 to all your client...
Admin | 30 Jan 2006 | 0 comments

Q:
Dean asked, "Does SVS resolve software conflicts differently than Wise Package Studio? If so, how are they different?"

A:
Hi Dean. ConflictManager (a component of Wise Package Studio) provides functionality for detecting and resolving conflicts prior to deployment, by tracking all desktop components (applications, drivers, base images, etc.) in a database called the Wise Software Repository. Conflict Manager then compares all of these components to identify potential conflicts, and provides guidance on optimizing your software packages. For conventional installers like MSIs, that could mean changing packages so that each application uses the same version of any shared components.

With SVS, conflicts are avoided by running each application from its own virtual layer. Each application always uses its own versions of any shared resources -- both files and registry keys, thereby avoiding software conflicts...

Admin | 30 Jan 2006 | 4 comments

Q:
Clark wrote, "I assume some applications don't work as well as others in a virtualized environment. Is there a list?"

A:
Great question, Clark. Applications and software that are tightly linked to the operating system, such as system drivers, OS patches, and Internet Explorer, and server-based applications such as Microsoft SQL Server and Apache are not officially supported in SVS 2.0.

However, you'll want to frequently visit this Wiki article that shows users' experiences with both supported and unsupported applications virtualized with Altiris SVS.

Scott Jones | 24 Jan 2006 | 0 comments

SVS Product Manager Scott Jones explains how prioritization of layers and classes came to be and how this added functionality can be useful to you.

One of our SVS beta testers posted a suggestion in the support forums that has influenced our development plans. I wanted to take the time to explain the suggestion and what our engineers are doing to implement it. Here's the post:

"Having the ability to layer applications is great, but it would be beneficial to have a switch that would change a package to run totally isolated/virtualized from other applications on the machine. Isolated packages would allow for quicker deploy, reduced testing, and a high level of confidence the activation would not cause an issue on the system."

This request (and others like it) was one of the key driving factors in our decision to take a step back after Beta 2 and reconsider the...

Admin | 24 Jan 2006 | 0 comments

Q:
Ken asked, "If I image my computer (using Altiris or something else), will the activated virtual layer files, the obscure files, be picked up by the imaging software? I want to have the activated, virtual apps embedded in the image. Where exactly do the activated files live?"

A:
Good question, Ken. The SVS redirect area is part of the normal file system; we don't use a separate partition or anything like that. Imaging technology doesn’t see SVS as anything special or different from normal disk content. So it doesn't need to know anything about SVS or to do anything special to work correctly with SVS Applications. All virtualized data will be part of the image.

Admin | 17 Jan 2006 | 3 comments

Q:
Travis asked, "If I am using SVS to distribute MS Word and Microsoft has a patch for it, can I patch a virtualized application on the desktop or would I patch the application then send out a new virtualized application?"

A:
Hi Travis, in the current release, which is 2.0, if you want to update the official version of the package, you will need to build a new package and redistribute the newly-virtualized application. However, if the patch uses MSI (like Office Updates do), SVS will recognize that the virtualized application is being patched and will put the patch into the app's writeable sublayer. Or if the update process is run from within the app itself (like Adobe and so many other things these days), the same thing will happen.

So even in this release, we do in most cases keep the updates together with the app inside the Virtual Software Package. There's just no way to granularly roll back only the...

Jeremy_Hurren | 17 Jan 2006 | 16 comments

SVS CodeMaster Jeremy Hurren just threw another gem over the wall. If you want an SVS action (activate, deactivate, delete ...) to trigger an application, or send a message, or play a sound, here's the recipe.

Have you ever needed to run an external process when a layer gets activated, or deactivated, or deleted? You might, for example, have a third-party inventory system and want to re-evaluate the computer's inventory when layers activate and deactivate. (Send us your examples*).

Or maybe, like me, you just want to play a sound when layers activate. The following example plays the ding.wav file when a layer is activated and the chord.wav file when a layer is deactivated.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Altiris\FSL
OnPostActivate (MULTI_SZ) = "PlaySound.exe "C:\Windows\Media\ding.wav""
OnPostDeactivate (MULTI_SZ) = "PlaySound.exe "C:\Windows\Media\chord.wav""

In addition to a global setting like the one above, you can also change settings...

riva11 | 17 Jan 2006 | 0 comments

SVS CodeMaster Jeremy Hurren ha gettato un'altra perla oltre il muro. Se avete avuto la necessità di eseguire una azione di SVS (attivare, disattivare, cancellare ...) per dare il via ad una applicazione, per spedire un messaggio oppure per eseguire un suono, allora qui è possibile trovare la ricetta.

Avete mai avuto la necessità di eseguire un processo esterno quando un layer viene attivato o disattivato, oppure cancellato? Potresti, per esempio, avere un tool di terze parti per l'inventario e voler rieseguire la raccolta dei dati dei computer quando i layer sono attivati e disattivati. (Mandate i vostri esempi*).

O forse volete semplicemente, come mi succede, fare eseguire dal computer un suono quando un layer viene attivato. Nel seguente esempio viene suonato il file ding.wav file quando il layer è attivato e chord.wav quando il layer viene disattivato.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Altiris\FSL
OnPostActivate (MULTI_SZ) = "...

BBishop | 13 Jan 2006 | 0 comments

We asked troubleshooter Brent Bishop to share a swig of wisdom related to Notification Server and SVS working as a team. He shares a few ways to sidestep problems you may run into if Notification Server fails to recognize SVS or execute its commands.

The Issue

Software Virtualization Solution (SVS) advertisements which run the autogenerated programs inside of Notification Server (NS) SVS packages (there are 15 programs autogenerated at this time when the *.vsa file is selected in the Package Manager window or the Virtual Software Wizard) fail to run and give an error message of "SVSCMD.exe is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file." or they simply seem to fail to perform their function.

The Details

This may occur on all or only some NS clients running SVS. It generally will not occur shortly after the SVS agent is installed as the path statement should still be in order. But other installs or user changes...