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Accelerate Your Symantec Workspace Streaming Rollout with AppSense User Virtualization

Created: 09 Jan 2012 • Updated: 09 Jan 2012
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SWS users know that one of the core benefits of streaming is that a package can be delivered to any user session across multiple OS and delivery platforms on-demand.  Whether the user is working from their notebook, a non-persistent VDI pool or a Terminal Server, a user’s applications can roam with the user.

What about the User?

Streaming solves allot of problems with application delivery and licensing and it seems like a great idea until the user has to reconfigure the exchange settings in their streamed instance of Outlook for the 11th time.  The trouble is SWV will isolate all application properties except for a user’s “Personal” folders such as Documents, Downloads, Pictures and Music into the application “layer” by default.  In this configuration user settings and personalization are included in the layer cache, but they are not distributable and do not roam.  Streaming users may have a non-persistent layer cache, causing user personalization to be lost at the end of the user session.  The effect is that newly streamed applications will typically behave like a fresh install, an inherent issue of any application virtualization technology.

Decoupling the User from the App

Enter User Virtualization from AppSense.  By excluding personal data from the layer and virtualizing with AppSense, a seamless experience can be provided to the user.  Just as the streamed application is able to “roam” between user sessions and platforms, AppSense enables the user settings to do the same.  AppSense also provides SWS users the ability to roam between native and virtual applications, effectively migrating users to any platform in real-time. This allows the SWS user to more easily adopt use of streaming on their applications and accelerate ROI on their SWS investment.  AppSense unlocks an SWS and SWV user’s desktop transformation initiative.

How does it work?

Unlike roaming profiles or other user logon-logoff based technologies, AppSense injects user data into an application when it is launched and captures user data in real-time.  This is of critical importance to SWS users who may not have the application loaded until the user launches the app.  User Data is written to the local AppSense file system for offline support and synchronized with bandwidth throttling to the AppSense database.  The AppSense “just-in-time” approach to user virtualization is uniquely positioned to enable SWS users. 

Setting it up:

To configure interoperability between AppSense and SWS, we simply need to configure demarcation between the AppSense and Symantec filter drivers to ensure that they don’t step on one another.  This is configured through a Global Exclusion in the SWV agent as well as AppSense.

To Exclude AppSense and User Data from SWV:

  1. Open the Symantec Workspace Virtualization Admin tool
  2. Click File > Global Excludes
  3. Add new directory and subdirectory exclusions for [SYSTEMDRIVE]\appsensevirtual and any locations that contain user data.  Common locations are [USERPROFILE], [LOCALSETTINGS] and [APPDATA]

    These settings are stored in the registry under HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\FSLX\Parameters\FSL as a Hex value called “ExcludePaths”. 

To exclude the SWV virtual file system from AppSense:

  1. Open the AppSense Environment Manager console
  2. Expand “User Personalization” and connect to the Personalization Server
  3. Select the “Applications” node from the tree on the left and click the “Folders” tab on the right.
  4. Add a new directory exclusion for %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Fslrdr