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Workspace Virtualization: About Layer Isolation

Created: 17 May 2011 • Updated: 21 Jun 2011 | 5 comments
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meggie_woodfield's picture
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Layer isolation is a feature in Workspace Virtualization that lets you turn on and off the visibility between layers and the base. Layer isolation is only needed occasionally and under specific circumstances.

The most common circumstance for using layer isolation is when you need to run different versions of the same program that use associated resources in the file system or registry.

Types of Isolation

Hide From Other Layers

This option hides the selected layer from all other layers. You can still see the layer and it is visible to the operating system. However, dependent layers override isolation rules. For example, if layer 1 is dependent on layer 2 but layer 2 is hidden from other layers, layer 1 will still be able to see layer 2.

Hide From Operating System

This option makes the selected layer invisible to the operating system. The layer is still visible to other layers. However, when a layer is hidden from the operating system there are only a few ways you can access it. To access a layer hidden from the operating system, run cmd from the layer and then use cmd to launch the application. You can also access a layer hidden form the operating system through another layer if the layers are not hidden from each other.

Hide Other Layers From This Layer

This option makes all other layers invisible to the selected layer. You can still see the layer and it is still visible to the base. However, dependent layers override isolation rules. For example, if layer 1 depends on layer 2 and layer 1 has this option enabled, layer 1 will still be able to see layer 2.

To Isolate a Layer

  1. Select a layer.
  2. Right-click and select the type of layer isolation you want. You can select multiple types of layer isolation for the same layer.

Known Issues

Layer isolation does not resolve conflicts between multiple versions of Microsoft Outlook or Firefox.

Isolating Java

Layer isolation does not work with Java 1.4. However, there is a way of isolating layers through the registry that works with Java 1.4. For instructions on how to run multiple versions of Java--including 1.4--see the following Connect article: Virtualizing Java with Symantec Workspace Virtualization.

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Pascal KOTTE's picture

Thanks for this article, and advice about Java, Outlook, Firefox.

We still miss the old Wiki, with a direct, simple alphabetic reference list all softwares, with simple confirmation of supporting SWV (ex SVS) or not, and how.

Searching in Connect is such a mess for getting "spread" of information any package we can, or not virtualyze. I think Symantec does not do a good job in there, removing this Wiki :(

Best regards.

~Pascal @ Do you speak French? Et utilisez Altiris: venez nous rejoindre sur le GUASF

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AngelD's picture

Have to agree!

How about if we could tag an "how to" virtualize <application> as:

(Workspace) Virtualization, Best Practice, Application

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yamine's picture

This is what we are waiting for a long time!

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zzpack's picture

Although I´m fairly new to Symantec Community, I certainly agree with the above. 
A wiki or similar structure is most definitely needed. In a big way. A simple A-Z
catagorization would be very helpful, trying to find information.

Good article by the way.

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Subbaiah's picture


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