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Cache Roaming for Virtual Sessions

Cache Roaming introduces capabilities to roam user application caches between sessions in non-persistent environments. The VHD container is attached to the user's virtual desktop or session allowing the necessary folders within the user profiles to be redirected here. The feature is suitable for supported VDI infrastructures in virtual desktop environments, such as XenDesktop, or Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) scenarios, such as XenApp. Applications do not require any reconfiguration and no changes are made to user profiles.

The feature uses two actions to achieve this:

  • Manage VHD - Mount an existing Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) or create and mount a new VHD.
  • Cache Roaming - Redirect a user profile cache to the VHD.

The two actions can be used independently but most commonly, they will be used in together - roaming the VHD specified or created using the Manage VHD action, to the location defined in the Cache Roaming action. The actions are available on Pre-Desktop and Desktop Created triggers and automatically detach on logoff and network disconnect. This allows users to reconnect when they log on to another endpoint or start a new VDI session. VHDs can optionally be detached on session locked and session disconnected and can be added to reusable nodes for use on the compatible triggers.

One of the main use cases for this feature is roaming Outlook OST Cache files, providing users instant access to their Office 365 mailboxes. Outlook Cached Exchange requires large OST files to remain resident within a user’s profile. In Non-Persistent VDI and RDSH environments, the profile is typically rebuilt at logon, resulting in the loss of user's OST files. Consequently, at the next logon, Outlook has limited functionality while it downloads and rebuilds the OST cache, which can be multiple gigabytes in size. Using this feature means that users with non-persistent VDI setups do not need to be in ‘Exchange Online Mode’ - they can be in ‘Cached Exchange Mode’, persisting their entire mailbox between sessions. This provides a much better user experience and can make users instantly productive following migration to Windows 10 or Office 365 migration.

In addition to Outlook OST Cache files, the Manage VHD action includes built in settings for OneNote Cache and Skype for Business 2016/365 Global Address List. Additionally, you can also create your own custom redirections. Example locations that would be potential candidates are areas within the user profile that are too large for synchronization via EM Personalization, but are key to providing an optimal user experience.

Manage VHD

  1. Select or add a node on the Pre-Desktop or Desktop Created triggers.
  2. From the Actions ribbon, select VHD > Manage VHD.

    The Manage VHD dialog displays.

  3. Complete the fields to set up the action:

    Setting Properties
    VHD File

    Select or enter the path and filename of the VHD to be mounted. If the VHD does not exist on an endpoint and the Automatically create VHD if it does not exist option is selected, a VHD will be created in accordance with the settings configured in this dialog.

    VHDs should not be created on pre-existing mapped drives.

    The VHD File location will typically be a UNC path to a folder that the user already has full access to, for example a User Home Folder location.

    The parent folder for the file must already exist, otherwise the create/attach operations will fail.

    Administrators can ensure this folder is available before the VHD action by using our 'Folder Exists' and 'Create Folder' logic.

    For advice on how to configure permissions on the VHD Network folder, we recommend customers review Microsoft best practice for Home Folders as a baseline here https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/274443/how-to-dynamically-create-security-enhanced-redirected-folders-by-usin

    This ensures that Domain Administrators and the Current User have Full Control on the VHD file, with the User being the Owner of the Parent Folder.

    VHD Root Folder

    The root directory of where the VHD will be mounted. The folder will contain the VHD contents such as Outlook PST files and can be accessed like any other folder. This enables redirected folders to be managed in a common location.

    Automatically create VHD if it does not exist If the specified VHD does not exist on an endpoint, one will be created with the settings defined in this dialog.
    VHD Type Fixed - The size of the disc is determined on creation - it will always be the size set in the Max Size field. This offers better performance than Expandable VHDs but can have a negative impact on logon times.

    Expandable - The size of the disc is variable and will grow to the maximum size as data is added.

    Max Size The maximum size of the VHD between 3MB and 2TB.
    Automatically detach on Session Locked and Session Disconnected VHDs automatically detach at logoff and network disconnect. Select this option to extend to session lock and disconnect.

Cache Roaming

  1. Select or add a node on the Pre-Desktop or Desktop Created triggers.
  2. From the Actions ribbon, select VHD > Cache Roaming.

    The Cache Roaming dialog displays.

  3. Complete the fields to set up the action:

    Setting

    Properties

    Profile Cache Select a cache type from the drop-down:
    • Outlook OST Cache
    • OneNote Cache
    • Skype for Business 2016/365 Global Address List

    Selecting on of the well-known application caches automatically populates the Application Name and Original Location fields, though these can be overwritten if required.

    To create custom cache settings, leave the Profile Cache option as Select or Create New... and complete the remaining fields as required.

    In addition to roaming the Outlook OST, Skype and OneNote caches as mentioned above, for full Office User roaming you will need to persist additional Registry and File locations.

    We provide an Office 2016/365 template with our Personalization Server which is available on the Ivanti Community here:

    https://community.ivanti.com/docs/DOC-46793

    EM Policy only customer can configure File/Registry Actions to persist the required settings within the template to roam the required Office User settings.

    Application Name The name for the cache action that will display in the node work area. This is automatically populated if you select a Profile Cache from the drop-down but can be overwritten if required.
    Original Location

    The source folder of the cache files to be roamed. This is automatically populated if you select a Profile Cache from the drop-down but can be overwritten if required.

    This folder should not be personalized as it will cause issues when personalization attempts to capture the folder at user log off.

    Local, Network (including UNC paths) and DFS paths can be used and environment and session variables are supported.

    For this action to be successful, the specified folder must not already be present within the profile. Where the folder is present, additional actions are required within the configuration. For example, if data is required post production in a migration scenario, actions to either copy the data and delete the folder are required. Alternatively, remove the folder, allowing the action to complete successfully.

    Redirect Location The folder to which the original cache location will be redirected to. If using with a VHD manage action, this should be a path to a sub-folder within the VHD Root Folder.

    Local, Network (including UNC paths) and DFS paths can be used and environment and session variables are supported.

 


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