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VMware User Environment Manager

This Week’s Top EUC News Will Blow Your Mind

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&#rsquo;Microsoft Azure users now have access to genuine desktop as a service solution.&#rdquo;

That&#rsquo;s SiliconANGLE on our huge news this week: We&#rsquo;re delivering VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure. By connecting Azure to the Horizon Cloud control plane, our joint customers are empowered with more flexibility to deliver virtual desktops and apps. Get the FAQs here.

&#rsquo;Our customers have their preference of public cloud offerings and should be able to choose the industry leader in desktop and app virtualization regardless of that cloud preference.&#rdquo;
—Dave Grant, VP of Product Marketing for VMware End-User Computing, at VMware Radius

Plus, using Horizon Cloud with on-premises infrastructure? Here&#rsquo;s what&#rsquo;s new for you.

The digital workspace just upped its IQ.

VMware also announced the acquisition of Apteligent this week and the integration of the mobile app intelligence solution into our digital workspace platform. Read the juicy details here.

&#rsquo;The Apteligent platform enables both mobile app developers and IT organizations to analyze mobile application performance in real time, enabling them to understand user behavior to address the issues that matter the most—and directly impact business and revenue.&#rdquo;
—Sumit Dhawan, VMware EUC SVP & GM of Desktop Products & Solutions

Forget stereotypes. We&#rsquo;re all Generation Digital.

Millennials aren&#rsquo;t the only generation demanding mobile technology at work. Employees of all ages recently said mobile tech makes them more productive (60%), more creative (45%) and more satisfied at work (53%). Read more in this new VMware Radius series.

It&#rsquo;s a &#rsquo;privilege&#rdquo; to meet you, VMware User Environment Manager 9.2.

User Environment Manager (UEM) essentially separates a user&#rsquo;s personality from the underlying Windows machine, said Andy Morris, virtualizing their preferences. Version 9.2 offers a cool new trick: User privilege elevation. Here&#rsquo;s what it does.

Plus, watch these six videos for a technical deep dive into UEM 9.2.

And IT lived happily ever after.

User satisfaction is up, and costs are down at Memorial Healthcare after the hospital deployed VMware NSX, VMware AirWatch and Horizon. Hear their digital clinical workspace story.

&#rsquo;I don&#rsquo;t think there&#rsquo;s much within our infrastructure that VMware hasn&#rsquo;t enabled.&#rdquo;
—Thomas Kurtz, Ph. D, VP of Information Services & CIO for Memorial Healthcare

Let&#rsquo;s talk tech.

  • Citrix Synergy, May 23–25 in Orlando (VMware booth 309)
  • VMware SociaLabs—Horizon 7 & AirWatch, May 23 (San Diego), June 6 (Reston) & June 20 (Halifax)
  • Boston Summer VMUG UserCon, June 1
  • Unlocking Mobility with Derived Credentials &AirWatch, June 23 online
  • VMworld 2017, Aug. 27–31 in Vegas

The post This Week&#rsquo;s Top EUC News Will Blow Your Mind appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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VMware User Environment Manager 9.2 Technical Deep Dive

We are excited about the newest release of VMware User Environment Manager - version 9.2. This release includes some great new features that enhance the product functionality and continue to offer administrators more flexibility in managing the user experience. We have put together a series of videos that will help you learn about User Environment Manager, get up to speed on the new features, and see demos of some of those features.

User Environment Manager 9.2 Technical Overview

Before you dive into the new features, this brief technical-overview video will introduce you to User Environment Manager, provide some details about how it works, and examine the architecture. If you are new to the product, or want a short refresher, this is a great place to begin.

User Environment Manager 9.2 – What&#rsquo;s New

Two videos explain the new features of User Environment Manager 9.2. The first video focuses on the privilege elevation feature and publisher-based rules for application blocking and privilege elevation.

The second video discusses the additional new features of automation with new environment variables, new config file templates for better personalization, and several additional topics.

Privilege Elevation

This video discusses and demonstrates the new privilege elevation feature of User Environment Manager 9.2. Privilege elevation is designed as a tool for IT administrators to mitigate risks in their privilege-management strategy. Applications that are already installed and require elevated privileges to run, as well as application installers, can have privileges elevated.

Publisher-Based Application Blocking and Privilege Elevation

User Environment Manager 9.2 added the ability to use a software publisher&#rsquo;s certificate to configure application blocking or privilege-elevation rules. This enables the IT administrator to allow all applications or elevate privileges for all applications from a software publisher. This video provides the details and a demo of how this works.

Scripting Variables

This video looks at and demonstrates the use of environment variables automatically created by User Environment Manager. These environment variables can be leveraged for automation scripting.

Summary

We hope you learn a lot from these videos covering new features in VMware User Environment Manager. User Environment Manager 9.2 is available for download today.

To comment on any of the videos, contact VMware End-User-Computing Technical Marketing ateuc_tech_content_.

 

The post VMware User Environment Manager 9.2 Technical Deep Dive appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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Introducing VMware User Environment Manager 9.2 with Privilege Elevation

I know you&#rsquo;re excited to hear about all the functions and features we&#rsquo;ve crammed into the new release. Bear with me a moment, because not everyone is aware of what VMware User Environment Manager is.

What Is User Environment Manager?

The easiest way to understand User Environment Manager is to imagine a world in which it doesn&#rsquo;t exist.

Picture yourself sitting at your computer. The desktop is the image of the cat you love so much, and the icons are arranged in a way that makes perfect sense to (only) you. When you start an application, its window appears in just the right place on the screen, with just the right toolbars configured to make you productive. The word processor has all those special words and acronyms you added that no one outside of your industry ever uses. The 3-D printer that only you use is hooked up and ready to do your bidding. The machine is a perfect reflection of your work life.

Now, imagine IT takes your computer away for a week of &#rsquo;upgrades&#rdquo; and gives you a loaner. Are you productive? Of course not. You&#rsquo;ve spent possibly years customizing your PC to be the machine you need it to be, and this new one, with all the same apps and some of the same printers, is simply a pale imitation.

This is the problem that User Environment Manager was invented to solve. User Environment Manager attempts to separate your personality from the underlying Windows machine. In VMware terms, it attempts to virtualize you: to isolate the essence of you from all the complexity that completes your Windows experience.

In the world of User Environment Manager, you can move between machines. Every single time you sign on, you get presented with your loving cat, your peculiar dictionary and your icons just so. Your 3D printer even works.

New in User Environment Manager 9.2

In version 9.2, we&#rsquo;ve added some very cool tricks that handle user privilege. Clearly, you&#rsquo;re never going to give your users admin rights, but with privilege elevation, you can now allow them to run and install their own apps if they meet your criteria. We&#rsquo;ve also added numerous Windows Environment variables, so you can script more responsive policy.

User Environment Manager is 100% focused on delivering consistent, dynamic application and desktop user experiences across any device, location or operating system. With an elegant and scalable architecture, it requires no additional infrastructure. It’s truly the next generation in user profile management.

Go ahead and tryVMware User Environment Manager 9.2now.

Download Your 60-Day Trial
(And yes, the video is cheesy. We know. Thanks for reading!)

Read more about User Environment Manager:

  • [Whitepaper] User Environment Manager Deployment Considerations
  • Profiling Applications with User Environment Manager, Part 1: Introduction to Application Profiler
  • VMware User Environment Manager, Part 1: Easier, Faster Windows Logins with Mandatory Profiles

The post Introducing VMware User Environment Manager 9.2 with Privilege Elevation appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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Horizon Cloud Service with On-Premises Infrastructure May 2017 Release Updates

There are several technical updates this quarter to VMware Horizon Cloud Service with On-Premises Infrastructure. For more details on this release, see the Horizon Cloud with On-Premises Infrastructure Release Notes.

Support for Cloud-Based Workspace ONE

With this release, we now support cloud-based deployments of VMware Workspace ONE. End users can access their VMware Horizon Cloud virtual desktops from the Workspace ONE application catalog and utilize single sign-on for authentication. We previously supported only on-premises deployments of Workspace ONE.

 

New Desktop Configuration – Performance (Enterprise Plus)

We have added a new desktop configuration option to better suit the needs of your power users. With Horizon Cloud with On-Premises Infrastructure, you can now deliver Performance (Enterprise Plus) Desktops, with an 8 vCPU and 16 GB vRAM configuration.

Smart Policies Support

You can now leverage Smart Policies in Horizon Cloud. Smart Policies allow you to have fine-grain control over a user&#rsquo;s desktop experience. You can dynamically enable, disable, or control access to user features in Horizon Cloud based on who the user is, and how they are accessing Horizon Cloud. Smart Policies were released as an integration between VMware Horizon 7 and VMware User Environment Manager in 2016.

For example, with Smart Policies, an administrator can decide to disable access to USB devices or to cut-and-paste from within the Horizon Client if users are attempting to access the Horizon Cloud environment from an untrusted or external network. You can also dynamically control display-protocol configurations based on the type of device that is being used.

Smart Policies in Horizon Cloud work the same as they do in Horizon 7. VMware Senior Product Line Manager Aaron Black wrote an excellent blog post pointing out some great use cases for Smart Policies. If you want to try out Smart Policies in your Horizon Cloud deployment, download the Reviewers Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Smart Policies.

vSphere 6.5 Support

We have added support for VMware vSphere 6.5 on certified vSAN Ready Nodes. For details on supported hardware models from partners, see the Horizon Cloud with On-Premises Infrastructure page.

SmartNode Consolidation

We have consolidated the management tier of a Horizon Cloud with On-Premises Infrastructure deployment into a single virtual appliance. The Horizon Cloud Node appliance manages all of the critical functions including App Volumes, Instant Clone creation, and communication with the Horizon Cloud control plane. This change was made to keep the Horizon Cloud Node footprint small and efficient. For more details, see Horizon Cloud with On-Premises Architecture.

Summary

With this release of Horizon Cloud with On-Premises Infrastructure, new features include

  • Support for cloud-based Workspace ONE
  • New desktop configuration: Performance (Enterprise Plus)
  • Smart Policies support
  • vSphere 6.5 support
  • Multi-region management
  • SmartNode consolidation

Horizon Cloud with On Premises Infrastructure continues to add new functionality on a regular basis. For more information, see Horizon Cloud Service with On-Premises Infrastructure.

The post Horizon Cloud Service with On-Premises Infrastructure May 2017 Release Updates appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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Profiling Applications with VMware User Environment Manager, Part 3: Built-In and Custom Exclusions

Co-authored by Pim van de Vis, Product Engineer, User Environment Manager, Research & Development, VMware

In Part 1 of this blog series, you were introduced to the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler. In Part 2, VLC Media Player was profiled, predefined settings were applied, and you were introduced to a few Application Profiler best practices and troubleshooting techniques. In Part 3 we use Google Chrome to demonstrate Application Profiler exclusions, including when, why, and how to use them.

Introduction to Exclusions with Application Profiler

Windows applications tend to write registry and file system data in a variety of locations. A portion of the data is relevant to persisting the user experience from session to session, and that of course is what we are interested in when profiling an application to provide personalization. Most applications also create files we may not want to persist, such as temp, log, and crash dump files. Depending on the application and how it is used, these files may quickly grow in size, negatively impacting the user experience.

The VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler includes a number of built-in exclusions for both the registry and the file system. In most cases these defaults suffice, and applications profile quite easily. There are, however, applications such as Chrome that write user-specific configuration data to locations that are excluded by default. In this blog post you will see which locations are excluded by default, how to make exceptions when needed, and how to create your own exclusions to keep user profile archives small.

It is worth mentioning that you can download a custom Flex configuration template already optimized for Chrome from the Community Forum, along with a variety of other templates. The rest of this blog post is aimed at showing the logic and process to create a configuration file for Chrome.

Environment

Installing Application Profiler and performing the initial profiling process is outside the scope of this blog post, and is well-documented in the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide. This blog post focuses on the advanced scenario of troubleshooting and customizing a profiled application using exclusions.

The following describes the configuration used to profile Chrome. For a comprehensive list of supported operating systems for Application Profiler, see the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide.

Application Packaging and Profiling Machine Configuration (Profiling VM)

The application packaging and profiling machine (also called the profiling VM) is configured with the following:

  • Windows 10 Anniversary Update (AU) VM.
  • VMware App Volumes Agent version 2.12.
  • VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler version 9.1.
  • svc-profiler domain account has local administrative privileges.

The App Volumes Agent is an optional component, and is part of the VMware End-User-Computing JMP solution. This agent is included so the same VM can be used to build an AppVolumes AppStack for application deployment, and to profile the application for personalization with User Environment Manager. If you would like to learn more, or include App Volumes in your environment, refer to the App Volumes Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide.

End-User Machine Configuration

The end-user machine in this example has the following configuration:

  • Windows 10 AU instant-clone VM.
  • VMware App Volumes Agent version 2.12.
  • VMware User Environment Manager FlexEngine version 9.1.
  • jspencer is a standard end user domain account.

Application Profiling with User Environment Manager

Google Chrome version 57.0.2987.133 was captured to an App Volumes AppStack using all default installation options. The AppStack was then used to deliver Chrome to the profiling VM.

The following steps are taken during the User Environment Manager application profiling process:

  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. Browse to vmware.com and create a bookmark for the site.
  3. Configure Chrome to display the bookmarks bar.
  4. Stop (close) Chrome.

At this point we would expect the Application Profiler to detect Chrome being stopped, and prompt us to complete the profiling process. This is not the case, which is an indication that the Application Profiler still sees one or more running processes related to Chrome. Windows Task Manager does not indicate that Chrome is running, as there are no processes named chrome.exe.

Clicking the Stop Analysis button on the Application Profiler window brings up a list of running child processes from the application (Chrome) being profiled.

Notice there are two unique process IDs (PIDs) for chrome.exe. Yet, we still do not see chrome.exe listed in Windows Task Manager. During the application profiling process, if Application Profiler does not detect the application stop event, the cause is typically related to child processes. Depending on the application, one of two methods for troubleshooting will commonly be used. We look at each of these in the following section.

Analyzing Application Does Not Detect Application Stop

When you stop an application and the Application Profiler does not detect the event, the most common cause is that the primary executable spawned one or more child processes, which are still running. This is often the case when an application creates a Task Bar icon, or continues to run some service in the background of Windows.

When this occurs, click the Stop Analysis button and check the Windows Task Manager to see if there is a match for the process name and PID displayed. If a match is found, attempt to locate the running component and shut it down gracefully. In the case of a Task Bar icon, you might right-click and choose to exit the application. Closing all child processes gracefully (rather than ending the processes via Task Manager) ensures all user data that might be written to the registry or file system completes, and can therefore be properly analyzed by Application Profiler.

Chrome is a somewhat unique application in that it often spawns child processes that do not notify Windows when they close. This results in Application Profiler reporting process names and PIDs that are not detected by Windows Task Manager, as seen in the previous graphic. Because of this, it is necessary to force Application Profiler to stop, even though it indicates the child processes are still running, in order to continue the application profiling process. Doing so has other implications to DirectFlex, which we cover later in this blog post.

For now, we continue with the application profiling process. To do so, the Yes button is clicked on the Analysis Session Is Running window to stop the profiling session, despite the extra chrome.exe processes.

Using File Exclusions with Chrome

Upon completion of the application analysis, we see a single registry tree to be included in the Chrome configuration file.

If we complete the application profiling process and start providing personalization for Chrome with this configuration file, we find bookmarks are not preserved for our end users. This should not be the case, as we specifically created a bookmark during the application profiling process. Additional features in the Application Profiler can be used to determine why this is happening.

Selecting the Manage Exclusions option within Application Profiler brings up a list of default exclusions for the file system or registry.

Clicking the Settings tab and deselecting the Enable File Exclusions check box disables the default file exclusions list in real time, and displays the files and folders that were previously excluded. In this case, the updated Flex Config File output window indicates there were files created or modified in %LocalAppData%Google. In addition, we see an extensive list of files in %LocalAppData%Temp (and other locations not displayed in the graphic) that Chrome modified during the profiling process. These files and folders were excluded by the Application Profiler default exclusions, as it is uncommon for applications to write user configuration data to these locations.

Browsing to %LocalAppData% on the local file system of the profiling VM, we can see Chrome created the folder User Data to store a variety of user configuration information.

Chrome essentially creates several databases, and stores inside of them user configuration settings such as bookmarks. Because of this, it is necessary to include %LocalAppData%GoogleChrome in the Flex configuration file. To do this, the IncludeFolderTrees section is manually added to the original Flex configuration file. Note that Enable File Exclusions has been selected, as we do not want to include all of the files that had been automatically excluded.

Completing the profiling process and using this configuration file to provide personalization for Chrome would properly persist bookmarks and other user configuration settings between sessions. Success!?

Well…sort of. Yes, we fixed the personalization problem, but we have created a new problem that may not be apparent right away.

User Profile Archive Growth

Importing and exporting user profile archive files to provide personalization of applications is a foundational feature of User Environment Manager. These operations can be done at login and logout, or at application start and stop, when using DirectFlex. Application configuration is typically done using registry settings or simple configuration files such as INI or XML. Because these settings require little space on disk, only small amounts of data are being transferred during import and export, resulting in excellent performance for end users.

Chrome uses databases to store its user configuration data, and these databases can grow very quickly. As an example, browsing with Chrome for less than two minutes to sites such as YouTube caused my %LocalAppData%GoogleChromeUser Data folder to grow to 16 MB. It is common for this directory to grow to hundreds of megabytes over time, which could impact the performance of user profile archive import and export operations.

Although we do not have the space in this blog post to cover all the testing, we have found that specific directories tend to grow significantly, though they are not really adding value to the personalization process. By creating a few manual exclusions, we can significantly reduce the size of the user profile archives.

One last addition we can make to reduce the size of the user profile archives is to exclude any TMP files. A quick search of %LocalAppData%GoogleChrome finds a number of these files that will grow over time, but add no value to personalization. Note the wildcard (*) support for exclusions.

With these additions to the Flex configuration file in place, we can now complete the application profiling process. Before we start providing personalization of Chrome to end users, we need to consider how or if DirectFlex will be used with Chrome.

Configuring DirectFlex for Profiled Applications

Application Profiler by default enables DirectFlex for profiled applications. DirectFlex is a feature of the User Environment Manager Agent (FlexEngine), which imports settings when an application is started and exports user customizations when the application is stopped, rather than at login and logout. When an application is stopped, DirectFlex should detect the stop of the application process and any child processes, then proceed with the export.

As seen during profiling, Chrome creates several chrome.exe processes as the application is used. DirectFlex tries to keep track of each process, because the export operation should occur when the last chrome.exe process exits. Because Chrome does not notify Windows of all the child processes it creates, DirectFlex may not accurately detect when Chrome is stopped, as seen during the profiling process. This may prevent the export operation from occurring as intended.

In the case of Chrome, there are two recommended methods to solve this.

DirectFlex Settings for Google Chrome

The first option is to simply disable DirectFlex for Chrome by deselecting the check box in the User Environment Manager console after application profiling is complete. Note the prompt to answer Enable config processing during logon and logoff? when DirectFlex is disabled.

The second option is to continue using DirectFlex to import settings when Chrome is started, but to configure User Environment Manager to export the settings on logout, rather than at application stop. This removes the requirement for DirectFlex to determine when Chrome has been stopped. Again, this configuration is made from the User Environment Manager console post-profiling. Select Export at logoff from the Export moment drop-down menu.

Conclusion

The following is a brief summary of the application profiling concepts and practices covered in this blog post, which you can apply to your own applications.

  • When profiling, stopping or closing the application should automatically cause the Application Profiler to complete the analysis phase. If this does not occur, it is an indication that the application has one or more child processes that are still running.
  • If child processes are left running after the application is stopped, the most likely cause is a Task Bar icon or background service. Use the Task Manager to determine whether Windows sees application processes, and attempt to gracefully stop them.
  • Default exclusions work for profiling most applications. Toggle exclusions on and off from the Application Profiler to determine if your application is writing information in one of the excluded locations.
  • User profile archives are typically small (less than 1 MB), which is important for providing a good user experience during import and export operations. Watch for archives that grow quickly or very large, as they may be storing unnecessary files.
  • Use manual exclusions to prevent storing unnecessary files and folders in user profile archives. Specifically, watch for large files, and files or folders with names or extensions such as TMP, LOG, CACHE, and so on.
  • For additional detail on exclusions, see the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide.

The post Profiling Applications with VMware User Environment Manager, Part 3: Built-In and Custom Exclusions appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

Read more..

Profiling Applications with VMware User Environment Manager, Part 3: Built-In and Custom Exclusions

Co-authored by Pim van de Vis, Product Engineer, User Environment Manager, Research & Development, VMware

In Part 1 of this blog series, you were introduced to the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler. In Part 2, VLC Media Player was profiled, predefined settings were applied, and you were introduced to a few Application Profiler best practices and troubleshooting techniques. In Part 3 we use Google Chrome to demonstrate Application Profiler exclusions, including when, why, and how to use them.

Introduction to Exclusions with Application Profiler

Windows applications tend to write registry and file system data in a variety of locations. A portion of the data is relevant to persisting the user experience from session to session, and that of course is what we are interested in when profiling an application to provide personalization. Most applications also create files we may not want to persist, such as temp, log, and crash dump files. Depending on the application and how it is used, these files may quickly grow in size, negatively impacting the user experience.

The VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler includes a number of built-in exclusions for both the registry and the file system. In most cases these defaults suffice, and applications profile quite easily. There are, however, applications such as Chrome that write user-specific configuration data to locations that are excluded by default. In this blog post you will see which locations are excluded by default, how to make exceptions when needed, and how to create your own exclusions to keep user profile archives small.

It is worth mentioning that you can download a custom Flex configuration template already optimized for Chrome from the Community Forum, along with a variety of other templates. The rest of this blog post is aimed at showing the logic and process to create a configuration file for Chrome.

Environment

Installing Application Profiler and performing the initial profiling process is outside the scope of this blog post, and is well-documented in the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide. This blog post focuses on the advanced scenario of troubleshooting and customizing a profiled application using exclusions.

The following describes the configuration used to profile Chrome. For a comprehensive list of supported operating systems for Application Profiler, see the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide.

Application Packaging and Profiling Machine Configuration (Profiling VM)

The application packaging and profiling machine (also called the profiling VM) is configured with the following:

  • Windows 10 Anniversary Update (AU) VM.
  • VMware App Volumes Agent version 2.12.
  • VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler version 9.1.
  • svc-profiler domain account has local administrative privileges.

The App Volumes Agent is an optional component, and is part of the VMware End-User-Computing JMP solution. This agent is included so the same VM can be used to build an AppVolumes AppStack for application deployment, and to profile the application for personalization with User Environment Manager. If you would like to learn more, or include App Volumes in your environment, refer to the App Volumes Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide.

End-User Machine Configuration

The end-user machine in this example has the following configuration:

  • Windows 10 AU instant-clone VM.
  • VMware App Volumes Agent version 2.12.
  • VMware User Environment Manager FlexEngine version 9.1.
  • jspencer is a standard end user domain account.

Application Profiling with User Environment Manager

Google Chrome version 57.0.2987.133 was captured to an App Volumes AppStack using all default installation options. The AppStack was then used to deliver Chrome to the profiling VM.

The following steps are taken during the User Environment Manager application profiling process:

  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. Browse to vmware.com and create a bookmark for the site.
  3. Configure Chrome to display the bookmarks bar.
  4. Stop (close) Chrome.

At this point we would expect the Application Profiler to detect Chrome being stopped, and prompt us to complete the profiling process. This is not the case, which is an indication that the Application Profiler still sees one or more running processes related to Chrome. Windows Task Manager does not indicate that Chrome is running, as there are no processes named chrome.exe.

Clicking the Stop Analysis button on the Application Profiler window brings up a list of running child processes from the application (Chrome) being profiled.

Notice there are two unique process IDs (PIDs) for chrome.exe. Yet, we still do not see chrome.exe listed in Windows Task Manager. During the application profiling process, if Application Profiler does not detect the application stop event, the cause is typically related to child processes. Depending on the application, one of two methods for troubleshooting will commonly be used. We look at each of these in the following section.

Analyzing Application Does Not Detect Application Stop

When you stop an application and the Application Profiler does not detect the event, the most common cause is that the primary executable spawned one or more child processes, which are still running. This is often the case when an application creates a Task Bar icon, or continues to run some service in the background of Windows.

When this occurs, click the Stop Analysis button and check the Windows Task Manager to see if there is a match for the process name and PID displayed. If a match is found, attempt to locate the running component and shut it down gracefully. In the case of a Task Bar icon, you might right-click and choose to exit the application. Closing all child processes gracefully (rather than ending the processes via Task Manager) ensures all user data that might be written to the registry or file system completes, and can therefore be properly analyzed by Application Profiler.

Chrome is a somewhat unique application in that it often spawns child processes that do not notify Windows when they close. This results in Application Profiler reporting process names and PIDs that are not detected by Windows Task Manager, as seen in the previous graphic. Because of this, it is necessary to force Application Profiler to stop, even though it indicates the child processes are still running, in order to continue the application profiling process. Doing so has other implications to DirectFlex, which we cover later in this blog post.

For now, we continue with the application profiling process. To do so, the Yes button is clicked on the Analysis Session Is Running window to stop the profiling session, despite the extra chrome.exe processes.

Using File Exclusions with Chrome

Upon completion of the application analysis, we see a single registry tree to be included in the Chrome configuration file.

If we complete the application profiling process and start providing personalization for Chrome with this configuration file, we find bookmarks are not preserved for our end users. This should not be the case, as we specifically created a bookmark during the application profiling process. Additional features in the Application Profiler can be used to determine why this is happening.

Selecting the Manage Exclusions option within Application Profiler brings up a list of default exclusions for the file system or registry.

Clicking the Settings tab and deselecting the Enable File Exclusions check box disables the default file exclusions list in real time, and displays the files and folders that were previously excluded. In this case, the updated Flex Config File output window indicates there were files created or modified in %LocalAppData%Google. In addition, we see an extensive list of files in %LocalAppData%Temp (and other locations not displayed in the graphic) that Chrome modified during the profiling process. These files and folders were excluded by the Application Profiler default exclusions, as it is uncommon for applications to write user configuration data to these locations.

Browsing to %LocalAppData% on the local file system of the profiling VM, we can see Chrome created the folder User Data to store a variety of user configuration information.

Chrome essentially creates several databases, and stores inside of them user configuration settings such as bookmarks. Because of this, it is necessary to include %LocalAppData%GoogleChrome in the Flex configuration file. To do this, the IncludeFolderTrees section is manually added to the original Flex configuration file. Note that Enable File Exclusions has been selected, as we do not want to include all of the files that had been automatically excluded.

Completing the profiling process and using this configuration file to provide personalization for Chrome would properly persist bookmarks and other user configuration settings between sessions. Success!?

Well…sort of. Yes, we fixed the personalization problem, but we have created a new problem that may not be apparent right away.

User Profile Archive Growth

Importing and exporting user profile archive files to provide personalization of applications is a foundational feature of User Environment Manager. These operations can be done at login and logout, or at application start and stop, when using DirectFlex. Application configuration is typically done using registry settings or simple configuration files such as INI or XML. Because these settings require little space on disk, only small amounts of data are being transferred during import and export, resulting in excellent performance for end users.

Chrome uses databases to store its user configuration data, and these databases can grow very quickly. As an example, browsing with Chrome for less than two minutes to sites such as YouTube caused my %LocalAppData%GoogleChromeUser Data folder to grow to 16 MB. It is common for this directory to grow to hundreds of megabytes over time, which could impact the performance of user profile archive import and export operations.

Although we do not have the space in this blog post to cover all the testing, we have found that specific directories tend to grow significantly, though they are not really adding value to the personalization process. By creating a few manual exclusions, we can significantly reduce the size of the user profile archives.

One last addition we can make to reduce the size of the user profile archives is to exclude any TMP files. A quick search of %LocalAppData%GoogleChrome finds a number of these files that will grow over time, but add no value to personalization. Note the wildcard (*) support for exclusions.

With these additions to the Flex configuration file in place, we can now complete the application profiling process. Before we start providing personalization of Chrome to end users, we need to consider how or if DirectFlex will be used with Chrome.

Configuring DirectFlex for Profiled Applications

Application Profiler by default enables DirectFlex for profiled applications. DirectFlex is a feature of the User Environment Manager Agent (FlexEngine), which imports settings when an application is started and exports user customizations when the application is stopped, rather than at login and logout. When an application is stopped, DirectFlex should detect the stop of the application process and any child processes, then proceed with the export.

As seen during profiling, Chrome creates several chrome.exe processes as the application is used. DirectFlex tries to keep track of each process, because the export operation should occur when the last chrome.exe process exits. Because Chrome does not notify Windows of all the child processes it creates, DirectFlex may not accurately detect when Chrome is stopped, as seen during the profiling process. This may prevent the export operation from occurring as intended.

In the case of Chrome, there are two recommended methods to solve this.

DirectFlex Settings for Google Chrome

The first option is to simply disable DirectFlex for Chrome by deselecting the check box in the User Environment Manager console after application profiling is complete. Note the prompt to answer Enable config processing during logon and logoff? when DirectFlex is disabled.

The second option is to continue using DirectFlex to import settings when Chrome is started, but to configure User Environment Manager to export the settings on logout, rather than at application stop. This removes the requirement for DirectFlex to determine when Chrome has been stopped. Again, this configuration is made from the User Environment Manager console post-profiling. Select Export at logoff from the Export moment drop-down menu.

Conclusion

The following is a brief summary of the application profiling concepts and practices covered in this blog post, which you can apply to your own applications.

  • When profiling, stopping or closing the application should automatically cause the Application Profiler to complete the analysis phase. If this does not occur, it is an indication that the application has one or more child processes that are still running.
  • If child processes are left running after the application is stopped, the most likely cause is a Task Bar icon or background service. Use the Task Manager to determine whether Windows sees application processes, and attempt to gracefully stop them.
  • Default exclusions work for profiling most applications. Toggle exclusions on and off from the Application Profiler to determine if your application is writing information in one of the excluded locations.
  • User profile archives are typically small (less than 1 MB), which is important for providing a good user experience during import and export operations. Watch for archives that grow quickly or very large, as they may be storing unnecessary files.
  • Use manual exclusions to prevent storing unnecessary files and folders in user profile archives. Specifically, watch for large files, and files or folders with names or extensions such as TMP, LOG, CACHE, and so on.
  • For additional detail on exclusions, see the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide.

The post Profiling Applications with VMware User Environment Manager, Part 3: Built-In and Custom Exclusions appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

Read more..

Profiling Applications with VMware User Environment Manager, Part 3: Built-In and Custom Exclusions

Co-authored by Pim van de Vis, Product Engineer, User Environment Manager, Research & Development, VMware

In Part 1 of this blog series, you were introduced to the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler. In Part 2, VLC Media Player was profiled, predefined settings were applied, and you were introduced to a few Application Profiler best practices and troubleshooting techniques. In Part 3 we use Google Chrome to demonstrate Application Profiler exclusions, including when, why, and how to use them.

Introduction to Exclusions with Application Profiler

Windows applications tend to write registry and file system data in a variety of locations. A portion of the data is relevant to persisting the user experience from session to session, and that of course is what we are interested in when profiling an application to provide personalization. Most applications also create files we may not want to persist, such as temp, log, and crash dump files. Depending on the application and how it is used, these files may quickly grow in size, negatively impacting the user experience.

The VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler includes a number of built-in exclusions for both the registry and the file system. In most cases these defaults suffice, and applications profile quite easily. There are, however, applications such as Chrome that write user-specific configuration data to locations that are excluded by default. In this blog post you will see which locations are excluded by default, how to make exceptions when needed, and how to create your own exclusions to keep user profile archives small.

It is worth mentioning that you can download a custom Flex configuration template already optimized for Chrome from the Community Forum, along with a variety of other templates. The rest of this blog post is aimed at showing the logic and process to create a configuration file for Chrome.

Environment

Installing Application Profiler and performing the initial profiling process is outside the scope of this blog post, and is well-documented in the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide. This blog post focuses on the advanced scenario of troubleshooting and customizing a profiled application using exclusions.

The following describes the configuration used to profile Chrome. For a comprehensive list of supported operating systems for Application Profiler, see the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide.

Application Packaging and Profiling Machine Configuration (Profiling VM)

The application packaging and profiling machine (also called the profiling VM) is configured with the following:

  • Windows 10 Anniversary Update (AU) VM.
  • VMware App Volumes Agent version 2.12.
  • VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler version 9.1.
  • svc-profiler domain account has local administrative privileges.

The App Volumes Agent is an optional component, and is part of the VMware End-User-Computing JMP solution. This agent is included so the same VM can be used to build an AppVolumes AppStack for application deployment, and to profile the application for personalization with User Environment Manager. If you would like to learn more, or include App Volumes in your environment, refer to the App Volumes Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide.

End-User Machine Configuration

The end-user machine in this example has the following configuration:

  • Windows 10 AU instant-clone VM.
  • VMware App Volumes Agent version 2.12.
  • VMware User Environment Manager FlexEngine version 9.1.
  • jspencer is a standard end user domain account.

Application Profiling with User Environment Manager

Google Chrome version 57.0.2987.133 was captured to an App Volumes AppStack using all default installation options. The AppStack was then used to deliver Chrome to the profiling VM.

The following steps are taken during the User Environment Manager application profiling process:

  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. Browse to vmware.com and create a bookmark for the site.
  3. Configure Chrome to display the bookmarks bar.
  4. Stop (close) Chrome.

At this point we would expect the Application Profiler to detect Chrome being stopped, and prompt us to complete the profiling process. This is not the case, which is an indication that the Application Profiler still sees one or more running processes related to Chrome. Windows Task Manager does not indicate that Chrome is running, as there are no processes named chrome.exe.

Clicking the Stop Analysis button on the Application Profiler window brings up a list of running child processes from the application (Chrome) being profiled.

Notice there are two unique process IDs (PIDs) for chrome.exe. Yet, we still do not see chrome.exe listed in Windows Task Manager. During the application profiling process, if Application Profiler does not detect the application stop event, the cause is typically related to child processes. Depending on the application, one of two methods for troubleshooting will commonly be used. We look at each of these in the following section.

Analyzing Application Does Not Detect Application Stop

When you stop an application and the Application Profiler does not detect the event, the most common cause is that the primary executable spawned one or more child processes, which are still running. This is often the case when an application creates a Task Bar icon, or continues to run some service in the background of Windows.

When this occurs, click the Stop Analysis button and check the Windows Task Manager to see if there is a match for the process name and PID displayed. If a match is found, attempt to locate the running component and shut it down gracefully. In the case of a Task Bar icon, you might right-click and choose to exit the application. Closing all child processes gracefully (rather than ending the processes via Task Manager) ensures all user data that might be written to the registry or file system completes, and can therefore be properly analyzed by Application Profiler.

Chrome is a somewhat unique application in that it often spawns child processes that do not notify Windows when they close. This results in Application Profiler reporting process names and PIDs that are not detected by Windows Task Manager, as seen in the previous graphic. Because of this, it is necessary to force Application Profiler to stop, even though it indicates the child processes are still running, in order to continue the application profiling process. Doing so has other implications to DirectFlex, which we cover later in this blog post.

For now, we continue with the application profiling process. To do so, the Yes button is clicked on the Analysis Session Is Running window to stop the profiling session, despite the extra chrome.exe processes.

Using File Exclusions with Chrome

Upon completion of the application analysis, we see a single registry tree to be included in the Chrome configuration file.

If we complete the application profiling process and start providing personalization for Chrome with this configuration file, we find bookmarks are not preserved for our end users. This should not be the case, as we specifically created a bookmark during the application profiling process. Additional features in the Application Profiler can be used to determine why this is happening.

Selecting the Manage Exclusions option within Application Profiler brings up a list of default exclusions for the file system or registry.

Clicking the Settings tab and deselecting the Enable File Exclusions check box disables the default file exclusions list in real time, and displays the files and folders that were previously excluded. In this case, the updated Flex Config File output window indicates there were files created or modified in %LocalAppData%Google. In addition, we see an extensive list of files in %LocalAppData%Temp (and other locations not displayed in the graphic) that Chrome modified during the profiling process. These files and folders were excluded by the Application Profiler default exclusions, as it is uncommon for applications to write user configuration data to these locations.

Browsing to %LocalAppData% on the local file system of the profiling VM, we can see Chrome created the folder User Data to store a variety of user configuration information.

Chrome essentially creates several databases, and stores inside of them user configuration settings such as bookmarks. Because of this, it is necessary to include %LocalAppData%GoogleChrome in the Flex configuration file. To do this, the IncludeFolderTrees section is manually added to the original Flex configuration file. Note that Enable File Exclusions has been selected, as we do not want to include all of the files that had been automatically excluded.

Completing the profiling process and using this configuration file to provide personalization for Chrome would properly persist bookmarks and other user configuration settings between sessions. Success!?

Well…sort of. Yes, we fixed the personalization problem, but we have created a new problem that may not be apparent right away.

User Profile Archive Growth

Importing and exporting user profile archive files to provide personalization of applications is a foundational feature of User Environment Manager. These operations can be done at login and logout, or at application start and stop, when using DirectFlex. Application configuration is typically done using registry settings or simple configuration files such as INI or XML. Because these settings require little space on disk, only small amounts of data are being transferred during import and export, resulting in excellent performance for end users.

Chrome uses databases to store its user configuration data, and these databases can grow very quickly. As an example, browsing with Chrome for less than two minutes to sites such as YouTube caused my %LocalAppData%GoogleChromeUser Data folder to grow to 16 MB. It is common for this directory to grow to hundreds of megabytes over time, which could impact the performance of user profile archive import and export operations.

Although we do not have the space in this blog post to cover all the testing, we have found that specific directories tend to grow significantly, though they are not really adding value to the personalization process. By creating a few manual exclusions, we can significantly reduce the size of the user profile archives.

One last addition we can make to reduce the size of the user profile archives is to exclude any TMP files. A quick search of %LocalAppData%GoogleChrome finds a number of these files that will grow over time, but add no value to personalization. Note the wildcard (*) support for exclusions.

With these additions to the Flex configuration file in place, we can now complete the application profiling process. Before we start providing personalization of Chrome to end users, we need to consider how or if DirectFlex will be used with Chrome.

Configuring DirectFlex for Profiled Applications

Application Profiler by default enables DirectFlex for profiled applications. DirectFlex is a feature of the User Environment Manager Agent (FlexEngine), which imports settings when an application is started and exports user customizations when the application is stopped, rather than at login and logout. When an application is stopped, DirectFlex should detect the stop of the application process and any child processes, then proceed with the export.

As seen during profiling, Chrome creates several chrome.exe processes as the application is used. DirectFlex tries to keep track of each process, because the export operation should occur when the last chrome.exe process exits. Because Chrome does not notify Windows of all the child processes it creates, DirectFlex may not accurately detect when Chrome is stopped, as seen during the profiling process. This may prevent the export operation from occurring as intended.

In the case of Chrome, there are two recommended methods to solve this.

DirectFlex Settings for Google Chrome

The first option is to simply disable DirectFlex for Chrome by deselecting the check box in the User Environment Manager console after application profiling is complete. Note the prompt to answer Enable config processing during logon and logoff? when DirectFlex is disabled.

The second option is to continue using DirectFlex to import settings when Chrome is started, but to configure User Environment Manager to export the settings on logout, rather than at application stop. This removes the requirement for DirectFlex to determine when Chrome has been stopped. Again, this configuration is made from the User Environment Manager console post-profiling. Select Export at logoff from the Export moment drop-down menu.

Conclusion

The following is a brief summary of the application profiling concepts and practices covered in this blog post, which you can apply to your own applications.

  • When profiling, stopping or closing the application should automatically cause the Application Profiler to complete the analysis phase. If this does not occur, it is an indication that the application has one or more child processes that are still running.
  • If child processes are left running after the application is stopped, the most likely cause is a Task Bar icon or background service. Use the Task Manager to determine whether Windows sees application processes, and attempt to gracefully stop them.
  • Default exclusions work for profiling most applications. Toggle exclusions on and off from the Application Profiler to determine if your application is writing information in one of the excluded locations.
  • User profile archives are typically small (less than 1 MB), which is important for providing a good user experience during import and export operations. Watch for archives that grow quickly or very large, as they may be storing unnecessary files.
  • Use manual exclusions to prevent storing unnecessary files and folders in user profile archives. Specifically, watch for large files, and files or folders with names or extensions such as TMP, LOG, CACHE, and so on.
  • For additional detail on exclusions, see the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide.

The post Profiling Applications with VMware User Environment Manager, Part 3: Built-In and Custom Exclusions appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

Read more..

Profiling Applications with VMware User Environment Manager, Part 3: Built-In and Custom Exclusions

Co-authored by Pim van de Vis, Product Engineer, User Environment Manager, Research & Development, VMware

In Part 1 of this blog series, you were introduced to the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler. In Part 2, VLC Media Player was profiled, predefined settings were applied, and you were introduced to a few Application Profiler best practices and troubleshooting techniques. In Part 3 we use Google Chrome to demonstrate Application Profiler exclusions, including when, why, and how to use them.

Introduction to Exclusions with Application Profiler

Windows applications tend to write registry and file system data in a variety of locations. A portion of the data is relevant to persisting the user experience from session to session, and that of course is what we are interested in when profiling an application to provide personalization. Most applications also create files we may not want to persist, such as temp, log, and crash dump files. Depending on the application and how it is used, these files may quickly grow in size, negatively impacting the user experience.

The VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler includes a number of built-in exclusions for both the registry and the file system. In most cases these defaults suffice, and applications profile quite easily. There are, however, applications such as Chrome that write user-specific configuration data to locations that are excluded by default. In this blog post you will see which locations are excluded by default, how to make exceptions when needed, and how to create your own exclusions to keep user profile archives small.

It is worth mentioning that you can download a custom Flex configuration template already optimized for Chrome from the Community Forum, along with a variety of other templates. The rest of this blog post is aimed at showing the logic and process to create a configuration file for Chrome.

Environment

Installing Application Profiler and performing the initial profiling process is outside the scope of this blog post, and is well-documented in the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide. This blog post focuses on the advanced scenario of troubleshooting and customizing a profiled application using exclusions.

The following describes the configuration used to profile Chrome. For a comprehensive list of supported operating systems for Application Profiler, see the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide.

Application Packaging and Profiling Machine Configuration (Profiling VM)

The application packaging and profiling machine (also called the profiling VM) is configured with the following:

  • Windows 10 Anniversary Update (AU) VM.
  • VMware App Volumes Agent version 2.12.
  • VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler version 9.1.
  • svc-profiler domain account has local administrative privileges.

The App Volumes Agent is an optional component, and is part of the VMware End-User-Computing JMP solution. This agent is included so the same VM can be used to build an AppVolumes AppStack for application deployment, and to profile the application for personalization with User Environment Manager. If you would like to learn more, or include App Volumes in your environment, refer to the App Volumes Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide.

End-User Machine Configuration

The end-user machine in this example has the following configuration:

  • Windows 10 AU instant-clone VM.
  • VMware App Volumes Agent version 2.12.
  • VMware User Environment Manager FlexEngine version 9.1.
  • jspencer is a standard end user domain account.

Application Profiling with User Environment Manager

Google Chrome version 57.0.2987.133 was captured to an App Volumes AppStack using all default installation options. The AppStack was then used to deliver Chrome to the profiling VM.

The following steps are taken during the User Environment Manager application profiling process:

  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. Browse to vmware.com and create a bookmark for the site.
  3. Configure Chrome to display the bookmarks bar.
  4. Stop (close) Chrome.

At this point we would expect the Application Profiler to detect Chrome being stopped, and prompt us to complete the profiling process. This is not the case, which is an indication that the Application Profiler still sees one or more running processes related to Chrome. Windows Task Manager does not indicate that Chrome is running, as there are no processes named chrome.exe.

Clicking the Stop Analysis button on the Application Profiler window brings up a list of running child processes from the application (Chrome) being profiled.

Notice there are two unique process IDs (PIDs) for chrome.exe. Yet, we still do not see chrome.exe listed in Windows Task Manager. During the application profiling process, if Application Profiler does not detect the application stop event, the cause is typically related to child processes. Depending on the application, one of two methods for troubleshooting will commonly be used. We look at each of these in the following section.

Analyzing Application Does Not Detect Application Stop

When you stop an application and the Application Profiler does not detect the event, the most common cause is that the primary executable spawned one or more child processes, which are still running. This is often the case when an application creates a Task Bar icon, or continues to run some service in the background of Windows.

When this occurs, click the Stop Analysis button and check the Windows Task Manager to see if there is a match for the process name and PID displayed. If a match is found, attempt to locate the running component and shut it down gracefully. In the case of a Task Bar icon, you might right-click and choose to exit the application. Closing all child processes gracefully (rather than ending the processes via Task Manager) ensures all user data that might be written to the registry or file system completes, and can therefore be properly analyzed by Application Profiler.

Chrome is a somewhat unique application in that it often spawns child processes that do not notify Windows when they close. This results in Application Profiler reporting process names and PIDs that are not detected by Windows Task Manager, as seen in the previous graphic. Because of this, it is necessary to force Application Profiler to stop, even though it indicates the child processes are still running, in order to continue the application profiling process. Doing so has other implications to DirectFlex, which we cover later in this blog post.

For now, we continue with the application profiling process. To do so, the Yes button is clicked on the Analysis Session Is Running window to stop the profiling session, despite the extra chrome.exe processes.

Using File Exclusions with Chrome

Upon completion of the application analysis, we see a single registry tree to be included in the Chrome configuration file.

If we complete the application profiling process and start providing personalization for Chrome with this configuration file, we find bookmarks are not preserved for our end users. This should not be the case, as we specifically created a bookmark during the application profiling process. Additional features in the Application Profiler can be used to determine why this is happening.

Selecting the Manage Exclusions option within Application Profiler brings up a list of default exclusions for the file system or registry.

Clicking the Settings tab and deselecting the Enable File Exclusions check box disables the default file exclusions list in real time, and displays the files and folders that were previously excluded. In this case, the updated Flex Config File output window indicates there were files created or modified in %LocalAppData%Google. In addition, we see an extensive list of files in %LocalAppData%Temp (and other locations not displayed in the graphic) that Chrome modified during the profiling process. These files and folders were excluded by the Application Profiler default exclusions, as it is uncommon for applications to write user configuration data to these locations.

Browsing to %LocalAppData% on the local file system of the profiling VM, we can see Chrome created the folder User Data to store a variety of user configuration information.

Chrome essentially creates several databases, and stores inside of them user configuration settings such as bookmarks. Because of this, it is necessary to include %LocalAppData%GoogleChrome in the Flex configuration file. To do this, the IncludeFolderTrees section is manually added to the original Flex configuration file. Note that Enable File Exclusions has been selected, as we do not want to include all of the files that had been automatically excluded.

Completing the profiling process and using this configuration file to provide personalization for Chrome would properly persist bookmarks and other user configuration settings between sessions. Success!?

Well…sort of. Yes, we fixed the personalization problem, but we have created a new problem that may not be apparent right away.

User Profile Archive Growth

Importing and exporting user profile archive files to provide personalization of applications is a foundational feature of User Environment Manager. These operations can be done at login and logout, or at application start and stop, when using DirectFlex. Application configuration is typically done using registry settings or simple configuration files such as INI or XML. Because these settings require little space on disk, only small amounts of data are being transferred during import and export, resulting in excellent performance for end users.

Chrome uses databases to store its user configuration data, and these databases can grow very quickly. As an example, browsing with Chrome for less than two minutes to sites such as YouTube caused my %LocalAppData%GoogleChromeUser Data folder to grow to 16 MB. It is common for this directory to grow to hundreds of megabytes over time, which could impact the performance of user profile archive import and export operations.

Although we do not have the space in this blog post to cover all the testing, we have found that specific directories tend to grow significantly, though they are not really adding value to the personalization process. By creating a few manual exclusions, we can significantly reduce the size of the user profile archives.

One last addition we can make to reduce the size of the user profile archives is to exclude any TMP files. A quick search of %LocalAppData%GoogleChrome finds a number of these files that will grow over time, but add no value to personalization. Note the wildcard (*) support for exclusions.

With these additions to the Flex configuration file in place, we can now complete the application profiling process. Before we start providing personalization of Chrome to end users, we need to consider how or if DirectFlex will be used with Chrome.

Configuring DirectFlex for Profiled Applications

Application Profiler by default enables DirectFlex for profiled applications. DirectFlex is a feature of the User Environment Manager Agent (FlexEngine), which imports settings when an application is started and exports user customizations when the application is stopped, rather than at login and logout. When an application is stopped, DirectFlex should detect the stop of the application process and any child processes, then proceed with the export.

As seen during profiling, Chrome creates several chrome.exe processes as the application is used. DirectFlex tries to keep track of each process, because the export operation should occur when the last chrome.exe process exits. Because Chrome does not notify Windows of all the child processes it creates, DirectFlex may not accurately detect when Chrome is stopped, as seen during the profiling process. This may prevent the export operation from occurring as intended.

In the case of Chrome, there are two recommended methods to solve this.

DirectFlex Settings for Google Chrome

The first option is to simply disable DirectFlex for Chrome by deselecting the check box in the User Environment Manager console after application profiling is complete. Note the prompt to answer Enable config processing during logon and logoff? when DirectFlex is disabled.

The second option is to continue using DirectFlex to import settings when Chrome is started, but to configure User Environment Manager to export the settings on logout, rather than at application stop. This removes the requirement for DirectFlex to determine when Chrome has been stopped. Again, this configuration is made from the User Environment Manager console post-profiling. Select Export at logoff from the Export moment drop-down menu.

Conclusion

The following is a brief summary of the application profiling concepts and practices covered in this blog post, which you can apply to your own applications.

  • When profiling, stopping or closing the application should automatically cause the Application Profiler to complete the analysis phase. If this does not occur, it is an indication that the application has one or more child processes that are still running.
  • If child processes are left running after the application is stopped, the most likely cause is a Task Bar icon or background service. Use the Task Manager to determine whether Windows sees application processes, and attempt to gracefully stop them.
  • Default exclusions work for profiling most applications. Toggle exclusions on and off from the Application Profiler to determine if your application is writing information in one of the excluded locations.
  • User profile archives are typically small (less than 1 MB), which is important for providing a good user experience during import and export operations. Watch for archives that grow quickly or very large, as they may be storing unnecessary files.
  • Use manual exclusions to prevent storing unnecessary files and folders in user profile archives. Specifically, watch for large files, and files or folders with names or extensions such as TMP, LOG, CACHE, and so on.
  • For additional detail on exclusions, see the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide.

The post Profiling Applications with VMware User Environment Manager, Part 3: Built-In and Custom Exclusions appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

Read more..

Announcing the Completed Reviewer’s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7

The entire Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in Horizon 7 is now available! Posted as eight slim sections, this white paper series walks you through the setup and exploration of the View component of Horizon 7. Using easy-to-follow diagrams and screenshots, it examines the major features of View, including setting up desktop pools, provisioning end users, creating and using instant clones, all about Smart Policies, and much more.

Each section contains visual aids and practical exercises about the following topics:

  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Overview
  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Installation and Configuration
  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Preparing Virtual Machines for Desktop Pools
  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Instant Clones
  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Desktop Pools
  • Quick-Start Guide: Publishing Applications with VMware Horizon 7
  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Smart Policies
  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Provisioning Users

Overview

The Overview starts the series by introducing the View component of VMware Horizon 7, discussing benefits, features, and architecture; and describing how View and other Horizon 7 components interoperate. See more in Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Overview.

Installation and Configuration

The Installation and Configuration section walks you through the installation process and initial configuration processes. When you finish this section, you have a working deployment that you can use to explore the main View features. See more in Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Installation and Configuration.

Preparing VMs for Desktop Pools

The Preparing VMs for Desktop Pools section describes how to build a virtual machine, and how to use it as the master image for multiple desktop pools. You can then use this virtual machine in subsequent guides to create full-clone pools, linked-clone pools, and instant-clone pools. See more in Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Preparing Virtual Machines for Desktop Pools.

Instant Clones

The Instant Clones section introduces VMware Instant Clone Technology, which improves and accelerates the process of creating cloned virtual desktops. This section describes how to create an instant-clone desktop pool, as well as how to update it to use a new master image.

When you use Instant Clone Technology, the desktop gets deleted when the user logs out, and a new desktop is created using the most current image on which the instant-clone pool is based. This requires less storage and expense to manage and update than other types of virtual desktops. See more in Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Instant Clones.

Desktop Pools

The Desktop Pools section shows you how to automate the process of making many identical virtual desktops, including how to create full-clone desktop pools, linked-clone desktop pools, and session-based RDSH desktop pools.

See more in Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Desktop Pools.

Publishing Applications

The Publishing Applications section shows how to quickly install and deploy published applications with VMware Horizon 7. Publishing applications simplifies management of line-of-business applications, allows the delivery of Windows applications to non-Windows devices, and can potentially provide licensing advantages. The Published Applications feature supports a variety of remote-experience features, including HTML Access, client-drive redirection, access to locally connected USB devices, file-type association, Windows media redirection, content redirection, printer redirection, location-based printing, 3D rendering, smart card authentication, and more. Users can launch an application, save files, and use network resources from a remote RDSH server, just as if the users had the application installed on their local computers, tablets, or phones. See more in Quick-Start Guide: Publishing Applications with VMware Horizon 7.

Smart Policies

The Smart Policies feature of VMware User Environment Manager is included with VMware Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition. Smart Policies give you granular control over the user&#rsquo;s desktop experience, based on who the user is, as well as variables such as client device, IP address, pool name, and more. You can enable or disable clipboard redirection, USB access, printing, and client drive redirection. You can also customize the user experience based on user context and location. Smart Policies can be enforced based on role, and evaluated at login and logout, and disconnect and reconnect, and at predetermined refresh intervals. With all these capabilities and fine-grained control, you can use one desktop pool to address many different use cases. See more in Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Smart Policies.

Provisioning Users

The Provisioning Users section explores the process of entitling users to desktop pools and application pools, as well as how to connect to virtual desktops and published applications from a variety of client devices. This section shows how to entitle users when creating a pool, or after the pool is created. See more in Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Provisioning Users.

JMP

Horizon 7 includes JMP, the just-in-time management platform, which allows desktop or RDSH server components to be decoupled and managed independently in a centralized manner, and reconstituted on demand to deliver a personalized user workspace when needed.

JMP provides several key benefits, including simplified desktop and RDSH image management, faster delivery and maintenance of applications, and elimination of the need to manage full persistent desktops. To find out more, see Jump (JMP), Radio & a Pony: Your Journey to Modern Workspace Management.

Now that all eight sections of the Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide series are available, you can explore them:

  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Overview
  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Installation and Configuration
  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Preparing Virtual Machines for Desktop Pools
  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Instant Clones
  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Desktop Pools
  • Quick-Start Guide: Publishing Applications with VMware Horizon 7
  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Smart Policies
  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Provisioning Users

To comment on this paper, contact VMware End-User-Computing Technical Marketing at euc_tech_content_.

The post Announcing the Completed Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7 appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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Announcing VMware Horizon Cloud Service with Hosted Infrastructure Deployment Considerations

I am very excited to announce a new long-awaited white paper: VMware Horizon Cloud Service with Hosted Infrastructure Deployment Considerations, now available to help you avoid risks that can occur during deployment, and to avoid inadvertently prolonging or delaying the deployment process.

Avoiding unnecessary risks is just common sense, right? Not always. For example, did you know that the single most common obstacle in an effective deployment of VMware Horizon Cloud Service with Hosted Infrastructure is not the infrastructure, not the hardware, and not the connection between end-user devices and corporate cloud? It is communication. When the key stakeholders and team leads are not in sync from the very beginning of deployment, they can inadvertently work at cross-purposes. At best, the result can be to slow things down. In the worst case, the results can be costly.

More and more enterprises are turning to VMware Horizon Cloud Service with Hosted Infrastructure, a service that provides virtual desktops by subscription from the cloud. As a desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) solution, Horizon Cloud Service can lower the upfront costs of installation and setup. Horizon Cloud Service can ensure access to virtual desktops and hosted applications from any device, from any location. Horizon Cloud Service avoids security risks by providing a single console with built-in security options. Horizon Cloud Service integrates with your infrastructure and leverages your corporate infrastructure resources to extend your data center.

The VMware Horizon Cloud Service with Hosted Infrastructure Deployment Considerations white paper is packed with useful tips for a successful and expedient deployment. It provides overarching insight into effective deployment, from choosing network options wisely and considering traffic flow when setting up VMware Horizon Cloud Service for the first time, to integrating with existing Active Directory users and groups, to establishing sound image optimization and management strategies, all the way to strategic profile and patch management.

You can find out how to avoid risks and delays during deployment in the VMware Horizon Cloud Service with Hosted Infrastructure Deployment Considerations white paper. This paper also includes links to additional blog posts and white papers, a few of which are listed here:

  • VMware Horizon Cloud Service with Hosted Infrastructure
  • Moving Virtual Desktops to the Cloud
  • VMware User Environment Manager
  • VMware App Volumes

To comment on this paper, contact VMware End-User-Computing Technical Marketing at euc_tech_content_.

The post Announcing VMware Horizon Cloud Service with Hosted Infrastructure Deployment Considerations appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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