Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Set up AppSense DataNow appliance in a home lab - a quick guide

I've been sadly neglecting AppSense's DataNow product on this blog, but given that I am in the middle of doing a big comparison article on EFSS (Enterprise File Sync and Sharing) software, I thought now would be a good time to change that slightly. For the aforementioned article, I've been having to set up a lot of EFSS software to run in my lab. So for anyone who fancies doing it also, here's a quick guide to setting up the DataNow appliance in a lab environment.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

IE10 and IE11 Cookies and History persistence - a deep dive, part #2

In the first part of this article we looked at the performance of the major Internet Explorer versions with a variety of platforms and persistence methods. In this second instalment, we will measure the same performance metrics against two of the more popular "lite" user environment management tools - Citrix's User Profile Manager and Microsoft's User Experience Virtualization, herein referred to as either UPM or UE-V.

In part #3, I will take a look at some of the other UEM solutions out there and how they manage this issue - Immidio, ProfileUnity and Scense are the ones on my radar currently.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

IE10 and IE11 Cookies and History persistence - a deep dive, part #1

I've spent weeks looking at the issue of Cookies and History persistence now, since I was alerted to the possible issues in the first place. It's been a frustrating voyage of discovery, punctuated with epiphanies, server rebuilds and quite a few journeys straight back to the drawing board. So, I thought it would be prudent to share my findings with all and sundry, just to give you a heads-up on what potentially awaits!

This article is going to be divided into three parts. Part 1 will cover the background and my initial tests using traditional methods vs. AppSense DesktopNow methods. Part 2 will spread out further and perform testing on some of the "lite" UEM technologies to see how they measure up to this infuriating task (UPM and UE-V). Part 3 will extend the tests onto some more UEM tech (actual vendors to be confirmed).

Saturday, 7 February 2015

The AppSense Bigot turns three - is WEM the future of UEM?

It's three short years today since I started up this I thought today we might have a bit less technical discussion, and more of the sort of thing I normally do in my capacity over at The Virtualization Practice - which is occasionally speculate idly on the future of our industry.

Friday, 16 January 2015

QuickPost - how to check Internet Explorer version in AppSense DesktopNow (or PowerShell)

I'm trying to do more of these "QuickPost" articles as I work on some big ones. This particular post was going to be part of the ongoing investigation I've been doing into the roaming behaviour of Internet Explorer's Cookies and History, but seeing as though that is dragging into a third week (and I always make a point of taking Saturdays off!), I've decided to quickly blog this part up to keep articles ticking over.

Monday, 12 January 2015

QuickPost - Citrix XenApp published application launches full published desktop?

This burns me on a semi-regular basis, so I'm going to write a quick blog post about it to save me digging the same solution up time and again. So hopefully it should also help some of you out there!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Getting to grips with Windows 8.1 #2.5 - customizing the Start Screen using DesktopNow - the EASY way

Hahaha. Maybe one should always check with others before writing something up, eh?

About two weeks of my life I spent trying to get persistence of the Windows 8.1 Start Screen working, and even at the end, it felt hit and miss. "User profile service failed the logon" and "you have been logged on with a temporary profile" were appearing all too often for my liking. Also, I had somehow, whilst applying the configuration I wrote about in my previous article, managed to stop the Windows 8.1 right-click mini-Start Menu from appearing (God knows how). So after a Twitter-whinge, I was put onto Tom Scase of AppSense Professional Services who had been having a struggle against this problem himself. And I really wish I'd had my Twitter-whinge sooner!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Getting to grips with Windows 8.1 #2 - customizing the Start Screen using DesktopNow

As I promised a while ago, let's today try to do a bit more on the Windows 8.1 side of things, as I have been spending more time than I've wanted to digging around inside, as C3PO might have said, its busty innards. Naturally, we're going to be leveraging AppSense DesktopNow Environment Manager to help us out with the customization and personalization of the Start Screen and UI, but for those of you who aren't AppSense customers, then the basic principles should remain the same.

Update - thanks to Tom Scase and Simon Bond, I've written up a much easier way to get this working. Whilst the method discussed here remains viable, the method in this post - - is far more robust and would be the recommended way of achieving this end.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Mapping a WebDAV share as a drive through AppSense DesktopNow Environment Manager

I'm still stuck trying to complete the world's most infuriating post - one on setting up a default Windows 8.1 Start Screen - so while I struggle against this, I thought I would put out something a bit shorter and sweeter that I actually know might work :-)

I had a requirement recently to set up a mapped drive for a WebDAV share. This wasn't something I'd come across before, so it's not necessarily a common requirement. However, as document management systems become more and more commonplace, we may see more of this, so I thought it would be a useful exercise to document.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Create Windows mandatory profiles in ten steps (for AppSense DesktopNow, or not, as the case may be)

Deciding on your profile type is an important part of any virtualized deployment, but it is particularly important when deploying AppSense DesktopNow, as AppSense merges user settings into a base profile to create the user environment. The idea is that the local copy of the profile is discarded at logoff - meaning that normally, the options for working with Personalization Server are a mandatory profile, or using a local profile with the "flip to temp" trick (which is made infinitely easier in EM 8 FR5 with the new session variables).