Friday, 27 May 2016

Deploying per-user file type associations (FTAs) on Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1, Server 2016 and Windows 10 (reloaded again!)

We've been down the file type associations route before. I've had quite a lot of emails and questions as a result of my previous articles, so I think it's ripe for a bit more clarification and a bit of a (second!) revamp. They're a particular bugbear to those of us using XenApp 7.x or RDSH systems, because we're used to doing them the old easy way, and now the rules have unceremoniously changed.

Note - the background to this article has simply been lifted-and-shifted, for the most part, from the previous article referenced above. However, once we're down in the detail sections, there will be a lot more detail than before. Also, I'm going to remove the previous article in a couple of weeks, as I feel this one is more complete.

Monday, 23 May 2016

The last pieces of the jigsaw – dealing with Office 365 performance issues in virtual environments using FSLogix Office 365 Containers for Citrix

Ain't that a mouthful of a title for a post? :-)

Anyways, having spent part of last week at BriForum London, it’s interesting to come away with a broader view of what is happening in the virtualization world.

One of the things I found most intriguing was the perception that on a number of levels, desktop virtualization – either on full-fat VDI or hosted shared desktops – is moving into a much more mature phase. Issues with storage and infrastructure are much less noticeable, and Moore’s Law has seen that we now have solutions that are much more capable of dealing with the nuances of a virtualized desktop environment. Hyperconvergence, superfast storage arrays, GPUs – technologies that can deliver have overcome a lot of the early blockers to widespread virtualization adoption.

But of course, there are still problems to be overcome – the final pieces of the jigsaw to be put into place, the last bumps in the user experience to be ironed out.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Windows 10 part #9 - removing Modern Apps from your image

One of Windows 10's most noticeable changes is the integration of Microsoft's new "Modern" or "Universal" apps. They're intended to offer a new method of delivering and creating applications that sit right alongside your old, familiar desktop applications. The idea is that Modern Apps offer a unified experience across desktop, laptop, phone and console - assuming you use Windows on your PCs, Windows Phone on your phone, and XBox on your console. At the same time, they give a single API core layer for development and a single distribution point through the Windows Store (or Windows Store for Business, when it arrives). So if you're sucking up the Microsoft kool-aid, it all sounds good, no?

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Windows 10 part #8 - speeding up the first logon process

I sent out some Tweets recently regarding knocking around 66% off the first logon time of a Windows 10 machine. Whilst people are not overly concerned about the actual first logon time (as long as the subsequent ones are speedy enough), there are environments where users will quite often be exposed to "first logons". As an example, we have in current engagement a selection of "open access" machines, where due to their very nature, local copies of profiles are not maintained. This in essence means that every time a user logs on, they are experiencing the long and drawn-out "first logon" process.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Windows 10 part #7 - maintaining ALL your settings using a standard roaming profile (including the Start Tiles)

Windows 10 is, by its nature of constant updates, a moving target. So far I've had a couple of cracks at roaming a full Windows 10 user state between domain-joined machines. Both of them so far proved to be quite intrusive, necessitating in each case the restart of a system service to accomplish anything near to what we were after. This just doesn't sit well with me - it complicates the tooling required, for one thing - and looks messy. However, as Microsoft release updates to it, bug fixes appear to be included which are making things slightly easier.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Windows 10 part #6 - roaming the Windows 10 Start Tile settings using AppSense (an alternative way) without locking the tiles!

I wrote a post some time ago detailing how to save the Windows 10 Start Tile settings and roam them through AppSense Environment Manager. However, it wasn't 100% reliable - intermittently, I would see what I've come to call the Windows 10 "dead man click", when the Start Menu simply stops functioning because we've inadvertently corrupted the database that runs it. In fact, I'd hazard a guess that the database they use is composed of the electronic equivalent of crisps, because it's very fragile and gloriously easy to break.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

QuickPost: AppSense Personalization Server synchronization failures when using Google Chrome

I came across an issue over the last few weeks regarding regular Personalization failures for users who were browsing via Google Chrome. With help from AppSense support, and Ollie and Hiten from APS, we got this narrowed down to a known issue on the IIS end, so I'm going to quickly write it up so I don't forget about it!

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Custom triggers in AppSense DesktopNow Environment Manager - user-initiated and auto-refresh (and fun with Scheduled Tasks)

Let's get back to some AppSense content for a change. You may have noticed I've been trying to broaden the scope of this blog (despite the name!) and concentrate a bit more broadly on the EUC sector. However, it's time we paid some attention back to the core subject for our first post of 2016.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

QuickPost: Customizing Office and Outlook 2016 using AppSense DesktopNow

As well as being dumped unceremoniously with Windows 10 for deployment recently (regular readers may have noticed), I'm doubly on the bleeding edge because we're also pushing out Office 2016. I've had to personalize this using AppSense Environment Manager Personalization Server, so here are my notes on getting this up and running.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Windows 10 part #5 - have Microsoft declared war on the UEM sector?

I know I come across as a rabid Microsoft basher sometimes, what with the fun we had with IE10+ Cookies and the like, but I am prepared to give any tech company a good tongue-lashing should I feel they deserve it. However, in light of early testing with Windows 10 in roaming enterprise environments, and some of the things I'm hearing on the grapevine, I am starting to feel more pressing concerns regarding Microsoft's latest entry into the operating system market.