Symantec Workspace Streaming - VDI Pre-Population Provisioning

Scot Curry's picture
Scot Curry's picture

Scot CurryAugust 9th, 2010
Filed under: Workspace Streaming, Configuring, Integration, Tip/How to, Endpoint Virtualization


Symantec Workspace Streaming (SWS) is an ideal tool for user based provisioning. It is a key component in virtualization strategies that focus on freeing users from specific devices, giving them access to their applications from any device.
While this is the primary use of SWS, I often run in to customers who are implementing streaming in conjunction with a VDI initiative. In the environments I have been involved with, the customer spins up a number of VM session that just sit there for users to access, avoiding the boot process on initial connection.
These users would like to stream packages down to these VM's prior to user login. This will eliminate the start-up penalty associated with launching an application for the first time that has not yet been streamed to the local cache. With a couple of minor updates to the VDI image registry, pre-provisioning of the package can be accomplished.

User Configuration

To make the applications stream to the VM's we are going to use a generic user account. If you are using Active Directory or LDAP, you will either need to create a user in the directory, or determine a generic user account that will be used to stream the applications to the VDI sessions. The Symantec Workspace Streaming agent will use this account on boot up to look for packages that should be streamed to the machine. In this example we will be using SWSUser as the generic account.
LDAP Settings
LDAP Settings

Package Configuration

Symantec Workspace Streaming provides a number of option as to how packages can be delivered to users. In the case of a VDI implementation, we need to update the package configurations to allow the packages to stream down to the computer as soon as the session starts, which will be at system boot time.
To do this select the package that you want to stream down automatically and click on the link to that application. Note: You don't want to click the plus.
Select Package
Select Package

Once you have the application open, set the Options on the packages to be as follows:
Package Options
Package Options

Provision the Package

Now that the package is ready to go all we need to do is provision it to our generic user. It is possible to put the generic user in a group, and provision the package that way, but it is considered best practice to control this process through a single user. To do this click on the Provision tab, and enter the generic user name in the search box.
external image _original
Once the user is selected click the provision button.
Provision Button
Provision Button

and assign the package to the generic user.
Provision Package
Provision Package

Client Workstation Configuration

Up to this point, everything has been very standard configuration information. This step is where the "secret sauce" to make this work comes into play.
There is a registry key HKLM\Software\AppStream\AppMgr\Apps\Licenses, with a string (REG_SZ) for AppStreamUser. When we create the base image this value has to be set to our generic user account. When the SWS Streaming agent starts at boot up, it will look to this key to check for provisioned applications. Based on the package options, those packages will be automatically streamed down to the client machine in the background. This registry key needs to be set to our generic user.
Registry Setting
Registry Setting

Best Practices

It has been our experience that the best candidates for this type of pre-provisioning are core apps that will be used by all user every day, that for some reason have not been included in the base image to either to keep the image smaller and more manageable, or to enable the applications to be managed for metering, licensing, and upgrades.

Summary

Using the techniques described here you can pre-deploy applications to your VDI environment. This is has the advantage of keeping your non-persistent images as small as possible while providing your end users a very responsive system where applications are complete available when they launch the application.

More @ https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/articles/symantec-workspace-streaming-vdi-pre-population-provisioning