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Deploy Appv-5 applications to provisioned Xenapp servers, how ? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi !

    First off all, a brief history of how we deployed app-v 4.6 SP3 packages till today :

    We have about 50 Citrix Xenapp 6.5 servers which are streamed with Citrix provisioning services 6.1.
    We use a golden image for this, and each server reboots once a week to return to a clean state.

    With app-v 4.6 we simply created packages and put them on a fileserver, inside Citrix Appcenter we point to the appv client on the Xenapp server and use the app-v package location as a parameter, example : "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Application Virtualization Client\sfttray.exe" "\\test.com\shares\AppV\testapplication\testapplication.osd".

    We also created a static partition on the Xenapp server which is excluded from provisioning services.
    This partition is used for storing the streamed app-v 4.6 applications, so they dont have to be streamed again each time a server reboots.

    Now for the problems with App-v 5.0 :

    1) We cannot use the above approach anymore, it is not supported to point to the app-v client and give the app-v application location as a parameter.

    2) Now we need an appv-v management server and publishing server, we tried using SCCM 2012 R2 for this but there are several problems with this : 

    a) If a Citrix Xenapp server reboots it loses all app-v applications because the appv 5 references with the c:\programdata\appv directory (we also redirected this to the second partition)

    + SCCM doesnt detect this on time, the Citrix server reboots and people connected to it cannot launch appv-5 applications.

    b) There seems to be a GUID bug with provisioned citrix servers in combination with SCSM.

    I also looked at powershell-only without a management server / publishing server but didnt manage to get the solution we need on that approach.

    Can anyone please help us out a bit ?

    thank you !

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015 1:54 PM

Answers

  • 1) Reboots are at night, when no user is working. Pre-Cache Script is Running as PowerShell Job targetting all PVS Workers

    2) If you want to "globally" publish all App-V Packages you don't need a Management / Publishing Server. But this means, every user gets every App-V Package. If you want to target the packages to specific users, you need a Server infastrastructure or you use the integrated Approach via ConfigMgr (with the above "Limits")

    To get the Server infrastructure up and running can actually be a Little bit tricky, because there are a few gotchas. For example the SQL Scripts which you can extract from the installer are containing and error (Both App-V 5.0 SP3 and App-V 5.1). Check the following KB to correct the files: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3031340


    Simon Dettling | msitproblog.com | @SimonDettling



    Tuesday, October 27, 2015 3:22 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    I can tell you how i use App-V5 with PVS. I don't say that this is the only method, but it is working for me.

    1.) Golden-Image only contains the App-V Client
    2.) Seperate App-V Sever Infrastructure (Management & Publishing) Server. App-V Packages are targetted to user groups
    3.) PVS Workers are rebooting every night or on a regular basis, so we have a clean state
    4.) PowerShell Scripts which is Pre-Caching the Packages so there are no big delays in application delivery
    5.) Optional you can use Shared Content Store Mode.

    I tried the ConfigMgr integrated method for myself first, because i didn't want any additonal infrastructure at first. The Problem here is that, there is a noticable delay after a user performs a Login, until the applications are published and visible (2-3 min). This was actually adressed in R2 SP1, but the delay is still much longer compared to a "native" Server Infrastructure.

    The above method also gives you as App-V Administrator the possibility to deploy applications to PVS without any Golden Image Customization. With this Approach you also achieve a nice Application-Isolation which is the core Feature of App-V for me in this Situation. For example if you deploy Notepad++ to a bunch of users, all customizations (Shortcuts, Context Menu, FTAs, etc.) are only visible to those users.

    As said, there are many approaches. This one works best for me. :)


    Simon Dettling | msitproblog.com | @SimonDettling





    Tuesday, October 27, 2015 2:25 PM
  • Hi Simon,

    Thanks a lot for the feedback.
    I have a few questions though :

    1) Do you launch your powershell scripts to pre-cache the packages on server reboot ? So you delay user logon untill this is finished ?

    2) From what I have read you dont need a management server / publishing server if you pre-cache the applications with powershell : you just point to the fileshare the packages exist on and add the application with Appcenter, are you familiar with this ?

    I ask this because I tried installing the microsoft app-v management server / publishing server but what a pain this is for configuring the SQL DB ... but if you have good results with this I want to give it a shot.

    thanks

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015 2:53 PM
  • 1) Reboots are at night, when no user is working. Pre-Cache Script is Running as PowerShell Job targetting all PVS Workers

    2) If you want to "globally" publish all App-V Packages you don't need a Management / Publishing Server. But this means, every user gets every App-V Package. If you want to target the packages to specific users, you need a Server infastrastructure or you use the integrated Approach via ConfigMgr (with the above "Limits")

    To get the Server infrastructure up and running can actually be a Little bit tricky, because there are a few gotchas. For example the SQL Scripts which you can extract from the installer are containing and error (Both App-V 5.0 SP3 and App-V 5.1). Check the following KB to correct the files: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3031340


    Simon Dettling | msitproblog.com | @SimonDettling



    Tuesday, October 27, 2015 3:22 PM
  • If you use Shared Content Store and sequence your apps with fault streaming then you have the option of caching your apps to the master image with very minimal footprint. It's messy but with any non-persistent VDI you will get a publishing delay unless you use a method like this.

    Cheers Paul | http://sccmentor.wordpress.com

    Wednesday, October 28, 2015 11:38 AM