Interweb Blog Hyper-V, App-V, Dell Equallogic, Forefront TMG Security, DPM 2010, SCVMM


Microsoft App-V 4.6 Creating Shortcuts on Re-directed Start Menu

Application Virtualization is a great way of abstracting the application away from the underlying operating system, improving compatability and managability.  Streaming the application to the users desktop based on Active Directory permissions ensures that users get the applicaitons they are authorized for dynamically no matter what computer they are on, this is great for roaming users.  The Applications are centrally managed ensuring that the application experience is the same for all users.

The Microsoft App-V client has the ability to publish shortcuts to a users desktop, start menu or as a quick launch item but what if you re-direct these to a remote server share?  Well here in lies the issue if you re-direct a users desktop and start menu and do not give the users permission to modify these then you will find that the App-V client can not publish shortcuts to these locations.  If the authenticated user does not have permission to modify the re-directed desktop or start menu then the client can not create the shortcuts even though the user has permission to the published application.

The way around this is to create manual shortcuts and either place these in the folder that the start menu re-directs to or on the re-directed desktop.  App-V shortcuts target the Application Virtualization Client located in program files and then  calls the published application with the /launch switch, if the user has permission to this application then it will launch as expected.

for example -

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Application Virtualization Client\sfttray.exe" /launch "Oracle Discoverer Desktop"

App-V Oracle shortcut

App-V Oracle shortcut


The only issue I noticed with this method was that the user did not have access to the .ico location located in %APPDATA%  the program loaded correctly, The icon just did not display.  The work around was to point direcly to the .ico file located in the App-V content share.

\\YOURAPPVSERVER\content\OracleBITools\OracleBITools Icons\Oracle Discoverer Desktop

Although this is a bit messy, it is the only way I have found around getting shortcuts to end users with re-directed start menu's and desktops with restricted privilages.  The user has access to the application the shortcut is just merely a way of calling the application from the App-V client 'sfttray.exe' and although you are creating a manual shortcut it is still centrally managed and only needs to be created once.



Migrate your virtualisation solution from VMware to Hyper-V and save money

@Richlane - Microsoft Account Technology Strategist - UK Education.

Tuesday November 8th, 11am-12pm

With Microsoft now being considered a virtualisation leader (Gartner 2011) isn’t it time you considered switching to Hyper-V and saving your organisation money? Carmel College have done just that, and will discuss the rationale behind their migration from VSphere and the benefits they have realised. We will explore the Microsoft Hyper-V Private Cloud Solution and you will be able to get answers to all your burning questions.


Dell EqualLogic PS Series iSCSI SAN in a Hyper-V Environment

Following on from my Hyper-V Post I thought I would carry on the theme of High Availability and clustered services.  Dell's EqualLogic PS Series iSCSI SAN  optimise's resources by automating volume and network load balancing.  A PS Series Group consists of one or more PS Series Array.  Group Members are connected to an IP network and managed as a single system.

iSCSI Protocol.

iSCSI or internet small computer systems interface to give it its full title, is a block level storage protocol that can be used to create a storage network over Ethernet.  iSCSI uses ethernet as a transport medium for data from servers to storage devices or SAN'S (Storage Area Networks) such as EqualLogic.  iSCSI encapsulates SCSI commands into TCP/IP and sends these commands over standard Ethernet, because of this iSCSI can be sent over LAN's and WAN's and these Arrays do not have to be located in the same room or even the same Galaxy as your servers.


Understanding Hyper-V Virtual Machine Snapshots/Checkpoints

Snapshots or Checkpoints - One and the Same.

First of all a snapshot is exactly the same as a checkpoint, if you use Hyper-V Manager you will see the term snapshot and if you use System Centre Virtual Machine Manager or SCVMM you will see checkpoint both processes are exactly the same the differences are merely in terminology.

Snapshot Checkpoint Example

Snapshot Checkpoint Example

The first and most important thing I would like to cover is that snapshots are not a backup/disaster recovery solution, they are simply a point in time capture of the data,hardware configuration and state of your virtual machine.  snapshots are particulary useful for reverting back to a previous state quickly and easily, Microsoft only recommends the use of snapshops in a test/development environment.  I only use snapshots for a virtual machine when applying updates to the guest operating system or an application within the OS, if the update is successful then the snapshot is immediately deleted and the VM shutdown so the merge process can take place.  I do not recommend keeping snapshots of your Virtual Machines in a production environment.

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