For a feature rich persona management solution, I recommend a tool like Liquidware Labs ProfileUnity with FlexApp. ProfileUnity is a cost effective, yet robust user profile and application management solution that decouples the user profile, user authored data, and applications from the operating system making them universally portable and compatible with any Windows operating system. Using a tool like ProfileUnity with FlexApp, in conjunction with Hoizon View and Horizon Mirage, can provide a comprehensive desktop management solution.
This is a complete solution, not just focused on virtual desktops, but also includes physical desktops and laptops. This provides users the familiar, personalized desktop environment they have come to expect on any device from anywhere.
My first post is going to focus on installation of ProfileUnity, my subsequent post will discuss implementation best practices.
The ProfileUnity Management Console requires Microsoft .NET Framework v4.5 or later. You have two options when downloading ProfileUnity. The options are ProfileUnity without .NET Framework and ProfileUnity with .NET Framework.
- Ensure that you have administrator access to save files to the NETLOGON folder of the domain controller.
NOTE: If the NETLOGON folder is not desired, any other UNC path may be used that meets the following requirements: “Authenticated users” must have read access and there should be a replication strategy in place to avoid the possibility of the alternative server being down.
- Ensure that you have Domain Admin rights or you can temporarily get access to have them.
- Ensure that users have allocated network drive space. Existing paths are fine. Suggested size for redirected and/or compressed profile store is at least 250 MB. 15-50 average is typical if profile is compressed. Space allocation is based on actual size of the profile if it is redirected.
- Ensure that you have access to a Windows 7 desktop or Windows 2008 or later Server where the ProfileUnity Management Console can be installed. This can be the administrator’s own desktop.
- Ensure that you have ample network storage available per user for folder redirection of “My Documents” and any other files you wish to redirect. Storage required will vary greatly depending on quantity of user data per user.
- If you plan to test FlexApp User Installed Applications – A minimum of 1GB additional space per user is suggested. This can be in the users’ existing file share. This will be provisioned as a VHD or Persistent Disk by ProfileUnity for each user.
- If you plan to test FlexApp Department Installed Applications –
- Central storage with a minimum of 20GB is suggested. This is where department apps will be installed and stored on VHD provisioned by ProfileUnity.
- A non-persistent Windows 7 packaging desktop for use by administrators should be allocated.
Launch the Executable and click Next.
ProfileUnity comes with a Guided Configuration Wizard. Upon first login, you will see the Setup screen prompt. You will want to verify the administrator groups and you need to confirm the path of your netlogon file share on your Active Directory domain.
Click Next when done.
The next two screens you will encounter will be the Active Directory GPOs and Licensing Group setup which will determine which group of users and desktops ProfileUnity will manage. This part of the automated setup will accomplish Computer Configuration, User Configuration, and License Configuration.
Once you have selected your groups, click Run. The necessary Group Policies will be automatically created and applied to the select groups and this will be confirmed. Active Directory integration is now complete. Click Next to continue.
Profile Unity needs to know where to store profile portability, folder redirection, and optional FlexApp UIA.
In the screen below, you need to modify the path to match the environment, ensuring the path is formatted as follows \\servername\home\%username% or \\serveripaddress\home\%username%. It is highly recommended to use the username system variable (%username%) at the end of the path string. Then click Next.
The final step in the installation process is to enable FlexApp and Report Anonymous Usage Statistics.
I recommend to install the ProfileUnity client directly into the Parent Image before you take the snapshot for your Replica. This ensures that the client is present when the new virtual desktop is provisioned; it does not rely on an Active Directory connection to install the agent from the netlogon share when the entitled user logs on to the stateless pool for the first time. To install the client on your Parent Image, map a drive to the netlogon share on the Active Directory server after ProfileUnity has been installed on your Windows 2008 server, then execute the startup.vbs script under the ProfileUnity directory.
To verify that the installation completed successfully on the Parent Image, browse the c:\Program Files\ProfileUnity directory and you should notice four directories and four application files.
In my next post about ProfileUnity, we will dive into configuration management.