9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 20, 2015 10:34 PM by andrewt

    8.5 Upgrade Tips

    Landon Winburn ITSMMVPGroup
      Upgrading to 8.5 can be quite tricky. There are a number of tricks to make sure it goes smoothly. A couple common issues seen can be missing Desktop Setting and Session Data items on first logon of an 8.5 agent or bloated custom Windows Setting Groups.

      8.5 SP1 HF4 fixes the bloated custom WSGs. Make sure you deploy this with your initial agent rollout.

      HF4 also requires 8.6 of the CCA. HF4 fails to install if using 8.5 of the CCA.

      The last major issue is that DS and SD don't apply to your desktop on first logon of an 8.5 agent if the "upgraded" WSGs are not whitelisted.

      WHAT?!? I don't want to use "upgraded" WSGs! The reason I wanted to upgrade to 8.5 was to properly split out my DS an SD so I no longer have to blow away my printers and network drives when I need to reset my mail profile. Or the pinned items are messed up and I need to reset them and now I lost my themes, wallpaper, etc. In addition, what do these "global" WSGs even mean? They are not named well and my helpdesk is going to be confused when using the EM Browser Interface.

      The solution that we have had up until now is to whitelist all these "upgraded" WSGs along with all the new out of box WSGs. This would allow DS and SD to apply the "legacy" items on first logon of an 8.5 agent and still allow you to save out to all the new and properly split out WSGs. The issue now is you can't remove the "upgraded" WSGs until everyone logs in once. During this time you are storing and applying all your items twice at logon and saving twice at logoff slowing your logon times and doubling the required storage for your desktop settings!

      After everyone has logged in once with this configuration you can then pull the "upgraded" stuff from the whitelist. After your "InactiveProfileExpireMonths" time has expired the settings would be automatically purged from the database. This is set to 0 in the global settings unless you've changed it and is usually set to something like 3 months to 1 year. This being the case your database is basically double the size it needs to be for that entire time.

      The solution is actually quite simple. We want the "upgraded" WSGs whitelisted but we never want to save to them, we only want to save to the out of box ones or any other custom WSGs you may be using. To make this happen we need to condition the "upgraded" WSGs. What we want to do is add a "If Folder Doesn't Exist" condition to the "upgraded" WSGs. Make sure if there are already OS conditions that its setup in an AND condition like this.

      In your EM config you will want to setup a Create Folder action at logon or logoff to create the folder specified in your WSG condition.

      Upon first logon this folder will not exist so the WSG will be applied to the desktop since they run before policy runs the Pre-Desktop trigger. Now there are no settings in these "upgrades" WSGs at this time but this will force the EM agent to pull down the "legacy" settings that the 8.4 and older agents were using.

      The cool part is at logoff the WSG conditions are re-evaluated and now the folder exists. This causes the "upgraded" WSGs to not sync back to the personalization server but the out of box or custom ones you have created sync back with all the current data that was pulled down at logon from the "legacy" groups. In personalization analysis you'll only have the WSGs you want and the legacy settings for the older agents instead of having legacy, the "upgraded" stuff, and the WSGs you wanted.

      Post here if you have any questions or have any issues setting this up!

        • 1. Re: 8.5 Upgrade Tips
          BChriscoli Expert
          Whilst I agree that this is good information, this is only possible where a *big bang* upgrade is taking place. I.e pushing ALL your clients onto the 8.5 Agent.

          If you cannot do that, like us..

          The best method would be to implement hiving of your Desktop Settings/Session Data/Certs (historically known as the Landon method :) ) and then (after a period) disable DS/SD/Certs.
          Before the upgrade, ensure the DS/SD/Certs are deleted from the DB.
          Upgrade the PS Servers and DB.
          Deploy your 8.5 Agent alongside the previous Agent - The 8.5 Agent can continue to use the older configuration. Upgrade this as necessary. The hiving mechanism is the same in 8.5 as it is in previous versions.
          Once upgraded entirely to the 8.5 Agent, introduce Windows Settings Groups and begin to remove the hiving mechanism.

          Additionally.. with the 8.5 Upgrade.. pay attention to the following articles:

          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151494.aspx - If not deleting the DS/SD/Certs [Not Fixed/Workaround available]
          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151495.aspx - Process Start actions with reusable condition doesnt work. [Not Fixed/Workaround available]
          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151501.aspx - AppV 4.6 applications that are Personalized may crash. [Fixed]
          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151508.aspx - Registry Excludes not honoured if RIP entries exist in the Virtual Registry [Not Fixed/Workaround available]
          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151170.aspx - Outlook signatures may be lost on upgrade (WSG's override Application Groups) [Fixed - By Design]
          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151228.aspx - CSIDL Values in WSGs MUST be uppercase (Else fail) [Not fixed/Workaround is use UPPERCASE]
          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151230.aspx - Console crash when Copy/Pasting [Not Fixed]
          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151252.aspx - Outlook 2013 hangs in EM 8.5 [Not Fixed]
          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151248.aspx - Cut& Paste in Pre-Session loses actions [Not Fixed/Workaround is use COPY&PASTE]
          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151356.aspx - Fast Logoff in x86 XenDesktop 7.5/7.6 crashes EMUserLogoff.exe [Not Fixed/Workaround is disable fast logoff]
          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151370.aspx - Fast Startup of 8.1 stops Startup&Shutdown nodes from working [Not Fixed/Workaround is disable fast starup]
          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151428.aspx - Slow logon with large number of GPOs [Fixed - Engineering Key]
          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151465.aspx - Logoff Actions may fail on Windows 8.1 if legacy notification method (<8.5 config) is used. [Not Fixed/Workaround is restart EM after boot]
          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151485.aspx - EM 8.5 doubles the load on IIS Servers. [Not Fixed]
          https://www.myappsense.com/Knowledgebase/TN-151466.aspx - EM 8.5 triggers fail if UAC is disabled on Windows 8.1 [Not Fixed/Workaround is don't disable UAC]
          • 2. Re: 8.5 Upgrade Tips
            Landon Winburn ITSMMVPGroup
            You can still run 8.4 and 8.5 agents along side of each other, they just use different "buckets" of settings in personalization and is upgraded upon first launch of an 8.5 agent. Same would be said for your upgrade path as the hive in on 8.5 would be a one time action so at that point its also a split profile.

            As you are well aware I'm a huge fan of hiving but if your currently using DS/SD and are moving to 8.5 I don't see how this wouldn't work fine for that scenario and you wouldn't have to hive before hand. Maybe if you wanted to use an 8.4 config on an 8.5 agent but that wouldn't take advantage of the new logon triggers and you have to mess with converting that later as well. I'd just roll 8.5 agents with the 8.5 config at the same time and let the 8.4 agents use an 8.4 config. Sure you have to update two configs to make a single policy change but you shouldn't have to make policy changes that often unless your managing printers in policy.

            Maybe I should rename the title to something like "how to upgrade desktop settings" instead of being a full on comprehensive thread on 8.5 upgrades and every issue possibly known in 8.5. This is a fix to the issue described in TN-151260. If you don't like it, don't use it.
            • 3. Re: 8.5 Upgrade Tips
              BChriscoli Expert
              Btw.. just as a side note..

              I don't like that we're being forced to upgrade separate components of the product, which all took different development paths when 8.1 came out.
              I shouldn't have to use a specific version of CCA when I want to use EM 8.5 or AM 8.8.

              And as for hotfixes.. I've had that discussion before.

              Might aswell just realign the development path and have done with it.
              • 4. Re: 8.5 Upgrade Tips
                BChriscoli Expert

                Landon wrote:


                You can still run 8.4 and 8.5 agents along side of each other, they just use different "buckets" of settings in personalization and is upgraded upon first launch of an 8.5 agent.

                There-in lies the issue. Once you hit an 8.5 agent, your settings are upgraded to WSGs.. Meaning if you use a older agent again (such as on a citrix/vdi) - you'll be looking at old data. Go back to 8.5 and yet again, different data.
                That generates helpdesk tickets.
                • 5. Re: 8.5 Upgrade Tips
                  Landon Winburn ITSMMVPGroup
                  Sorry you feel that way about the product. If you have issues with it please take it up with support or your sales team. The forum is not the place. Again this thread is to resolve the issue in TN-151260.
                  • 6. Re: 8.5 Upgrade Tips
                    Sikesmoney Apprentice
                    Scenario:  We have prod environment on 8.4  2008 r2 servers.  We just installed 8.5 on 2012 r2 servers same DB seperate instances.  We want to eventually roll our users off the other prod environment to the upgrade version.  Upgrade the old servers and roll them back over.  Since we are not upgrading do I need Manually create these windows settings groups that would have been created for me in an upgrade.  It looks like I will also have to do the same for the logon features.  Do you have any advice to this type of situation that we are persuing.
                    • 7. Re: 8.5 Upgrade Tips
                      Landon Winburn ITSMMVPGroup
                      You need to backup your old production databases, restore them to the new instance. Re-run the Server Configuration Utilities to upgrade the databases. After that you will see the updated WSGs.

                      Keep in mind that if you don't do an in place upgrade your users will lose settings as they will be rolled back to the time the backup was taken.

                      Personally if I was you I'd backup/restore and point an 8.5 server at the newly restored database. Test here and build your configs out. When ready, do an in-place upgrade and bring your configs over from the test environment.
                      • 8. Re: 8.5 Upgrade Tips
                        jonr Employee
                        For anyone reading this thread, a host of improvements are coming in EM 8.5 Service Pack 2 and EM 8.6 Service Pack 1 to smooth the upgrade from 8.4 (and earlier) Desktop Settings and Session Data. Please check the release notes when the Service Packs become available in the next few weeks.

                        In addition to the hotfixes mentioned above:
                        - EM will retain Legacy SD and DS for a number of days after they are no longer used, as defined in a new Advanced Setting. So, even if you don't use the clever Create Folder workaround at the start of this post, the Legacy data will be deleted once it is no longer required, even if it is whitelisted.
                        - EM will no longer upgrade DS that were previously disabled
                        - If you delete settings from a WSG and Legacy DS/SD data is still available, it will be migrated into the WSG again
                        • 9. Re: 8.5 Upgrade Tips
                          andrewt Rookie
                          In response to your reply Jon, with relation to the release notes mentioned - I've just looked at EM 8.5 SP2s and I am just wondering in relation to what information and improvements you mean? Is this in relation to just the HotFixes only or is there something else specifically in the release notes?