Fslogix application masking

By Taylor Shipman - April 13, Organizations that are equipping remote workers with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI are finding that leaps in technology change can roll out remarkably quickly, in some cases, requiring just a few days. FSLogix might even be free for qualified customers, please see details below to help with cloud-based virtual desktops, increasing productivity and smoothing user experiences by managing login and identity for Office It speeds app provisioning, reducing staff time and effort needed to support virtualization.

Security and compliance are also simplified. One key benefit is eliminating the need to index every login, which results in faster Outlook searching. Both Office and FSLogix profile containers support concurrent sessions. Recent Microsoft Virtual Desktop in the cloud updates created a need for solutions to increase productivity without adding support from IT administrators.

Microsoft acquired FSLogix in to expand on a move into the virtual desktop world. The tools may be free, or nearly free, for organizations that are using the following:. Traditional roaming profile solutions have been a struggle for IT managers: resetting profiles because of corruption or large profiles getting out of hand and causing delays.

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Another Microsoft solution folder redirection caused an increased load on file servers because of a connection during every folder request. At login, the FSLogix driver mounts the VHD X from a cloud cache or an on-premise file server down to the desktop, or session host, triggering only a single connection at log in and a second connection during log off.

Typically, I recommend running FSLogix profile containers and then utilize folder redirection to redirect the Documents folder to a protected file share. Redirections and other important settings are configured by using group policy templates or editing the local registry. Some settings configured via the registry can be found here. FSLogix profiles can be stored in many different locations, including Azureusing Cloud Cache technology.

The Cloud Cache uses a local profile cache that makes multiple connections to cloud repositories to provide resiliency in case of network disruption. This can provide redundancy for profiles without the use of file servers on-premise or in a private cloud. Using profile containers on top of technologies like Citrix and VMware Horizon to provide administrators simpler management, increased performance, and a better user experience.

Profile containers can run with either single VDI sessions or multi-session deployments.Now, we finally know! I wrote an article about it that you can read again here where I speculated as to the reasons behind the company being purchased by the Redmond behemoth. For those of you not in the know, Windows Virtual Desktop is a service that Microsoft are delivering from Azure to run Windows client desktops and applications in the cloud, and it is slated to be generally available in the second half of this year.

Some details of the high-level architecture were shared at Ignite reproduced briefly belowand it operates in pretty much a similar way to the Citrix Cloud offering, with Microsoft handling the infrastructure components. If you meet the licensing requirements which are pretty loose, and probably cover a huge percentage of customers, read more about them in the release blog at the endyou can run WVD, and because it is now in Public Preview you can start your trials today.

There are a ton of questions around WVD that need to be answered, and as I said, I will have an article out about it as soon as humanly possible. However, it seemed quite clear to me anyway :- that the acquisition of FSLogix was driven by this. For WVD to provide non-persistent or pooled desktops which it does offerit would need to have some form of profile management, and FSLogix presented the ideal way to achieve this.

Since then, though, existing and aspirational FSLogix customers, as well as partners and solutions architects, have been left in a form of limbo. Without a clear statement from Microsoft as to how they intend to use the product because FSLogix was a suite of products beyond just profile managementtaking any sort of forward-looking action was difficult. History is littered with products that have simply been left to wither on the vine by companies post-acquisition — whether intentionally or unintentionally.

But it also means that moving to WVD, and Azure cloud, is made so much easier as well, by aligning the cloud offering with the on-premises solutions.

If scaling out by using WVD just becomes a case of moving images to the cloud where they are managed by exactly the same suite as you use on-premises, then you have a ready-made on-ramp. The timeline for this, as far as I can tell, is that these new entitlements will take effect sometime between May and August of this year, and a rebranded FSLogix agent will be released alongside the GA announcement of WVD — which may be anytime up until Ignite in September, I would think.

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There are a lot of questions around this as well, though. What will happen to those customers who already have multi-year license agreements for FSLogix? How will the Cloud Cache feature be able to be utilized for customers who have investments in clouds other than Azure? Will we be able to use App Masking for licensing compliance for Microsoft software? Exciting times ahead!

Update — If you want to inquire about whether it is possible to have any form of access to FSLogix in the interim between this announcement and the rebranded release, then I would suggest contacting a partner or one of the FSLogix guys now at Microsoft to get further info on what can be done.Recently, I have been involved more and more in projects where Office is to be fully implemented in Citrix environments. This means that the customer not only needs the standard Office applications Outlook, Excel and Word, but also wants to use teams and OneDrive.

But this is exactly where we, without additional software, have big problems in non-persistent desktop environments.

For example with our profiles Team Installer stores its data in the profile or so that the data is downloaded from the Internet every time excluding OneDrive Sync data in the profile. This will replace the existing profile solutions where the files are copied over the network to the target system, like Roaming Profile or Universal Profile Management. Office Container redirects only the part of the profile that contains Office data.

This allows FSLogix to be used parallel to already implemented profile solutions. Application Masking manages access to applications, fonts, printers, etc. Access can be controlled by user, IP address range and other criteria.

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This significantly reduces the number and complexity of Golden Master Images. The selected Java version must be installed on the client computer. Multiple versions of Java can be installed side by side. All within the same client system. After it is attached, the applications look locally installed to both the user and the operating system.

Latest FSLogix release simplifies remote logins for Microsoft VDI admins

Based on application groups, applications can be deployed immediately without the need to deploy a new Golden Image. If another profile method roaming, UPM, etc.

UPM nach Profile Container.

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Local Profile nach Profile Container. UPD nach Profile Container. The client tries to mount the VHD X file directly when logging in. No Difference Disks are used.

If simultaneous further access is attempted, it fails with a share violation error When logging off, the VHD X file is unmounted again.

VHD X. Try for read-write profile and fallback to read-only. Client checks to see if a RW. VHD X file exists. If no file exists, it performs the same steps as for Read-write profile. If the file RW. VHD X exists, the client assumes the role Read-only profile and performs these steps.

Windows Search Service must be started and set to automatic for this feature.As well as application masking, profile roaming, large file handling, Java remediation and now the new ish CloudCache feature, there are a few other cool things you can do that are a bit lesser-known.

The Redirection feature is one of these, and allows you to do all sorts of clever stuff. I find Redirection very handy.

Essentially, it allows you to redirect any file, folder, Registry value or Registry key to another location. Now this is VERY handy for device-specific settings that you wish you could manage on a per-user or per-group basis. In many cases, especially where there are wholesale changes required to the profile for specific departments or tasks, it can be very handy to have specific default profiles within the image for specific sets of users. It also reduces the reliance on Group Policy to process when the user is logging in for the first time, so it has benefits for your logon KPIs and general performance.

If you want to take advantage of this, this is how to set it up. When I went through the process, I took a snapshot of my reference image just prior to running sysprep so when I had saved out the first default profile I created I could easily go back and create another one with extra modifications.

Manage User and Group Assignments in Application Masking

However in the interests of eliminating points of failure, I prefer to keep all copies of the default profiles local to the golden image and update them centrally within there.

When this is working, users will get different default profiles used and henceforth a different base look and feel demonstrated below. Now, you can manipulate the default Windows 10 Start Tiles layout in a number of ways, which are covered in this earlier article. One of the best things covered here is the ability to have different Start Tiles layouts for different versions of the Windows 10 OS by using a WMI filter to apply a specific LayoutModification.

fslogix application masking

It would be nice to allow different users on the same image to get different sets of Start Tiles delivered to them when they first log on, to match their department or function, yes? You could do this with some GPO filtering, but then the users would either be locked or partially locked in their layout, which not everyone finds useful. So with FSLogix we can easily do this, in a very similar way to the first example. Firstly, set the Start Tiles as you want them, and then create as many sets of XML files as you need using the Export-StartLayout PowerShell cmdlet, and save them in an appropriate location.

Make sure each one is called LayoutModification. Run the following script for each custom layout you want to create, obviously changing the path as appropriate! Once these rules are assigned to specific users or groups and then copied to the endpoint, we can now have a default Start Tiles layout applied on a per-user or per-group basis from the same base image.

The two different layouts I applied are shown below.Roaming profiles, the proprietary Windows technology for transferring profiles between different computers, come with some well-known limitations.

FSLogix: Alternative to roaming profiles, user profile disks, and offline files

In particular, these include long delays for logons and logoffs when large amounts of data must be copied over the network.

This weakness is especially noticeable with non-persistent virtual desktops, because they need to load the entire profile after each start. On session hosts, you might configure separate user profiles, which are also copied back and forth between network shares and local drives. To mitigate the problem of this outdated technique, many admins combine server-based profiles with folder redirection to reduce the amount of data that must be sent over the network when logging on and off.

Due to the limitations of roaming profiles in conjunction with terminal services, Microsoft has offered User Profile Disks UPD as an alternative since Windows Server FSLogix Profile Containers also use the approach of offloading profiles onto virtual disks and attaching them to the session as soon as a user logs on.

PolicyPak + FSLogix: Set default browser based upon if the browser is masked or revealed

On the other hand, FSLogix Profile Containers can be mounted on any computer, regardless of whether they belong to the same host collection or they are physical desktops. The tool also allows simultaneous read access to the profile if the user is logged on to more than one session.

Finally, you can save the search index in the container so that it is immediately available the next time the user logs on. The same applies to OneDrive's caching, where the entire content would have to be re-downloaded for every session in non-persistent environments.

They are primarily intended for users who already have another profile management solution in place, but would like to improve the user experience of office applications. Profile Containers offer all the functions of the O containers. You can use both types side by side. This can be useful, for example, if you want to use different storage for Outlook caching.

Like UPDs, FSLogix also provides the option not to redirect certain directories to the virtual drive, but to leave them in the local profile. By default, this applies to the Temp and IE cache directories.

fslogix application masking

Other folders can be defined in the redirection. Depending on the requirements, folder redirection may be useful to redirect such locally maintained directories to a file share. This would make sense, for example, for documents that are frequently changed and regularly backed up. They can be recovered more easily from a file server than from a VHD X file.

Instead of a network path to a VHD X repository, it allows users to define up to four profile container locations to which all new and changed content is replicated. In addition to internal SMB shares, this can also be blob storage on Azure. An advantage of this feature is the higher availability of the user profiles, as the failure of one storage system can be compensated for by a copy at another location.It seems to be one of the very few solutions to properly control applications that have "per device" licensing, when those applications are installed in Citrix or RDS type environments.

AppSense also provides some per device controls, but possibly not enough to satisfy vendors e. Microsoft in the event of an audit. For context, if you publish a Microsoft desktop application e. I've heard of the solution, but have never used it and am interested about this as well. I would be interested how they handle apps like Adobe Creative Cloud.

I hope someone can reply to your post with real world feedback, but while waiting for that a couple of guys from HTG did some testing of their own earlier this year against the MS license requirements you mentioned.

At the bottom of the article they published a video of it. Also I can't see any indication on how its licensed or of costs. To continue this discussion, please ask a new question. Get answers from your peers along with millions of IT pros who visit Spiceworks.

The assignment can be restricted to meet re-assignment rules. You maintain accurate records to allow application usage reporting. There are many other vendors who also sell based on per device licensing.

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This topic has been locked by an administrator and is no longer open for commenting. Read these nextApplication Masking manages access to Applications, Fonts, and other items based on criteria. The Application Rules Editor is used to Describe the item, such as application, to be managed.

The Editor is also used to define criteria rules are managed by. For instance, GitHub should be hidden from the Accounting group. Things you can do with the Apps Rules Editor:.

Tag: Application Masking

Before using the Application Rules Editor, it must be installed. The following variables are used in destination paths only. Variables are preceded and followed by two underscore characters.

fslogix application masking

When using the Rule Editor to add or edit Rules, these variables automatically replace the proper text in the Source and Destination strings. Files and directories can be redirected to resources located on a network. The user must have appropriate rights to the network resource. To redirect to a network location, enter the path in UNC format into the Destination field. To deploy a rule set, use any method to copy rule files.

The service will then notify the driver of a change and the driver performs a live update of your installed rule sets. You may also leave feedback directly on GitHub. Skip to main content.

Exit focus mode. The first time you enter the Apps Rules Editor there won't be any rule sets in the left panel. Is this page helpful?

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