1 2 Previous Next 17 Replies Latest reply on May 13, 2016 9:23 AM by chevychevell68

    Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive

    bclyde Novice

      Hi Community,

       

      My VDI users are suffering terribly with Outlook 2010 using Online Mode. Outlook freezing, pausing, poor searching, calendar updates etc etc. I know its Exchange 2010 back end related as the CPU and Memory are sitting under 20% utilisation and disk is 0.01% latency.

       

      As my environment is non persistent having Outlook Cached Mode has always been out of the question but since purchasing App Volumes I've had the thought of delivering Outlook through App Volumes with a writable disk to store the OST file from Cached Mode.

       

      This way OST files will persist through sessions and be local to the VDI for cached mode.

       

      Has anyone got any thoughts and or experience they can bring to the table such as gotchas or extra config? e.g. Will be OST be created on the Writable Drive straight away or will it want to default to the VDI's vmdk file instead?

       

      Office 2010 Standard All important Windows and Office 2010 patches installed May 2015

       

      Thanks

       

      Barry

        • 1. Re: Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive
          Ray_handels Master
          vExpertCommunity Warriors

          He,

           

          What happens is that the file is created in the profile and the entire profile will be written into the writable volume so yes it will be added inthere (if you choose profile only or UIA and profile). If you happen to choose a different directory, either check if it is indeed added into the writable volume or try to adjust the snapvol.cfg file to add the specific directory.

           

          Would i suggest doing this?? Hell no.

          You have a VDI which is located near the Exchange server (at least network technically i hope). There are 2 big nono's why you don't want to do this.

          1. You will need to have a huuuge writable volume. If you add the OST file into it it will fill up the space of your writable volume. This would mean you have to create huge writable volumes and waste quite some space.

          2. Your biggest issue in a VDI environment is IOPS, any way you put it. What happens when starting outlook in Cache mode is that it will sync the Exchange server with the local OST files creating a huge amount of Write IOPS on your writable volume. If you do this with a multitude of users, well just do the math i guess .

           

          It does depend on what storage you are using though. We are using Tintri storage which is created specifically for VDI purpose so we do have the IOPS to spare, but still. I would never ever suggest using Outlook cache mode in a VDI environment.

          • 2. Re: Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive
            bclyde Novice

            HI Ray,

             

            Too too late i'm afraid! I've rolled it out to 100 test users and it works an absolute treat. Outlook opens ans runs like a dream, the VDI seems sharper and more responsiveness. Gitter and lag in outlook scrolling has gone. And after the initial OST sync my PCOIP has dropped like a stone.

             

            i'm in 100% agreement with you it does pull down the profile and generates iops but if you control this to say 10 users in the morning and 10 in the afternoon it's controllable and only happens once. Once the OST is there, that's it.

             

            SAN space isn't an issue, cheap SATA drives for the OST is more than sufficient. All test users have a Exchange mailbox of approx 15GB. so a 40GB writable volume was allocated so 4TB of SATA space used. In my opinion a very good trade off for better office performance.

             

             

            all im saying is give it a go before you reply. It's easy to setup and works really well.

            • 3. Re: Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive
              Ray_handels Master
              Community WarriorsvExpert

              Hey,

               

              To be honest it is not something I will try and test out (no offence though) but in my opinion this is contradictionary to what you would try to achieve with VDI, especially AppVolumes. I did read that storing your OST or PST file on a network drive is not supported and basically you are using some sort of a network drive (be it a VMDK which is mounted into the operating system) so it could also corrupt the OST file.

              Also, please keep in mind that the writable volume needs to be on quite fast disks otherwise it will eventually degrade performance as you need to read and write a lot to the writable volume during working.

               

               

              But hey, we are all just humans with opinions. I would love to hear other users opinion.. Maybe i'm just biased

              • 4. Re: Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive
                bclyde Novice

                Well I'm only reporting what I have seen.

                 

                initally high IOPS and pull from Exchange in a controlled fashion but then gaining the benefits of having it cached on a writable volume While the desktop remains clean, small and non persistent.

                 

                what I am trying to archive in VDI is a fast, fluid environment for everyone. This is indeed what I have now with cached mode on a writable volume.

                 

                I agree you shouldn't put PST/OST's on a network drive. But as you said it's a VMDK that is local to the desktop and therefore operating as normal. (Not sure why you put that when you said it yourself)

                 

                no where dictates the writable volume needs to be on fast storage it's just recommended, and I agree and understand why. But for OST's it's happy on SATA.

                 

                Everyone to there own I suppose, but it is supported and if you want a jitter and freezing free outlook and have some free San space this is the way to go.

                • 5. Re: Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive
                  NarayanCharan Novice

                  Hi Barry,

                   

                  How did you achieve this? Did you use template with uia plus profile to redirect OST on floating pool desktop?  I am trying to use the same,but its not working for me. Need your suggestion in dealing outlook on non persistent desktop using writable volumes?


                  Regards

                  Charan

                  • 6. Re: Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive
                    bclyde Novice

                    Hi Charan

                     

                    there's a couple of way you can do it. You can either remove Outlook from the base image and deploy it through App Volumes or remove the whole Office Suite from the Base Image and push it down through App Volumes.

                     

                    Either way I delivered outlook through app volumes then created the writable volume (using the writable volumes template)

                     

                    From here, I configured Group Policy to enable cached mode. It then started to download the OST file to the users appdata folder. The location of the OST file can be changed through the Office / Outlook 2010 ADM template, just make sure you don't push it off to a network drive or anything like that.

                     

                    does it help? Any success since writing your initial post?

                    • 7. Re: Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive
                      NarayanCharan Novice

                      Hi Barry,

                       

                      Thanks for spending your valuable time for responding my query. Not yet succeeded brother. So you are saying you used a Outlook ADM Template to change the location of OST file to reflect in writable volume?

                       

                      Here is my environment:

                      1. Floating pool desktops

                      2. Office was delivered through appstack

                      3. Outlook prompting every individual user when he tries to logon to a fresh desktop (because of floating setup)

                      4. I added writable volumes(uia+profile template) for users, but the outlook still prompting for initial configuration. By the way cached mode is enabled for all users by default.


                      Now i would like to know how to configure outlook using writable volumes such that it never asks a user for initial configuration when a user logs on to a fresh desktop, please help me out.


                      Regards

                      Charan.

                      • 8. Re: Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive
                        bclyde Novice

                        Its no Problem - Happy to help

                         

                        Ok I think I understand what you mean. Inside the Outlook ADM GPO template there is a policy that you can enable called "Automatically configure profile based on Active Directory Primary SMTP address"

                         

                        its in User Configuration\ Administrative Templates\ Microsoft Outlook 2010 \ Account Settings \ Exchange

                         

                        Try that?! That gets rid of the configuration wizard for me. I believe it only works if all the Exchange AutoDiscover is set up correctly in DNS etc.

                         

                        Barry

                        • 9. Re: Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive
                          NarayanCharan Novice

                          Thanks Barry, let me try that and update you back. Is it the only way around for us if we use writable volumes?

                           

                          Regards

                          Charan

                          • 10. Re: Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive
                            bclyde Novice

                            Absolutely. Having that writable volume is 100% required! if you do do not have the writable volume you will NEED to go Online Mode to prevent the constant downloading of the OST files when users logon to their non persistent VDI.

                             

                            The theory behind this is that the OST writes to the writable volume once and once only and then travels with your user to any floating desktop in the pool.

                             

                            You need to put some thought into the estimated size of the OST outlook will create (usually 2x the mailbox size) and the number of users initially pulling from exchange etc

                            • 11. Re: Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive
                              NarayanCharan Novice

                              Hey Barry,

                               

                              In my case writable volumes are not staying persistent with user profile, when they gets attached to another desktop everything seems like a fresh writable vol, do you have any idea whats going on.

                               

                              Regards

                              Charan

                              • 12. Re: Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive
                                bclyde Novice

                                Are you using app volumes 2.7 by any chance? I believe there are known issues with writtable volumes.

                                 

                                Ray_Handels seems to be very good, certainly better than me with App Volumes, maybe he or another user can help mate.

                                • 13. Re: Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive
                                  Ray_handels Master
                                  vExpertCommunity Warriors

                                  "In my case writable volumes are not staying persistent with user profile, when they gets attached to another desktop everything seems like a fresh writable vol, do you have any idea whats going on."

                                   

                                  Just to make sure we are on the same page, you are using Windows7 and Office 2010 and added the GPO that was suggested to enable Cache mode in Outlook? When you open Outlook you also see that an OST file is being created?

                                  Could you please have a look into the manager (tab Volumes and the Writables) when logged in with the user that has a writable volume? The status of the Writable volume should be attached in an orange colour. If not my guess would be that the writable volume either isn't created correctly or you need to change the OS the writable volume is attached to.

                                   

                                  Could you please confirm that the status is attached when logged in? If it is indeed attached we need to be looking into the writable volume to see what happens there.

                                   

                                  Also, i do see quite some issues on the forum with AppVolumes regarding writable volume template in 2.7. We are using 2.6 now and will be testing 2.7 later this week (hopefully tomorrow) but to this day I haven't seen these issues with the writable volume. We do use the UIA + profile though, never actually worked with the profile only (did test it but this was just for a few days).

                                   

                                  And besides me not being a big fan of OST files in the writable volume I would love to hear your experience with it (or other users experience for that matter). Not only speed but also size.. Please do keep in mind that the default writable volume size (template) is 10GB which seems to be on the small side when using OST files.

                                  • 14. Re: Outlook 2010 on App Volumes using Writable Drive
                                    NarayanCharan Novice

                                    I am using windows 7 with outlook 2013 and cached mode enabled. Yeah the writable volumes are working fine now, its just permissions issue it seems, i added the respective user to local administrators group and they started working.

                                     

                                    Charan

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