13 Replies Latest reply on Aug 19, 2019 1:35 PM by cbaptiste

    Microsoft/FSLogix profile container and VMWare UEM

    JohnTwilley Enthusiast

      Now that Microsoft has acquired FSLogix, I'd like to start a discussion around using BOTH FSLogix & UEM together.

      One of my pain points with UEM is around Microsoft's User-based setups of OneDrive and Teams... These apps are bloating the User Profile and causing delays. And still have limitations.

      Those using VMware AppVolumes can work around some of these issues, but going forward it seems Microsoft will be leveraging VHDs as part of the new modern Profiles.

       

      FSLogix adds the following features to the Microsoft portfolio:

      • Outlook caching + Windows Search support
      • OneDrive for Business (and Files On-Demand) support
      • Native SharePoint support in Windows Explorer
      • Office 365 ProPlus computer activation license roaming
      • Skype for Business GAL caching
      • OneNote caching
      • Microsoft Teams support for Virtual Desktops

       

      Does anyone use FSLogix along with UEM? 

      If so, what kind of control do you gain/loose with the use of the VHD?  With UEM, you get the benefit of exclusions to control the size.

      I know the default FSLogix container size is 30GB...just trying to determine what admins are experiencing out there.

       

      FSLogix Licensing Entitlements are planned to be for the following: (not yet official)  Looks like it's easy to qualify for...(From Christiaan's Blog)

       

      • Microsoft 365 E3/A3
      • Microsoft 365 E5/A5
      • Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5
      • Windows 10 Education A3/A5
      • Windows 10 VDA per user
      • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) CAL
        • 1. Re: Microsoft/FSLogix profile container and VMWare UEM
          jlenag Novice

          We're in the same boat with this.  We just started a migration to O365 project that is going to require us to use cached exchange mode in our non-persistent setup.  We are trying to avoid writables and are currently attempting to test with FSLogix.  We are only using the Office containers portion at this point and not anything with the profile container.  All we are looking to get from it at the moment is storing of the OST file and being able to roam the search index.

           

          So far, the OST file portion works great.  It's immediately available on login and only downloads the newest email just like it should.  Everything else is the problem for us.  Search only seems to work about 50% of the time.  When it doesn't work, it either has to fully rebuild or we get an error saying 'Something went wrong and your search couldn't be completed' will be displayed.  In the case of seeing the error, after about 10 seconds, the search will show results.

           

          We are also seeing increased login times, 15-30 seconds, after adding in the FSLogix agent/driver.  Our VHD is stored on a file server in the same environment as our desktops and we are fully HCI, so latency is not an issue.  We also see where every so often the shortcuts on the desktop will be changed to the default while file at first.  A refresh of the desktop or with enough time and they will change back.  None of this occurred before FSLogix was installed.

           

          The sales ppl from FSLogix we are talking to aren't much help.  They just pretty much say it should just work and have at this point stopped responding to messages.  I'm guessing everyone is sitting around waiting for MS to come in and restructure.  They originally told us all the changes for them were coming in June so maybe it will get better after that.

          • 2. Re: Microsoft/FSLogix profile container and VMWare UEM
            JohnTwilley Enthusiast

            We you previously a FSLogix customer?  Just wondering how you worked out the licensing...or did you use a trial.

             

            My Microsoft TAM reached out to someone on the Modern Desktop team that stated:

            "You are entitled to FSLogix as it will be included in your SKUs.  However, it is still being integrated and therefore if you are interested in POC/Piloting it, we will need to have a bridge Cal provided to you."

             

            The increased login times, 15-30 seconds, has me worried.  Especially knowing that the FSLogix support Teams are all "up in the air" while being integrated by Microsoft. 

            It could be a bumpy ride at first.

             

             

            • 3. Re: Microsoft/FSLogix profile container and VMWare UEM
              jlenag Novice

              We are just using a trial for now.  We own E3 licensing which will eventually include FSLogix, but until June it technically does not.  They said we could get around it with a 0 dollar PO and some fancy paperwork if we had to have it before then, but with how it's working now, I doubt we will go with it.

              • 4. Re: Microsoft/FSLogix profile container and VMWare UEM
                Anobix67 Enthusiast

                Thanks for making this post, just started looking at them as well. Did you have any luck or waiting a few weeks into June to see if anything changes?

                • 5. Re: Microsoft/FSLogix profile container and VMWare UEM
                  JohnTwilley Enthusiast

                  I met with our Microsoft TAM, and an engineer from FSLogix.  Quick Q&A, some Powerpoint slides, and enough licenses to get me by until the official SKUs exist.

                  Couldn't have been easier.

                   

                  Now I just need to find the time to set it up in the lab!

                  • 6. Re: Microsoft/FSLogix profile container and VMWare UEM
                    jlenag Novice

                    I haven't heard from anyone at FSLogix for quite some time now.  I'll probably give it another week and then try to talk to our MS rep and see if I can get any traction that way.  In the end, some of the problems we were seeing will probably keep us away from it anyway.

                    • 7. Re: Microsoft/FSLogix profile container and VMWare UEM
                      EricNichols Hot Shot

                      I was able to deploy FSLogix profile containers in a test pool with UEM. After modifying all direct flex configs to sync during login and moving the redirected folder config from uem back to gpo, I logged in once and the new vhdx got populated with my profile. This login and all prior were about 1:30 and direct flex launches were slow. After logging off, I set the UEM GPO for my user to read only so that uem would not apply on my next login. The second login was :30 and every thing launches quickly. It seems like there is an opportunity to turn uem back on for the benefit of providing per app backups and or defaults for certain apps  that you might exclude in FSLogix so that we can benefit from both solutions concurrently. This is a game changer!

                      • 8. Re: Microsoft/FSLogix profile container and VMWare UEM
                        jlenag Novice

                        Did you ever get anywhere with this?  I'm curious if anyone had the same problems with using UEM and FSLogix together that we did.  Most of what I'm seeing is people moving completely to FSLogix profile containers instead of trying just the O365 containers and still using UEM which is what we tried and failed so hard at.

                        • 9. Re: Microsoft/FSLogix profile container and VMWare UEM
                          JohnTwilley Enthusiast

                          Here’s a new update from Microsoft:  No Licenses Required!!

                          Install FSLogix Agent - FSLogix | Microsoft Docs

                           

                          “FSLogix tools aren't licensed independently. Before downloading and using FSLogix, verify that entitlement requirements are met. FSLogix entitlement is described here entitlement and configuration requirements.

                          The FSLogix software no longer requires license keys.”

                          • 10. Re: Microsoft/FSLogix profile container and VMWare UEM
                            JohnTwilley Enthusiast

                            (Update)

                             

                            I played around with FSLogix - Office Containers (not Profiles) for a couple of days, along with UEM.  I figured I'd see if I can enhance all that's wrong with Office 2016/O365 in a non-persistent instant-clone environment.

                             

                            Quick Summary - FSLogix - Office Containers.

                             

                            The Good:

                             

                            • It has a "WOW Factor" from end-users.   Fantastic addition to any VDI based Office O365 installation. It FLYS.  Huge boost in user experience and performance.
                            • We already have GPOs set to Disable OST files in Outlook.  FSLogix mounts the VHDX and automatically overrides this policy, setting Outlook to Cached Mode. Nice touch.
                            • Installation was very easy, although Microsoft could use a few more Docs on using FSLogix Office Containers along side 3rd Party Profile managers.  (See my issue below)  The Installation guide says to install the agent, and then "Go Add these registry keys"...   Seriously?
                            • OneDrive works!  I tested this using the somewhat Beta Microsoft Machine-Based Onedrive installer
                            • Outlook feels normal again in a virtual desktop. I think this is because Search works again.  Again, users will LOVE IT.   I have not yet tested in an RDS published environment...but it will be nice.

                             

                            The Bad:

                             

                            • Sometimes, my UEM FlexEngine would just fail to run.  I saw logs where FSLogix was running (ahead of UEM?) and the "starting the Shell".  Maybe this was bypassing UEM?
                            • You are storing all office settings in a VHD(x) making it a little more difficult to troubleshoot.  (mounting VHD to explore settings)
                            • It's still a very new Microsoft Product...and the Support is mostly via e-mail. (not regular Microsoft Support)   I didn't get very far after a few back and forths with Support, so it's still outstanding as I write this up.
                            • VHD(x) Storage requirements for Outlook OSTs and OneDrive syncs. (Minimized of course by a 30 day OST cache & OneDrive Files-on-Demand)
                            • There are Oddities to be learned.  I.E.  If the Search service was Disabled when you installed Office, then you have to Enabled/Start the Search service and run a Repair on Office to register with search properly... After that, Outlook runs Amazing.

                             

                            Trust me, the performance of your Office products will make up for the "Bads" that I have listed.  I'm just hoping some of you will test this out, and help document how best to use this with UEM as the primary Profile manager.  Knowing Microsoft, it will eventually be baked into either Windows 10 or O365 anyways...

                             

                            Additional References:.

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Microsoft/FSLogix profile container and VMWare UEM
                              cbaptiste Enthusiast

                              Here are my thoughts on how to deploy this solution side by side with UEM.

                               

                              Note: This is untested. I merely have been doing research on FSLogix and implying my knowledge on how things work in UEM to see how to deploy both of them on the same VM. Take everything I say with a grain of salt

                               

                              Personalization

                              - It looks like to get both UEM and FSLogix to behave well together you will have to configure DireFlex to only export at logoff all items under "Personalization" just to backup user configurations in case of the vhd disk corruption. Or simply disable all the items. You wouldn't want a user to start completely from scratch in case of a disk corruption. However, in theory you should be backing these vhd disks as part of your solution. One could argue why not just restore the vhd from backup and voila. User is back to working in minutes. Picking up exactly where he/she left off at.

                              - Importing Personalization items at logon could cause some serious issues as the data already exists on the mounted disk and both UEM and FSLogix may end up importing the same data at the same time.

                               

                              User Environment

                              - I would still use UEM for ADMX-base settings deployments.

                              - I would disable OST policy from UEM "App Volumes"

                              - I would still utilize the following: Drive mappings, Environment Variables, File Type Associations, Horizon Smart Policies, Logon Tasks, Log off Tasks, Printer Mappings, Privilege Elevation, Triggered Tasks,

                              - I am sort of undecided about Application Blocking considering FSLogix has a similar module called "App Masking" that seems to be doing the same thing but better. I do not need to block an application if I am already masking it for those who are not entitled to it. I am a little conflicted but I do however still find some good use cases for Application Blocking. Especially for an environment like where I currently worked at. We block applications like mstsc.exe to prevent users from remoting to another workstation and potentially copy and paste PHI documents. I don't believe I should/can mask an application like mstsc.
                              - I would use Registry Settings with a condition if key value doesn't already exists.

                              - I would use shortcut with a condition if folder exists and also check "Skip if shortcut already exists."

                              - I never used the Windows Settings feature. It is the legacy way of doing things.

                               

                              Condition Set

                              - I would still use condition sets

                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Microsoft/FSLogix profile container and VMWare UEM
                                SimonPetrikov Novice

                                cbaptiste For your personalization suggestions. Are you referring to all applications or just Office?

                                • 13. Re: Microsoft/FSLogix profile container and VMWare UEM
                                  cbaptiste Enthusiast

                                  I would say all. The reason is that applications normally store user's settings in registry or %AppData% and in this case the FsLogix volumes will stores the whole user's profile so there really any needs to use personalization for any apps.