astlouis
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Issues with .OST file and View 5.0 Linked Clones

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Hi everyone,

I have an installation of View 5.0 in my environment and am currently using solely dedicated linked clones. I'm using View Persona Management instead of Persistent Disks and plan on sticking with that setup. The problem I am seeing with the few users we have currently using the pools is that occasionally (and I don't know the cause just yet) when the user opens their Outlook 2010 they get a message that outlook is using an old version of their .OST file and they have to delete the current on and outlook will rebuild it upon next opening. We are redirecting the AppData folder to their Persona in hopes that the mail will stay with them through log offs, reboots, recomposes, etc. Everything in that aspect seems to be working except for these instances where it seems that the .OST file gets broken.

Is there any idea what could be causing this or another way to set this up to make it work? Thanks for your suggestions.esx

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blakebevard
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Enthusiast

We ran into this same issue.  The conclusion we came to was that when the .OST file is large, View Persona Management cannot move this file down from the persona server to the user's View machine in a timely manner.  Outlook eventually times out waiting for the file to be copied and gives you the error.  The solution that we came to was to use Microsoft Folder redirection for those folders.  This gave the users instant access to their OST files and fixed the issue of copying the data.  What we did was create a new share on the persona server called Roaming which houses this roaming data.  It doesn't take up any less or any more space than using persona management and provides the same utility without interrupting any of the other things that persona management provides. The adm files already exist on your connection server at C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware View\Server\extras\GroupPolicyFiles and I have attached a copy of what one of our GPO's looks like.

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astlouis
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Contributor

I forgot to mention that we have our Exchange environment outsourced.

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blakebevard
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Enthusiast

We ran into this same issue.  The conclusion we came to was that when the .OST file is large, View Persona Management cannot move this file down from the persona server to the user's View machine in a timely manner.  Outlook eventually times out waiting for the file to be copied and gives you the error.  The solution that we came to was to use Microsoft Folder redirection for those folders.  This gave the users instant access to their OST files and fixed the issue of copying the data.  What we did was create a new share on the persona server called Roaming which houses this roaming data.  It doesn't take up any less or any more space than using persona management and provides the same utility without interrupting any of the other things that persona management provides. The adm files already exist on your connection server at C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware View\Server\extras\GroupPolicyFiles and I have attached a copy of what one of our GPO's looks like.

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astlouis
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Thanks for the response. I do have a couple questions though. Our View Persona repository is located on a CIFS Share on our SAN. I'm pretty sure that microsoft does not support roaming the OST files to a CIFS Share. Perhaps i have that thought wrong. But i think if I understand you correctly, i can use a shared drive off of a server in order to do this particular fix you suggested? For example, create the "O:\\" drive and share it to all users and then redirect the OST files to that drive on that server? Also, when you say the users have instant access to their OST files, does this mean that when they open outlook there is no lapse in time that it is having to download the files and is just there? If so then i think this is the perfect solution. Thanks ahead of time for your feedback. You've definitely put me on the right track.

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Microsoft does support the OST files in a network location provided that some things are met:

1) High bandwidth / low latency network connection is used

2) Single client access to the ost/pst.  One outlook client per pst/ost.

3) Either Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Host or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is used to run Outlook remotely.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297019

I would not map an O:\ drive to the desktop.  Use GPO to redirect the .OST file to a UNC path  \\server\path.   That would be the easiest method and not have to worry about mapping drives and giving the user another drive letter.

Also, when u do the GPO outlook redirection for ost files.  you'll need to delete the users profile and recreated it.  Then and only then will it appear in the network location. 

I have done this and it works really well.   This way it doesn't eat up the vm space and can sit on a lower tier storage on the network.

Larry B.

blakebevard
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

If you put in the folder redirection policy using the adm file on your connection server, when the user logs out and back in with the GPO active the folder will be moved automatically.  You don't have to rebuild their profile, but I do agree with Larry regarding setting it to a UNC path on another server.  If you want to map the base of that UNC path as a drive as well, that would be a good alternative.  The GPO and folder redirection will take care of permissions on the share so that the user is the only one who has access.  You just need to make sure that users do not log into multiple desktops at the same time.

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blakebevard
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And yes, to your earlier question.  When I said "instant access", instead of having to download the file to their VM, instead the host will read the file at LAN speed, which I would guess is at least 1Gb/s which is more than fast enough for Outlook.  We instituted this at 8 offices within our environment so far with no issue whatsoever and our mail servers are located at 2 other locations.

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astlouis
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Contributor

Sorry for my ignorance and I promise I will award you points for a correct answer but I do not see the admx files out on my connection server unless I am just missing it. Can you tell me what the name of it is? I tried using the Outlook 2010 GPO but it won't let me use a UNC path for the default location of the OST. Sorry again haha. I appreciate all your help.

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astlouis
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Sorry for my ignorance and I promise I will award you points for a  correct answer but I do not see the admx files out on my connection  server unless I am just missing it. Can you tell me what the name of it  is? I tried using the Outlook 2010 GPO but it won't let me use a UNC  path for the default location of the OST. Sorry again haha. I appreciate  all your help.

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blakebevard
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Enthusiast

Sorry, here are the 2007 admx files (you have to get them from micorosft): http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=22666 and the 2010 ones are here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=18968

I didn't have any problem with it allowing UNC paths when I did it for 2007, so I can't imagine why they would take that out in 2010.  I hope this helps.

*Edit* The folder redirection admx files for your local directories are on the connection server, the admx files for Outlook came from Microsoft

astlouis
Contributor
Contributor

Success! I did in fact have the proper files downloaded but had to go through a few extra steps to correctly implement:

1: For Windows 7 computers, you have to use ADMX files for group policies. You can't "Add/Remove Template" these like you could for ADM templates. Instead, you have to copy and paste the ADML and ADMX files to C:\\Windows\PolicyDefinitiions on the DC. This accomplishes the install.

2. If the GP is being applied to a Computer OU, then you have to enable loopback processing within that particular GP. This is because the Outlook GPO is a User Based policy and the loopback allows the policies to be mapped to the users.

After I did this and recreated the User Mail Profiles then it works like a champ. Thanks for all your help guys!

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iamxCPx
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@astlouis

Should I use replace or merge on the loopback setting?

What did you use in your environment?

Thanks.

CP

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iamxCPx
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Hi Larry,

When you said...


Also, when u do the GPO outlook redirection for ost files.  you'll need  to delete the users profile and recreated it.  Then and only then will  it appear in the network location.

Is that the Outlook Users Profile or the overall "roaming" user profile when using persona management?

Thanks.

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astlouis
Contributor
Contributor

Hmm. Well we don't have any higher up Outlook policies in our environment. Mine setting is "Replace" but like I said we don't have any other higher up policies. Is the higher level policy a User based or Computer based policy?

Sent from my iPhone

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astlouis
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I believe he is referring to the Outlook Users Profile. That's what I had to do. There is no need to rebuild their Persona.

Sent from my iPhone

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iamxCPx
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Enthusiast

Thanks!

I did recreate the profiles and it will not create the OST folder on the destination path automatically like persona management.

I had to create the folder separately first before I can see the OST being redirected.

Is that behaving normally?

So for example:

With Persona Management, I just point to the share folder: //server/profiles/

And Persona Management will create all the folders automatically.

With the OST Outlook redirection, I point to the share folder: //server/ostprofiles/%username%/apps/local/microsoft/outlook

And Outlook will not create the any folders inside the share folder //server/ostprofiles and the OST file.

But if I specify the username and point to the directory as follows: //server/ostprofiles/userABC/apps/local/microsoft/outlook, outlook will create the OST file inside "outlook" folder.

I'm guessing it's because it's not roaming so it will not create any folders automatically that is why it needs to have the username specified.

What happen if you have 100 users? It's going to suck trying to create the username folder and subdirectory one by one instead of using %username% line. :smileyshocked:

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blakebevard
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Enthusiast

I have a couple questions:

1. Do you have the "OST Profiles" share set up with the share permissions necessary for roaming profiles?  You have to give authenticated users (or if you want to get more granular, your VDI users group) full control to the share so that they can create the new folders automatically and set the permissions.

2. Do you have the location of the OST file hard coded in your Office installation (or another GPO)?  I had an issue with that when I first set up Outlook in View.

You should be able to use %username% within the location of the files.  If you look at the copy of my GPO that I uploaded a few months ago, you will see that I point the outlook ost file to \\PERSONASERVER\Roaming\%username%\appdata\microsoft\outlook.

When you open up Outlook and configure the user for the first time, have you tried going into the Outlook profile created and under Advanced -> offline folder settings checking what is listed there?  When building users for the first time, I sometimes have to go in and open that setting, hit "ok" and then it will say this location does not exist, do I want to create it.  Once I hit yes and close Outlook and open it back up everything works great.

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blakebevard
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Also, in regards to selecting merge or replace, it will depend on your enviornment and whether or not there are policies above it that would interfere.  I use merge on mine, but I don't have anything above it changing the settings.

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