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SoftGrid Operations Guide - Part 2

SoftGrid Operations Guide - Part 2

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As promised, here's part 2 of Brian Kelly's SoftGrid Operations Guide:

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3.3 Remove a Specific Application from a SoftGrid Client PC

The following procedure describes how to remove a specific application package from the SoftGrid cache on a client PC.

1. Open the SoftGrid Client Management Console (e.g., Start à Settings à Control Panel à Administrative Tools à SoftGrid Client Management).

2. Select the Application(s) object in the left window panel.

3. A- Right-click on the name of the application that you want to remove from the cache and select Unload from the drop-down menu. This maintains the application shortcuts and file associations.
or
B- Right-click on the name of the application that you want to remove completely and select Delete from the drop-down menu.

It is also possible to script application removal from the cache.

SFTMIME.EXE UNLOAD APP:”TextPad 4”

SFTMIME.EXE REMOVE APP:”TextPad 4” /COMPLETE

Note: You must have administrative rights on the client PC to fully remove the application from the SoftGrid client cache. If a user that lacks administrative rights the “Unload” and “Delete” commands will not be available. A non-administrator will have the option to “Clear” an application which will remove the program shortcuts and file types for the current user.

3.4 Purge All Virtualized Applications from a SoftGrid Client PC

The following command line will remove ALL applications and file types from the SoftGrid cache on a client PC:

sftmime.exe remove obj:app /global /complete

Note: The person running the above command must have administrative rights on the client PC.

3.5 Reset the SoftGrid Client Cache to a Clean State

Removing all applications from the SoftGrid client cache does not completely wipe the contents of the cache file now shrink the cache file.. It is rarely necessary, but sometimes useful when troubleshooting, to reset the SoftGrid client cache to the initial clean state. The following procedure describes how to reset the SoftGrid client cache:

1. Logon to the client PC with a user account that has administrative rights.

2. Launch the Registry Editor.

3. Set the following registry value to 0:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Softricity\SoftGrid Client\CurrentVersion\AppFS\State

4. Reboot the client PC.

3.6 Resizing the client cache through a script

The following procedure describes how to extend the maximum size of the SoftGrid client cache:

1. Create a logon or ESD script to set the following registry values:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Softricity\SoftGrid Client\CurrentVersion\AppFS\State
Value=0

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Softricity\SoftGrid Client\CurrentVersion\AppFS\FileSize
Value=4096* *
Desired maximum cache size in KB

2. Reboot the client PC for changes to take effect.

3.7 Terminal Server Best Practices

The following are specific to Terminal Server/Citrix environment.

· Always pre-load all applications that will be delivered through a particular Terminal Server. This will reduce latency for users. See Section 3.2 for details of scripting a solution.

· To relieve memory fragmentation, restart the client computer at least one time a month. Restart more frequently if the computer starts more than 1,500 applications per day.

· Set the Run Settings to “Do not show the SoftGrid Client” to allow a clean shutdown of the user profile. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Softricity\CurrentVersion\CustomSettings\TrayVisibility=0


4 SoftGrid Infrastructure Maintenance

This section provides information regarding SoftGrid infrastructure maintenance.

4.1 SoftGrid Log Files

This section describes several SoftGrid log files that contain information that can be helpful in troubleshooting issues with SoftGrid application delivery and execution.

Note: The SoftGrid software only writes events to the log files listed below. SoftGrid does not log events to the System Event log or Application Event log.

4.1.1 SoftGrid Server Log File

· The default location of the SoftGrid server log file follows:

%ProgramFiles%\Softricity\SoftGrid Server\logs\sft-server.log

The location of the server log file may differ depending on where the SoftGrid server software was installed.

To change the default logging level see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931584

4.1.2 SoftGrid Client Log Files

· The main log to consult is sftlog.txt. This log does not wrap around and therefore the size of this file should be monitored and reset if necessary. Sftlist.exe /resetlog will archive the logs current contents to sftlog000#.txt, increasing the number on each execution. A batch process can collect or delete these files. .

· The default locations of the log files for the SoftGrid client for Windows desktops follows:

%ProgramFiles%\Softricity\SoftGrid for Windows Desktops\sftlog.txt

To adjust the log level see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931803

· The default locations of the log files for the SoftGrid client for terminal servers follows:

%ProgramFiles%\Softricity\SoftGrid for Terminal Servers\sftlog.txt

4.1.3 SoftGrid Management Console Log File

· The default location of the log file for the SoftGrid Management Console follows:

%ProgramFiles%\Softricity\SoftGrid Management Console\sftMMC.log

The SoftGrid Management Console log file is disabled by default and must be enabled as follows:

1. If the SoftGrid Management Console is running, close it now.

2. Launch the Registry Editor.

3. Add the following DWORD registry value:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Softricity\SoftGrid Management Console\LogLevel = 1

4. Exit the Registry Editor.

5. Launch SoftGrid Management Console.
Note: The log is only created when an error occurs.

4.2 SoftGrid Server Monitoring

The following SoftGrid server system resources should be proactively monitored to detect problems or trends indicating possible problems:

· CPU Utilization is within an acceptable limits

· Memory Utilization is within an acceptable limits

· Disk Utilization is within an acceptable limits

· Verify that the SoftGrid Virtual Application Service is running at all times

· Verify that three SFTCore.exe processes are running at all times

Note: The thresholds for acceptable CPU, Memory and Disk Utilization for a SoftGrid server are the same as for other Windows servers (e.g., file servers, web servers, etc.).

4.3 User Profiles

Where local profiles are used, no specific SoftGrid related profile maintenance should be required.

Where roaming profiles are used, the following recommendations should be considered:

· Configure the SoftGrid client to redirect virtualized user application settings to a centralized location such as a subdirectory in the user’s network home directory.

· Consider using the Microsoft User Profile Hive Cleanup (UPHClean) service to improve the stability of roaming user profiles (this is a general recommendation and is not specifically related to SoftGrid). The UPHClean service is available for free download from the following web site:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=1B286E6D-8912-4E18-B570-42470E2F3582&displaylang=en

· Consider monitoring and if necessary running a script to occasionally clean out the Icon cache. Over time, orphaned icons can accumulate. By default, user specific icons are located in "%APPDATA%\SoftGrid Client\Icon Cache and global icons are located %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Documents\SoftGrid Client\Icon Cache.

4.4 Content Repository Management

Each SoftGrid server has a registry setting pointing to its Content Repository root and the SoftGrid database points to the location of each package. It is important that each SoftGrid server sees the Content Repository in a similar structure. There are different replication technologies that can accomplish this task. Whichever replication technology is used it is important that you are able to confirm that replication has completed to all SoftGrid servers before publishing an application. It can also be helpful to compare the states of the Content Repositories by using a directory compare tool such as comp.exe or Beyond Compare. Below are two replication topologies to consider.

· DFS

The following TechNet presentation provides a good “how-to” on architecting and configuring DFS-R. The presentation covers the use of the DFS-R GUI as well as the scripting interface which is most useful when implementing DFS-R on a large scale.

http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032289011&EventCategory=3&culture=en-US&CountryCode=US

Useful command line utilities:

DfsAdmin.exe The DfsAdmin.exe is new for the Distributed File System (DFS) in the Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003 R2 operating system. Use this tool to administer DFS replication from the command line. The DfsrAdmin.exe tool is often used in scripts to configure and manage DFS replication.

DfsrDiag.exe The Dfsrdiag.exe is new for the Distributed File System (DFS) in the Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003 R2 operating system. Dfsrdiag.exe is a command-line tool that can generate a backlog count or trigger a propagation test. Both show the state of replication. Propagation shows you if files are being replicated to all nodes. Backlog shows you how many files still need to replicate before two computers are in sync. The backlog count is the number of updates that a replication group member has not processed.

DfsUtil.exe DfsUtil.exe is a command-line tool used to configure DFS-N (namespaces). This tool is not necessary when DFS-R replication hierarchy will be setup without using DFS-N namespaces.

· DfsrAdmin.exe command line reference:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=49caf978-49e9-4eb6-9cc9-72b5dd160505&displaylang=en

· DfsUtil.exe command line reference:

http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/f/?en/library/ae08acaa-148d-41eb-a693-35d80c4590751033.mspx

· Robocopy

The following article addresses alternatives to DFS: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q160513/

4.4.1 Relocating the content directory

If the current content repository needs to be centralized or scaled up, it is possible to move the content directory to another location. Details are in the following article.

How to relocate the content directory for Microsoft SoftGrid
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930868

4.5 Database Backup and Restore

4.5.1 Backup

All the metadata for the SoftGrid environment is stored in the SoftGrid Database. This includes data about the published applications, file associations, licensing and package versioning. In addition, usage data is also stored in the database. The metadata is relatively small, often less than 10mb but the usage data is based on the number of users. Each application event (Launch or Shutdown) generates 1kb. So 1000 users launching 10 apps per day would generate about 20MBs a day.

It is recommended to keep the SoftGrid server logging set to its default level of “Warnings/Errors” and to not forward client log messages to the SoftGrid database.

A proper backup strategy would be to perform a complete backup nightly. You may also back up the database after any significant updates in the Management Console so as not to lose any publication or configuration changes.

In addition to backing up the database and log, you should also back up the Softricity Jobs and Alerts.

2.5.2 Restore

In the event of a disaster or the need to move to a new physical SQL server, the SoftGrid database can be restored. If you do not have a backup of master database, be sure to recreate the login information for the Domain\SoftGrid Administrators and the SOFTRICTY account. The following kb article references migrating to a new database server but also applies to a recovery situation. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932136/en-us

5 Finding Additional Information

5.1 Microsoft SoftGrid Knowledge Base

Microsoft has completed the process of migrating data off of the old Softricity knowledge base. The knowledge base contains useful information regarding planning, implementation and troubleshooting SoftGrid. A link to the Microsoft Knowledge Base follows:

http://support.microsoft.com

Error Code Formats: When searching the knowledge base for error codes, be aware that the first 12 digits are unique to the version of the SoftGrid client software. The ending 8 digits of the error code remain constant between all client versions.

When you search for an error code such as 410038-15601C2A-00002AFC, enter the last 8 digits 00002AFC.

5.2 SoftGrid Product Documentation

The main SoftGrid resource site is http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/softgrid/default.aspx.

SoftGrid user forums and blogs are here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/softgrid/bb676741.aspx

The following SoftGrid product documentation is available in PDF format.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940163/

· SoftGrid Client Installation Guide

· SoftGrid Quick Start Guide

· SoftGrid Sequencer Installation Guide

· SoftGrid Server Installation Guide

· SoftGrid Platform Administration Guide

· SoftGrid Sequencer Manual

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A big thanks to Brian Kelly for writing this up and letting me post it here.  I hope you found the information helpful in making your job as a Microsoft Application Virtualization admin a little bit easier.

J.C. Hornbeck

Comments
  • Nice post.

    Maybe you should also consider monitoring sftdispatcher.exe on the Microsoft Virtual Application Server. The sftdispatcher.exe is responsible for routing requests to the SFTCore.exe processes.

    BR

    Pierre Eriksson

  • As promised, here's part 2 of Brian Kelly's SoftGrid Operations Guide: http://blogs.technet.com

  • As promised, here's part 2 of Brian Kelly's SoftGrid Operations Guide: ====== 3.3 Remove a Specific Application

  • Un merci à Brian Kelly, evnagelist SoftGrid qui publie sur le blog de la SoftGrid team un Operation Guide

  • Brian Kelly has posted a two part series titled "SoftGrid Operations Guide" on the SoftGrid Team Blog. This two part guide covers some topics that would be useful to any SoftGrid admin such as m ...

  • The SoftGrid team has posted some official "unofficial operations guides" for Microsoft SoftGrid . You won't find these anywhere else. Good content. Part I is at: http://blogs.technet.com/softgrid/archive/2007/11/13/softgrid-operations-guide-part-1.aspx

  • The first thing you’ll probably want to do in preparation for your callback is gather up any relevant

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