Jan posted this over on the login consultants teams blog. We talked about this last week and after trying it I have to take my hat off to the team. They posted this the other day and I wanted to relay it to the masses.

 

The Microsoft Softgrid Client, when deployed to a Terminal Server, is basically not such a big deal. Nowadays everybody knows keeping your Terminal Servers exactly the same is absolutely critical to maintain your environment. So in most cases the Microsoft Softgrid Client will be installed under the same conditions every time. If this scenario applies to you, you can create one script and put it into your deployment solution to deploy the client (for example an MSI with certain parameters) to every Terminal Server in your environment. You can use the same script on all Terminal Servers because they are all the same in terms of hardware specs and software level. Because all servers are equal, the same amount of disk space can be used for the Softgrid client cache. When it comes to deploying the Microsoft Softgrid Client to Windows Desktops it is a complete different story.

Microsoft Windows Desktops are, unlike Terminal Servers, not equal in terms of hardware specs and software level most of the time (especially in large environments). This is because of users having different needs (a CAD/CAM worker and a call-center worker probably have different configuration needs). You seriously have to consider this when you want to deploy the Microsoft Softgrid Client to Windows Desktops.

How it works

An installation script (vbs) to deploy the Microsoft Softgrid Client on Windows Desktops can easily be created with the Softgrid Client Setup Kit (SGCSK), within a few clicks your properly configured installation script is created.

You can even configure most of the common settings that you would normally have to configure after the installation completes, such as security settings and ‘disconnected operation’ settings.

The true power of the SGCSK is the dynamic configuration of the Softgrid Client cache size. Without the SGCSK you would probably have to create several Microsoft Softgrid Client installation scripts for every Windows Desktop with a different hard disk size or you would have to determine the disk size of the smallest hard disk in your environment and base the installation script(s) on this value. With the use of the SGCSK the only thing you have to consider is the percentage of free disk space you want to use for the Softgrid Client Cache. You can also set a value for the maximum size of the Softgrid client cache. This should make Life a lot easier because now you don’t have to create several installation scripts for all your different Windows Desktops anymore.

Configure the percentage of free disk space property to dynamically determine the SoftGrid Client cache size

For example: you’re about to deploy the Softgrid Client with a script created by the SGCSK on two Windows Desktops. One Windows Desktop has 60 GB of free disk space and the other machine has 20 GB of free disk space. You have configured the script to use 70% of the free disk space and you set the ‘maximum size of the Softgrid client cache in MB’ property to 32000. The Softgrid Client cache size on the Windows Desktop with 60 GB of free disk space will be 32 GB even if 70% of 60 GB is 42 GB because the Softgrid Client cache size will never be larger than 32 GB. The Softgrid Client cache on the Windows Desktop with 20 GB of free disk space will be 14 GB because 70% of 20 GB is 14 GB and this value is not larger than 32 GB.

Last but not least the ‘Disconnected Operation’ settings can also be configured with the SGCSK. These settings can be very useful when the Microsoft Softgrid Client is being used on laptops which will certainly be offline from time to time. You can enable/disable this setting to allow/disallow clients to use applications without being connected to the Softgrid server with a maximum of 180 days.

Conclusion

So the advantage of the SGCSK is simple: you can create an installation script easily by following the wizard and you don’t have to configure the client afterwards. Just walk through the 6 pages of the wizard, configure the properties, click create, import the script in a deployment solution and you’re ready to deploy the Microsoft Softgrid Client to your Windows Desktops.