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  • WEM Agent Basic Deployment Mode


    What is the Basic Deployment Mode?

    First, let's provide some background information. Workspace Environment Management (WEM) currently supports both cloud-based service and on-premises deployment. For both options, it is essential to set up the WEM backend service (also referred to as the infrastructure service) and the WEM database. It's important to note that in the absence of the WEM infrastructure service, the WEM agent cannot apply any settings. This setup process requires effort from customer administrators.

    Citrix has recently implemented a basic deployment mode to streamline the WEM deployment process. In this mode, the WEM agent is designed to automatically activate certain features and optimizations without configuring the WEM backend service. This enhancement aims to simplify the initial setup process and make it more user-friendly for administrators and users alike.

    Administrators can install the WEM agent in basic deployment mode when setting up the system. This allows for optimizing the system without setting up the WEM backend service. Subsequently, administrators can configure the WEM agent to connect to the backend service to access and utilize the full range of features.

    This feature also integrates logon duration analysis into the WEM agent and enables logon duration analysis, UPM health check, and profile container insights in basic deployment mode.

     

    Requirements.

    To get this to work, the following requirements are needed:

    • Minimum agent version required: 2404.1.0 (Download the WEM agent package (Citrix-Workspace-Environment-Management-Agent-Setup.zip) from the WEM service Utilities tab and save a copy on each agent host)
    • Citrix VDA must be installed to use the WEM basic mode agent.

    Installation Steps.

    Let’s look closer at the steps that are required during the installation.

    Step 1: Download Agent

    Ensure you have downloaded the latest WEM agent installation package (Minimal version 2404.1.0).

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    Step 2 Install WEM Agent

    Start the installation by executing the installer package:

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    During the setup, you will get a choice of which mode the WEM Agent should be working.

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    By selecting the "Basic Deployment" option, we enable this functionality. The remaining options for WEM Agents will be the same as those for a Cloud Service or On-premises deployment.

    Citrix also supports a command line option for installation of the “Basic Deployment” option.

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    After completing the installation, there are several methods for checking whether the settings for "Basic Deployment" have been applied successfully.

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    Method 1 – Checking Registry

    A registry value BasicMode is added to the registry path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Norskale\Agent Host

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    Method 2 – Using Citrix Workspace Environment Manager (WEM) Health Check Tool.

    After starting the Health Check, you will see that the installation type is set to Basic Agent.

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    Configuration Options

    After installing the WEM agent in basic deployment mode, the WEM agent will, by default, enable some features including:

    • CPU optimization
    • Memory optimization
    • Fast logoff
    • Multi-session optimization
    • Logon duration analysis
    • UPM health check
    • Profile container insights

    Administrators can configure these settings using Group Policy Objects (GPO) or the Registry.

    Group Policy Objects (GPO)

    The agent installation package includes a new set of Group Policy Objects (GPOs) to be imported into Active Directory (AD) for configuration and management purposes.

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    After successfully installing the specific GPO (Group Policy Object), you will notice increased options and settings available. The system administrator can create custom configurations using the group policy "Custom settings for basic deployment." This setting is under Administrative Templates > Citrix Components > Workspace Environment Management > Agent Host Configuration.

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    You can specify a JSON formatted string to customize settings for the basic deployment agent. For example:

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    More details about this is covered in the online documentation: https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/workspace-environment-management/service/manage-basic-deployment-agents

    All configurable settings with JSON format can be found in the above documentation.

    Registry

    To configure the settings, the administrator can directly access and modify the REG_MULTI_SZ registry value CustomBasicSettings located under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Norskale\Agent Host in the Windows registry.

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    Agent Basic Deployment Reporting and Logs

    We have installed and configured all the settings we wish to use. It’s good to understand the basic flow of data.

    The WEM agent reads settings from a pre-defined agent cache file when in basic mode. The WEM agent re-uses the workflow for agent use cache even if the option is online.

    The pre-defined cache will be installed in the WEM agent installation folder as BasicSettings.db. Like a regular agent cache, it is read-only and an SQLite DB.

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    WEM agent tasks that need to connect to the broker service will be disabled, including:

    • Agent cache sync
    • Statistics upload
    • Agent report upload
    • Callback tasks

    As a reminder, the default behavior for logon duration analysis reports, UPM health check reports, and profile container insights reports is to save them as local files. These reports are stored in the local agent report's default location, %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Citrix\WEM\Local Agent Reports. It's important to note that each report type is organized and stored in its respective subfolder within the designated location.

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    The format for the reports is identical to the current agent reports uploaded to WEM DB and exported using WEM API. Each report is in JSON format.

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    On top of this, you could also use Citrix WEM Tool Hub. Which we have previously covered in the following blog article: https://community.citrix.com/citrix-community-articles/windows-logon-duration-analysis-with-citrix-wem-tool-hub-r610/

    When we run this on the machine where WEM Agent is installed in basic mode, we can see the following outcome:

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    As you can see, the Session ID also matches the ID in the JSON File.

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    Details are covered when selecting the view details option.

     

    Switching Agent Mode

    The easiest way to switch back between Cloud and On-premises deployment is to use the installed Health Check Tool.

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    Choose the Switch Agent Type:

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    Another way is to use the GPO that has already been installed. A new group policy setting Override Agent Deployment Type under Administrative Templates > Citrix Components > Workspace Environment Management > Agent Host Configuration is added to allow the administrators to change the agent deployment type using group policy:

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    Finally, you could use the CMD line.

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    Where we have three options:

    • -b           Setup the WEM agent in basic deployment mode.
    • -o            Setup WEM agent for on-premises deployment.
    • -c             Setup WEM agent for Cloud deployment

     

    Additional Information

    Additional information can be found in the following URL locations:

     


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    What would be the use cases they are thinking of for this @Igor van der Burgh?  I see that you could install the agent before you have any WEM infrastructure, but what would be the compelling reason to not just wait until the infrastructure is ready?  Maybe to push out optimizations immediately?

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