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What Layer should FSLogix be installed in


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A little background.  I've been working with App Layering 4.10 and deploying it out with Windows 2016 in Development.  I'm also using O365.  I've had some issues with getting FSLogix working properly. Essentially, there were two issues. The first was that the FSLogix apps service would not start.  This issue was resolved by adjusting the Altitude setting for FSLogix.  

https://support.fslogix.com/index.php/component/fss/?view=kb&catid=7&kbartid=92.

 

The second issue was that the GPO that I created to modify the users in the locally created FSLogix groups would not apply.  By default, the "FS Logix ODFC Include List" local group has "everyone".  We replace "Everyone" with a specific user group.   When I tried to modify the groups with GPO it would fail with an error that basically said it couldn't find the local groups.  This happens if FSlogix is installed both in an App Layer (Not elastically) as well as in the Platform Layer where FSLogix support suggested the app be installed.

 

I have it working now but I don't like what I had to do to get it working.  I had to install it in the OS layer.  I've seen some mixed statements that have me questioning the correct way to install FSLogix with App Layering. Here's what has me wondering what is the best way to install FSLogix.  

 

1) FSLogix support said to put it in the Platform Layer
2) Citrix best practices for App layering states “Any extra user accounts or groups need to be created in the OS layer.  Any domain group membership changes need to be done through Group Policy.”
3) To further back the previous statement up I found this from Carl Stalhood .....  “Any application that creates local users (e.g. XenApp 6.5) should be installed in the OS Layer. Platform Layer and Application Layers do not capture changes to local groups or local users.”
4) However, I also found this statement from one of Carl's post... "FSLogix creates local groups every time the service restarts. Thus it works when installed inside an Application Layer."

 

So, after that long-winded explanation my question is does anyone have FSLogix working in an App Layer and if so, are you using GPO to successfully modify the local group members?  

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2 minutes ago, Kari Ruissalo said:

Hi Dieter,

 

Ok. Thank you. I'll set it right up in my PoC environment.

 

Is there any common guidance what to follow with FSLogix together with App Layering? I understood that once I have FSLogix in place, I should just disable CPM completely and also disable the User Layer in ELM? I can see that the User Layers (I'm using the full ones in PoC) are growing rapidly and will eventually cause issues.

 

It's apparently supported to use Azure Files as the storage location for the FSLogix containers? This would be awesome because then we wont need to start building file services clusters and just use the plain Azure Files. Are there any security concerns or discussions about this one?

 

Just make sure to check if you are compliant with all licensing stuff. If you do server 2016 and RDS it's ok but I don't know about W10.

Don't know about any common guidance, but I've configured applayering already with fslogix o365 containers but didn't work well with elastic layering. So we had to disable that. This was in combination with PVS.

Could be that Azure files is supported but you probably have to check the fslogix cloud cache feature for that. U can store files in multiple locations and if one location goes down, it will just take the other one and resync when back online. Check this: https://blog.fslogix.com/introducing-cloud-cache

U will probably have to configure the below key also:

o    HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\frxdrvvt\Instances\frxdrvvt\Altitude

o    Set the value to 138010

https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/660959a4-f9a9-486b-8a0d-dec3eba549e3/adjust-driver-frxdrvvt-altitude-with-unidesk?forum=FSLogix

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I don't have direct experience, but #2 is definitely true, though perhaps incomplete.  Any change to User accounts or groups can happen only in the OS layer.  Those involve changes in the SAM hive, which is encrypted so the ELM cannot open it up and recombine it from multiple sources.  So if you have software that wants to create a group, that group needs to be created in the OS layer, even if you put the software itself somewhere else.  Any groups or user changes in any app or platform layer are discarded in the published image.  So it might be sufficient to manually create those user groups in the OS layer for FsLogix to use in its own app layer.

 

I've never used FsLogix, so I can't tell you why #4 didn't appear to happen.  But the fact that you got it to work in the OS layer does suggest it was something in the Groups configuration that didn't get saved, so maybe #4 no longer happens?

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FsLogix probably told you to put it in the platform layer because I think we were one of the first to try and use Fslogix with Unidesk and went through a lot of support calls with them.  The ONLY way I got it to work correctly was in the platform layer.  If I recall correctly, it would create the user's profile vhd but wouldn't actually redirect any of the profile to it.  That was the main symptom I was seeing.  I can't remember if we used the Everyone group or not.  We were only POC'ing it at the time.

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53 minutes ago, Tyler Miranda said:

@Taylor shipman1709156592 A caveat in our setup was that we weren't using elastic layering on the image.  It was turned off in the image template.  Are you using elastic layering?  If so, as a test try turning it off just to see if it works. 

@Tyler Miranda yes we had it turned on but arent currently using it.  I will turn it off and try.  Thanks!

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On ‎7‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 6:58 AM, Roger Stuart1709157773 said:

I did get FSlogix working in an App layer but have since abandoned it now the the O365 User layer is supported by Citrix. 

 

Curious on what configuration you ended up with?  Combination of UPM and 0365 layer? I am having odd issues with the user layer and wanted to try fxlogix, how did you get it working in the applayer?

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How has this situation evolved? From what I'm reading from the different blog posts, it seems that it might be the time to let go of good 'ol Citrix Profile Manager?

 

I've been trying to wrap my head around App Layering User layers (Full/O365) vs. FSLogix as a profile store. In one of the PoCs I'm running the customer seems to be satisfied with their W10 VDIs with Full User layers for storing all their data, but when we need to scale out from 10 PoC users to 1000 production users, I started thinking that we should probably implement FSLogix for the profile side-of-things and use the App Layering just for the application packaging.

 

A blog entry was just released https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2019/07/08/leveraging-new-fslogix-platform-capabilities-in-virtual-environments/, but it seems to concentrate on how the FSLogix and App Layering can be used in a combination.

 

There's very little info in the Citrix docs on FSLogix together with App Layering and the FSLogix documentation is also very thin.

 

Any thoughts on this subject?

 

What about the original post on where to install the FSLogix tools? I know there's been a lot happening on the ELM side at least as the new versions keep on popping out but is there an "official statement" available on how to make these two work together.

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10 minutes ago, Kari Ruissalo said:

How has this situation evolved? From what I'm reading from the different blog posts, it seems that it might be the time to let go of good 'ol Citrix Profile Manager?

 

I've been trying to wrap my head around App Layering User layers (Full/O365) vs. FSLogix as a profile store. In one of the PoCs I'm running the customer seems to be satisfied with their W10 VDIs with Full User layers for storing all their data, but when we need to scale out from 10 PoC users to 1000 production users, I started thinking that we should probably implement FSLogix for the profile side-of-things and use the App Layering just for the application packaging.

 

A blog entry was just released https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2019/07/08/leveraging-new-fslogix-platform-capabilities-in-virtual-environments/, but it seems to concentrate on how the FSLogix and App Layering can be used in a combination.

 

There's very little info in the Citrix docs on FSLogix together with App Layering and the FSLogix documentation is also very thin.

 

Any thoughts on this subject?

 

What about the original post on where to install the FSLogix tools? I know there's been a lot happening on the ELM side at least as the new versions keep on popping out but is there an "official statement" available on how to make these two work together.

Fslogix is the way to go. U can install it in an application layer.

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10 minutes ago, Kari Ruissalo said:

 

Is there any articles or references on this one? Or is this just something that works on late versions of Citrix App Layering (I have one environment with VDA 1906.2 and App Layering 1907)?

 

Not that I know. But how long was this in tech preview? I've done a few customers with fslogix now and this software is tip-top.

I don't know about licensing but if u have RDS calls it's all good. U will be using Windows 10?

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Hi Dieter,

 

Ok. Thank you. I'll set it right up in my PoC environment.

 

Edit: I'm running Windows 10 and according to FSLogix documentation the license is included.

 

Is there any common guidance what to follow with FSLogix together with App Layering? I understood that once I have FSLogix in place, I should just disable CPM completely and also disable the User Layer in ELM? I can see that the User Layers (I'm using the full ones in PoC) are growing rapidly and will eventually cause issues.

 

It's apparently supported to use Azure Files as the storage location for the FSLogix containers? This would be awesome because then we wont need to start building file services clusters and just use the plain Azure Files. Are there any security concerns or discussions about this one?

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In my testing, FSLogix (either in master image, or layer) does not work with Elastic Layering turned on when attempting to create and manage a Server 2016 RDSH pool with VMware Horizon 7.9. The base image fails sysprep every time with Elastic Layering turned on. If I turn it off, compose the master image, Horizon can create and manage the RDSH farm properly. I haven't tested using QuickPrep yet, as I prefer sysprep whenever possible. The Altitude fix doesn't make a difference in the sysprep, it always fails and says that "Windows cannot finish customizing this image..."

 

Is it worth trying a QuickPrep setup with Elastic Layering turned on (and the Altitude value changed) or am I just attempting to do something that is not possible?

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App Layering is expected to be used with linked or fast clones if you are using elastic layering.  Non-persistence is a requirement.  So you wouldnt use either quickprep or sysprep.  If you are using persistent pools then you would have to disable elastic layering and just use published images to create your machine templates.

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3 minutes ago, Rob Zylowski1709158051 said:

App Layering is expected to be used with linked or fast clones if you are using elastic layering.  Non-persistence is a requirement.  So you wouldnt use either quickprep or sysprep.  If you are using persistent pools then you would have to disable elastic layering and just use published images to create your machine templates.

 

So essentially I’m doing it wrong, LOL. It definitely explains why it doesn’t work. I guess I’ll get back to testing regular Win10 non-persistent VDIs, although VMware still can’t get their act together and have them work with sysprep. Even in 7.9, it’s a known issue that you can’t sysprep a Win10 non-persistent VM, it must be done with QuickPrep. I just dislike QuickPrep because it tends to be a bit more buggy and doesn’t always recompose the VM automatically properly, resulting in errors.

 

Thanks for the info!

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