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Outlook 2016 , Office 365 on VDI


Saurabh kochhar

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Hi .

 

We have a 7.15 CU2 , environment, with PVS Windows 10 image. Nearly 500 VDI streamed from this. The problem we are encountering is with Outlook 2016, Office 365. Lot of users are complaining about seeing error " Outlook is using an old copy of your Outlook data file. Exit Outlook, delete the file and restart the outlook. Anew file will be automatically created the next time you initiate a send /receive." We have tried reducing the OST file size from standard 3 months to 1 month but no luck. Have tried several articles but all point to delete the OST file , we are deleting the OST files from the VDI to resolve it , but this is coming again.

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We have defined the outlook files to sync via Directories to Sync and Folders to Mirror policy within UPM, PFA details.

 

Now, when users log in the files are copied to non persistent VDI and at log off its synced to the profile store. Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

 

The other option is to have Outlook set to create OST file straight to the Profile Store which will eliminate the copying of files folders and reg keys at every logon. However, we refrain doing so because this will create high IOPS and again a dependency on network .considering high number of concurrent users (400 +).  

syncdir.JPG

syncdir2.JPG

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Sorry to say but keeping OST within your user profile is an awful idea, and in PVS, serious tax your writecache moving large files to the OS instance unless you have profiles defaulting to load on your WC drive and not C:\. Reality is using O365 in Citrix does involve greater storage dependencies to be successful. It really should be redirected to a file share via Office ADMX GPO for the OST. If there are IOPS contention issues, then it may necessitate addressing those issues. At scale (few hundred users or more) you may want to look at containerization features such as FSLogix or the large file redirect feature in CR Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops (1811 or higher is best for fixes, does require Office to be 32-bit at this time) if you are willing to move off an LTSR release. Neither solution will outright eliminate high IOPS use, but does reduce a fair bit of file sharing overhead associated with redirecting the OST to a share, as in both instances the OST gets mounted through a VHDX to the OS.

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Thanks Michael ! I see the GPO for redirection to OST files .

 

Can you please enlighten for the syntax for the OST redirection .

 

\\haprofilestore\profiles\%username%\Outlook

 

Basically, this syntax creates Outlook folder before the appdata , Also we have had observed keeping this on Profile store invites another problem which is at every logon users are prompted for authentication.

 

FSLogix is a great tool however, comes with a cost which we can not incur right now.

 

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The whole point is to avoid it being located in AppData\Local. You want it in AppData\Roaming, and that should not be visible in the user profile if you redirected it. Did you redirect AppData (Roaming) via GPO? If you aren't doing so, try creating a new profile share for OST files (using same permissions as profile share) and redirect there. You do not want this in the user profile itself.

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No that policy wouldn't work, isn't specifying user path, and I think we have confusion between us regarding whether or not you are redirecting appdata roaming using MS folder redirection.

 

I am taking a step back to re-review the thread and what you have tried so far.

 

If I compare the first path you provided me:

\\haprofilestore\profiles\%username%\Outlook

 

That is in-line with the example Citrix provides in https://www.citrix.com/content/dam/citrix/en_us/documents/products-solutions/deployment-guide-office-365-for-xenapp-and-xendesktop.pdf which doesn't use my method of redirecting to AppData (Roaming) I had conveyed earlier.

 

When you redirect to that location above, does it actually create the OST file for the user under \\haprofilestore\profiles\%username%\Outlook?

 

I am concerned that if it is, and your users are being prompted to re-authenticate (a screenshot would be useful of that) this may be a different issue.

 

Can you confirm in your UPM policy that these are listed under folders to synchronize?

AppData\Local\Microsoft\Credentials

AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WebCache

AppData\LocalLow\Microsoft\CryptnetUrlCache

AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

AppData\Local\Microsoft\Vault

AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office

 

And these under files to synchronize?

AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\*.qat

AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\*.officeUI

AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\UsrClass.*

 

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Thanks a ton Michael !

 

I can see the Outlook folder on the profile store when using \\haprofilestore\profiles\%username%\Outlook.

 

PFA screen shot of Authentication message which users were seeing , possibly i am missing some folders to Synch. Thanks a ton for guiding on this , I have included them and hopefully shall get over this .... By looking at the message please do let me know if there are more folders to  be synch.

 

Lastly, I can see the OST file on \\haprofilestore\profiles\%username%\Outlook  which is expected , my question is there are lot of other files and folders like OAB, RomCache and .NST files which are still residing on the default location \\haprofilestore\profiles\%username%\appdata\local\Microsoft\Outlook,  PFA hope this does not have any negative impact. 

I was told by a migration expert that .OST file and all these folders shall reside in same place , not sure how true is that.

 

Once again Thanks very much for the support !

 

filesonOSTlocation.JPG

 

Authentication.JPG

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If you forget LTSR and move to Current Release, you can use inbuilt functionality within UPM to roam outlook OST and Search appropriately

 

I avoid using any sort of redirect or roaming of OST files - its barely supported and inevitably leads to pain. 

 

FSLogix, Liquidware, Citrix all have answers in the form of designed solutions - I would suggest looking down that path

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Thanks James for the assist ! Much appreciate !

 

Regarding moving from LTSR to CR is going to be down the line item. We have plans to remain on LTSR, however, as per your suggestion "use inbuilt functionality within UPM to roam outlook OST and Search " can you please let us know more about this is it under 7.18 ....are there specific GPO for this ....Please guide me to documentation on this,

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The LTSR \ CR comment was one of the first things I'd mentioned in my initial comment. There were some notable improvements to its reliability in the most recent CR versions, so your recommended target CR would be 1811 + (and not 7.18). Note that at present it requires Office to be 32-bit, and Windows 10 and Windows 2016 VDAs. More details can be found here:

https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/profile-management/current-release/configure/enable-native-outlook-search-experience.html

https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX235347

https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2018/08/07/accelerate-outlook-365-performance-and-provide-a-native-search-experience-with-citrix-profile-management/

 

As for your UPM config, I'd like to see the configs in place under "File System", which covers your files and folder exclusions and synchronizations.

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Try to Reconfigure the profile on Outlook. This will fix the issue.

 

1. Navigate to Windows Control Panel > Mail > Show Profiles > Add. Specify your New Profile Name and click OK.

2. On the Auto Account Setup page type your name, primary email address, and your mailbox password twice, then click Next.

3. Outlook will start configuring your account. When you get a security prompt, check the box Don’t ask me about this website again and then click Allow.

4. Windows Security window might then prompt your user name and password. Enter your primary email address in the User name box and type your mailbox password and click

5. Outlook will discover your email server settings finish configuration of your email account. Once you see all steps as completed, you can click Finish. Now you can open your new profile in Outlook.

 

Once the new profile is configure, you can remove the old one....below are steps to remove old profile.

 

  1. Open Control Panel
  2. Double Click on Mail
  3. Click on Show Profiles
  4. Select old profile and Hit Remove
  5. Click on OK.

Regards,

Akshay

System Admin - Apps4Rent

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