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To WEM or not to WEM that is the Question!!

Ian Dale1709161148


As strange as it may seem I've only just heard about WEM. Never even thought about it when I set my Citrix environment up over a year ago. However now that I have heard and read about I have a few questions I'm hoping some users can answer, so here are my questions:


1) My understanding of WEM is that it doesn't replace GPO or Citrix UPM but complements it. It makes it easier and quicker to target certain settings to an individual user or groups of users than say GPO or Citrix Policy. Is this be an accurate statement?


2) If WEM for whatever reason stops working what are the ramifications? Does it only affect those settings specified by WEM or will it completely stop users from logging in?


3) If you made the move from an environment where all settings are specified by GPO and Citrix Policy to one that includes WEM was it worth it?


4) What's the best way to incorporate WEM into an existing environment?









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WEM is, mostly awesome. You get the much needed ressource mangement, where you can have a more granular control of CPU and memory usage in the Session Host/VDI.


1. You are correct, WEM does not yet replace GPO, it replaces Group Policy Preferences and provides a more elaborate set of filters. WEM does not replace Citrix UPM. WEM is a user environment management product, not a profile management product like Citrix Profile Management. FSLogix replaces Citrix Profile Management.

2. If you configure the WEM agent to work in offline mode, the user's WEM configuration is copied to a local WEM agent database in the Session Host/VDI. The offline feature make it possible for the user to still have the WEM configuration applied (network drives, registry changes, shortcuts etc.) even if the WEM Infrastructure Server and/or the WEM infrastructure database is unavailable.

3. There is no way to put your Citrix policies in WEM. As mentioned WEM can handle the stuff you would usually configure in Group Policy Preferences and scripts.

4. Install the WEM agent on a couple of dedicated test Session Hosts/VDIs and start the initial tests here. In most cases everything you have configured in Group Policy Preferences you should be able to migrate to WEM.


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I use wem heavily across many engagements globally, typically when the customer is committed to VDI environments and want the flexibility and logon speed that wem can offer - but not all projects 


Some customers don’t want to manage dual technologies to deliver the same thing, primarily GPP - which is perfectly fair


I have seen some awesome results migrating from crappily configured GPO and GPP environments into WEM, but also seen very complex GPO and GPP environments process very quickly when done properly - one of the biggest wins for wem is its resilience to admin failure (screwing up a network drive for example) 


finally, wem serves a purpose, but so does GPO  - I am an avid believer in ADMX configurations where available



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I only use WEM for the system optimization part. I don't like using it for user GPOs. My GPOs are machine-based as much as possible anyway so there is little to gain in terms of logon performance. 


Same with Citrix policies, I like to have them in AD as well. You know if your datastore becomes corrupted or you built something new you won't lose your policies. For that reason alone AD is the better choice.

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