Friday, 2 November 2012

AppSense Environment Manager Personalization Server Configuration Tweaks

AppSense Environment Manager Personalization Server Configuration Tweaks

Please do not implement any changes described in this article without fully understanding the implications and thorough testing within your environment. If you ignore this advice and implement it anyway you will probably lose data and I will not be responsible.

Since the release of AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 there has been a variety of settings configured by default. These are commonly referred to as Global Settings and Global Inclusions and Exclusions. 

I've been installing and configuring the product for a number of years now and I've got my own preferred set of settings which I implement on top of the AppSense default settings. In the interest of community spirit and all that I'm going to share the settings.


Global Settings

Configpoll

I set this to at least 28800 (8 hours) seconds. AppSense have since increased the configpoll to 86400 (24 hours) which was done to increase scalability among other reasons.

Filetypeexclusions

I add the following list of file types to the filetypeexclusions setting

dll;exe;sys;pst;ost;doc;xls;accdb;mdb;adp;mda;accda;mde;accde;ade;pdf;xsn;xsf;xtp;xtp2;pub; mpp;mpd;mpt;mpw;mpx;ppt;pptx;pptm;ppsx;pps;ppsm;potm;ppam;ppa;odp;accdw;accdt; accdc;accdb;mdw;mde;ade;xar,xlsx;xlsm;xlsb;xlam;xltx;xltm;xlm;xlw;ods;xll;one;cache; lck;tlog;transact;svr

NOTE: I've included spaces above so the list fits within a blog window. Remove the spaces before using this within your configuration.

NumberOfArchivesToKeep

I drop this from 5 to 3. An archive is taken each day that an application is opened and I think majority of users will call the service desk or access the self-service portal within a day or two of the settings being damaged. If they haven't noticed after one or two days its highly unlikely they'll notice after five.

What the above setting also means is that your archive data file will be smaller. In the case that you have 100 GB active data set your archive file will be 300 GB instead of 500 GB. This in turn will reduce backup and restore durations.

Global Inclusions and Exclusions

AppSense also includes four very important fields when configuring a Personalization Database. These are the global registry inclusions and exclusions as well as the folder inclusions and exclusions. The reason these are so important is because any application which writes data within any areas included in these lists will be managed. 

The first change I make is to remove all registry inclusions from the global registry include list. I then ensure HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and HKEY_CURRENT_USER are listed within the global registry exclude list. 

The next change I make is to remove all folder inclusions from the global folder include list. I then add the following folders to the folder exclude list:
  • {CSIDL_COMMON_PICTURES}
  • {CSIDL_COMMON_DOCUMENTS}
  • {CSIDL_COMMON_VIDEO}
  • {CSIDL_COMMON_DESKTOPDIRECTORY}
  • {CSIDL_COMMON_MUSIC}
  • {CSIDL_PROFILE}
  • %TEMP%
  • %TMP%


I then add specific inclusions onto each and every application or application group which I configure within the application list. The result is that I need to spend a little more time investigating my applications but once I have done this I know my configuration is going to be lean which will ultimately mean smaller data sets and a nice quick, consistent experience for my end users. 

As I mentioned in the introduction, don't simply make this change within your environment. It is likely to break things. If you want to implement this do it in a controlled manner with the correct testing, etc and you should be good.