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Preparing Your Environment for UE-V 2.0

Updated: January 21, 2014

Applies To: User Experience Virtualization 2.0

Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) 2.0 synchronizes settings between computers by the use of a settings storage location. The settings storage location is a file share and should be configured during the UE-V Agent deployment. It must be defined either as a settings storage location or as an Active Directory home directory. In addition, the administrator should configure a time server to support consistent synchronization. To prepare your environment for UE-V, consider the following topics:

For more information about operating system and computer requirements, see Supported Configurations for UE-V 2.0.

UE-V settings storage

You can define the User Experience Virtualization settings storage in one of two configurations: a settings storage location or an Active Directory home directory.

Define a settings storage location

The UE-V settings storage location is a standard network share that UE-V users can access. Before you define the settings storage location, you must create a root directory. Users who store settings on the share must have read/write permissions to the storage location. The UE-V Agent creates user-specific folders under this root directory. The settings storage location is defined by setting the SettingsStoragePath configuration option. This option can be configured by using one of the following methods:

  • During the installation of the UE-V Agent through a command-line parameter or in a batch script.

  • Group Policy settings.

  • The System Center 2012 Configuration Pack for UE-V.

  • After installation of the UE-V agent, by using Windows PowerShell or Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).

The path must be in a universal naming convention (UNC) path of the server and share. For example, \\Server\Settingsshare\. This configuration option supports the use of variables to enable specific synchronization scenarios.

You can use the %username% variable with the UNC path of the server and share to provide the same settings experience on all computers or sessions that a user logs on to. Consider this configuration for the following scenarios:

You can use the %username%\%computername% variables with the UNC path of the server and share to preserve the settings experience for each computer. Consider this configuration for the following scenarios:

  1. Users in the enterprise have multiple physical computers, and you want to preserve the settings experience for each computer.

  2. The enterprise computers are used by multiple users. The settings experience should be preserved for each computer that the user logs on to.

The UE-V Agent dynamically creates the user-specific settings storage path that is based on a UE-V SettingsStoragePath configuration setting and the variables that are defined.

The UE-V Agent dynamically creates a hidden system folder named SettingsPackages within each user-specific storage location. The UE-V Agent reads and writes settings to this location as defined by registered UE-V settings location templates.

If the settings storage location is the same for a set of managed computers of a user, the applicable UE-V settings are determined by a "Last write wins" rule. The UE-V Agent that runs on one computer reads and writes to the settings location, independently of agents that run on other computers. The last written settings and values are the settings that are applied when the next agent reads from the settings storage location. For more information, see Deploying the Settings Storage Location for UE-V 2.0.

Use Active Directory home directory with UE-V

If no settings storage location is configured for UE-V when the agent is deployed, then the user’s Active Directory (AD) home directory is used to store settings location packages. The UE-V Agent dynamically creates the settings storage folder under the root of the AD home directory of each user. The agent only uses the AD home directory if the settings storage location of the UE-V SettingsStoragePath is not otherwise defined.

Synchronize computer clocks for UE-V settings synchronization

Computers that run the UE-V Agent to synchronize settings must use a time server. Time stamps are used to determine if settings must be synchronized from the settings storage location. If the computer clock is inaccurate, older settings can overwrite newer settings, or the new settings might not be saved to the settings storage location. The use of a time server enables UE-V to maintain a consistent settings experience.

Performance and capacity planning

Capacity requirements for UE-V can be determined by use of standard disk capacity and network health monitoring. UE-V uses a Server Message Block (SMB) share for the storage of settings packages. The size of settings packages varies. It depends on the settings information for a specific application. While most settings packages are small, the synchronization of potentially large files, such as desktop images, can result in poor performance, particularly on slower networks. To reduce problems with network latency, you should create settings storage locations on the same local networks where the users’ computers reside.

As a guideline, we recommend 20 MB of disk space per user for the settings storage location.

Using the Default SyncMethod=SyncProvider settings, the UE-V synchronization times out after 2 seconds to prevent excessive lag due to a large settings package. You can configure the time-out by using Group Policy Objects. For more information about how to set the time-out, see Configuring UE-V 2.0 with Group Policy Objects.

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