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Microsoft SoftGrid: Inside the Sequencer – Part 2

Sequencing is a 34 step process or thereabouts. I usually say that it is a 3 phase process, and although that is true, there are three major phases of the Sequencer, each phase has multiple steps. We will go through each phase and every step along the way

Phase I – The Package Configuration Phase of the Sequencer

Package Information: This phase is responsible for the creation of the lines in the .OSD files that are common to all applications in the suite. These lines include:

· The Suite Name – Clients prior to 4.0 used to save their user configuration settings in a file called “Settings.cp”. I know, it is an uncanny name isn’t it. Well this file was stored in the user’s profile directory (by default) but under a suite specific subdirectory that took its name from this <SuiteName>tag. This is not the case anymore of course (as described in “Inside the Grid” it is saved in a different directory and file name).
The <SuiteName> is still used internally by the SystemGuard and is still a required element. The recommended naming convention is::

Vendor_Application_Version_MNT e.g. Microsoft_Office_2003_MNT

* Note: The “MNT” portion indicates that when the application was installed during the monitoring phase of Sequencing, it was installed to the drive letter used as the client’s mount point, typically Q:\. As opposed to using the three character set “VFS”, which indicates that during this same phase the application was actually allowed to install to the C:\. This type of Sequence, known as a VFS of the Install will be covered in a future document on “Advanced Sequencing”.

· Title – This line has no real effective purpose in the .OSD files and as such my ego insists that I always put my name in this field.

· Comments – This line will go into the .OSD file as the <Abstract> field. We used this field to include every detail about the package and sequence possible. You should put in here the name of the application(s) being Sequenced, the block size used for streaming, did you compress the SFT or not, what operating system you Sequenced on, Service packs, and what media was used to install the application. To the degree that I should be able to look at the .OSD <Abstract> and know exactly what was happening at the time you Sequenced it. Consider this your mini autobiography.

· Server URL – This line is actually building the <CODEBASE HREF> line in the .OSD file. It contains the following elements:

· Protocol – Either RTSP (default) or RTSPS (128 bit encrypted secure). Now before you jump to the conclusion that 128 bit encryption is best for everything, please keep in mind what you are actually streaming. Application binaries only, not user data files.

· HostName– This is where you can enter the hostname, FQDN, virtual name or IP of a load balancer or the actual VAS that will be responsible for the streaming of that package to the client

Full Article

Microsoft, SoftGrid, Virtualization, Virtual Applications, Sequencer, Knowledgebase

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