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Has anyone redirected virtual vault cache to a network location?

An issue we have been up against:

We have a handfull of citrix servers, serving up desktops and apps (outlook among them). Users want access to their vault and vault cache, so we have the EV outlook add-in, installed on Outlook. Our virtual vault cache is set at 1gb.

With hundreds of remote users, on a single server this isnt TOO bad, but when you add HA to the mix, and you have multiple published desktops, then a user will have multiple copies of their virtual vault cache (one on each server hosting an instance of Outlook).

We are seeing 2 issues:

  1. VV cache is quickly consuming large amounts of disk space across the business as a whole
    and
  2. VV cache is taking an excessive amount of time for first synchronization. Some users are seeing times of up to 45 minutes to do an initial synchronization. I am not sure where the bottlenecks from this are, but it seems to be happening lately and had not had an issue with it before.

 

THis made us think maybe we could use folder redirection and keep a single copy of their vault cache on a file server. Has anyone experimented with anything like this? Any comments/suggestions on it? Other ideas on tackling this issue?

 

Thank you
Nate

 


 

1 Solution

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The way i've seen other

The way i've seen other companies do it is the following

1. Set their home drive in Active Directory for each user, like
    H:\ --- \\fileServer01\Users\myUser\

2. Create a new Desktop Policy that puts the cache in H:\Enterprise Vault\

3. The Desktop Policy is set to be Contentless Cache, so it only builds the MDC file

4. Create a new Provisioning Group that provisions the users who have virtual desktops to use the new Desktop Policy


That way its all on a network share, it doesn't grow too big because its only the MDC
they can still create folders, delete folders and items, move items about etc, but they just have to double click messages they want to open etc.

You will also sacrifice the ability to use Windows Desktop Search, so you can either use Outlook Instant Search which will index the contents of the MDC (250 chars of data, sender, recipient, sent date and attachment names, but no contents of attachments or anything beyond 250 characters)

It's really the only viable option, as long as the connection is good between the citrix servers and the home drives, you won't see any real issues in latency, but you will need the drive to be mapped as you cannot specify a network share to place the MDC

https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-allen-turl-07370146

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Microsoft does not recommend

Microsoft does not recommend storing and connecting to Outlook for use PST files when they're on a network share.

 

So I would suggest that putting Vault Cache/Virtual Vault on a network share is not a good idea.

 

Have you tried limiting either a/ size of the Vault Cache b/ What goes into the cache?

What is the thing that is taking time? Building of the MDC file, or the Vault Cache .db files?  The MDC file is built by the client-side component, whereas the Vault Cache .db files are built server side, and then downloaded to the client.

Working for Quadrotech-it.com
Accepted Solution!

The way i've seen other

The way i've seen other companies do it is the following

1. Set their home drive in Active Directory for each user, like
    H:\ --- \\fileServer01\Users\myUser\

2. Create a new Desktop Policy that puts the cache in H:\Enterprise Vault\

3. The Desktop Policy is set to be Contentless Cache, so it only builds the MDC file

4. Create a new Provisioning Group that provisions the users who have virtual desktops to use the new Desktop Policy


That way its all on a network share, it doesn't grow too big because its only the MDC
they can still create folders, delete folders and items, move items about etc, but they just have to double click messages they want to open etc.

You will also sacrifice the ability to use Windows Desktop Search, so you can either use Outlook Instant Search which will index the contents of the MDC (250 chars of data, sender, recipient, sent date and attachment names, but no contents of attachments or anything beyond 250 characters)

It's really the only viable option, as long as the connection is good between the citrix servers and the home drives, you won't see any real issues in latency, but you will need the drive to be mapped as you cannot specify a network share to place the MDC

https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-allen-turl-07370146

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I am not sure how to tell

I am not sure how to tell which part is taking time, can you point me to something that might help there? I have thought of both, I wasn't aware that I could change what goes into the cache though. We thought about reducing the size (its currently 1gb) but we werent sure if we could do it on a per-server basis (so that at your desk, you'd get the full 1gb but through a remote session youd get say 250mb).

Thanks Rob

Hi Jesuswept3,   This is a

Hi Jesuswept3,

 

This is a great comment, thank you. I do already have users with a 'home drive' type functionality (gpo mapped drives gives a user an 'H:' drive) which would give me a headstart - however the users who use virtual desktops, or virtual apps, only use it as a means of remote access and typically use a machine at their desk for their work at the office.  I don't have a way to seperate the users. Could I just use this for all users? Our current desktop policy is 'do not store any items in cache' (is that 'contentless'?).

 

This is almost exactly what I had in mind. (Although I am not sure what we give up by loosing windows desktop search).

 

The connectivity between all of the servers is through very high speed dark fiber and 10gb links (near 0 latency at least!)

If the Citrix is being used

If the Citrix is being used as 'remote access' why not disable VV on Citrix servers.

I believe there is a discussion when users have a mixed environment. I believe on Citrix, you can set regkeys for users to prevent VV usage. When on the workstation, they will have their VV.

I found this in another forum-entry.

 

from Registry_Values.pdf:

The Outlook Add-In looks for the Vault Cache and Virtual Vault registry values listed here in the following registry keys, in this order:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\KVS\Enterprise Vault\Client

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\KVS\Enterprise Vault\Client

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\KVS\Enterprise Vault\Client
 

If the Outlook Add-In does not find the policy value in these registry keys, it uses
the policy value that is set in the Exchange desktop policy. If there is no equivalent
policy value in the Exchange desktop policy, the Outlook Add-In uses the registry
value default.

The first DWORD vaule to consider it called OVEnabled

0 —Turns off Vault Cache for this user. No new Vault Cache is created.
The user has access to an existing Vault Cache, but no new items are
added to an existing Vault Cache.

1 — (Default) The user can enable Vault Cache.
 

Also consider setting the DWORD VVEnabled

1 – Virtual Vault is enabled for Outlook users.
0 – Virtual Vault is not enabled.

Regards. Gertjan

I might suggest upgrading to

I might suggest upgrading to EV11.  The new client features in the Search page include an updated/enhanced replacement for Archive Explorer that works very well.  With this functionality you might be able to run on your VDIs/CITRIX without Virtual Vault.

But it depends really,

But it depends really, because if you're using it for search, Contentless Cache just doesn't work well and youd really need to use Browser Search, but for managing your email, the new search page is just as useless, you can't move items in the archive, move folders, create folders, mass delete etc, but agreed its an option.

 

Still think usin a n H:\ drive as a pointer would be the easiest

https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-allen-turl-07370146

Cound you explain a little

Cound you explain a little more about the Contentless Cache just so I am sure what I am looking at here?

 

Thank you for the great replies!

After working on this some

After working on this some more, and researching it a bit - this wound up NOT working for us. Having the VVC on a network location does work, but the biggest issue we ran into is you cannot have it open in more than one location at a time and that was just not going to work for us. At this poitn Gertjans solution I think will be what we go with and just disable VVC all together on citrix servers. I don't see a much more graceful way to do this.