I was upgrading the lab at work a while back to View 5 and getting familiar with the new Persona Management features. So I thought it would be a good idea to put some of this in writing to share with others. Because I did not see much detailed information around this. In this post I will show you how easy it is to get user persona working in View 5 and how these features are setup and configured. This might be some what of a lengthy post but should be worth the read.
With the release of VMware View 5 came a new feature for persona management or the ability to capture / virtualize the user profile. This is very huge in VDI and is something that VMware has been working towards for awhile now. If you remember they purchased RTO software and have been working on incorporating those features into View. This is the first release with the RTO profile software built in. I do think that VMware will continue to improve and expand these features in upcoming releases.
But all things said I think that View 5 has a lot to offer around user profiles. If you are looking at deploying View 5 give these features a serious look before selecting any 3rd part tool for profile management. Depending on what you user needs are and your admin requirements, View 5 might have everything you need built in.
The persona management features in View 5 are built to work alone or in unison with Windows roaming profiles. The profile is redirected most commonly to a network share. This network share can be backed up via your normal methods and will give you the option of restoring profiles from backups in case of corruption or security concerns. View 5 persona’s are an improvement over roaming profiles because the profile is not copied down on log in or back up at log out. This speeds the process up greatly. The View GPO’s allow for more granular control over the profile’s behavior.
From the image below you can see that enabling the persona management for a pool or group of users is driving off of modifying the group policy for the OU that the desktops or users are located in. To turn on the base features all that is need is to enabled the highlighted key from the image.
In the next image I am showing the option to enable persona management. It’s really an on or off selection, the only other setting is the upload interval in minutes. This controls the upload of any parts of the profile that are download into the VDI desktop while the user is logged in.
The next GPO object that I am showing is how to specify the location of the users profile. This is the network share that you want the profile to be stored on. There is the option of specifying the location yourself or using the location that is entered in the users AD account.
The next image is showing an entire GPO folder dedicated to Folder Redirection. This is included when you load the View ADM files that allow for persona management. These allow for easy redirection of specific folders within a users profile that you might want to redirect to a location rather than capture them in the profile. I won’t bore you with the reasons for this because this is nothing new or specific to View persona mgmt. If you are using roaming profiles or a 3rd party profile mgmt tool you will also be considering redirecting some folders.
The image below is showing how I was redirection the users Desktop folder within the profile. I am pointing it to a network share and using the %username% variable just as like the previous steps. To redirect a folder is as simple as enabling the option and providing the location to store it.
The next image below shows a few options that allow you to control the visibility of the profile being redirected. Things like showing a progress window for profile downloads in the background or if icons are displayed in the tray.
This last image is showing the options are logging.
- Logging File name: The full path name of the local View Persona Management log file. This path should include the file name, and cannot be a UNC path.
- Logging Destination: Specifies where log message will be sent. Log message can be sent to a local log file and also the debug port.
- Logging Flags: Specifies the type of log messages that are generated. (Log error messages or Informational messages)
- Debug flags: Specifies the type of debug messages that are generated. Debug messages are handled the same as log messages.
About Brian Suhr
Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design