MDOP 2013 R2: Synchronization Methods for UE-V 2.0

As part of our ongoing deep-dive series on MDOP 2013 R2, we are delighted to provide some more information on updates we have made to the synchronization methods in Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) 2.0. These updates were driven in part by feature enhancement requests by our customers.

As a recap, UE-V allows you to synchronize your application and Windows settings across all your domain-joined devices. UE-V synchronizes users’ application and Windows settings using a simple shared folder. UE-V refers to this location as the settings storage location. For more details on UE-V 2.0 see the UE-V 2.0 Admin Guide.

One concept in UE-V is the sync method configuration, which defines how the UE-V Agent uploads those settings to the settings storage location. UE-V 2.0 introduces a new SyncMethod called the SyncProvider. The following table explains the changes from UE-V v1.0 to v2.0 as well as the available settings for the sync method:

SyncMethod Configuration

V1.0

V2.0

Description

SyncProvider

NA

Default

Settings changes for a specific application or for global Windows desktop settings are saved locally to a cache folder. These changes are then synchronized to the settings storage location when a synchronization trigger event takes place. Pushing out changes will save the local changes to the settings storage path.

This default setting is the gold standard for computers. This option attempts to synchronize the setting and times out after a short delay to ensure that the application or operating system startup isn’t delayed for a long period of time.

This functionality is also tied to the Scheduled task – Sync Controller Application. The administrator controls the frequency of the Scheduled task. By default, computers synchronize their settings every 30 min after logging on.

OfflineFiles

Yes

Deprecated

Behaves the same as SyncProvider in V2.0.

If Offline files are enabled and the folder is pinned then UE-V will unpin this folder and sync directly to the central SMB directory.

NOTE: In V1.0 if you wanted to use UE-V in a CorpNet disconnected manner (aka traveling with a Laptop), then the guidance is to use Offline Files to ensure that your settings roamed.  We received sufficient customer feedback that turning on Offline files is a non-trivial enterprise blocker. So in V2.0, we created a tightly coupled synchronization engine to cache your data locally and synchronize the settings to the central server. This feature area does not replace Offline Files or Folder Redirection.

UE-V 2.0 does not work well with Offline folders so the guidance is not to set the settings storage path to a pinned Offline or CSC folder.

None

Yes

Yes

This configuration setting is designed for the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Streamed Application experience primarily. This setting should be used on Windows Server boxes used in a datacenter, where the connection will always be available.

Any settings changes are saved directly to the server. If the network connection to the settings storage path is not available, then the settings changes are cached on the device and are synchronized the next time that the Sync Provider runs. If the settings storage path is not found and the user profile is removed from a pooled VDI environment on logoff, then these settings changes are lost, and the user must reapply the change when the computer can again reach the settings storage path.

Apps and OS will wait indefinitely for the location to be present. This could cause App load or OS logon time to dramatically increase if the location is not found.

The sync method can be configured in the following ways:

This blog post is part of a series of guest posts we’re publishing in the coming weeks on MDOP 2013 R2 – Ben

Ronald Dockery
Senior Product Marketing Manager
Windows Commercial