Before you use this calculator to understand how you should size your App-V 5.0 Management Server, remember this calculator uses averages from my “typical environment”, please read this post which explains the numbers, assumptions and logic behind it before proceeding. To use this calculator you will need to calculate/estimate what your average package looks like, the number of AD groups that be entitled to your average package and how many packages you will have.
Truth be told the 5.0 App-V Management server is pretty lightweight however it will grow over time and more than likely at some point the question about adequately sizing your database will arise.
In the 4.x generation of Management server database growth was primarily influenced by the amount of users and how often applications were launched, due to the fact we no longer store this usage data in our management database and offer a separate reporting database this is no longer the case.
In 5.0 database growth is primarily influenced by the number of applications we import and how many integrations those applications have. Due to the nature of applications in 5.0 the way we store them is not as simple as a single record, in fact there a multiple tables which will contain your application metadata depending on how it is made up, making sizing slightly more complex than in previous versions.
I have collected the following data to give you indicative figures as to how large your database might grow and these figures serve as a guide. This environment had numerous packages of different sizes including larger packages such as Microsoft Office and Oracle Client and smaller packages such as WinRar and Skype.
Here is a breakdown of some of the key tables in the Management server database and the average size of a record per table.
|Table||Average Record Size||Description|
|Applications||0.4 KB||For each application in a package|
|FileTypeAssociations||0.2 KB||For each FTA per package|
|PackageEntitlements||14 KB||For each entitlement to a package|
|PackageVersions||178 KB||For each package|
|ProgIds||0.3 KB||For each program ID|
|PublishingServers||8 KB||For each publishing server|
|ShellCommands||0.4 KB||For each shell command|
|Shortcuts||1 KB||For each shortcut|
Let’s analyse the main action that is going make our database grow and how we can go about calculating the impact.
Importing and Entitling a Package
As mentioned this will be the main driver for database size, the good news here is that unlike in 4.6 where the database would constantly grow based on users and usage, in 5.0 the growth will be less dynamic, with the impact mainly held in the early stages of provisioning packages and then the gradual add of new or updating of existing packages over time.
The bad news however is calculating this impact is not straight forward! The reason for this is because every time you import and entitle a package, records are created across multiple tables and the amount of storage required will vary. For example the PackageVersions table will contain a full copy of both user and machine config .xml files, the size of these files will vary package to package, subsequently so will every FTA that gets written into the FileTypeAssociations table or every shortcut written into the Shortcuts table. The PackageEntitlements table will also contain any custom configuration too and can also mean different record sizes.
The three key things you will need to get a handle to size appropriately are:
- What your average package is made up of (more on this below)
- How many packages you foresee importing (including package upgrades and future packages)
- Approximately how many group entitlements each package will have
So based on my averages the way to calculate the database growth of importing and entitling a package would be:
178 KB (Average PackageVersion record size)
(Number of Applications in Package x 0.4 KB)
(Number of FTAs per package x 0.2 KB)
(Number of ProgIds x 0.3 KB)
(Number of shell commands x 0.4 KB)
(Number of shortcuts x 1 KB)
(Number of groups entitled to package x 14 KB)
Database growth from single package import and entitlement
Number of Packages
Database growth from package imports and entitlements
Phew! Okay so not the most straight forward thing to calculate although you could look to automate a lot of the number crunching via PowerShell as the numbers are all held within the configs xml files and the database. However I think for most people doing this per package would be over the top and a simplified approach of taking the stats of what an average package is and applying it across the board would be enough to keep the database admins happy!
The average package in this particular environment is made up as below:
So if your average package was as above and we had 1,000 packages in the environment the formula would look like this:
|178 KB (Average PackageVersion record size)||178 KB|
|(Number of Applications in Package (5) x 0.4 KB)||2 KB|
|(Number of FTAs per package (50) x 0.2 KB)||10 KB|
|(Number of ProgIds (47) x 0.3 KB)||14.1 KB|
|(Number of shell commands (37) x 0.4 KB)||14.8 KB|
|(Number of shortcuts (3) x 1 KB)||3 KB|
|(Number of groups entitled to package (8) x 14 KB)||112 KB|
|Database growth from single package import and entitlement||333.9 KB|
|Number of Packages||1,000|
|Database growth from package imports and entitlements||333,900 KB|
In this case for 1,000 applications we can expect approximately 334 MB of data to be written to the data store. Again, remember this is based on an average application in a particular environment and may vary depending on the type applications you have.
Once you are armed with this number I would recommend multiplying by three. This will account for the following:
- SQL “reserved data” allocations per table
- Other configuration and entitlements data such as connection groups
- Margins of error with estimated averages
- Future growth
Database growth from package imports and entitlements x 3 = Size for SQL Database
This means for my environment of 1,000 packages I would be sizing my SQL database at approximately 1GB in size.
As always please proactively manage your database and usage data. These figures are meant to provide an approximate guideline. In any respect I think you will agree even after calculating the storage impact, our final number for an environment of 1,000 packages is relatively modest and shouldn’t be anything that will cause your storage/database teams too much headache. Now you understand what impacts your App-V Management Server SQL database size go ahead and use the calculator to find out your figures by using the link below:
UE-V continues to spark the interest of customers I speak to around the world and a common theme in the feedback is the lightweight and efficient way it roams user state is a breath of fresh air in the face of roaming profiles and other larger user profile management (UPM) solutions.
So in this post I thought I would walk you through the UE-V Generator which is used to create “Settings Location Templates”. These are humble .xml files which are used by the UE-V agent (client) to understand what settings to roam for a given application.
The UE-V Generator itself will be installed via the ToolsSetup.exe on the machine you wish to generate templates from, for those using App-V it can be leverage on the same build you put use as your sequencer. Check out this TechNet article on Installing the UE-V Generator.
Creating a Template
Unlike sequencing in App-V, with application installation happens before we launch or monitoring tool. In this case I have locally installed a copy of XML Notepad which I intend to create a template for. The next thing to do is launch the UE-V Generator:
Here we have three options which are pretty self-explanatory, so we are going with “Create a settings location template”.
Here we specify the path to the application we wish to create an application for, hence why we have to install it prior to running up the generator. We also get the option to specify any particular arguments and the working directory. There is also a checkbox which can be unchecked if you wish to create an empty template to manually create one from scratch. Once happy click next.
The UE-V Generator will load its monitoring driver component and automatically invoke the application specified in the previous screen. Once it has finished loading you can then close the application.
Once we get the above message we can click next.
Here we get the opportunity to review the locations UE-V has identified as being relevant to this application from a user state perspective, both from a file and registry perspective. As you can see there has been one registry key identified under the standard locations, this has been auto selected to be included in our template. We can also click and see we also have a non-standard registry key which has been picked up:
This registry key has been flagged as non-standard as it is associated with a core functionality of the operating system and wouldn’t be something we typically would want to roam. Other reasons registry or files might flagged as non-standard is if they are locations where a standard user wouldn’t be able to write or locations that might require UAC to be set, you can always override the exclusion by simply checking the box to have it included. A right click will also allow us to see the registry key in regedit or file in explorer if we want to investigate further. For a full explanation of non-standard settings paths check out TechNet here.
We also can go through a similar process of review for file based locations. In this case, no standard locations have been picked up. I have however spotted a non-standard location which I know to be important to my application and therefore included into my template by checking the box.
Next we get the opportunity to edit the template properties and also add in any manual file or registry locations by clicking new.
We can also amend the scope here to include all the settings, all settings and sub-key or just a particular setting. For file system we can choose whether to include sub folders or not. It all depends on what we are trying to achieve. When we are happy we simply click create, we will be prompted on a location to save out to.
The output will be an .xml file:
This your template! It will include all the metadata about your template and what you want to roam for the given application. All that is left to do is get out to your clients. Stayed tuned as I will post around this and more very soon! Use the “Subscribe” form below to never miss a VirtualVibes beat and get notified next post.
This is a question that burns on the lips of many of the customers that I visit, especially those who are just starting out with this whole App-V thing. To make my life easier I have drawn up a feature comparison to make clear the fundamental differences from an application management and delivery standpoint. However, I am well aware that this is a very contentious and hotly debated subject, therefore before you check it out please read the following:
- This only serves as a reference and does not advocate one delivery over another, rather outlines what each solution can offer, chose what works for you!
- While the green and red are indicative of pros and cons it is important to remember, what someone may consider a disadvantage might be seen as completely irrelevant to someone else.
- They are two very different beasts, SCCM is a massive all encompassing management solution and App-V Full Infrastructure is efficient and humble way to get packages out into your environment, by its nature SCCM will have a larger feature set, therefore I have tried to limit comparisons to only things that concern package management and delivery.
- As always, feel free to ask questions or voice your opinions in the comments section at the end of the post!
TechEd North America was absolutely off the hook! It was great being out there and meeting so many of you face to face. For those who were unable to attend or just want to recap on some of the sessions, fortunately everything was recorded and uploaded onto Channel 9. Check out my session entitled The Circle of Life for an App-V 5.0 Package: From Sequence to Termination by clicking below:
TechEd NA 2014 had loads of great App-V content and my main man The Gladiator has thankfully put together a list of all the sessions and links to videos here so go and check them out, there really is some golden content from my fellow Microsoft guys and our MVPs.
For those who are familiar with App-V 4.x they will be smiling now with the return of a familiar feature of the sequencer. For those who aren’t familiar with previous versions of the sequencer let me explain…
Security Descriptors – Full VFS Write Mode
In 4.x Security Descriptors copied the NTFS ACLs from the local system drive and applied them to the package, in the event our package needed to write to these global VFS locations we could disable this feature to allow our non admins run our package without issue.
In App-V 5.0 we actually lost this ability and instead had to accept that the VFS was only writeable by admins and the PVAD could be written to by everyone, unless of course you used some of the scripts that were floating around to change this on the client, however this wasn’t a supported method from a Microsoft perspective.
Good news is we now have the option back again which allows us to specify “Full VFS Write Mode” on our package by ticking the following box on the advanced tan of the package editor:
Ticking this box does exactly what it says on the tin, it enables us to write to all of the virtual file system whether we are a admin or not! Of course these writes will be considered state changes as talked about in this post: Global File State Changes in App-V 5.0
This setting can be used and set automatically as part of a sequencer template however remember even with this setting we are still bound by the file type exclusions which we don’t support being written into state.
Save As New Package
This setting was another feature we had in 4.x and is now back again with Hotfix 4 for 5.0 SP2. In short is allows us to save an updated/edited package with a new package GUID. This allows us to branch off the parent package in terms of uniqueness, this is particularly useful for UAT and testing purposes when we want to test an updated package alongside the previous version. When we save as new package, the GUID changes enabling and thus eliminates the conflict with the previous package. The only thing to be mindful of if using this technique is to change the shortcuts and potentially FTAs to ensure that they are not overwritten by the new package.
Whoa okay so this Hotfix (also being dubbed the Spring Update) has a lot of offer beyond the standard customer fixes you might be used to. This hotfix brings about significant changes to product itself which include:
Publishing Refresh performance improvements
Package Converter improvements
Run executables from network share