With the release of Feature Release 4, Ivanti continues to accelerate customers on their journey to a Windows 10 and Office 365/Cloud future. Many organizations are adopting more and more SaaS-based applications as IT moves away from running its own datacenters and applications and outsources its operational costs to application vendors and a cloud model. Office 365 adoption is at the forefront of this shift and shows no sign of slowing, with 42% revenue growth in Q1 FY18. However, Office 365 adoption introduces a significant problem with cloud-hosted mailboxes that customers frequently do not anticipate, especially in non-persistent or multi-session virtual desktops.

In a related trend, Microsoft’s “Windows a as Service” model presents new challenges to IT as new features and functionality changes in Windows 10 disrupt end-user productivity. Preventing user disruption during such times is a constant task for IT.  Let’s find out how FR4 can help iron out these challenges today.

Cache Roaming for Virtual Sessions

Accessing cloud-hosted mailboxes using Exchange Online mode introduces latency and performance issues that impact on user productivity. This scenario is introduced when customers take the plunge to move their on-premises Exchange Servers to the cloud with Office 365.  With the only viable alternative being to enable Cached Exchange Mode, this adds a reliance on the user’s mailbox (OST) being downloaded to the user profile.  In a non-persistent virtual desktop this results in gigabytes worth of data being synchronized and written to disk at each logon. This impacts not only productivity, but also network utilization. So, what is the alternative?

Environment Manager 10.1 FR4 can now persist application caches, such as OST files, solely within our updated policy engine.  Customers can either connect to existing VHD containers, or create the containers from new before allowing our Cache Roaming action to persist folders within the container to enable roaming across sessions without having to download the user’s cache each time.  The added benefit of this feature is that customers can solve many other roaming issues that ordinarily require large volumes of data to be persisted across sessions such as with Google Chrome, Java and Internet Explorer.

The video below shows just how simple this is to configure, with just a couple of Environment Manager policy actions you can delight your users by providing near-native Outlook experience in their Office 365 virtual sessions.

Windows 10 Enhancement

Keeping track of user experience in a Windows-as-a-Service world, is a constant challenge for Administrators.  Window 10 Feature Updates are released approx. every 6 months and ensuring users have access to their familiar applications during such times can be a challenge.  A prominent challenge is that Windows Store Applications are included within Feature Updates that sometimes can unexpectedly (for users!) become the default application for common business file types.  Take for example the PDF format, this is the accepted universal, secure method for sharing documents.  Organizations will usually have a designated application assigned for reading/editing such documents (e.g. Adobe, FoxIT).  However, in Windows 10, Microsoft’s Edge browser is designated as the default application for PDF documents.  This new behavior requires users to manually change such file associations back to their expected applications and would usually require Service Desk assistance to each user.

Now with the release of 10.1 FR4, Administrators can now manage these settings for Windows Store (aka UWP) applications  using our File Type Association (FTA) policy actions, which ensure that file/document types are accessed with the intended applications. Use our FTA policy actions during a Windows OS migration to ensure a seamless transition to Windows 10 with the user able to use their familiar applications.

Expect more exciting Windows 10 enhancements within User Workspace Manager throughout 2018. You can take advantage of the features described here today by downloading Environment Manager 10.1 FR4 which is available now for customers via the Ivanti Community site. https://community.ivanti.com/community/appsense