It’s fun to install the stuff that you build.  As architect of Citrix Profile Manager, I get to see many things and influence many things, but I do not get much of the day to day pleasure of installing and testing things nearly as much as someone who is full time on writing code or testing.  I rather miss it.

Lately, I pulled the Cross Platform Settings Profile Manager pre-view off my of test machines and have installed the 3.2 release of the STREAMED profiles supporting version of Citrix Profile Manager.  It’s been “painless”, but it has also been educational.

As a dev organization, we have been at this streamed profile stuff for the better part of 2 years and we’ve been ACTIVE on the development of the streamed code for over a year.  The entire focus of this release is profile streaming and …Drum roll… 

It’s turned off by default

WOW!  That’s really interesting.
 
I had many questions

Inquiries to smart people who set the defaults says that there’s actually some pretty good reasons for why. 

Answer: It assists with profile migration.

Given you have a farm up and running, at the 2.x level of Profile Manager and you are in midst of a transition to 3.x streaming profiles, you have a period in time where both 2.x and 3.x versions of profile manager service will be accessing and using files from a single CENTRAL STORE. 

The central  store is a network share where profiles are stored.  During the transition, it will be accessed by both the new streaming code as well as the old style profile syncing code.  The new code has a “pending” area where changes are held until the last logoff, to assure profile consistency and the UPM 2.x code doesn’t understand that area and won’t use it.  So you hit a circumstance where the 2.x code could write files / registry in a fashion that could cause a profile inconsistency on the 3.x side.  The Window is small, but dev types have no choice but to focus on these things.

OH!  Edge cases! 

Migration

During the transition period where both 2.x and 3.x versions of profile manager will access the central store, the profile streaming is disabled.  Once all of the machines are moved up to 3.2 profile streaming, the group policy value can be changed from Disabled to Enabled – turning on profile streaming farm wide!

SIMPLE.  We just need to ASSUME that the administrators will remember to do that after the transition has completed.

If you have no 2.x installed base, then this default is completely WRONG and should be changed at the outset.  

Summary

A crazy default, but for a good reason. 

The good news is that “remembering to adjust the setting” is difficult to avoid.  The admin has to be in there to adjust a number of things already including the UNC path to the central store, so adjusting one more isn’t a big deal.  It is also convenient that once they decide to turn it on, it’s a mere single AD Group Policy setting to turn it on farm wide.

Still, I like defaults that enable new technology by default – make it easier for admins to be successful in the common case.  I’ll work that problem as the compatibility with version 2.x becomes less of an issue.

Thought I’d share…

Joe Nord