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This blog has been created to share technical information, interesting innovations that I notice on daily basis and Architectural/Consulting overview of various technologies. My areas of interest, on which I would be blogging, are VMware, Microsoft and Citrix Technologies. I hope you will enjoy this blog and share your experience with me.

Solving Microsoft Outlook (.OST) issues by combing VMware UEM and App Volumes

The long outstanding challenge of Microsoft Outlook *.ost files within Windows 7/8/10 floating desktops. Using VMware User Environment Management (UEM) and App Volumes together can overcome this challenge. Microsoft never supported or recommended keeping .ost files on File Shares and with O365 into equation the .ost file could be enormous sizes and would be unable to provide optimal end-user experience like you would be running from your PC devices.

App Volumes

  • Writable Volumes with the User Installed Applications template will be used to store the Outlook .ost and profile configuration details (.xml)
  • The .ost is stored within the writable volumes. Hence there is no performance impact like storing it on remote file shares
  • Depending upon the mailbox sizes you can create larger custom Writable Volumes - UIA template (The default template in AV is 10 GB). Like in O365 scenarios its normal to have 25GB mailbox size. Customer can create larger WV depending upon the requirements

UEM

  • Use the ADMX based setting for the Microsoft Office 2013/2016 cache settings. Policy – Default location for OST files
  • The most import step here is to point the .ost location to “C:\Snapvolumestemp\writable\Outlook”. Note this path is not virtualized, there is no over ahead of the filter driver

Using this technique, we can now quickly re-direct the .ost files to writable volumes and continue offering floating desktops to our end-users

There is also a VMware UEM video which demonstrates this steps in more details here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzy4X5xbURY (Thanks to Pim Vandeis from the UEM team)

Thanks,
Aresh

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