Hey three folks.

We are looking into softgrid for out 1200 computer enviroment, and I am wondering what you all think of it. We are currently looking at getting the Desktop Optimization Pack witch includes Softgrid 4.1. I have been playing with it a little bit this week and so far I am fairly impressed and hopeful.

What pitfalls have you found? What problem areas? Are there apps that wont work with softgrid?

Please let me know what you think.
0 Comments   [ + ] Show Comments

Comments

Please log in to comment

Rating comments in this legacy AppDeploy message board thread won't reorder them,
so that the conversation will remain readable.

Answers

0
Bottom line. Softgrid is one of the coolest things since sliced bread.

There are apps that you can't virtualize; Core OS components (like Internet Exploder), apps that use hardware drivers (Acrobat print driver), or some various hardware bound products. Most often, those fall into things with very strict license requirements like e-licenses, or hardware keys etc.

if you're looking at DOP, then you've already got SA on your microsoft contract. Microsoft is really screwing with the business community with DOP. If you, like us, dropped SA, you can't get DOP. Without DOP, you can't get softgrid after june 30th. Then in order to GET DOP, you have to have SA on *ALL* of your desktops and DOP is a subscription, so if you decide at a later date to stop Software Assurance, you are no longer allowed to run Softgrid.

The product rocks... but I'm not sure that the way Micro$oft is going about offering it is the best way to many customers out there.
Answered 03/13/2007 by: Chipster
Blue Belt

Please log in to comment
0
We just put our first 4 apps into production and it works great!

The only "bad" things we have run into are a) there is next to no documentation b) there isn't a tool to centrally manage the clients c) we haven't figured out a "good" way to mass deploy the client.
Answered 03/14/2007 by: CameronFrasnelly
Senior Yellow Belt

Please log in to comment
0
http://www.softgridguru.com/ - LOTS of information. I dont' remember where but there's an adm template that you can import into group policies to manage your clients centrally. Mass deploying the client is even easier. I've got an install configured for all of our machines that look at the computer name to determine what SG server to point to and all the necessary settings are setup on the initial install.

www.instantapps.net - packaged apps that you can import into your console and deploy. really good place to get a bunch of stuff right off the bat.
Answered 03/14/2007 by: Chipster
Blue Belt

Please log in to comment
0
Awesome product. App-killer that will bury MSI packaging and deployment in a couple of years. The future. Buy it!
Answered 03/14/2007 by: turbokitty
Sixth Degree Black Belt

Please log in to comment
0
Turbokitty - I don't know if it will completely replace MSI packaging. Some nasty legacy apps were successfully deployed after MSI packaging & then sequenced. I consider SoftGrid more a admin-friendly enterprise deployment tool - the sequencing is what makes & breaks its use.

Just my .02€ worth. ;^)
Answered 03/15/2007 by: BadShadd
Orange Senior Belt

Please log in to comment
0
CameronFrasnelly - Here's how I mass deployed our client. Originally, I created a silent, 'no user interaction' batch file to push specific settings (i.e. Install.bat) - here's what was inside.

msiexec.exe /i "softgrid-wd-setup.msi" SWIDCSDISPLAY="Enterprise SoftGrid Server" SWIDCSHOST="SG-Server" /q
regedit /s changes.reg


The 'change.reg' file contains three specific settings.
1. We wanted the 'Softricity SoftGrid Client' icon to be visible on the icon tray 100% of the time so users can right click & download / refresh applications without having to open one first.
2. We wanted users to be able to 'Unload' & 'Clear' apps from cache without admin permissions.

Here's what is included in the 'changes.reg' file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Softricity\SoftGrid Client\CurrentVersion\CustomSettings]
"TrayVisibility"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Softricity\SoftGrid Client\CurrentVersion\Permissions]
"RepairApp"=dword:00000001
"ClearApp"=dword:00000001
"LoadApp"=dword:00000001
"LockApp"=dword:00000001
"ManageTypes"=dword:00000001
"RefreshServer"=dword:00000001
"ImportApp"=dword:00000001
"AddApp"=dword:00000000
"ChangeCacheSize"=dword:00000000
"ChangeFSDrive"=dword:00000000
"ChangeLogSettings"=dword:00000000
"ChangeProxySettings"=dword:00000000
"ChangeConnectionSecurity"=dword:00000000
"DeleteApp"=dword:00000000
"ChangeRefreshSettings"=dword:00000001
"ManageServers"=dword:00000000
"PublishShortcut"=dword:00000000
"ToggleOfflineMode"=dword:00000001
"UnloadApp"=dword:00000001
"ViewAllApplications"=dword:00000000


After testing this silent installer, we converted it to a SMS package for enterprise delivery. Once a system name is added to 'SoftGrid Client' collection, the user's system has the software within about 45 minutes and then he / she would need to log off / on to see the icon in the tray & begin receiving apps.

I hope that gives you an idea of what you can do.
Answered 03/15/2007 by: BadShadd
Orange Senior Belt

Please log in to comment
0
pardon me if i play devils advocate a bit :)

being a trechnical oriented person, i like Softgrids approach very much, although i admit i havent tried it yet.
But by looking at the postings in this thread and on other resources i got a number of questions:

Even if a company implements softgrid, it doesnt seem to solve all deployment-related questions for me.

1) you need to deploy the softgrid client itself somehow
2) you need to deploy and manage all the stuff softgrid cant do, like the infamous IE, hardware-related software, etc...
3) classic standard client management tools dont only deploy software, but help managing clients as well. What about those tiny registry changes, deployment of new office templates, changing windows apperance, not to speak of OS updates, patches, or even OS rollout. What about servers too.... they need patches and Software updates as well, dont they?

since Softgrid doesnt seem to be able to do that, you'll still need one fully blown client management suite, am i right?

So that leaves me with the question: why should an organization spend time and money for maintaining a second infrastructure for Softgrid, if they need to keep on maintaining another one they need for the client management solution?
Just for the odd number of software pieces that can cause conflicts? In my experience in the business, on the XP-platform these are just a few, mainly Java-oriented stuff.

so are we just drawn away by the very cool technology thats implemented in softgrid, but we failed to notice it wont save us anything? :D
any comments? :)
Answered 03/15/2007 by: Martin.Appel
Senior Yellow Belt

Please log in to comment
0
Ahh yes.. very good questions indeed Martin.

1) Yes... you do. There's a tagline at microsoft that says "The last piece of software you will ever install is the Softgrid Client" we know it's not entirely true but it's still humorous.
2) Correct
3) If you went the route of virtualizing everything, you could use SUS/WSUS to deploy all patches etc. Not that most of us would but an option.

$1,000,000 question... Yes. you would probably still have a full management product.
Softgrid isn't aimed at replacing SMS/Altiris or any of those other products. It doesn't do inventory,patching, deployment, etc. It's solely an application virtualization product. I wish that there was more that the product could do but given our environment, this will be a GREAT step forward.

Here's why you should spend money on the product. :)

Application Version Conflicts. If you have an application that requires JRE 1.4.2_03 and won't work with any other, you can put it into softgrid. The application will use JRE from the bubble and not the machine. You can then still have 1.5.0_11 on the machine as the standard. That will allow you to have multiple versions of JRE in existance. Essentially, applications that use different versions of software can co-exist. Oracle client based applications are another one. No longer do you have to deal with multiple oracle homes or how to get Access 97 runtimes to easily coexist with Access 2003.

Machine replacement. let's say you have an image process that taken 30 minutes to setup the base image. And your base image consists of the OS, Office, AV, winzip, standard tools etc. You have a user who gets a new machine or has to have their existing one rebuilt. that's at least 30 minutes downtime to replace and then you have to install Visio, Project, Front Page, and 5 other applications. You just cost that user 1.5 hours of downtime and tied up a technician for the same. Using SG enabled applications, your time is cut to 30 minutes as all you have to do is replace the machine. When the user logs on, the applications show up on the machine. The SG client is already loaded and pulls down the apps for that user when they logon. We're able to justify the ROI in less than one year on this number alone.

Loaner machines. Ever have a user leave a laptop at home and need a loaner for the day? See the above scenario. If the user calls in at 9, it's noon before someone can drop everything else that's going on like broken hardware just to build up a machine for this fool who is too lazy to drive back home and pick up their laptop.

Licensing. Not the end all / be all solution to licensing issues, but it's a great start. We have over 1100 licenses for Visio in our location (3000+ company wide). I have a large population of requests per week for more licenses for various reasons. The last time I looked at an SMS usage report, i found 400 machines that hadn't run Visio (or project, which is similar numbers) in over 6 months. Using SG technology, you can add/remove products easy. I can take Visio from 400 machines, reallocate those licenses as needed and if someone actually needed the product, it's 5 minutes until they get it back. That prevents me from having to purchase licenses all the time. Tracking down a user to either do a manual uninstall or forcibly rip something out via sms is not efficient or always easy.

Deployment time. I did some trials on installing visio. my custom install for Visio 2003 Standard from the network takes about 10 minutes to complete. When i put that application into softgrid, it took 4 minutes to completely download to the machine. See the above scenario on how long it takes to replace an application.

Applications no longer need admin rights to run. BEcause products run in their own virtual bubble, they don't need admin rights on the machine. We have made arrangements for hundreds of products using group policies to run with standard rights. this is for file and registry permissions. With SG, each app gets their own filesystem and registry to muck around with. If they want to write to HKLM\SOFTWARE, then so be it. it's virtual and doesn't affect anything else on the machine. No need to make sure that hte machine is receiving policies or on the correct OU. it just works.

There are downsides to everything... As noted, it doesn't do IE or hardware type applications. Then there's the management side of the product. There is more to manage when it comes to the SQL database (fairly maintenance free), the app console and any sequencing that needs to be done. Sequencing an application isn't too far from repackaging something, but it requires a little more finess and fine tuning. The time spent on the backend may increase per application by 20%, but you decrease the front end by at least 60% per application so the savings quickly add up.
Answered 03/15/2007 by: Chipster
Blue Belt

Please log in to comment
0
2) This is indeed true however I wanted to make a point about IE.

True you cant sequence IE itself but you can sequence many of the things that cause problems with IE.

You sequence Java, ActiveX, Flash or whatever. Then when you launch the app you refrence the local Iexplore.exe in the osd file for the package. so what you're doing then is running the local exe in the virtual environment with the plugins that you and only you define. This is really nice as it lets you lock down IE on the desktops and control what people can load.

It's also nice when going to sites that require diffrent versions of java or another plugin. There are various ways to publish this out to your users but the end result is no more conflicts with these plugins.

And finally you can launch the local IE via softgrid to use specific parameters. This is nice when using some kind of kiosk.

So yea you sill have to keep IE up to date and patched by other means but if plugins are the thing that are giving you nightmares then this is the way I would go.

....yea no driver support. This bums me out so I am crossing my fingers and hoping. If you can somehow install the driver locally on the system then the virtual app will fall through to the OS and see it. However this means pushing things to and managing them on the desktop which is what most of us want to get away from.
Answered 03/15/2007 by: fascam
Yellow Belt

Please log in to comment
0
Yes, you'd still need a deployment tool for desktop management tasks like MDAC/Patch/driver updates, etc. No one's denying that. But MSI's don't do that currently.

It replaces MSI packaging for system admins. Period.

The biggest cost in deploying software is the packaging effort. Softgrid cuts it to about a 1/10th. That's a massive savings. Not to mention that it only costs $8/client for SA customers. That's peanuts, especially considering the bloated cost of Installshield and Wise.

The future will be SMS 2007 (free for SA customers) for inventory, OS updates/management, drivers, patches, core image apps... and Softgrid for everything else.

I'm not a big Microsoft guy at all, but there's no denying that they will own this space in two years with their improvements to SMS and their purchase of Softricity.
Answered 03/15/2007 by: turbokitty
Sixth Degree Black Belt

Please log in to comment
0
ORIGINAL: turbokitty
The future will be SMS 2007 (free for SA customers) for inventory, OS updates/management, drivers, patches, core image apps... and Softgrid for everything else.

I'm not a big Microsoft guy at all, but there's no denying that they will own this space in two years with their improvements to SMS and their purchase of Softricity.


This is where I constantly argue with people. They have their non-MS solution of choice but considering the price that Microsoft wants for these sort of technologies it is a no-brainer.
Answered 03/15/2007 by: kkaminsk
Ninth Degree Black Belt

Please log in to comment
0
Thanks for the answers so far :) Well according to Chipster, using a solution like softgrid wont reduce the effort for repackaging much, as softgrid still requires sequencing for the products. Also it wont get me rid of the need for an application deployment solution, as long as it cant do hardware related stuff. So i see a benefit for environments who have only a basic software distribution solution in place right now, or none at all.
If i compare it to the flexibility and power of a *good* software distribution solution that provides customized OS deployment, policy based software deployment and customization, patch support, offline and laptop support, i might not really need someting like Softgrid just to resolve the odd java conflicts... but thats just my 2c.
I see SGs major drawback in the need to run a second infrastructure in parallel to the DTM solution that might already be there. Well we'll see if MS shows any effort to merge Softgrid, SMS and MOM into an allround package... that might really be cool :)
Answered 03/19/2007 by: Martin.Appel
Senior Yellow Belt

Please log in to comment
0
Actually, I think you're incorrect in pretty much every point in your summary. I suggest you take a closer look at the product before you walk away with those conclusions.
- Sequencing is FAR less time consuming than repackaging
- Virtualization's benefit isn't just conflicts, you're missing the point, it's support and maintenance costs. That's where you save.
- Yes, you still need a basic tool to patch the workstation and deliver drivers, but there are a myriad of free tools to accomplish this: login script, GPO, WUS, PSEXEC, or... SMS <-- this is free for SA customers and Softgrid plugs into it. Think about that.
- There's a Softgrid plugin for SMS so the products are merging.
- Licensing costs. Softgrid is $8 a desktop for SA customers. If you do a little research into what the competitors cost this will make more sense to you. This is also a huge savings.
Answered 03/19/2007 by: turbokitty
Sixth Degree Black Belt

Please log in to comment
0
Hi all,

Turbokitty
Licensing costs. Softgrid is $8 a desktop for SA customers. If you do a little research into what the competitors cost this will make more sense to you. This is also a huge savings.

Well, SA is not for free and it is just for two years, then you have to pay again. And the $8 a desktop is per month in rent. I have talked to or reseller and it will be expensive for us. And you must have SA to run SG in the future only the SG for TS can buy without SA, that info I got from or reseller hope thay dont put the SMS only in the SA to..


/Tjabocom
Answered 03/19/2007 by: SaiTech
Orange Senior Belt

Please log in to comment
0
Tjabocom,

The desktop optimization pack isn't a monthly fee. it's a yearly cost for the desktop. Typical costs are around $10 per desktop per year. It would run the length of your contract with microsoft which is usually 3 years but may vary depending on what your orinization has negotiated. For us, we have 25,000 machines so it would be expensive, but it would be worth it with what you get.

But you are correct, you are essentially "renting"' the software for as long as you have SA with MS. Once you stop SA, you lose hte right to use softgrid, asset matrix, the group policy tools and the systernals products.

On the plus sde, you can purchase softgrid desktop cals now direct from microsoft for around 25-30 per desktop. These are perpetual and you own them. You just have to make the purcase before June 30th, 2007, the end of MS' fiscal year. And you can't buy them any longer after that date.
Answered 03/20/2007 by: Chipster
Blue Belt

Please log in to comment
0
ORIGINAL: turbokitty

Actually, I think you're incorrect in pretty much every point in your summary. I suggest you take a closer look at the product before you walk away with those conclusions.
- Sequencing is FAR less time consuming than repackaging

Now i'm confused... Chipster wrote: "Sequencing an application isn't too far from repackaging something, but it requires a little more finess and fine tuning"... i had a look at the sequencer (a short one albeit i'll agree) and i only can say i've seen repackaging tools that had more functionality and were easier to use. Repackaging is usually fairly fast unless you encounter one the odd few apps that can drive you crazy (hardware dongles, activation features, at-installtime-compiled-in-serials etc...) but are these really easier in SG?

For repackaging for application distribution, i typically estimate an average effort of 3-4 apps per day to repackage. How is that for SG?

ORIGINAL: turbokitty

- Virtualization's benefit isn't just conflicts, you're missing the point, it's support and maintenance costs. That's where you save.

i dont see much difference there, as deploying a standardized repackaged application to a locked down end user machine can do (almost) same for me. The end user cant do much to spoil it, and if it really is broken, redeploy app or machine, takes 1hr max.

ORIGINAL: turbokitty

- Yes, you still need a basic tool to patch the workstation and deliver drivers, but there are a myriad of free tools to accomplish this: login script, GPO, WUS, PSEXEC, or... SMS <-- this is free for SA customers and Softgrid plugs into it. Think about that.

Using small freeware bits would mean you're losing your continous reporting, and it isnt acceptable for enterprise size environments; loginscript compared to Matrix, Landesk, NetInstall is like a 1920 bicycle to a 2007 mercedes. I do see a gap between what SG can do and a deployment/client management solution can do. But then -as you can guess- i'm coming from the software distribution side and may be colourblind. :) As i said, i'm playing devils advocate.

ORIGINAL: turbokitty

SMS <-- this is free for SA customers and Softgrid plugs into it. Think about that.

SMS free? yes if you have SA and a couple of SQL-servers processor licenses....
I'm actually eagerly awaiting the first presentation of an SMS integrated with MOM and SG, to see how far the integration is done.
ORIGINAL: turbokitty

- There's a Softgrid plugin for SMS so the products are merging.
- Licensing costs. Softgrid is $8 a desktop for SA customers. If you do a little research into what the competitors cost this will make more sense to you. This is also a huge savings.

Might be a point, although 30$ for the desktop cal is getting closer to what DTM solutions cost.
i'd say its an interesting technology and will be fun to watch the next couple of years, whether it is the 42 answer to all questions in desktop management, i remain sceptical :)
Answered 03/20/2007 by: Martin.Appel
Senior Yellow Belt

Please log in to comment
0
Thanks Chipster make it clearer,

The MS Lisenses is confusing.. anyway we have to take two years SA..

/Tjabocom
Answered 03/20/2007 by: SaiTech
Orange Senior Belt

Please log in to comment
0
ORIGINAL: Martin.Appel
For repackaging for application distribution, i typically estimate an average effort of 3-4 apps per day to repackage. How is that for SG?


3-4 apps per day to repackage?! I'd put it at 3-4 apps per month per packager. Do you guys have no testing requirements... or was that a typo?

The reason you save so much time sequencing is because you don't have to do regression testing against your image or other applications. With traditional packaging, that takes up a huge chunk of time. I also find the actual sequencing process much faster than repackaging.

ORIGINAL: turbokitty

- Virtualization's benefit isn't just conflicts, you're missing the point, it's support and maintenance costs. That's where you save.


ORIGINAL: Martin.Appel
i dont see much difference there, as deploying a standardized repackaged application to a locked down end user machine can do (almost) same for me. The end user cant do much to spoil it, and if it really is broken, redeploy app or machine, takes 1hr max.


Even assuming you have a standaridized image across all your hardware types with one O/S, you're still going to have applications that don't like to live together on the same box. Softgrid eliminates this problem and allows you to sequence the application once for mulitiple O/S's and hardware types.

What I meant by maintenance savings was that when you need to patch a application the process to upgrade a sequence is much faster than repackaging a whole application again.

Also, you have support cost savings.. for instance, you can have the user empowered to refresh thier application without calling the helpdesk, or the helpdesk can refresh it.. without dragging in the deployment staff for an uninstall/reinstall.

ORIGINAL: Martin.Appel
Using small freeware bits would mean you're losing your continous reporting, and it isnt acceptable for enterprise size environments; loginscript compared to Matrix, Landesk, NetInstall is like a 1920 bicycle to a 2007 mercedes. I do see a gap between what SG can do and a deployment/client management solution can do. But then -as you can guess- i'm coming from the software distribution side and may be colourblind. :) As i said, i'm playing devils advocate.


The only reason I mention free tools is because I assumed that's what you're using. If you're using Altris or LanDesk or whatever, you have huge licensing costs for those tools.. much higher than SMS... If you have SA, SMS is free. Radia for example costs over $120 a desktop. Softgrid is $8 a desktop. PLUS, you don't have Installshield/Wise licenses which run into the tens of thousands a year.

ORIGINAL: Martin.Appel
SMS free? yes if you have SA and a couple of SQL-servers processor licenses....
I'm actually eagerly awaiting the first presentation of an SMS integrated with MOM and SG, to see how far the integration is done.


The SQL and Windows Server O/S licenses are needed for every deployment tool...

MOM 2007 doesn't really integrate into SMS 2007 from what I gathered at the M$ pony show I went to, but MOM has a new Windows XP/Vista client that will do reporting back to the MOM console. Not sure how much it will cost though.

ORIGINAL: Martin.Appel
Might be a point, although 30$ for the desktop cal is getting closer to what DTM solutions cost.


$30? You must be a better negotiator than our purchaser..

Anyway, it's a cool tool and I truly believe this is the future. I'd put money on it, but Sotficity got bought by Microsoft before I could buy stock. [&o]
Answered 03/20/2007 by: turbokitty
Sixth Degree Black Belt

Please log in to comment
0
I think most clients are still very skeptical and that is why I typically implement this technology in Citrix first but after it is implemented in Citrix the client already looking at a desktop rollout of Softgrid because they like it so much. Maybe I am just finding good fits for the technology but I really do believe that virtualization is the future for an enterprise that does managed Software delivery. As with all technologies Softgrid is not perfect but with Microsoft sized budgets behind it you can guarantee that the product should be moving ahead at a better pace.
Answered 04/02/2007 by: kkaminsk
Ninth Degree Black Belt

Please log in to comment
0
As with all technologies Softgrid is not perfect but with Microsoft sized budgets behind it you can guarantee that the product should be moving ahead at a better pace.


That remains to be seen.. Remember that Microsoft has in the past acted interestingly with certain products (IE, for example), first innovating/enhancing product at rapid pace, but when competition dies or is not serious enough, technology is left standing still. Smaller companies, however, need to keep improving product to stay afloat since mostly everything is tied to one or few products (like Softricity was).

Personally I'd say that SoftGrid was improving at much better pace with Softricity than it has so far under Microsoft. Or at least that's impression one gets from longer than previous build-level updates to product etc.
Answered 04/02/2007 by: ksaunam
Orange Senior Belt

Please log in to comment
0
All I can say is that they got two vendors that are determined to enter this space as well so I think the product is very much in a position to sink if they don't take it seriously.
Answered 04/03/2007 by: kkaminsk
Ninth Degree Black Belt

Please log in to comment
0
Regarding time per app, we are currently running at approx 1 man-day per app for sequencing, not including UAT. Compare that to the 'traditional' MSI packaging that is going on in parallel, they are averaging 5 man-days per app, not including UAT.

I walked one of the MSI people through sequencing an app, and his response was 'MSI packaging is dead, where do I get this stuff?'

Another convert! :-)
Answered 04/04/2007 by: ee61re
Yellow Belt

Please log in to comment
0
ORIGINAL: ee61re

Regarding time per app, we are currently running at approx 1 man-day per app for sequencing, not including UAT. Compare that to the 'traditional' MSI packaging that is going on in parallel, they are averaging 5 man-days per app, not including UAT.

I walked one of the MSI people through sequencing an app, and his response was 'MSI packaging is dead, where do I get this stuff?'

Another convert! :-)


Agreed, however when problems arise in a sequence, they really arise! It's fine if you have a seasoned Softricity person on your team - but if not, problems can really take some time to sort out. Not to take anything away from Softgrid, but I am surprised your average .MSI package prep time is 5 man days per app. That is big.
Answered 04/04/2007 by: shuffle
Orange Belt

Please log in to comment
0
I'd say 5 days per app for traditional MSI packaging is about right for an app of average complexity in an environment that does the proper amount of testing.

You say you need a "seasoned Softricity" expert, but MSI packaging isn't exactly child's play. You need a lot of in-house knowledge to do that properly as well. I think the difference is a wash.
Answered 04/04/2007 by: turbokitty
Sixth Degree Black Belt

Please log in to comment
0
Sorry - not to confuse the issue. You don't _need_ a seasoned Softgrid person on staff - my point was only to stress that seasoned .MSI packagers will still need to learn the ins and outs of Softgrid and how applications behave in it's virtual space. If you have somebody experienced who has seen it and done it before in terms of Softgrid, a day per app (on average) sounds about right. If you have seasoned .MSI packagers 5 days sounds on the high side to me (for .MSI packaging). However, I understand environments are different. A couple real "sideways" apps and either side can be skewed a lot. Just try sequencing in both the Sun and MS JRE and having different web based apps switch between the two. Lots of fun!

I know good .MSI packaging is a skill - no doubt. Been there, done that.
Answered 04/04/2007 by: shuffle
Orange Belt

Please log in to comment
0
I would like to point out a few more benifts to using softgrid that haven't been mentioned so far it this thread.

1.) Applications are cached on an As Needed basis. Using traditional deployment methods like SMS or even just GPO, the whole app is copied down to the client and then installed. With softgrid, only the shortcuts are copied to the client. This can significatly reduce your reload times. For us that is a huge deal.

2.) Applications follow the user around - see number 1.

3.) Application specific changes can follow the user around from computer to computer ... even to a terminal server. While this takes extra setup, it is a really cool feature that works even better then roaming profiles.

4.) Updates are seamless. Once an app is updated in the softgrid management console, those changes are distributed to the clients the next time the app is launched. This is a delta update so only the changes between the new version and the cache are copied down. This is very slick, very fast, and completely seamless. I have not seen updates to applicaitons work so well on any other system.
Answered 04/12/2007 by: Ackeron
Senior Yellow Belt

Please log in to comment
0
How many of you have actually put some hard time into softgrid?

I've spent weeks trying to get softgrid to behave with anything other than winrar(even there you lose the "Right Click" functionality).
Seriously, even with Excel 2003 it had issues, the application freezing out of nowwhere, stalling the entire system.

Try sequencing apps such as Adobe Creative suite 2... even without acrobat. Or macromedia studio 8. No go guys. Flashpaper? nope.

Sequencing different language versions of applications seems fantastic, but hey what about file associations? Oh you have to choose.. great. Different versions? Oh you have to decide as well... wonderful... and the extension management is horrible.

Add to that no real central client managing tool, no ability to "push" applications, larger applications need be pre-loaded unless you have Gbit intranet or want angry end users, very clumsy and beta-like feel to basically all aspects of the program.. and this got past version 1.x how?

The idea is fine, I agree, but unless you're managing VERY simple stuff such as single smaller application installations, NO suites!, and run primarily ms products, (hey office 2007 didn't work out of the box.. hmmm), I suggest you WAIT, for pity's sake, or you'll be driven mad by the unfulfilled potential you're witnessing.

And before you start assuming I don't know jack about software installation, lemme put you straight, years of experience, blah blah, but most importantly I even hired professional SOFTGRID consultants to actually SHOW ME how to do what I wanted and even they FAILED as well.

- SJO
Answered 04/16/2007 by: sjo
Yellow Belt

Please log in to comment
0
I won't admit Softgrid as being perfect but I have put in two implementations and in the middle of my third. I did get my first exposure scripting on one of the original flagship installations before it was even close to being Microsoft so I have seen the big picture in action. If you are looking for a 100% application deployment replacement then you are probably not going to buy into this solution easily. If you are looking for something to help simplify your application issues you are probably looking at the right tool but then again it depends on what your application pain looks like. Not everyone needs Softgrid! (Did I just say that?)

Generally most applications sequence with ease and this is coming from a guy that deals with badly written oil and gas applications on a daily basis. The shortcut management does have it's limitations and the lack of right click support is something I thought they were going to fix with 4.x but they didn't. If you are looking for central end-client management then you will likely need SMS to step in because that fills in some of those gaps and until 4.5 comes out it looks like the integration is going to be mostly VBS duct tape. Though you can easily put this functionality into another mechanism if you get a Softgrid consultant that has picked this apart. It sounds like your pilot went badly and maybe you were over sold as to what this product can do? To me it sounds like the issue is beyond the technology but I don't know the ins and outs of what you were trying to do and what was the success criteria. A forum would probably be a bad place to asess this but obiously your pilot did not meet your success criteria.
Answered 04/16/2007 by: kkaminsk
Ninth Degree Black Belt

Please log in to comment
0
Hi Kkaminsk,

Most of my anger comes from disappointment that SG couldn't handle what I needed it to. So for me it's useless. I don't want to use several different solutions if I can avoid it.
What I'm talking about is Virtualizing the Adobe CS2 and CS3 Suites. It can't be done, it's that simple. Altiris SVS can actually do this to some extent, but but SG can't. Oh, you might get something out to the desktops, but it's not the application they know. Very inexperienced users might not detect a difference but as soon as advanced users step in, things start falling apart.

Truth is, that no matter what applications you've successfully deployed with it, they've been fairly small, in terms of MB/Sec through 100mbit. Am I right?
Try doing that to the 1.6 gb of compressed feces that is the CS2 package and you will discover some of the fairly obvious limitations of SG.
Answered 04/16/2007 by: sjo
Yellow Belt

Please log in to comment
-2
Feature block one eliminates some of the pain in regards to delivering 1.6 GB because you wouldn't deliver the entire sequence to each client. Still the issue around delivering 1.6 GB gracefully to multiple desktop clients would be a challenge using RTSP. Using the SMS client you my be able to leverage something like BITS to move the sequence data out to the client more gracefully than RTSP. Your deployment then becomes a bit of a two stage process because you have to use BITS to get the sequence files onto the client and then have another event occur to take that data and put it into the Softgrid client. This might be covered natively using the SMS connector but I don't have much production experience with it. At worst you will have to get a little creative to make this happen.
Answered 04/16/2007 by: kkaminsk
Ninth Degree Black Belt

Please log in to comment
0
what do you mean you can't sequence the adobe suites? I have already sequenced photoshop ...

I haven't tried the other adobe tools, but I am planning on trying.

I can see that Acrobat might be an issue because of the printer it installs... so I might have to figure something out for that, but I am kind of assuming it will work. did you try with the latest versioin where they removed some of the licensing constraints?

Ackeron.
Answered 04/17/2007 by: Ackeron
Senior Yellow Belt

Please log in to comment
0
I believe I did Acrobat a couple years ago. You take the device info for Distiller out of the sequence and then use DPInst.exe to deliver the Distiller driver to the OS via SMS or whatever.


If you do try to deploy Adobe in any enterprise MSI or otherwise you should be using the volume license installers.
Answered 04/17/2007 by: kkaminsk
Ninth Degree Black Belt

Please log in to comment
Answer this question or Comment on this question for clarity