Wednesday 8 October 2008

SoftGrid (MAV): A Reboot Rebuttal

Vindication, sweet vindication. I have a theory that the amount of satisfaction one receives from finally being proved right on a particular issue is proportional to the amount time it takes for everyone to come around to your way of thinking. But, in this case, it took so long, that I have (almost) lost interest.

The issue at hand relates to Microsoft Application Virtualization (MAV and formerly SoftGrid) and the sequencing process.

Last year (yes, I can actually remember things from last year) a number of our clients raised an issue with the SoftGrid sequencing process if a reboot was required mid-way through the application installation. Our team conducted some initial analysis and found that beyond the SoftGrid sequencer crashing (quite often) as a result of a application mid-installation reboot, some registry settings and files would get missed. This meant that the result sequenced SoftGrid package would generally not work - and you would either to try-try-try again and possibly decide not to virtualize that particular application.

So, our company (ChangeBase) added a "Sequencer Reboot Check" to our collection of virtualization Plugins. This allowed us to proactively determine if an application was likely to require a reboot prior to starting the Sequencing process. The reporting process worked great - our clients were happy as they were getting good intelligence on applications needed special attention for sequencing.

However, some of the people at Microsoft were not so pleased. The official view of reboot issues during the sequencing process was that "it doesn't happen, there are no reboot issues or problems when sequencing an application". This was not just denial at the official level - but a lot of the technical people clearly thought that we were just making things up.

So, I was kind of pleased when I saw this blog posting today on the MAV team site;

Sequencing applications that require a reboot

The Best Practices for sequencing applications can from the MAV team can be found here:

Rebooting during the SoftGrid sequencing process is now recognized as an issue - and, now we even have some great advice from the MAV team . Good Stuff!

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