ConfigMgr 2012 : App-V Management Server Co-Existence

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One question I had for the ConfigMgr rollout was around how the migration from App-V Management Server to ConfigMgr was going to work. Specifically my questions were:

  1. Could the environments co-exist?
  2. Do we have to uninstall/reinstall the App-V Client with different settings?
  3. Will we lose the App-V client cache? With many remote users losing the cache was potentially a nightmare.
  4. What happens if I re-publish an App-V application via ConfigMgr that was originally published via App-V Management Server will it re-download?

After testing I have answered my questions.

Could the environments co-exist?

Yes and no… I deployed an App-V management server and published some applications to an app-V client.

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I then published an App-V application from Configuration Manager to see the effects on the client. The new application was downloaded and displayed in the app-V client, alongside my previous applications – result.

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However, my publishing server definition in the client was no more. This means that whilst I retained previously downloaded applications I will be unable to unload and reload them from the App-V Management Server.

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Do we have to uninstall/reinstall the App-V Client with different settings?

The answer to that question is simple, no. Configuration Manager ‘takes control’ of the app-V client and it’s cache as soon as the first application is ‘installed’ using Software Center / Application Catalogue web site.

Remember though that you will need to upgrade the App-V client on your clients to 4.6 SP1 in order to provide ConfigMgr integrated App-V deployments.

Will we lose the App-V client cache?

Good news again here, the App-V cache still contains previously downloaded applications (cache file is normally located under C:\Users\All Users\Microsoft\Application Virtualization Client\SoftGrid Client\sftfs.fsd)

You can query the cache using the following command: sftmime query obj:app /short

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Nothing is stored in the ccmcache directory for any App-V applications.

What happens if I re-publish an App-V application via ConfigMgr that was originally published via App-V Management Server will it re-download?

Deploying the same application in ConfigMgr (Adobe Reader 10 or Microsoft Visio 2010 in my testing) did not result in it being downloaded again, despite the deployment technology being different.

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Conclusion

So, essentially you need to configure your ConfigMgr environment like-for-like before you start publishing applications to users, provided you do this users should not be impacted in any way as they will retain their App-V cache, and therefore their current applications.

Again, remember that you need to get the App-V Client version 4.6 SP1 to users in advance!