9 Desktop Groups Configuration

The Advanced Management Console enables enterprise administrators to define desktop groups and associate desktops with one or more groups based on desktop properties. Desktop groups are added in the Configuration tab of the Advanced Management Console. Existing desktop groups are available as filters in the Desktops tab.

This topic includes the following sections:

About Desktop Groups

Desktop groups in the Advanced Management Console provide a way to filter desktops based on the values for a group. The group name is treated as an additional property for desktops and a mapping file defines the values for that property.

As an example, consider a group named Country, which has the values China, France, Russia, and United States. When the group is created, existing desktops are mapped to the appropriate group value. To view desktops that are associated with the group value France, the filter criterion Country is added in the Desktops tab and set to France.

Desktops are associated with a group based on one of the following desktop properties:

  • IP address

  • Email

  • Host name

When the group is created, the desktop property to use is selected. A mapping file is provided, which contains a list of values for the selected desktop property and the group value to associate with the desktop.

If the desktop properties for a desktop are changed, then the new values are compared with the group mapping files. Group associations are automatically adjusted based on the new values for the desktop properties. For desktops that are added after a group is created, the desktop properties are compared with the mapping file for the group. If a match is found, then the new desktop is associated with the group.

About Mapping Files

A desktop group in the Advanced Management Console is generated from a mapping file, which is used to map desktops to the group. The mapping file can be any comma-separated values (CSV) file that contains information about the desktops in the enterprise.

Each entry in the mapping file must contain a column for the desktop property on which the mapping is based and a column for the group value that is associated with the desktop. For example, if the mapping is based on host names and the group is based on countries, then each entry must contain a host name and country name. If a mapping file contains additional columns, then that information is ignored.

The character that is used to separate columns is specified when the group is created. The default is a semicolon (;). The column indexes for the desktop property and the group value are also specified when the group is created. The index is zero-based, so the first index for the first column is 0.

The following example shows a sample mapping file named country-mapping.txt, which can be used to create a group named Country that contains the group values China, France, Russia, and United States. The mapping between group values and desktops is based on the host name. The file contains the host names of desktops in column 0 and the country for each desktop in column 2. The file also contains business unit information in column 1, which is ignored.

hostname1;Marketing;France
hostname2;Marketing;France
hostname3;Marketing;United States
hostname4;Engineering;Russia
hostname5;Finance;France
hostname6;Finance;United States
hostname7;Sales;China
hostname8;Sales;Russia

When a group is created, the mapping file is processed. Desktops that are matched to an entry in the file are associated with the group value that is specified for the desktop. Using the sample mapping file above, the desktop with host name hostname4 is associated with the group Country and the group value Russia. Desktops that do not match any entry in the file are not associated with the group. Entries in the file that do not match any desktop are ignored. The number of desktops that are matched and the number that are ignored are reported in the Configuration tab of Advanced Management Console.

To change a mapping file, you must delete the group and create it again using the edited mapping file.

Views for Desktop Groups

The table view for Desktop Groups in the Configuration tab of the Advanced Management Console shows the groups that are defined. The properties view shows the property values for the selected group.

In both views, click the arrow that appears in the column heading to sort the data by the values in that column. Use the navigation bar below the table to view additional pages when the number of desktop groups exceeds the page size. Use the navigation bar below the properties to view the properties for other desktop groups.

Desktop Group Table Details

The table view for Desktop Groups in the Configuration tab of Advanced Management Console provides information about the number of entries in the mapping file and the number of entries that do not match a desktop.

The following table describes the information that is shown in the table view for desktop groups:

Column Name Description

Group Name

Name of the group

Desktop Property

Desktop property that is used to match desktops to the group

Desktop Property Value Count

Number of entries in the mapping file that contain the desktop property to be matched. One entry in the mapping file could match more than one desktop. For example, an email address could be associated with multiple desktops.

Unassigned Desktop Property Value Count

Number of entries in the mapping file that do not match any desktops

Desktop Group Property Details

The properties view for Desktop Groups in the Configuration tab of Advanced Management Console provides information about the values associated with the group and the number of desktops that match each value.

The following table describes the information that is shown in the properties view for a desktop group:

Column Name Description

desktop-group-name

Name of the desktop group. The entries in this column are the group values found in the mapping file for this group.

number-of-desktop-property-values

Number of entries in the mapping file that contain a value for the desktop property on which the mapping is based. The column name shows the total number of entries in the mapping file. For each row, the column shows the number of entries in the mapping file that match the group value shown in the first column.

number-of-values-not-assigned

Number of entries in the mapping file that do not match any desktop. The column name shows the total number of entries that are not matched. For each row, the column shows the number of entries in the mapping file that match the group value shown in the first column, but don't match any desktop.

Creating a Desktop Group

Desktop groups in Advanced Management Console add properties for searching and organizing the desktops in an enterprise.

To create a desktop group:

  1. In the Advanced Management Console, select the Configuration tab.
  2. Click Desktop Groups.

    The table of existing desktop groups is shown.

  3. Click Create.

    The Create Desktop Group dialog box is shown.

  4. Enter the information for the group that you are creating.

    If you use the country-mapping.txt sample mapping file described in About Mapping Files, then you can use the following values:

    • Group Name: Country

    • CSV Input File: country-mapping.txt

    • Group Value Column Index: 2

    • Desktop Property Index: 1

      Note:

      Instead of an IP address, such as 192.0.2.254, you can also provide an IP range in a Classless inter-domain routing (CIDR) format, for example, 192.0.2.1/24 similar to providing an IP address. In case of an IP range, for example 192.0.2.157/24, the network address (192.0.2.157) and the broadcast address (192.0.2.254) are automatically excluded by the Advanced Management Console server. Therefore, the actual IP addresses that get stored are 192.0.2.1, 192.0.2.2, ..., 192.0.2.253.
    • Desktop Property: Hostname

    • Separator in CSV File: ;

    Although the Advanced Management Console doesn’t fully support all the rules for CSV, the following usages are supported:
    • If a value contains the separator, or in other words, the CSV separator character itself is part of a value, then ensure that the value is enclosed within double quotes. For example, if comma is the separator used in the CSV file, then the value, such as "California, USA", which contains a comma, is enclosed within double quotes.
    • A double-quote appearing inside a field must be escaped by preceding it with another double quote. For example:"California ""USA".

    • Lines starting with a # are comments and are ignored.

  5. Click Create to create the group.

    The mapping file is processed and the group is created. Processing of the mapping file might take a while.

    To see the new group in the list of filters for the Desktops tab, go to the Desktops tab and refresh the page in the browser.

Updating an Existing Desktop Group

A desktop group in the Advanced Management Console organizes or groups a number of desktops together based on their properties, such as IP Address. For example, a desktop group called Country has values, such as Canada, US, and there are 100 entries that have desktop group value called Canada. You can update an existing group, by removing desktops from it, adding new desktops to it, or reassigning some desktops to a different group.

To update an existing desktop group:
  1. In the Advanced Management Console, select the Configuration tab.
  2. Click Desktop Groups to display the existing desktop group.
  3. Select a desktop group in the table. The Update button becomes enabled.
  4. Click Update to display the Update Desktop Group dialog box.
    You can choose to do one of the following:
    • a batch update (which is updating multiple entries at once)

    • a point update (which is updating a single entry)

    • schedule automatic update by providing the data required in the Update Desktop Group dialog box

    A batch update requires an input file in the CSV format. During an automatic update, the Advanced Management Console fetches the Desktop group mapping file (the CSV file) from the host (the URL parameter in the Update Desktop Group dialog box), and updates the selected group automatically. The CSV format is same as detailed in Creating a Desktop Group. Depending on the selection of the update type, an appropriate section for that update is toggled to show up for you to enter data and submit an update.

Viewing Desktops in a Desktop Group

The properties view for desktop groups in the Advanced Management Console provides links to the list of desktops that are associated with each group value. Also, desktops in the Desktops tab can be filtered by group name to see which desktops are associated with the group.

To view the desktops that are in a desktop group:

  1. In the Advanced Management Console, select the Configuration tab.
  2. Click Desktop Groups.

    The table of existing desktop groups is shown.

  3. Double-click the desktop group that you want to view.

    The properties view for that desktop group is shown. The first column shows the values for the group. Each value is a link to the list of desktops that are associated with that value.

  4. Click the link for one of the group values.

    The list of desktops that are associated with that value is shown in the Desktops tab. If a value does not provide a list, then no desktops are associated with that value.

You can also use the filters in the Desktops tab to view the desktops in a group. Select the group name from the filter criteria.

Deleting a Desktop Group

When a desktop group is no longer needed, you can delete it. To change a desktop group, you must delete it and then re-create it with the edited mapping file.

To delete a desktop group:

  1. In the Advanced Management Console, select the Configuration tab.
  2. Click Desktop Groups.

    The table of existing desktop groups is shown.

  3. Select the desktop group that you want to delete.
  4. Click Delete.

    Confirm that you want to delete the group.

Desktop Group Properties

Properties for desktop groups describe the mapping file that is used to create the group. The properties also identify the desktop property on which the mapping for the group is based.

The following table describes the properties for desktop groups:

Property Description

Group name

Name of the group. The group name is used as the filter name for the filter criteria and display option in the Desktops tab.

CSV Input File

Location of the mapping file. Click Browse to go to the file.

Group Value Column Index

Index of the column in the mapping file that contains the value for the group. For example, if the group identifies the country for each desktop, then this index is the column in which the country name appears. The columns are zero based, which makes the first column in the file column 0.

Desktop Property Index

Index of the column in the mapping file that contains the value for the desktop property that is used to determine if a desktop is part of the group. For example, if the mapping is based on the host name of desktops, then this index is the column in which the host name appears. The columns are zero based, which makes the first column in the file column 0.

Desktop Property

Desktop property that is used to determine if a desktop is part of the group. Select a property from the list provided.

Separator in CSV File

Character or string that is used to separate the values in the mapping file. The default is a semicolon (;).