VMware Hands-on Labs - VMware App Volumes


Lab Overview - HOL-1851-03-ADV - Horizon 7.1: App Volumes - Getting Started

Lab Guidance


Note: It will take more than 90 minutes to complete this lab. You should expect to only finish 2-3 of the modules during your time.  The modules are independent of each other so you can start at the beginning of any module and proceed from there. You can use the Table of Contents to access any module of your choosing.

The Table of Contents can be accessed in the upper right-hand corner of the Lab Manual.

This lab will provide an overview of VMware App Volumes on Horizon 7.  Discover how App Volumes provisions applications to act as part of the Just-In-Time Management Platform (JMP).  Attendees will learn how applications are captured, managed and entitled.  Explore use cases such as user installed applications and persona management with the App Volumes writable volume. Advanced design topics such as scalability and storage considerations are also covered.  

Lab Module List:

 Lab Captains:

 This lab manual can be downloaded from the Hands-on Labs Document site found here:

http://docs.hol.vmware.com

This lab may be available in other languages.  To set your language preference and have a localized manual deployed with your lab, you may utilize this document to help guide you through the process:

http://docs.hol.vmware.com/announcements/nee-default-language.pdf


 

Location of the Main Console

 

  1. The area in the RED box contains the Main Console.  The Lab Manual is on the tab to the right of the Main Console.
  2. A particular lab may have additional consoles found on separate tabs in the upper left. You will be directed to open another specific console if needed.
  3. Your lab starts with 90 minutes on the timer.  The lab can not be saved.  All your work must be done during the lab session.  But you can click the EXTEND to increase your time.  If you are at a VMware event, you can extend your lab time twice, for up to 30 minutes.  Each click gives you an additional 15 minutes.  Outside of VMware events, you can extend your lab time up to 9 hours and 30 minutes. Each click gives you an additional hour.

 

 

Alternate Methods of Keyboard Data Entry

During this module, you will input text into the Main Console. Besides directly typing it in, there are two very helpful methods of entering data which make it easier to enter complex data.

 

 

Click and Drag Lab Manual Content Into Console Active Window

You can also click and drag text and Command Line Interface (CLI) commands directly from the Lab Manual into the active window in the Main Console.  

 

 

Accessing the Online International Keyboard

 

You can also use the Online International Keyboard found in the Main Console.

  1. Click on the Keyboard Icon found on the Windows Quick Launch Task Bar.

 

 

Activation Prompt or Watermark

 

When you first start your lab, you may notice a watermark on the desktop indicating that Windows is not activated.  

One of the major benefits of virtualization is that virtual machines can be moved and run on any platform.  The Hands-on Labs utilizes this benefit and we are able to run the labs out of multiple datacenters.  However, these datacenters may not have identical processors, which triggers a Microsoft activation check through the Internet.

Rest assured, VMware and the Hands-on Labs are in full compliance with Microsoft licensing requirements.  The lab that you are using is a self-contained pod and does not have full access to the Internet, which is required for Windows to verify the activation.  Without full access to the Internet, this automated process fails and you see this watermark.

This cosmetic issue has no effect on your lab.  

 

 

Look at the lower right portion of the screen

 

Please check to see that your lab is finished all the startup routines and is ready for you to start. If you see anything other than "Ready", please wait a few minutes.  If after 5 minutes your lab has not changed to "Ready", please ask for assistance.

 

Module 1 - Introduction to App Volumes (30 minutes)

Introduction


In this module we will introduce you to the benefits of using App Volumes in different use cases.


 

What is VMware App Volumes?

 

VMware App Volumes is a real-time application delivery system that IT can use to dynamically deliver and manage applications. You do not need to modify desktops or RDS servers to work with App Volumes because applications act as if they were natively installed. The App Volumes solution can be scaled out easily and cost-effectively, without compromising end-user experience. Applications are centrally managed and delivered to desktops through virtual disks.

 

 

How Does App Volumes Work?

 

In modern desktop environments, the demand for real-time application delivery often puts strain on existing infrastructures. Through App Volumes, VMware addresses this strain by virtualizing applications above the operating system (OS) and by offering an alternative to managing per virtual machine. Applications virtualized above the OS are delivered as if natively installed without modification, in various configurations, to multiple groups of users. Through file and registry virtualization, applications are organized into application management containers. This arrangement uses existing storage and networking services, reduces infrastructure strain and overhead, and simplifies application life-cycle management.

As illustrated in Figure 1 application-management containers are above the desktop OS, which has an App Volumes Agent installed. Applications, data files, middleware, and configurations are in separate, layered containers.

There are two types of App Volumes containers:

Administrators use the App Volumes Manager, a Web-based interface integrated with Active Directory (AD) and VMware vSphere, to create AppStacks and assign application entitlements. Application installations recorded in AppStacks are stored in shared volumes across virtual disks. These applications require no special packaging formats or snapshot technologies and are easy to provision. During provisioning of AppStacks, App Volumes intelligently records the entire application-installation process, and the changes made by the native application installers are available for delivery to users.

Administrators can easily deliver provisioned AppStacks to an individual system, a user, or a group. Applications delivered by App Volumes look and feel natively installed, and they follow users across sessions and devices, as can data, at the administrators option. Administrators can update or replace applications in real time and remove any assigned application, either immediately, while the user is still logged in, or, in accordance with VMware best practices, at next login or reboot.

With a writable volume, user data, such as user-installed applications, moves across systems with the user. Any settings that the user applies to an application are stored in the writable volume and these can be settings for an application either on an AppStack or on the users writable volume. VMware User Environment Manager complements the App Volumes AppStack feature. User Environment Manager can manage application settings for all users of a particular AppStack at a more granular level, and provide contextual rules to enforce policy, based on different conditions or events. User Environment Manager can also manage application settings for writable volumes assigned to single users.

 

 

Real-Time Application Delivery and Management (JMP)

 

 

 

JMP - Next-Generation Desktop and Application Delivery Platform

JMP (pronounced jump) represents capabilities in VMware Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition that deliver Just-in-Time Desktops and Apps in a flexible, fast, and personalized manner. JMP is composed of the following VMware technologies:

JMP allows components of a desktop or RDSH server to be decoupled and managed independently in a centralized manner, yet reconstituted on demand to deliver a personalized user workspace when needed. JMP is supported with both on-premises and cloud-based Horizon 7 deployments, providing a unified and consistent management platform regardless of your deployment topology. The JMP approach provides several key benefits, including simplified desktop and RDSH image management, faster delivery and maintenance of applications, and elimination of the need to manage “full persistent” desktops.

 

 

Summary of App Volumes Benefits

With App Volumes, applications become objects that can be moved easily across data centers or to the cloud and shared with thousands of virtual machines. In a virtual desktop environment, App Volumes provides the following benefits:

Real-time, dynamic application delivery in virtualized environments

Persistent end-user experience in non-persistent environments

Application life-cycle management

Reduced VDI infrastructure costs and improved efficiency

 

Overview of App Volumes Components


A typical VMware App Volumes environment consists of a few key components that interact with each other and an external infrastructure.


 

Component Summary

Please have a look at the table below to understand each component with a short description

 

 

App Volumes Manager Console Walk Through


In this section we will walk through the App Volumes Manager for day-to-day management of the App Volumes infrastructure.

Note: Feel free to look around, but please do not commit any changes or you may alter the results of the following lab sections.


 

Launch Google Chrome

 

  1. On the Main Console desktop if not already open, launch the Google Chrome browser

 

 

App Volumes Management Console

 

  1. Click on the App Volumes Manager shortcut
  2. Log in as Administrator
  3. Password VMware1!
  4. Ensure domain is CORP
  5. Click Login

 

Conclusion


This module covered an Introduction, Overview of App Volumes and a hands on walk through of the App Volumes Manager console.


 

Congratulations, you've finished Module 1

 

Congratulations on completing  Module 1.

If you are looking for additional information on VMware App Volumes, try one of these:

Proceed to any module below which interests you most.

 

 

Module 2 -AppStack Management (30 minutes)

Introduction


This module will look at creating, provisioning and assigning an AppStack.

Module 2 contains the following lessons:


Create an AppStack


In this section we will walk through the process of provisioning an AppStack.


 

Launch Google Chrome

 

  1. On the Main Console desktop if not already open, launch the Google Chrome browser

 

 

App Volumes Management Console

 

  1. Select a new tab in chrome

 

  1. Click on the App Volumes Manager shortcut
  2. Log in as Administrator
  3. Password VMware1!
  4. Click Login

Once authenticated, you will be taken to the App Volumes Dashboard.

 

Provision an AppStack


Now that we created an AppStack, we will use this lesson to capture an application into the AppStack and then assign the AppStack containing the application to a user.


 

Provision

 

  1. Click on Provision to start the process

This process should be followed carefully and please note all the different alerts during this process, telling you exactly when to click OK!

 

 

 

  1. Type base and click search
  2. Select and click the radio button next to CORP\BASE-W10-X64-01$
  3. Click Provision

*Note - This will trigger the provisioning agent on the Windows Desktop to start "capture mode" and link the Skype AppStack to the VM, ready to installation application.

 

  1. Click Start Provisioning

 

*Once again the next step is defined by App Volumes for you.

 

 

Install your Dream Apps

 

  1. Switch to the base-w10-x64-01 tab
  2. If you have been logged out then log in using Send Ctrl+Alt+Delete
  3. VMware1! as the password
  4. Click to login

 

IF you get this error ignore the message for Flex Config File Path- Feel free to close any pop-ups with this message!

 

You are now in provisioning mode and this window MUST stay open until the entire install has completed. Make sure you see the VMware App Volumes Provisioning notification banner before you continue!

  1. Click on the folder icon

 

  1. Navigate to \\controlcenter\tools
  2. Click SkypeSetup

 

  1. Make sure you un-tick the Always ask checkbox
  2. Click Run

 

  1. Click Next

 

  1. Click checkbox [I accept the terms in the Licensing Agreement]
  2. Click Next

 

  1. Click Next

 

  1. Click Install

 

  1. Click Finish

 

  1. Once completed close the Sign in screen

 

 

Click OK

 

  1. Click OK

 

  1. Click YES

 

  1. Click OK

Your Computer will reboot at this point and will ensure the capture is completed, but you must wait for the desktop reboot, then log back into the VM to complete the process. Do not return to App Volumes Manager before you have  completed this step.

 

  1. Switch to the base-w10-x64-01 tab (if you are not still on the same tab)
  2. Once the reboot is complete, then log in using Send Ctrl+Alt+Delete
  3. VMware1! as the password
  4. Click to log in

 

 

  1. Click OK

 

 

Switch to App Volumes Manager (Dashboard)

 

  1. Switch to the App Volumes Manager tab
  2. Notice that the application has been successfully captured and the icon shows that we have Skype installed in the AppStack.

 

Assign an AppStack



 

Assigning an App Volumes AppStack

 

  1. Click Assign


 

We will assign the AppStack to RDSH-01A as Lab1User is already part of the user group that can access this RDSH server. We want to ensure all users that log in to this RDSH server can access this application. You can however assign this to a single user on a Desktop if you wish.

  1. In the search Active Directory, type rdsh
  2. Click Search
  3. Select the tick box next to CORP\RDSH-01A$
  4. Click Assign

 

  1. Click Attach AppStack immediately
  2. Click Assign

 

  1. Click Edit

 

  1. Tick the Windows Server 2012 R2 (x64) and accept all pop-up warnings

We captured this on a Windows 10 machine and we need to ensure we can assign this to a 2012 R2 Server. Please have a look at the next module "Entitlements" for more information. We will use the Skype AppStack captured on Windows 10 then assign this to a Horizon RDSH server.

  1. Click Save

Note - We captured the Skype application on Windows 10 and we will test this on a 2012 R2 RDSH server, but this is not how we do things in production! Make sure you capture and assign from the same Operating system version you intend to assign the AppStack to (capture on Server 2012 R2 then assign to Server 2012 R2).

 

  1. Click Save

 

 

Machine assigned

Because the AppStack is machine assigned for this exercise we need to first reboot the RDSH server.

 

If you closed the vCenter tab, then open a new tab in Chrome first.

  1. Click on HOL-1851 Admin shortcut
  2. Select and click vCenter HTML5 Client

 

  1. Click - Use Windows session authentication

Note: Should this step fail then use

User name: corp\administrator

Password: VMware1!

  1. Click Login

 

  1. Righ-click on rdsh-01a (under RegionA01-IC01)
  2. Select  Power
  3. Click Restart Guest OS

 

  1. Click OK

 

  1. Make sure the RDSH server is up and running before proceeding to the next step.

 

 

Test your AppStack

 

  1. Open a new tab at the top while in Chrome
  2. Select the Horizon shortcut on the bookmarks bar

 

  1. If you receive the VMware Horizon prompt then click and select the HTML Access
  2. If not then continue to login

 

  1. Username - lab1user
  2. Password - VMware1!
  3. Click Login

 

  1. Click and select RDS Desktop

 

The Skype application should now be on the desktop ready for use - Congratulations, you have successfully assigned your first AppStack.

 

  1. Right-click on the Windows symbol
  2. Click Sign Out

 

Conclusion


This module helped you to create your first AppStack, provision an AppStack and then assign it to a user. Continue to the next module to see more about entitling AppStacks.


 

Congratulations, you've finished Module 2

 

Congratulations on completing  Module 2.

If you are looking for additional information on VMware App Volumes, try one of these:

Proceed to any module below which interests you most.

 

 

 

How to End Lab

 

  1. To end your lab click on the END button.  

 

Module 3 - Entitling Applications via AppStacks (30 minutes)

Introduction


This module will focus on entitlements for applications used in AppStacks.

This module contains the following lessons:

 


Entitle AppStacks


In this section we will walk through the process of importing and assigning AppStacks.


 

Launch Google Chrome

 

  1. On the Main Console desktop if not already open, launch the Google Chrome browser

 

 

App Volumes Management Console

 

Open a new Chrome tab.

  1. Click on the App Volumes Manager shortcut
  2. Log in as Administrator
  3. Password VMware1!
  4. Click Login

Once authenticated, you will be taken to the App Volumes Dashboard.

 

 

Import an AppStack

 

  1. Click VOLUMES
  2. Click AppStacks
  3. Click Import AppStacks

 

Importing AppStacks to App Volumes is really simple and ensures the reuse of AppStacks (create-once-use-many).

If you have pre-configured AppStacks or have AppStacks from another deployment, you can import them following the simple steps below.

Prerequisites : Using the vCenter Server datastore browser, select a datastore, create a new folder, and then upload the AppStacks into this folder. We have done this step for you.

  1. Select Path and clear the current path content first, then type oo_appstack
  2. Click Import

 

  1. Click Import Volumes Immediately
  2. Click Import

 

  1. Select Volumes>AppStacks and then expand Open Office 4.1.3

Congratulations, you have successfully imported your first AppStack.

*Keep the screen open to start with Assigning the AppStack.

 

 

Assigning an AppStack to a Windows Desktop User

 

*Note that an AppStack is now created, but not yet assigned. We can assign an AppStack to Windows Desktops or to RDSH Desktops. In this example, we will look at a Windows assignment.

  1. Select the OpenOffice AppStack and click to select
  2. Click Assign

 

  1. In the Search Active Directory bar, type lab3
  2. Click Search
  3. Click the select user check box
  4. Cick Assign

 

  1. Using the defaults click Assign

 

 

Switch to base-w10-x64-01

 

  1. Switch to the base-w10-x64-01 tab in Chrome

 

  1. Select the new tab name base-w10-x64-01 at the top
  2. Click Send Ctrl+Alt+Delete

 

  1. Click Other user

 

  1. In the User box, type lab3user
  2. In the Password box type VMware1!
  3. Click to continue

 

  1. Please ignore all "Flex Config Files path" errors if they occur. Close the window and continue to the next step.

 

  1. Click the OpenOffice Icon
  2. Click and accept the defaults>finish

LAB3USER now has an OpenOffice 4 AppStack assigned, well done!

  1. Right-click, then Sign out from the desktop and return to the App Volumes tab

 

 

Lab3User - Horizon Group

Now that the AppStack has been imported and tested with Lab3user on a Windows 10 desktop, we can also assign the same AppStack to an RDSH server. The next steps will ensure you are comfortable with the entitlement of this AppStack including Active Directory access permisions and App Volumes assignment. If you are comfortable with RDSH AppStacks as demonstrated in Skype Test earlier, then feel free to skip to the next module.

 

We first need to add Lab3user to the Horizon group to enable access to the RDSH server.

On the main console:

  1. Click Windows Start
  2. Type dsa.msc
  3. Double-click

 

 

  1. Click corp.local
  2. Click Users
  3. Double-click Lab 3 User
  4. Click Member Of
  5. Click Add

 

  1. Type horizon
  2. Cilck OK

 

  1. Click OK
  2. Close any open Active Directory screens

 

 

Assigning an AppStack to RDSH

 

  1. Click and select the Horizon shortcut on the Chrome Bookmarks Bar

 

  1. Click and select the Horizon HTML Access

 

  1. Username : lab3user
  2. Password: VMware1!
  3. Click Login

 

  1. Click on RDS Desktop

 

You are logged in with user LAB3USER and you cannot see the OpenOffice application. The reason for this is, although we can assign users an AppStack, this excludes RDSH environments. We must assign OppenOffice to the RDSH servers and not the user.

Keep this screen open and we will push the AppStack in real time to the desktop.

 

If you have been logged out or closed the App Volumes Managment screen, then follow the steps to log in

 

  1. Click on the App Volumes Manager shortcut
  2. Log in as Administrator
  3. Password VMware1!
  4. Click Login

Once authenticated, you will be taken to the App Volumes Dashboard.

 

  1. Click AppStacks
  2. Click the + symbol to expand Open Office 4.1.3
  3. Click Assign

 

  1. In the Search Active Directory type - rdsh
  2. Click Search
  3. Select CORP\RDSH-01A$
  4. Select checkbox tick
  5. Click Assign

 

  1. Select - Attach AppStacks immediately
  2. Click Assign

 

  1. Switch back to the RDSH Desktop - Click the VMware Horizon tab
  2. Notice you have the OpenOffice 4 AppStack delivered to the user while logged in. That is pretty cool, congratulations!
  3. Open the Setting tab

 

  1. Click - Log out

 

RDSH Integration Tips


App Volumes supports AppStack integration with Microsoft RDSH shared desktops and published applications. RDSH integration is as easy as deploying the App Volumes Agent on the RDSH host. After the agent is deployed, AppStack assignment is handled through the machine assignment process (by computer name) in the App Volumes Manager interface. RDSH servers receive machine assignments of AppStacks rather than user assignments.

AppStacks are attached to the RDSH host. Users are entitled to the RDSH desktops or applications through the View entitlement process.

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012 R2 are supported for RDSH use cases with App Volumes. For information about using App Volumes in a Citrix XenApp shared-application environment, see Implementation Considerations for VMware App Volumes in a Citrix XenApp Environment.

Writable volumes are not supported with RDSH assignments.


Storage Groups


In this module we will look at storage group considerations, planning and creation of a stroage group.


 

Storage Considerations

Storage that is assigned to App Volumes contains the VMDK files used by AppStacks and writable volumes.

The following are recommendations and considerations for AppStack storage.  

The following are recommendations for writable volume storage.  

  1. Use RAID 10 to optimize storage for writable volumes.  
  2. Use flash-based storage arrays for writable volumes, such as:
    • VMware vSAN 6.x
    • EMC XtremIO  
    • Pure Storage FlashArray
    • NetApp SolidFire

 

Best Practices for Provisioning Virtual Machines and Applications



 

Best Practices for Creating and Provisioning AppStacks

Consider the following best practices when creating and provisioning AppStacks:

 

 

Best Practices for Configuring AppStacks

When there is an application conflict, the last AppStack virtualized wins. In the App Volumes Manager, use the Override Precedence option. In the Directory tab, click the Users, Computers, or Groups sub-tab and select one of the objects. The Override Precedence option allows you to define AppStack ordering. It may be necessary to reorder AppStacks in order to remove application conflicts. This option can also be used to ensure that an AppStack with a supporting application loads before an AppStack with an application that requires that supporting application.

 

 

Best Practices for Updating AppStacks and Assigning Updated AppStacks

Consider the following best practices when updating and assigning updated AppStacks:

 

 

Sizing Best Practices for AppStacks

When sizing AppStacks:

 

 

App Volumes Manager Storage Policy Best Practices

When configuring the App Volumes Manager storage policy, select the Mount on Host option, if possible. This option speeds up AppStack and writable volume mount operations and provides resiliency in a situation where vCenter Server is not online.

Note: You may not be able to use the Mount on Host option. This feature requires that the password for the ESXi account used by that App Volumes Manager be consistent across all ESXi hosts.

 

 

Best Practices for Client Desktops

When setting up client desktops, consider the following best practices:

 

Conclusion


This module covered Entitling AppStacks including RDSH integration tips, storage groups and Best Practices. Continue to Module 4 to learn more about Writable Volumes


 

Congratulations, you've finished Module 3

 

Congratulations on completing  Module 3.

If you are looking for additional information on VMware App Volumes, try one of these:

Proceed to any module below which interests you most.

 

 

 

How to End Lab

 

  1. To end your lab click on the END button.  

 

Module 4 - Writable Volumes (45 minutes)

Introduction


This module will walk through working with App Volumes writable volumes.

This module contains the following lessons:


Working with Writable Volumes



 

Writable Volumes

The App Volumes writable volumes feature enables the creation of a per-user volume where the following user-centric data can be installed and configured in different ways and move with the user:

Writable volumes do not provide a complete user environment management solution, but complement a user environment management solution. VMware User Environment Manager is a companion to App Volumes and provides management of user application settings that are applied when the user logs in or when an application launches. VMware User Environment Manager can manage data within writable volumes at a more granular level and provide contextual rules to enforce policies based on different conditions or events.

 

Note the key differences between AppStacks and writable volumes:

After writable volumes are created and assigned to a user, that user can install and configure applications. For this functionality to work properly, users require account permissions that allow application installation. App Volumes defers to Microsoft Windows security policies to determine user rights assignments.

 

Create a Writable Volume


In this module we will walk through the creation of a Writable Volume.


 

Launch Google Chrome

 

  1. On the Main Console desktop if not already open, launch the Google Chrome browser

 

 

App Volumes Management Console

 

  1. Click on the App Volumes Manager shortcut
  2. Log in as Administrator
  3. Password VMware1!
  4. Click Login

Once authenticated, you will be taken to the App Volumes Dashboard.

 

 

Create Writable Volume

 

  1. Click and select VOLUMES
  2. Click Writables
  3. Click Create Writable

 

  1. In the Search Active Directory box, type lab4user
  2. Click Search

 

  1. Select CORP\lab4user check box
  2. Accept the default
  3. Accept the default
  4. Drop down the source template section and select the /template_uia_only.vmdk (10GB)
  5. Select Prevent user login check box
  6. Select Limit the attachment check box
  7. Only attach when the name of the host computer begins with - type base
  8. Click Create

 

  1. Click - Create volumes immediately
  2. Click Create

 

  1. Click to expand User information

Lab4user now has a writable volume that will follow the user on any VM that has the prefix "base" in it's machine name.

We can now edit these choices, disable, expand or delete the writable volume. Continue to the next step to test your newly created writable volume.

 

Writable Volumes Exclusions


You can specify certain locations for writable volumes to exclude them from being persisted across sessions or getting overwritten.

As an administrator, you might want to prevent automatic updates of some applications and prefer to update the AppStacks that contain these applications manually.

When applications are automatically updated, multiple copies of the files might get created since the applications are also stored on the writable volume. The existing applications then either do not behave as desired or stop working completely. To prevent this behavior, you can apply writable volume exclusions to specific locations and registry paths.

You can also specify exclusions to prevent certain folders such as temporary download folders, from accumulating huge, unwanted files.

Important

The writable volumes exclusions feature is for advanced IT administrators or users who are aware of application behavior with App Volumes and want to tweak the way applications are managed or how writable volumes are used along with AppStacks.

Keep the following considerations in mind before you apply writable volume exclusions:


 

Look at how to change the Snapvol.cfg

The snapvol.cfg configuration file is located in the root folder of each individual writable volume. This file contains information such as what should be captured and not captured on the writable volume for a user-installed application or user data.

The snapvol.cfg file contains not only paths to folders in the users C:drive, but also registry locations to capture (or not to capture), file types in a given path, specific process names, and so on.

This configuration file allows you to customize writable volumes to suit business needs. Let's have a look at writable volume exclusions.

 

 

Launch Google Chrome

 

  1. On the Main Console desktop if not already open, launch the Google Chrome browser

 

 

App Volumes Management Console

 

  1. Click on the App Volumes Manager shortcut
  2. Log in as Administrator
  3. Password VMware1!
  4. Click Login

Once authenticated, you will be taken to the App Volumes Dashboard.

 

 

Create a Writable Volume

 

  1. Click and select VOLUMES
  2. Click Create Writable

 

  1. Type Administrator into the Search Active Directory box
  2. Click Search

 

  1. Select CORP\administrator check box
  2. Use the drop down selection (Source Template)
  3. Select [ appvolumes/writable_templates/template_uia_plus_profile.vmdk (10GB) ]
  4. Click Create

 

  1. Click - Create volumes immediately
  2. Click Create

 

Administrator now has a writable volume. Continue to the next step to test your newly created writable volume.

 

 

Login to vCenter

 

  1. Click on HOL-1851 Admin
  2. Select and click vCenter HTML5 Client

 

  1. Click - Use Windows session authentication

Note: Should this step fail then use

User name: corp\administrator

Password: VMware1!

  1. Click Login

 

 

Power on Base

 

If BASE-W10-X64-01 is already powered-on then continue to the Login step, if not (NO GREEN ARROW) then power-on the base image.

  1. Right click on base-w10-x64-01 (under RegionA01-IC01)
  2. Select Power
  3. Click Power On

 

 

Login - Console BASE-W10-X64-01

 

  1. Click on base-w10-x64-01
  2. Click in the middle of the Windows Console Window

*New tab should open at the top.

 

  1. Select the new tab name base-w10-x64-01 at the top
  2. Click Send Ctrl+Alt+Delete

 

  1. In the Password box type VMware1!
  2. Click to continue

*Once the desktop loads successfully, keep the Chrome tab open and then continue to the next step!

 

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start Symbol
  2. Click Run

 

 

Edit Snapvol.cfg following the Mount Points

 

  1. Type C:\snapvolumestemp into the run box
  2. Click OK

 

  1. Click the MountPoints folder

 

  1. Click on the volume starting {8e399....}
  2. This volume relates to the actual mountpoint

 

  1. Right-click snapvol.cfg and Open with

 

  1. Select Notepad
  2. Un-check - Always use this app to open .cfg files
  3. Click OK

 

The snapvol.cfg is now ready to be edited.          

Make sure you understand the impact of your changes and the support from VMware when altering this file in production environments.

Example - DO NOT commit these changes: Exclude an Application Location

The following examples exclude the folder and registry location of Notepad++ from being overwritten during an update.

exclude_uwv_file=\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++
exclude_uvw_reg=\REGISTRY\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Notepad++

What to do next

You must test the application after applying any writable volumes exclusions to ensure that the application works as desired.

 

  1. Right-click the Windows Start icon and Sign Out

 

Once you have updated your snapvol.cfg file you would:

Close the App Volumes Management console.

 

Using Writable Volumes with User Environment Management Solutions



 

VMware User Environment Manager Solutions

This exercise will demonstrate a use case for Outlook OST files to be stored on the users writable volume. We will redirect the OST location for Outlook using VMware User Environment Manager.

 

  1. On the main console desktop log in using the UEM Managment Console shorcut.

 

  1. Click User Environment
  2. Cilck ADMX-based Settings
  3. Click Outlook 2013 Cache

 

  1. Click Edit Policies

 

  1. Click Show only Configured Settings
  2. Expand + Microsoft Outlook 2013
  3. Cick Default location for OST files

 

  1. Click on the Default location for OST Files, type (this is already done) - C:\snapvolumestemp\Writable\Outlook
  2. Click OK
  3. Close the Edit Policies
  4. Click Save

You have successfully ensured that all OST files for Outlook will be written to the App Volumes>Writable Volume for this user. Please refer to our UEM modules for more information on ADMX template use and application redirection. (*Condition sets have not been configured to trigger this policy in UEM).

 

Storage Configuration with Writable Volumes



 

Configure the App Volumes Storage

You can select datastores and paths where AppStacks and writable volumes will be stored. You can configure a Hypervisor or VHD In-Guest storage type.

Use a storage location that is accessible to all virtual machine host servers. When using VMDK Direct Attach Operation Mode, the App Volumes Manager requires local or shared storage to be configured on the hypervisor.

You can use local host storage, but volumes will only be attached for virtual machines on the host. The option to add available storage only appears when App Volumes Manager is configured in the VHD In-Guest mode. Otherwise, the list of storage locations and datastores is populated from vCenter.

 

 

App Volumes Management Console

 

  1. Click on the App Volumes Manager shortcut
  2. Log in as Administrator
  3. Password VMware1!
  4. Click Login

Once authenticated, you will be taken to the App Volumes Dashboard.

 

 

Edit Storage

 

  1. Click and select CONFIGURATION
  2. Click Storage

 

Feel free to explore, but do not change the locations or commit/save any updates to the storage.

  1. AppStacks - can be changed to alter the Storage location and Path including the Templates path
  2. Wrtiable Volumes - can be changed to alter the Storage location and Path including the Templates path

Once completed please Log out from App Volumes Manager.

 

 

Configure VHD In-Guest Storage (Information Only)

To use App Volumes with VHD In-Guest Operation mode, the machines where the App Volumes Manager and agents are installed require special permissions on the CIFS file share.

Procedure

  1. On a file server, create a new empty folder.
  2. Copy the contents of the Hypervisor\In-Guest VHD folder from the App Volumes installation media to the new folder.
  3. Share the folder and grant full access permissions on the file share to everyone.
  4. Configure NTFS permissions as described below.

An Active Directory domain group might be used to manage permissions for the following roles:

NTFS folder permissions required for each role



Folder




Managers




Agents




Capture Agents


apps
Full
Read
Write
apps_templates
Read
None
None
writable
Full
Write or None




Note
Write permissions are required by Agents when Dynamic Permissions are not enabled.




None
writable_templates
Read
None
None

 

Conclusion


This module walk through creating and using Writable Volumes with tips on exclusions and storage configuration.


 

Congratulation, you've finished Module 4

 

Congratulations on completing  Module 4.

If you are looking for additional information on VMware App Volumes, try one of these:

Proceed to any module below which interests you most.

 

 

 

How to End Lab

 

  1. To end your lab click on the END button.  

 

Module 5 - Application Isolation with ThinApp (45 minutes)

Introduction


In this module we will look at ThinApp integration with App Volumes.

This module contains the following lessons:


Why ThinApp?


 

Network latency is often the limiting factor for scalability and performance when deploying ThinApp packages in streaming mode. Yet, ThinApp provides exceptional application-isolation capabilities. With App Volumes, administrators can present ThinApp packages as dynamically attached applications located on storage instead of moving bits around the data center over the network. This removes the network latency due to Windows OS and environmental conditions. Using App Volumes to deliver ThinApp packages allows for the best of both worlds real-time delivery of isolated and troublesome applications alongside other applications delivered on AppStacks. With App Volumes in a virtual desktop infrastructure, enterprises can take advantage of local deployment mode for ThinApp packages. ThinApp virtual applications can be provisioned inside an AppStack using all the storage options available for use with AppStacks. This architecture permits thousands of virtual desktops to share a common ThinApp package via AppStacks without the need to stream or copy the package locally.


Sandbox



 

ThinApp Sandbox

In this module we will look at the role "Sandbox" plays within the Windows operating system.

 

ThinApp is designed to allow an application to run in a self-contained environment without having to install it to a host operating system in a traditional manner.The application is comprised of one or more .exe files and a possible .dat file, all located in a single directory. If it is installed as an .msi or is registered with regedit, shortcuts may be created on the desktop and in the Start Menu and a few registry entries created to accommodate file and protocol associations.If it is installed as an.msi, further registry entries are created to display the application in Add/Remove Programs or Programs and Features. Aside from these host file system and registry modifications, the installation of the application has no other impact on the host operating system.

If the application is isolated from the host system, any changes, deletions, or additions made by the application to the file system or registry are recorded in the sandbox instead of the host operating system.The sandbox is a directory in which these modifications are recorded.The degree to which these modifications are recorded in the sandbox instead of the host operating system itself is determined by the isolation modes in use.There are three main methods of setting the sandbox location for an application:

If none of these methods have been used, the default location of the application sandbox is %appdata%\thinstall\application, where application is replaced by the name of the application as configured in its package.ini.

 

Isolation Modes


Isolation modes apply to individual directories and subdirectories as well as to registry locations.The three isolation modes are:


 

Application Data Precedence

When an application is looking for a file or registry value, it queries these locations in this order:

  1. The application's sandbox.
  2. Any modifications made by the application when either WriteCopy or Full isolation mode was used.
  3. The virtual operating system.
  4. The set of files and registry entries that were stored in the project source directory on the machine that ran ThinApp's Setup/Capture wizard. This is all contained in its .exe or .dat file.
  5. The native operating system.
  6. Any file or registry entry that actually exists on the host operating system.

Note: When something is found, ThinApp immediately stops querying for it in any other location.

 

Summary of Isolation Modes and Data Precedence


This graphical representation shows the effect of isolation modes and helps you determine from where data is read and to where it is written.

Isolation Mode Data is read from (until found) Data is written to
Merged Sandbox Virtual OS Native OS Native OS (if already existing in the Virtual OS, changes go to the Sandbox)
Write Copy Sandbox
Virtual OS
Native OS
Sandbox
Full Sandbox
Virtual OS

Sandbox

VMware App Volumes and ThinApp


By combining App Volumes and ThinApp, you can deliver virtual applications to Active Directory users, groups, or computers in real time and to scale. We will test this and create an AppStack with a ThinApp installed application. For this lab we already prepared the ThinApp ZIP file to save time.

 


 

Launch Google Chrome

 

  1. On the Main Console desktop If not already open, launch the Google Chrome browser

 

 

App Volumes Management Console

 

  1. Click on the App Volumes Manager shortcut
  2. Log in as Administrator
  3. Password VMware1!
  4. Click Login

Once authenticated, you will be taken to the App Volumes Dashboard.

 

Conclusion



 

Congratulations, you've finished Module 5

This module started with an overview of ThinApp, explaining sanboxing, isolation modes and precedence. We also covered creating and integrating ThinApp with an AppStack.

 

Congratulations on completing  Module 5.

If you are looking for additional information on VMware App Volumes, try one of these:

Proceed to any module below which interests you most.

 

 

 

How to End Lab

 

  1. To end your lab click on the END button.  

 

Module 6 - Advanced Topics / App Volumes (45 minutes)

Introduction


In this module we will look at some advanced topics for VMware App Volumes.

This module contains the following lessons:


TLS Connections in App Volumes Manager


You can modify the Nginx configuration file to ensure that App Volumes Manager accepts connections only from specified TLS versions.

App Volumes Manager uses SSL and TLS to communicate securely with servers and App Volumes agents.


 

Launch Google Chrome

 

  1. Validate you're on the main console desktop
  2. If not already open, launch the Google Chrome browser

 

Data Flow in an App Volumes Environment



 

Data Flow

Figure 1 shows the data flow for App Volumes in a typical View environment. The diagram illustrates a View pod in a single data center with multiple View blocks.

 

  1. The left side of Figure 1 illustrates App Volumes without the direct-to-host connection option (Mount on Host).
  2. The right side illustrates App Volumes with the direct-to-host connection option.

The direct-to-host-connection option is recommended for deployment at scale because AppStacks and writable volumes are mounted more quickly when ESXi directly mounts them, rather than waiting for vCenter Server to direct ESXi to mount the volumes.

 

Note: The direct-to-host connection requires that all ESXi hosts use the same login and password for App Volumes operations. Root is not required and a custom role can be used to set up this connection.

For both connection options, the user logs in to their View desktop, and the connection is authenticated through the broker, the View Connection Server. The App Volumes Agent on the View desktop connects to the App Volumes Manager via a load balancer. The App Volumes Agent checks with the App Volumes Manager whether the user has a writable volume and AppStacks to mount. The App Volumes Manager retrieves this information from the App Volumes SQL database.

Without the direct-to-host-connection option, the App Volumes Manager requests that vCenter Server mount the user’s assigned volumes. VMware vCenter Server directs ESXi to mount the volumes. This attachment of volumes to the desktop begins during user login to the desktop. By the time the user logs in, their volumes are attached to their desktop. Not using the direct-to-host-connection option is adequate in small-scale deployments. For production deployments, we recommend the direct-to-host option in order to minimize the load on vCenter Server and eliminate potential performance bottlenecks.

With the direct-to-host-connection option, the App Volumes Manager directs ESXi to mount the volumes. This attachment of volumes to the desktop begins during user login to the desktop. While the user logs in, their volumes are attached to their desktop. The benefit of the direct-to-host-connection option is that vCenter Server is not part of the data flow. This is particularly useful in large-scale deployments, where vCenter Server might get overloaded and create a bottleneck.

The dashed blue line in the diagram indicates an ongoing, periodic communication between the App Volumes Manager and vCenter Server. The App Volumes Manager finds out if the host is up, if storage is still available, and if VMs are still online. App Volumes Manager then informs vCenter Server which volumes to attach to the desktop. This background communication is essential in all deployments, to ensure that the current status of the environment is communicated to the App Volumes Manager. App Volumes Manager periodically checks with vCenter Server to find out what has changed in the environment.

AppStack storage groups are replicated across View blocks via a non-attachable datastore.

 

Expandable Writable Volumes


If a user’s writable volume has reached or is about to reach full capacity, it can be expanded.


 

Allowing End Users to See the Size of Their Writable Volumes

You can view space remaining in writable volumes from the App Volumes Manager. You can also allow the end user to see available space on their writable volume, from their system volume.

To do this, create a new registry key during the App Volumes Agent configuration:  (This is for information only, please do not apply these changes to your lab)

  1. Navigate to HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\svdriver.
  2. Within the Parameters key, create a new key called ReportSystemFreeSpace with a DWORD value of 0 (zero).

 

This change requires a reboot to take effect. Logging out or logging in does not apply the changes.

 

After you make the registry modifications, and you reboot the system:

  1. C:\ object now reports free space on the user’s writable volume (which is 8.13 GB total in this case).
  2. The total space still reflects the combined C:\ value.

 

 

Expanding Writable Volumes

To expand the writable volume for each user from the App Volumes Manager, locate the user’s writable volume in the Volumes tab under the Writables sub-tab, and expand the information on the specific writable volume. Click the Expand Volume option and enter a larger value in 1-GB increments. The additional size is added to the writable volume after the user logs out and back in.

Note - The free-space usage is not reflected in the App Volumes Manager until the user logs out and back in again.

 

If you still have a writable volume from your previous lab or you would like to challange yourself, please go ahead and confirm the expand for your Writable Volume.

 

Conclusion


This advanced module looked at TLS Connections in App Volumes Manager and how to edit connections, data flow within App Volumes and finally expandable writable volumes.


 

Congratulations, you've finished Module 6

 

Congratulations on completing  Module 6.

If you are looking for additional information on VMware App Volumes, try one of these:

Proceed to any module below which interests you most.

 

 

 

How to End Lab

 

  1. To end your lab click on the END button.  

 

Conclusion

Thank you for participating in the VMware Hands-on Labs. Be sure to visit http://hol.vmware.com/ to continue your lab experience online.

Lab SKU: HOL-1851-03-ADV

Version: 20180327-152124