Caroline Arakelian
Read More from the Author

Senior Technical Marketing Manager, End User Computing, VMware.
Caroline started as a technical writer at VMware in 2006, working on the VMware Workstation 6 User’s Manual, for which she won an STC (Society of Technical Communication) award. What can one do with a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in Creative Writing – Poetry? One can discover a surprising affection for technology and happily make a good living communicating that zeal in the form of reference architectures and quick-start tutorials.

What’s New with VMware App Volumes 2.15

December 17, 2018

VMware App Volumes 2.15 is now available! This release’s highlights include enhancements to user writable volumes features, and App Volumes is also now supported for Horizon 7 on VMware Cloud on AWS.

App Volumes is a container-style technology that attaches applications to a VM when the user logs in, or, in the case of RDS-provided desktops and apps, when the RDSH server boots up. In circumstances where users need to install their own applications, or to satisfy the requirement some applications have for a local cache, administrators can provide users with a user writable volume.

Profile-Only Writable Volumes

Until now, when creating a writable volume, administrators had to choose between one of the following templates:

  • User-installed applications only
  • User-installed applications and profile data

That is, the purpose of the writable volume could be either to let users install their own applications or to let them install their own applications and store profile data, such as Outlook OST files that need to be cached so that the file is not re-created each time the users logs in.

With App Volumes 2.15, a new “Profile Only” template has been added, so that administrators can restrict the use of writable volumes to storing only profile data.

Cloud-Sharing Support on User Writable Volumes

OneDrive for Business and Box Drive are now supported when using App Volumes, and persistence can be achieved using a writable volume. Box Drive 2.1.105 or later is required.

In earlier versions of App Volumes, administrators used writable volumes for certain use cases that required a local cache, such as to store the user’s Outlook OST file and Search index. Having this cached data meant that the data remained instantly available and could follow the user as they connected to nonpersistent desktops. With the App Volumes 2.15 release, the same strategy can now be used for OneDrive and Box Drive, enhancing IT’s ability to provide nonpersistent VDI while end users get a persistent-desktop experience.

Environment Variables to Use with Writable Volume Exclusions

You can now use two environment variables when configuring paths to folders and files that should be excluded from a writable volume:

  • %USERNAME%
  • %USERPROFILE%

For example, you can edit the snapvol.cfg file and add entries such as the following:

  • exclude_uwv_file=\users\%USERNAME%\downloads

    This entry configures the exclusion so that the downloads folder for each user is excluded from the writable volume. This strategy prevents the folder from accumulating huge, unwanted files.

  • exclude_uwv_file=%USERPROFILE%\desktop\temp

    Similarly, this entry prevents unnecessary growth of the writable volume by excluding temporary files from being persisted after the user logs out.

App Volumes Support for Horizon 7 on VMware Cloud on AWS

VMware Cloud on AWS allows you to create vSphere data centers on Amazon Web Services. These vSphere data centers include vCenter Server for managing your data center, vSAN for storage, and VMware NSX for networking. With Horizon 7 on VMware Cloud on AWS, you can scale Horizon 7 desktops and applications on an elastic cloud platform.

App Volumes 2.15 can be used with this release of Horizon 7 (version 7.7), which is compatible with VMware Cloud on AWS (SDDC Version 1.5). Aside from a few minor user-interface changes, using App Volumes in this cloud is very similar to using it with on-premises Horizon 7. These differences are covered in the following What’s New video by Josh Spencer, as are the other new features.

 

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December 17, 2018
Caroline Arakelian
Read More from the Author

Senior Technical Marketing Manager, End User Computing, VMware.
Caroline started as a technical writer at VMware in 2006, working on the VMware Workstation 6 User’s Manual, for which she won an STC (Society of Technical Communication) award. What can one do with a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in Creative Writing – Poetry? One can discover a surprising affection for technology and happily make a good living communicating that zeal in the form of reference architectures and quick-start tutorials.