]

Solution

  • Horizon

Type

  • Document

Level

  • Intermediate

Category

  • Quick-Start

Product

  • App Volumes
  • Horizon

OS/Platform

  • Windows 10

Phase

  • Deploy
  • Manage

Use-Case

  • App & Access Management
  • Modern Management

Quick-Start Tutorial for VMware App Volumes 4 Simplified Application Management

VMware App Volumes 4

Overview

This Quick-Start Tutorial for VMware App Volumes 4 Simplified Application Management (SAM) is a comprehensive technical overview to help you evaluate VMware App Volumes®. App Volumes provides real-time application delivery and lifecycle management. IT can use App Volumes to quickly deliver applications and data to users without compromising the user experience.

Purpose

This tutorial introduces you to App Volumes 4 SAM and how it fits into the VMware End-User-Computing vision. You learn about App Volumes architecture and components, including storage, network, and security. The installation and configuration sections present a basic App Volumes 4 deployment. Exercises in the remaining sections allow you to evaluate some of the product's key features.

Note: This tutorial is designed for evaluation purposes only. It uses the minimum required resources for a basic deployment and does not explore every feature. Do not use this evaluation environment as a template for a production environment. For information beyond the considerations of this tutorial, see the VMware App Volumes Documentation.

Audience

This tutorial is intended for IT administrators and product evaluators who are familiar with VMware vSphere® and VMware vCenter Server®. Familiarity with networking and storage in a virtual environment, Active Directory, and Microsoft SQL Server is assumed. Knowledge of other technologies, such as VMware Horizon® is also helpful.

What Is App Volumes?

App Volumes is a real-time application delivery and lifecycle management tool. Enterprises use App Volumes to centrally manage applications that are deployed to desktops with virtual disks. You do not need to configure individual desktops or applications. App Volumes scales easily and cost effectively without compromising the end-user experience.

Key Benefits

App Volumes 4 offers several benefits.

  • Simplified application management – Decouple package management from application delivery, enabling application owners and packagers to work freely and respond quickly to user requests. Application owners can manage the full lifecycle of an application by updating a new version and publishing it through a workflow.

    A new single-app packaging strategy makes it easier to package individually and deliver in any combination. For details, what's new video, and interactive feature walk-through demo, see the blog post What's New in VMware App Volumes 4.

  • Cost-optimized application delivery – Provide more flexible delivery of applications to users, groups, and devices without changing the existing infrastructure, thereby reducing computing, network, and storage costs.
  • Seamless end-user experience – Support fully customizable desktops with the option for end users to install their own applications on writable volumes. Users get a persistent user experience in a nonpersistent environment.
  • Application lifecycle management – Manage the entire application lifecycle, from initial installation, through updates and upgrades, to seamless replacement. Save time with single-point application deployment and management.
  • Image management – Manage a common base image while also providing applications outside of the image to specific users and groups in an easily customized and componentized fashion.

JMP – Next-Generation Desktop and Application Delivery Platform

JMP (pronounced jump), which stands for Just-in-Time Management Platform, represents capabilities in VMware Horizon 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. 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.

App Volumes and the VMware End-User-Computing Vision

App Volumes complements the VMware End-User-Computing portfolio by integrating with existing VMware Horizon components, such as Horizon desktops and VMware Dynamic Environment Manager. It also integrates with application and desktop solutions, such as Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop, and with Microsoft Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) environments.

The following table lists the desktop solutions that can integrate with App Volumes.

Table 1:  Desktop Solutions and App Volumes Integration
Desktop Solution App Volumes Integration
VMware Horizon Apps Deliver package-based applications to multiple desktops and RDSH servers.
VMware Horizon desktops Attach packaged applications to virtual desktops to deliver applications to users.
VMware Dynamic Environment Manager Manage App Volumes–based application settings on a detailed level as easily as native application settings.
Microsoft RDSH Deliver packaged applications to multiple users who access the same RDSH server concurrently.
Citrix XenDesktop Attach packaged applications to XenDesktop-based virtual desktops to deliver applications to users.
Citrix XenApp Deliver packaged applications from a XenApp server to users.

Packaging and Licensing

App Volumes is available as part of Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition and VMware Horizon® Apps Advanced Edition, as well as part of the App Volumes Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise Editions. You can obtain a 60-day evaluation license from the VMware App Volumes Product Evaluation Center.

For more information, see the VMware Product Guide.

 

Architecture and Components

With App Volumes 4, simplified application management (SAM) improves the way the application lifecycle is managed. Instead of capturing applications in objects called AppStacks, as you did in App Volumes 2.x, you now work with applications, packages, and programs. These additional components provide you with granular control over the application lifecycle and improve administrative workflows.

SAM Components

There are three new constructs you will manage with SAM.

Components of App Volumes SAM, virtual disk

Figure 1: Components of App Volumes SAM

These components interact in the following workflow:

  • Applications – You create the application first. An application in App Volumes 4 represents one or more packaged versions of software. Assignments are done at the application level to AD users, groups, computers, or organizational units. Assignments can be made directly to a specific package in the application or to the package with the CURRENT marker.

    CURRENT Marker Next to a Package on the Notepad++ Application Page

    Figure 2: CURRENT Marker Next to a Package on the Notepad++ Application Page

  • Packages – Next, you use a packaging VM to capture application bits to a virtual disk for distribution to users and computers. The process is similar to creating AppStacks in App Volumes 2.x. Each App Volumes application can contain multiple packages.

    You can optionally provide a label for the lifecycle stage—such as New, Tested, Published, or Retired—to each package at creation, and you can change the stage as the package goes through its lifecycle. These labels are purely to help you keep track of the lifecycle stage. The labels have no effect on the way the workflow functions.

  • Programs – Finally, the program is auto-generated during package creation. The name of the program is automatic, and executables and actual bits are captured during package creation. Each program represents one software application. An application package can contain multiple programs.

How App Volumes Works

In App Volumes 4, applications are associated with certain VMDK or VHD files, which are called packages. (They were called AppStacks earlier, in App Volumes 2.x.) One or more packages are assigned to an application, and it is at the application level that you assign the packages to desktops through user, group, or computer assignment. Administrators manage this process with the App Volumes Manager, a web-based interface that is integrated with Active Directory (AD) and vSphere.

With App Volumes, applications are presented to the operating system (OS) as if they were natively installed. Quickly providing users with applications that require no installation reduces infrastructure strain and overhead and simplifies application lifecycle management. When an application is no longer required, you can easily remove it.

For end users who require the ability to install their own applications, administrators can provide these users with App Volumes writable volumes.

Applications delivered by App Volumes follow users seamlessly across sessions and devices. Administrators can assign, update, or remove applications at the next user login. Writable volumes perform a similar function for user-installed applications and user-specific application data, allowing users to access data and user-installed applications across sessions and devices.

Dynamic Environment Manager solutions can complement writable volumes capabilities by managing the data within the writable volume at a detailed level and provide rules to enforce policy based on certain conditions or events.

App Volumes Architecture

App Volumes uses management servers configured to connect to deployed virtual desktops that run an App Volumes Agent. Administrators assign application packages and writable volumes located on shared storage to users, groups, and virtual machines (VMs).

For VDI, single-user virtual machines run on VMware vSphere hosts. Each VM has the App Volumes Agent installed, and the agent communicates with the App Volumes Manager. Application packages and writable volumes are attached to the VMs. Because an application package is assigned to a user or group, it is attached at user login.

For published applications, the RDSH server is a VM running on a vSphere host, and the RDSH server has the App Volumes Agent installed on it. As with VDI, the App Volumes Agent on the RDSH server VM communicates with the App Volumes Manager, and application packages are attached to the RDSH server. Because, for RDSH servers, an application package is assigned to a computer account, the package is attached when the server OS has finished loading and before a user has logged in.

For more details about each App Volumes component, see Introduction to VMware App Volumes, in the VMware App Volumes 4 Installation Guide.

Storage Considerations

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

The following are recommendations and considerations for application package storage.

  • For production environments, use dedicated application package datastores to optimize storage for read-only traffic during application start and use.
  • Disk operations and network traffic are increased as more users concurrently mount virtual disks at login and as the applications are started. Scaling infrastructure resources to meet this demand is recommended. See the VMware Knowledge Base article VMware App Volumes Sizing Limits and Recommendations (67354).
  • For production environments, VMware recommends flash-based storage arrays.

The following are recommendations for writable volume storage.

  • Use RAID 10 to optimize storage for writable volumes.
  • For production environments, VMware recommends flash-based storage arrays.

For more information, see the Component Design: App Volumes Architecture chapter of the VMware Workspace ONE and VMware Horizon Reference Architecture.

Storage Groups

You can use storage groups to group datastores together. Storage groups replicate packages to each datastore in the storage group, which increases performance in concurrent user scenarios. Writable volume storage groups distribute volumes across datastores, which also improves performance.

When using storage groups for application packages, the App Volumes Manager optimizes the connection to the relevant application based on the location and number of attachments across all the datastores in the group.

For information about storage limits, see the VMware Knowledge Base article VMware App Volumes Sizing Limits and Recommendations (67354).

Configuration Options

Storage groups for application packages use the following automation options:

  • Automatic replication – Replicate any package placed on any datastore across all datastores.
  • Automatic import – After replication, import packages into the App Volumes Manager, ready for assignment from all datastores.

Storage groups for writable volumes use the following distribution strategies:

  • Spread – Distribute writable volumes evenly across datastores.
  • Round-robin – Sequentially distribute writable volumes to the least recently used datastore.

For more information, see the VMware App Volumes Administration Guide.

Network Considerations

App Volumes and its associated database require opening the ports that are usually required for server-agent communication: ports 443 for HTTPS and 1433 for the SQL Server.

Optionally, you might want to use ports 80 for HTTP and 5985 for PowerShell web services. For information about other ports that might be used with App Volumes, see the VMware Knowledge Base article Network connectivity requirements for VMware App Volumes 2.5.X and later (2097818).

If you are using network-attached storage (NAS), keep its traffic local to the vSphere hosts, and configure the environment to allow for the least amount of network hops between the vSphere hosts and the App Volumes desktop VMs. Each vSphere host with virtual desktops running the App Volumes Agent must be able to communicate with and attach to the NAS device.

Security Considerations

To enhance security in your App Volumes environment, adhere to the following recommendations:

App Volumes Manager Installation and Initial Configuration

For the purpose of these exercises, install only one App Volumes Manager and use an MS SQL Express Server database, which is included with App Volumes Manager.

Prerequisites for App Volumes Manager Installation

There are several prerequisites:

  • To set up the required user accounts and security groups in Active Directory and vCenter Server, see User Accounts and Credentials, in the VMware App Volumes Installation Guide.
  • For requirements regarding the server operating system, hypervisor, file share access, and networking, see Infrastructure and Networking Requirements, in the VMware App Volumes Installation Guide.
    Note: Note the FQDN (fully qualified domain name) of the server on which you will install App Volumes Manager. You will need this hostname for the configuration exercise that follows installation.
  • Verify that .NET Framework 3.5 or later is enabled on the server you plan to use for App Volumes Manager.
  • To run the App Volumes installer, your account must have local administrator privileges on the target server.
  • To download the App Volumes ISO installer, go to one of the following locations:

    Note: The App Volumes installer is distributed as an ISO file. You can either mount the ISO on the server where you want to create the App Volumes component, or you can extract the ISO contents to a shared folder. This latter option allows you to install each component without mounting the ISO each time.

Installing App Volumes Manager

You install App Volumes Manager on a Windows server and use its web-based interface to orchestrate the delivery of applications to end users. With App Volumes Manager, you can manage and automate the assignment of application packages, collect usage information, and maintain a history of administrative actions.

  1. Either mount the App Volumes installation media (ISO file) to the Windows Server VM or extract the ISO contents to a shared folder accessible to the VM.
  2. In the Installation folder, double-click the setup.msi file. The installation wizard opens.
  3. On the VMware App Volumes Installation Wizard page, click Next.
  4. On the License Agreement page, select I accept the terms of the license agreement, and click Next.
  5. On the App Volumes Install Screen page, select Install App Volumes Manager, and click Install.

    App Volumes Installer Setup, virtual disk

  6. On the Welcome to the App Volumes Manager Setup Wizard page, click Next.
  7. On the Choose a Database page, select Install Local SQL Server Express Database, and click Next.
    Note: For this exercise, the App Volumes installer will install an SQL Server Express database. For a list of all supported databases, see Software Requirements, in the VMware App Volumes Installation Guide.
  8. On the Database Server page, deselect the Enable SQL Server certificate validation check box, and click Next.

    On the Database Server page, deselect the Enable SQL Server certificate validation check box, and click Next.

    Note: Installing the database might take several minutes. Microsoft SQL Server (2014) is installed in C:\Program Files.

  9. On the Choose Network Ports and Security Options page, click Next.
  10. On the Custom Setup page, click Next.
  11. On the Ready to Install App Volumes Manager page, click Install.
  12. On the Completed the App Volumes Manager Setup Wizard page, click Finish. This step might take several minutes.

Prerequisites for First-Time Configuration

There are several prerequisites:

  • For a list of supported browsers, see Software Requirements, in the VMware App Volumes Installation Guide.
  • To download the product license file if you have purchased one, go to the Download VMware App Volumes page, find the edition of App Volumes, and click Go to Downloads. You can download the license key file to a location that is accessible to the VM.

    Download VMware App Volumes 4.0 Standard, virtual disk

    Note: An evaluation license is already included with the App Volumes installer, and you can use that for the purposes of this exercise.

  • To set up the required user accounts and security groups in Active Directory and vCenter Server, see User Accounts and Credentials, in the VMware App Volumes Installation Guide.
    Note: During the exercise that follows, you will be prompted for the following information:
    • For Active Directory: AD domain name, the credentials of an AD user with read access to the domain, and the name of the security group you want to administer App Volumes.
    • For vCenter Server: FQDN of the vCenter Server, along with credentials for a vCenter Server service account with administrator privileges.
  • To set up the datastores that you will use for application package storage and writable volumes storage, you must create or decide which datastore or datastores to use from which vCenter Server. You will select these datastores in the following procedure.

Configuring App Volumes Manager for the First Time

After you have installed App Volumes Manager, you are ready to configure App Volumes, which includes licensing, Active Directory, vCenter Server, and ESXi.

  1. Start a web browser and connect to https://<appvolumesHostname>, where appvolumesHostname is the host name or IP address of the App Volumes Manager server.

    Because this is the first time you are accessing the console, the Welcome page appears.

    Welcome to App Volumes Manager, virtual disk

  2. Click Get Started.
  3. On the AD Domains tab, you may leave some of the fields blank, but be sure to enter the following information, and then click Register.
    • Active Directory Domain Name – Enter the fully qualified AD domain name.
    • Username – As was mentioned in the prerequisites, this user account must have read access to the Active Directory domain. Administrator privileges are not required.
    • Password – Enter the password.
    • Security – From the drop-down menu, select LDAP over TLS, and, for the purposes of this exercise, select Disable certificate validation (insecure).

      Use LDAP for a proof-of-concept environment, but it is recommended to use LDAPS for a production environment.

    Register Active Directory Domain, virtual disk

  4. On the Active Directory Domains page, verify that the domain you just registered appears in the list, and click Next.
  5. On the Admin Roles tab, use the Search Groups field to find the Active Directory group used to administer App Volumes, select the group from the Choose Group list, and click Assign.

    Administrator Roles, virtual disk

  6. Verify that the AD group you specified appears in the list, and click Next.
  7. On the Machine Managers tab, configure details for a machine manager and click Save.
    • Type – Select vCenter Server from the drop-down menu.
    • Hostname – Enter the FQDN of the vCenter Server machine.
    • Username – Enter the user name for the service account that has administrative privileges within vCenter Server.
    • Password – Enter the password for the service account.

    You can leave the defaults for the rest of the fields. For more information about these settings, see Configure and Register the Machine Manager, in the VMware App Volumes Administration Guide.

    VMware App Volumes - Machine Managers - virtual disk

    Note: If you see a certificate warning, click Accept.

  8. Verify that the vCenter Server you specified appears in the list, and click Next.
  9. On the Storage tab, enter the default storage location details for your application packages and writable volumes, and click Next.

    Note: You can change the folder names.

    VMware App Volumes - Storage

  10. In the Confirm Storage Settings dialog box, click Set Defaults.
  11. On the Upload Templates page, for Host, select Use vCenter, select the check boxes next to the files in the list, click Upload, and confirm the upload.

    VMware App Volumes - Upload Templates

    The templates are uploaded to the storage location you specified.

  12. On the Settings tab, click Next. If you would like to learn more about these settings, see App Volumes Manager Configuration Settings Page, in the VMware App Volumes Administration Guide.

App Volumes is now configured.

Setup of Packaging VMs and Endpoint VMs

With App Volumes, you use a packaging VM to capture application bits to a virtual disk (VMDK or VHD file) for distribution to users and computers. One or more versions of these application packages are contained in an App Volumes application.

To create a package, you must set up a packaging machine (VM). This machine should match, as closely as possible, the operating system version and OS patch level of the endpoint machines you plan to use. You must install the App Volumes Agent software on both the packaging machines and the endpoint machines. This chapter covers all these topics.

Setting Up the Packaging Machine

To set up the packaging machine, complete the following tasks:

  1. If you do not already have a VM set up for this exercise, follow the step-by-step instructions in Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop, but when you get to the point of installing virtual desktop agents, install only the App Volumes Agent. Do not install the Horizon Agent or the Dynamic Environment Manager agent (FlexEngine) on the packaging machine.

    Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop covers VM creation, OS installation and configuration, and optimization of both Windows desktop operating systems and Windows Server operating systems.

    Step-by-step instructions for installing App Volumes Agent are included later in this chapter, in Prerequisites for App Volumes Agent Installation and Installing the App Volumes Agent.

    Important: As was mentioned earlier, the packaging machine should match, as closely as possible, the operating system version and OS patch level of the endpoint machines you plan to use.

  2. After you finish creating the packaging machine, power it off and take a VM snapshot.
    This way, after you use this machine to package an application, you will be able to revert to the original pre-package state (VM snapshot) and use the machine to create other packages.
  3. Note the machine name for use in later exercises.

Setting Up the Endpoint Machines

To set up the endpoint machines, complete the following tasks:

  1. To create the golden image that you will use to provision virtual desktop pools or RDSH (Remote Desktop Services Hosts) server farms, also follow the step-by-step instructions in Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop.

    In this case, install the various virtual desktop agents in the particular order listed:

    1. Horizon Agent
    2. Dynamic Environment Manager Agent (FlexEngine)
    3. App Volumes Agent

      Important: For instructions, see the next sections, Prerequisites for App Volumes Agent Installation and Installing the App Volumes Agent.

  2. Create an instant-clone desktop pool using the golden image with Horizon Agent and App Volumes Agent installed.

    If you are not familiar with Horizon desktop and application pools and do not know how to create them, see the Quick-Start Tutorial for VMware Horizon 7, especially the chapters Creating Single-User Desktop Pools and Creating RDSH-Published Desktops and Applications.

  3. After you create the desktop pool, use the Horizon Console to entitle the user account to that pool.

    For instructions, see Entitle End Users to Application Pools or Desktop Pools, in the Quick-Start Tutorial for VMware Horizon 7.

Prerequisites for App Volumes Agent Installation

After you install the App Volumes Agent on your packaging machines and the VMs that you use to create desktop pools and server farms, this agent communicates with the App Volumes Manager server to attach the correct applications when:

  • An entitled end user logs in to a virtual desktop
  • A particular RDSH server starts up

There are a few prerequisites:

  • To run the App Volumes installer, your account must have local administrator privileges on the target machine.
  • To download the App Volumes ISO installer, go to one of the following locations:

    Note: The App Volumes installer is distributed as an ISO file. You can either mount the ISO on the machine where you want to create the App Volumes component, or you can extract the ISO contents to a shared folder. This latter option allows you to install each component without mounting the ISO each time.

  • To configure the agent to communicate with App Volumes Manager, you must have the FQDN (fully qualified domain name) of the App Volumes Manager machine.

Installing the App Volumes Agent

  1. Either mount the App Volumes installation media (ISO file) to the VM (packaging machine or parent VM for pool or server farm), or extract the ISO contents to a shared folder accessible to the VM.
  2. In the Installation folder, double-click the setup.msi file. The installation wizard opens.
  3. On the VMware App Volumes Installation Wizard page, click Next.
  4. On the License Agreement page, select I accept the terms of the license agreement, and click Next.
  5. On the App Volumes Install Screen page, select Install App Volumes Agent, and click Install.

    App Volumes Install Screen - virtual disks

  6. On the Welcome to the App Volumes Agent Setup Wizard page, click Next.
  7. On the Server Configuration page, enter the FQDN of the App Volumes Manager server. For this exercise, select the Disable Certificate Validation with App Volumes Manager check box. Click Next.

    App Volumes Agent Server Configuration

  8. On the Ready to Install App Volumes Agent page, click Install.
  9. On the Completed the App Volumes Agent Setup Wizard page, click Finish.
  10. When prompted, restart the VM.
  11. To verify that the App Volumes Agent is installed, log in to App Volumes Manager and on the DIRECTORY > Computers tab, find the machine in the list.

    This listing confirms both that the agent is installed and that communication with App Volumes Manager is successful.

    VMware App Volumes Managed Computers

Simplified Application Management with App Volumes

After you have created your golden image, packaging machine, and desktop pools or server farms, you are ready to explore App Volumes application management. The following exercises must be completed in the order presented.

App Volumes 4 introduces fundamental changes to the way applications are packaged, delivered, and maintained as compared to the process used in App Volumes 2.x.

The following capabilities are key to simplified application management (SAM) in App Volumes 4:

  • Decoupling packaging from delivery of applications
  • Managing the application lifecycle
  • Packaging once, deploying anywhere

The major features of App Volumes 4 that enable these capabilities are:

  • Single-app packaging, so that you can package individually and deliver in any combination, rather than struggling to combine multiple apps in an App Volumes 2.x AppStack.
  • Dynamic assignments using markers, so that when a new package gets the CURRENT marker, it becomes available to anyone assigned to receive the current version.

Instead of capturing applications in objects called AppStacks, as you did in App Volumes 2.x, you now work with applications, packages, and programs. These additional components provide you with granular control over the application lifecycle and improve administrative workflows.

Each application can contain one or more packages, and each package can contain one or more programs. For example, the following scenario shows how these constructs work together:

  • Application – In an application we will call App A, you might have two packages that represent various versions related to different stages of the application lifecycle.
  • Packages – Package v1 might represent the version that is currently deployed in production, and Package v2 might represent an update that is currently being tested.
  • Programs – Inside Package v1 might be several programs, representing several applications that you installed together on the packaging machine. The programs in Package v2 include updated versions of those programs.

Prerequisites for Application Packaging and Assignment

There are a few prerequisites:

  • Verify that you have installed and configured App Volumes Manager, including uploading the templates, as described in App Volumes Manager Installation and Initial Configuration.
  • Verify that you have completed the exercise Setup of Packaging VMs and Endpoint VMs, including installing the App Volumes 4 Agent, as described in Setup of Packaging VMs and Endpoint VMs.
    Important: The packaging machine must be running and must not have any attached packages, AppStacks, or writable volumes.
  • On a network share that is accessible to the packaging machine, download two versions of an application installer, such as Notepad++, which you will use in the packaging process. You will use the later version in the software update exercise. You install the application from a network share so that the application installer is not included in the packaging of the application.
  • Verify that you have created a virtual desktop pool from a VM with the App Volumes Agent installed, and that you have entitled an end user account to that pool, as described in Setup of Packaging VMs and Endpoint VMs.

Creating an Application and a Package

Packaging application installation is a simple process. If you have ever packaged application installations with App Volumes 2.x, you will find many similarities. A packaging VM is used to capture one or more installations, and the output is a VMDK file, which can be distributed to Active Directory objects such as users and groups.

The primary difference in App Volumes 4 is that, by using the application, package, and program constructs, SAM simplifies and streamlines administrative tasks.

In this exercise, you create an application and an application package.

You can leave the defaults for the other fields.

VMware App Volumes Create Package for Notepad++  - virtual disks

Note: You are on the INVENTORY > Packages tab because, when you created the application, the Create a Package check box was selected. If the check box had not been selected, you would have selected the application on the Applications tab, and then clicked Create Package.

  1. Start a web browser and navigate to https://<appvolumesHostname>, where appvolumesHostname is the FQDN of the App Volumes Manager server.
  2. Log in as an administrator.
  3. On the INVENTORY > Applications tab, click Create.

    VMware App Volumes Applications  - virtual disks

  4. On the Create Application page, provide a name; for this example, the name is Notepad++. Click Create, and click Create again in the confirmation box.
    Note: The name does not contain a version number because inside the application, you will create multiple versions.
  5. On the Packages tab that is automatically generated for the application, provide the following information, and click Create:
  6. In the Confirm Create Package dialog box, select Perform in the background, and click Create.

The application and package are created. If you click the application name in the list of applications on the Applications tab, you can see details of both the application and the package. If you click the package name, you can also see package details on the Packages tab.

The status of the package is Unpackaged at this point because you must capture installation of the application on the packaging machine.

Building an Application Package

Building the package involves selecting the newly created package in App Volumes Manager, specifying the packaging machine for that package, and then installing (and capturing the installation of) the application on the designated packaging machine.

  1. Open a web browser and log in to App Volumes Manager as an administrator.
  2. On the INVENTORY > Packages tab, locate and click the package.
    Note: The status for the package must be Unpackaged.

    VMware App Volumes - Packages  - virtual disks

  3. On the Notepad++ 7.7 package page that appears, click Package.
  4. On the Packages page, search for the machine name of the computer you want to use to package the application, select the radio button next to the computer in the list, and click Package. When prompted, click Start Packaging.

    VMware App Volumes - Package for Notepad++ 7.7   - virtual disks

    The package is attached to the computer. You can now log in to the packaging machine and install the application.

  5. Use vSphere Web Client or RDP to log in to the packaging machine as an administrator, run the application installer from a network share, and configure the application after installation is complete; for this example, we installed version 7.7 of Notepad++.

    Important: When you log in, you see the VMware App Volumes - Packaging in Progress dialog box. Do not click OK in this box until after you finish installing the application.

    VMware App Volumes - Packing in progress

    If this dialog box does not appear, reboot the VM.

  6. After you install the application, if you are prompted to reboot, do so, and only when installation is completely finished, click OK in the dialog box.

    VMware App Volumes - Installation complete

  7. In the Installation Complete? dialog box, click Yes.

    VMware App Volumes - Is installation complete

    A Packaging message appears, along with a Finalize Package dialog box.

  8. Click Finalize in the Finalize Package dialog box, and when prompted, click Yes to reboot the machine.

    VMware App Volumes - Finalize installation

  9. After the reboot is complete, log in to the packaging machine again, and click OK in the Packaging successful! dialog box.

    VMware App Volumes - Packaging complete

  10. Log in to App Volumes Manager, click the INVENTORY > Packages tab, click the package you just created, and verify that the status is now Enabled.

    VMware App Volumes - Notepad++ v7.7

    You also see the program appear in the Programs list.

  11. On that same page, click Set CURRENT, and when prompted, confirm that you want to set this package as the current one.

Assigning the Application to an End User

For this exercise, you will assign an application to an end user by using a Marker assignment type, so that the package you just created, which has the CURRENT marker, will be used.

Note: It is also possible to assign an application by using a package name, rather than by using a marker. For example, you might want most of your end users to receive the current version of the application, but you might want a few other users to test a new version. In this case, you could use the Package assignment type for those few users. For information about the Package assignment type, see Assign an Application to an Entity, in the VMware App Volumes Administration Guide.

  1. Log in to App Volumes Manager and on the INVENTORY > Applications tab, click the application; for this example, the application is Notepad++.
  2. On the Notepad++ application page, click Assign.

    On the Notepad++ application page, click Assign.

  3. On the Assign Application page:
    1. Search for the user account.
    2. Select the check box next to the user account in the Entity list.
    3. Verify that the assignment type is Marker.
    4. Click Assign, and when prompted, confirm the assignment.

    On the Assign Application page

    The assignment is now listed on the application page, in the Assignments section.

  4. Use VMware Horizon® Client to log in to an endpoint machine (virtual desktop from a desktop pool) as the user you just assigned, and verify that Notepad++ is successfully deployed.

    Note: This virtual desktop is the one you set up as directed in the earlier section Setup of Packaging VMs and Endpoint VMs.

    Notepad++ 7.7 installed

  5. Log out of the virtual desktop OS.

    Important: You must log out of the OS at this point so that when you log in again after deploying a new version of the software, you will be able to see the new version, as described in the next exercise.

Deploying a New Version of an Application

Updating a package provides a way to make incremental changes instead of creating an entirely different application from scratch. With simple application management, each updated version of an application can follow its own lifecycle.

For this exercise, you create a package that contains a newer version of the application. You simply set that package to have the CURRENT marker, and then the assigned users get this new software version the next time they log in to their desktop.

  1. Use vSphere Web Client to revert the packaging machine to the VM snapshot you took before you packaged the earlier version of the software:
    1. Select the packaging VM and power it off.
    2. Select the packaging VM and select ACTIONS > Snapshots > Manage Snapshots.
    3. Select the snapshot you want to use, click REVERT TO, and click Done.

      By reverting to the snapshot, you remove the earlier version of Notepad++.

    4. Power on the packaging machine VM.

      Note: At this point, the VM should be powered on but not have any users logged in.

  2. Log in to App Volumes Manager and on the INVENTORY > Applications tab, click the application; for this example, the application is Notepad++.
  3. On the Applications page, click Create Package, and complete the page.
    1. Use a package name that reflects the newer version of the software; for this example, the package name is Notepad++ v.7.8.3.
    2. Verify that the desired storage location and template are selected.
    3. Click Create, and when prompted, confirm package creation.
  4. After the new package appears in the Packages list near the bottom of the page, and its status displays Unpackaged, build a package with the new software version. Use the same procedure you completed in the exercise Building an Application Package.
  5. On the Packages page for the Notepad++ v7.8.3, click Set CURRENT.

    On the Packages page for the Notepad++ v7.8.3, click Set CURRENT.

    Setting this new package to CURRENT means that assigned users will get this new software version when they log in to their desktop.

    Note: Only one package in the list can be marked as CURRENT.

  6. Use Horizon Client to log in to an endpoint (virtual desktop from a desktop pool) as the same assigned user, and verify that the new version of Notepad++ is successfully deployed.

    Important: If you do not see the new version, log out and log back in again. You will not see the new version of the software unless you previously logged out of the desktop, as directed in the last step of the procedure Assigning the Application to an End User.

    Notepad++ 7.8.3 installed

Assigning Package Lifecycle Stages

You can assign a label to a package to indicate which stage it is at in its lifecycle. Stage labels help App Volumes packagers, testers, and application owners keep track of a package as it goes through its lifecycle. These stage labels currently include New, Tested, Published, and Retired. The stage labels are for informational purposes only, and do not affect functionality or workflows associated with a package.

  1. Log in to App Volumes Manager and on the INVENTORY > Applications tab, click the application; for this example, the application is Notepad++.
  2. On the Notepad++ application page, in the Packages section, note the Stage column, and click the package with the newer version of the application.

     click the package with the newer version of the application.

  3. On the Packages page, click Edit.

    On the Packages page, click Edit.

  4. On the Edit Package page, from the Stage list, select Published, and click Save.

    On the Edit Package page, from the Stage list, select Published, and click Save.

  5. Click the Packages tab, and note that the newly assigned stage also appears on this page.

    Click the Packages tab, and note that the newly assigned stage also appears on this page.

Summary and Additional Resources

This tutorial provided an overview of App Volumes features, architecture, and components, and demonstrated the new simplified application management (SAM) feature of App Volumes 4, which includes the administrative workflow components called applications, packages, and programs. You completed exercises that walked you through:

  • Installing and setting up App Volumes
  • Creating an App Volumes application
  • Creating two application packages that included different versions of the application
  • Capturing the program bits for each application version
  • Marking a package as the current version
  • Assigning that current version to an end user
  • Assigning a lifecycle stage to an application package

This strategy of creating one application that contains packages for different versions of the application is called single-app packaging, and is just one of the possible strategies.

Logical Diagram of Notepad++ Application Containing Various Versions of Notepad++ Bits

Figure 3: Logical Diagram of Notepad++ Application Containing Various Versions of Notepad++ Bits

With SAM, you also have the flexibility to create an application whose packages contain a collection of applications and various versions of those applications, as shown in the following diagram.

Logical Diagram of Application That Includes Program Bits for Multiple Applications and Versions

Figure 4: Logical Diagram of Application That Includes Program Bits for Multiple Applications and Versions

In this example, you create one application called Marketing Department Apps. You then create a package called Marketing Dept v1 and package two programs (software applications) to include in that package.

When you want to deploy an update, you create a new package called Marketing Dept v2, which contains updates to the two programs. You might label this package with the lifecycle stage called New, and use a Package assignment to have a few people test the new version.

After testing, you might label this package as Published and set the marker for this package to CURRENT. End users who have a Marker assignment type for this application will receive the update the next time they log in.

Note: This tutorial does not contain exercises for all App Volumes features. For information about using writable volumes for user-installed applications, as well as App Volumes integration with external products, such as Microsoft RDSH applications, see the Quick-Start Tutorial for App Volumes 2.x .

Additional Resources

In addition to the many resources referenced earlier, in the body of this tutorial, see the following resources, many of which are available on Digital Workspace Tech Zone:

Author and Contributors

The following authors, contributors, and subject-matter-expert reviewers collaborated to create this tutorial.

Authors

Caroline Arakelian is a Senior Technical Marketing Manager, End-User-Computing Technical Marketing, VMware.

Josh Spencer, EUC Staff Architect in End-User-Computing Technical Marketing, VMware, wrote the App Volumes 4 Beta Guide, on which much of this tutorial is based.

Gina Daly, Technical Marketing Manager in End-User-Computing Technical Marketing, VMware, wrote the Quick-Start Tutorial for App Volumes 2.x, on which much of this tutorial is based.

Contributors

  • Jim Yanik, Senior Manager in End-User-Computing Technical Marketing, VMware
  • Jeff Ulatoski, Senior Product Manager, Virtual Workspace, End-User Computing, VMware
  • Cindy Carroll, Technical Marketing Manager, End-User-Computing Technical Marketing, VMware

Reviewers

  • William Uhlig, EUC Private Sector C1 Solutions Engineer, End-User Computing, VMware
  • Stéphane Asselin, Senior Manager, Field Engineering, End-User Computing, VMware
  • Raymond Wiesemann, Lead Solution Architect, Field Engineering, End-User Computing, VMware
  • Vernon Lihou, Senior Solutions Engineer, Digital Workspace, End-User Computing, VMware

To comment on this paper, contact VMware End-User-Computing Technical Marketing at euc_tech_content_feedback@vmware.com.

Filter Tags

  • Horizon
  • Intermediate
  • Quick-Start
  • Document
  • App Volumes
  • Windows 10
  • Deploy
  • Manage
  • App & Access Management
  • Modern Management