Set up SSL for App Volumes

By default VMware App Volumes uses its own self signed certificate. In this blog I'll show you how to replace this certificate with a self signed certificate from your own Certificate Authority. First of all, you need to have a (Enterprise) Certificate Authority in your environment. I've used this blog to set it up in my lab.  After you have set up the Certificate Authority request a SSL certificate for your App Volumes server, export the SSL certificate and make sure you select the option "Make private key exportable".  Now it's time to…continue reading →

Manage user profiles with Writable Volumes

With the release of VMware App Volumes 2.15, you now have a profile_only template available for writable volumes. As the name suggests this template will only capture the user profile. Using this type of writable volume is something you definitely should look into when you are not using a User Environment Management solution and/or you're struggling with things like roaming profiles or folder redirection. Just like every type of profile management solution you need to fine tune it, so editing the snapvol.cfg is a must. In this blog I will explain how you…continue reading →

(re)Use your SCCM packages to “automate” AppStacks

In my previous blog I described how you can group your applications and divide them into different kinds of AppStacks. When you use these AppStacks, some of them can become fairly large because of the amount of applications that are used at a department. It's also possible that two or more departments use the same application, so you may need to install that application in multiple AppStacks. When you do this manually, it's not only a repeating and time-consuming job. But you also run the risk of making errors during the installation, which can…continue reading →

App Volumes: Error in creating database.yml file

This week I ran into a problem when I was upgrading an App Volumes Manager from version 2.14 to 2.14.2. During the setup I got an error saying the creation of the "database.yml" file failed, but after clicking OK the setup of the manager continued and eventually completed "successfully". After launching the App Volumes manager I received the expected page in Internet Explorer saying the App Volumes Manager was unable to start because the login for the SQL account (SA) failed.   I ran the generate_db_config.cmd from the program files folder as admin…continue reading →

How you can group your applications for App Volumes

Because it's best practice to not have more than 10 AppStacks attached per target system, you need to group your applications. At the customer* where I'm working we grouped the applications by using a "Funnel" and dividing them into 3 different kinds of AppStacks, as you can see in the picture below. *We use Horizon View 7.5, Instant Clones with Windows 10, App Volumes 2.14.2 and VMware User Environment Manager (UEM) 9.4. The first one we use is a "All-users AppStack". This AppStack contains general used applications and this AppStack is attached during computer startup. Which…continue reading →

Create a custom writeable volume for specifically the Outlook OST and Search Indexes

In my previous post I covered how VMware UEM can redirect the OST file and Search Indexes to a User Installed Application (UIA) writable volume. Because it's still a UIA writable volume, any user with administrative rights can (ab)use these rights and install any application onto his/her own writable volume or the writable volume of another user for when they for example try to solve an incident in a quick and dirty way. In my case I've seen this (ab)use of the administrative rights a bit too much, so I came up with…continue reading →

App Volumes and OST files

With the release of App Volumes 2.14 VMware now supports Cached Exchange Mode and Windows Search Indexing on writable volumes. This means that when you use a User Installed Applications (UIA) only writable volume, the Microsoft Outlook and Windows Search indexes are now saved along with the Outlook OST file to the user's Writable Volume if you have this configured in your User Environment Manager Console. When you use a writable volume with User Installed Applications (UIA) plus User Profile, no UEM configuration is needed because it saves the complete user profile on the writeable…continue reading →

Create and size a new AppStack template

Wether your working in a small or large environment, storage space is something that you have to take into account. The standard size of templates for AppStacks and Writable Volumes are 20 and 10GB. When the applications you want to deliver to the desktops don't require more than 2 or 5GB, why use a template with the size of 20GB? In this blog I will guide you in how to create a new AppStack template and change it to the size you need for your environment. Before we go into depth, make sure…continue reading →

Synchronize AppStacks in a multi-site deployment

At my customer we recently installed App Volumes 2.14 in a in a multi-site deployment. Because the vSAN storages on both sites can't directly communicate with each other, we need to set up storage replication to synchronize the AppStacks. In this blog I will cover how to configure Storage Groups in the App Volumes Manager. To setup storage replication between the two sites, a 'non-attached' datastore need to be created to act as a man in the middle. A 'non-attached' datastore means that it's a place where AppStacks can be located, but those AppStacks will…continue reading →

VMware App Volumes 2.14

2 days ago, on May 29th, VMware released the newest version of App Volumes, version 2.14. In this blog I will cover some of the new and exiting features such as Role-Based Access Control and Backup, Restore and Move Writable Volumes with more depth and my personal opinion. Role-Based Access Control I've been waiting a while for this option because I see roles for different kinds of expertise, but I don't want to give them the possibility to view and adjust every setting in the App Volumes Manager. For example, I would like to…continue reading →