VMware App Volumes – Part 1

By Rory Monaghan

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This is a 2 part series. Part 1 will cover the setup, complete with step by step screenshots. Part 2 will provide a Video demo of creation and deployment of the AppStacks. As well as my own conclusions.

Introduction

In this blog post I will record my setup steps for VMware App Volumes, this particular setup was in order to Demo at the VirtualExpo. I decided to setup App Volumes to deploy my ‘AppStacks’ to physical machines. I’ve worked with Unidesk for a while now, which is awesome for deploying to Virtual Desktops. When I heard that this product could deploy the Application Layers to both Physical and Virtual Desktops, I really wanted to try it out! Unfortunately, when I first reached out, the product was still CloudVolumes and they weren’t very responsive to me. I believe this was because they knew they were about to be purchased by VMware, which is understandable. Not long after the acquisition, I became a VMware vExpert. Thanks, VMware 🙂 So, I got access to VMware products and jumped in with App Volumes…I couldn’t figure out how to deploy to a physical machine

I had multiple conversations with others on Twitter who suggested you couldn’t deploy to Physical machines. Since I couldn’t do it and others stated it wasn’t possible, I just deployed to Virtual Desktops and moved on. Then, as I was presenting at BriForum, VMware’s Denis Gundarev set me straight and told me how to deploy to physical machines. There seems to be a lot of confusion about this, though. This past week during VMWorld in Barcelona there were many tweets that suggested the ability to deploy to physical machines was a new feature. It’s not and this is how you can set it up and get rolling!

Setup AppVolumes Manager

Requirements:

Windows Server 2008 R2 or 2012 R2 with .NET Framework 3.5 role installed.

At least 4GB of RAM (recommended)

1GB of Disk Space

2 Processors

Optionally you can install your own SQL Server 2008. I allowed the install to install Express for me

Launch Install

Step1

 

Click Next >

Step2

 

Click ‘I accept the terms in the license agreement’ and then click Next >

Step3

 

Click ‘Install App Volumes Manager’ and then Click Install

Step4Click Next >

Step5

 

Click ‘Install local SQL Server Express Database’ and then Click Next >

Step6

 

I selected Windows Integrated Authentication and Clicked Next >

Step7

 

I used custom ports because I have so many different systems running in my HOMELAB, I like to assign and track for each. Then I clicked Next >

Step8

 

Click Next >

Step9

 

Click Install

Step10

 

Click Finish

Step11

 

Next up is a setup Wizard within the Web Console. Click Get Started

Step12

 

Apply your license if you’ve got one.

Step13

 

For AD Integration, you need to provide the Fully Qualified Domain name, a DC and some credentials

Step14

 

Assign an AD Group as your Admins

Step15

 

Here’s the important step. For this setup I selected VHD In-Guest Services, this is the option to select for deploying to physical machines

Step16

 

I checked the box for Dynamic File Permissions

Step17

 

To Add Storage, click Add Share

Step18

 

I created a couple of shares on my SCCM Distribution Point server and used those.

Step19

 

You can select how\when the AppStacks get assigned. My recommendation is to use the option shown above. The immediate deployment had a low success rate for me

Step20

 

Select to Upload all

Step21

 

Install App Volumes Agent

On your physical machine that you’d like to test with, Launch the same Installer

Step22

 

Click Next >

Step23Click ‘I accept the terms in the license agreement’ and then Click Next >

Step24

Click ‘Install App Volumes Agent’ and then Click Install

Step25

 

Click Next >

Step26

 

Provide the address of your App Volumes Manager Server and the Port used. Then Click Next >

Step27

 

Click Install

Step28

Click Finish

In Part 2, I will Demo the creation and deployment of the AppStacks

Note: Featured image sourced from: VMware.com

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