As most of you would know and agree that, delivering and Managing applications on VDI environment is a big challenge especially on a floating view. Any changes to the floating desktop are lost on logout, so new applications must be added to a base image and recompose is required during the maintenance window. A few companies have offered solutions to address this challenges, and here is one of a great solution offered by VMware – App volumes “Next Generation Application Delivery” formally known as Cloud Volumes.
What is VMware App volumes?
VMware App volumes is a real-time application delivery system that enables IT to instantly deliver applications with complete application life-cycle management. With App Volumes, a second virtualization layer is introduced just above the OS, therefore, applications, data files, settings and configuration license act as separate layered containers. These are virtual disks and this virtual disk either VMDK or VHD, that contain everything needed to run the application, such as executable and Registry keys. it can be assigned to a user as a read-only disk. Applications are delivered to virtual desktops through VMDK virtual disks, without modifying the virtual machine or applications themselves and can be scaled out to virtual desktops. By using a Virtual Disk as a container we can put multiple application in a single disk (Appstack) and push them out together. Appstack is a virtual Disk (VMDK) and read-only, meaning a single Appstack (VMDK) can be shared by multiple Desktops*( VMware recommend-2000 per disk)
Real-Time Application Delivery :
- Real-time application delivery
- Shared volumes: Install an application once and use it anywhere.
- Applications delivered by App Volumes are indistinguishable from natively installed applications.
- App Volumes helps deliver or upgrade applications in real-time without interrupting users, even if they are logged in.
- Highly scalable architecture
- Users feel they are using the same machine every time
Seamless End-User Experience :
- Support fully customizable desktops, with the freedom for end-users to install applications
- Persistent user experience with non-persistent environment.
Managed Application Containers:
In a traditional Windows system, the applications, settings, user’s profile, and, in many cases the user data are tightly coupled with the OS. The overall user experience, productivity, preferences, and licensing is associated with a single system.
The just-in-time application model of VMware App Volumes separates IT-managed applications and application suites into administrator-defined application containers that are used for persisting user changes across sessions.
App Volumes is essentially an orchestrator that calls SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) to perform mounting functions. SOAP listens on port 443.
App Volumes Main use cases:
- Provide a persistent desktop experience in a non-persistent environment
- Deliver multiple applications from a single AppStack
- Enable for user installed applications in virtual or physical desktops
- Use AppStacks for RDSH and Citrix XenApp application management
- Leverage ThinApp to provide application isolation within AppStack
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