Provisioning applications on physical system using VMware App Volumes

Introduction

In few of my earlier blogs on VMware App Volumes, I demonstrated how you can leverage VMware App Volumes to provision applications real time in a VMware virtualized environment.  But what if an organization is looking for a solution to provision applications on to a physical target machine or on a non-VMware virtualized environment. An organization can leverage VMware App Volumes to provision applications on to a physical target machine or on a non-VMware virtualized environment using in-Guest Operations mode. An organization can use in-Guest connection type to assign AppStacks and Writable Volumes to the virtual machines running on third-party unsupported hypervisors or to the physical computers. In an in-Guest operations mode, AppStacks and writable volumes are stored on a standard Common Internet File System (CIFS) file share in VHD file format and attached to the target computer using operating system functionality.

In this post, I will be covering the steps to configure an App Volume manager in in-Guest Operations mode post installing VMware App Volumes manager.

You can also refer to my previous blogs for

  1. VMware App Volume Manager Installation
  2. VMware App Volume Agent Installation 
  3. Creating App Stack using provisioning server

Demo

Procedure

  1. Login to VMware App Volume Manager

2. Integrate Active Directory

3. Choose in-Guest as Operations Mode under Machine Manager tab.

4. Add the CIFS Share & choose CIFS share as storage location for AppStacks or Writable Volumes under Storage Tab.

Post configuration you can create an AppStack and assign that to the user.

Conclusion

This concludes the configuration of VMware App Volumes Manager in a in-Guest Operation mode to provision applications on to physical target machines or on virtual machines running on a third-party unsupported hypervisor. Hope this will be informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!!. Be social and share if you find worth sharing it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Managing User Installed Applications & User Profile using VMware App Volumes

Introduction to VMware Writable Volumes

In one of the earlier post to the series, we talked about App Stack and its advantages. AppStacks are read-only volumes containing applications or can also be referred them as application containers. You can combine your organization’s core applications into a single AppStack making the AppStack easy to assign to Active Directory users. Using AppStacks you can easily provision the application which should be available across the organization or a set of users but what about the non-standard application which user want to install. In case of a non-persistent desktop, all user installed application & user profile data will be lost once user logoff from the virtual desktop.

Using Writable Volumes, you can configure per-user volumes where users can install and configure their own applications and keep the data that is specific to their profile. You can assign a Writable Volume to a specific user and which will become available to the user from any machine. A Writable Volume can contain data such as application settings, user profile, licensing information, configuration files, and user-installed applications. In case needed, you can create, import, edit, expand, and disable Writable Volumes using App Volumes Manager. Designing your environment for Writable Volumes require special consideration as Writable Volumes requires both Read & Write I/O.

 

Procedure

In this post, I will be demonstrating the steps to create a writable volume for saving user-installed applications and user data.

  1. Login to VMware App Volume Admin Console.
  2. Click on Create under Volumes –> Writable.

Search for the user & Choose the Destination Storage & Source Template

Choose appropriate option.

You can see the Writable volume created for the selected user.

Conclusion

This concludes the process of creating a Writable Volume for the user to save all the user installed applications as well as the user profile data. Next, I will be demonstrating the common administrative tasks you might need to perform in a VMware App Volume environment. Hope this will be informative for you. Thanks for Reading !!!. Be social and share if you find worth sharing it.

 

 

 

Step by Step – Provisioning Application to RDSH Host using VMware App Volumes

Introduction

In few of the previous blogs we covered

  1. Installation of VMware App Volumes Manager
  2. Installation of VMware App Volumes Agent
  3. Capturing Applications in AppStacks

In this blog, I will be demonstrating how you can assign AppStack to an RDSH host. You can assign AppStacks to Active Directory objects, such as users, computers, groups, and OUs. When assigning AppStacks to RDSH servers, only computer-based assignments are supported. You have to create a new AppStack using the same OS as the deployment RDSH server as you cannot use the AppStack you previously provisioned for a desktop OS.

Prerequisite

  1. Create an RDSH Farm with RDS Host part of it.
  2.  Create a new AppStack using the same OS as the deployment RDSH server.

Procedure

  1. Login to VMware App Volumes Manager
  2. Select the AppStack you want to provision to the RDS Host
  3. Assign the AppStack to the RDS Host Computer Account. VMware recommends assigning AppStacks to OUs, because it streamlines the assignment process for large RDSH farms.

Search for the RDS Host computer account.

Click on Assign.

You can create an application pool for the provisioned application using Horizon Admin Console or the user can access the provisioned applications by login into RDS Host.

Demonstration

Conclusion

This concludes the provisioning of Applications using VMware App Volumes on an RDS Host. Hope this will be informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!!. Be social and share if you find worth sharing it.

 

 

 

Configuring AppDNA and Analyzing an AppDisk for Compatibility Issues

Application Layering technology is not new now and their are several application layering solution’s available now. the major differentiator between other application layering technologies and Citrix AppDisk is its integration with AppDNA for Delivery group capability analysis. Once created you can test the capability of AppDisk against mutiple XenApp images or delivery groups. This gives an assurance that the application virtualized using AppDisk is going to work with delivery group without going through extensive testing.

Either you have single AppDisk assigned or multiple AppDisk assigned to a delivery group, AppDNA compatibility analysis makes sure that all the assigned AppDisk will work well together. AppDNA integration is a XenApp/XenDesktop Platinum-Only feature.

Before compatibility analysis of AppDisk, AppDNA need to be configured with Studio. Integration of AppDNA with XenApp / XenDesktop is very simple and can be done in few steps. Make sure the connection test passes.

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Once AppDisk creation process is completes, the AppDNA compatibility analysis will automatically kick in if AppDNA connection settings are configured. You can also perform AppDNA Capability analysis on the existing AppDisk.  The compatibility analysis is performed against the machine catalog that the preparation machine belongs to.

In this post we will be performing capability analysis on an existing AppDisk.

Login to the Citrix Studio and Select the AppDisk. Click on Analyze AppDisk. You will see option to Analyze AppDisk only after integrating AppDNA with Citrix Studio.

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Choose the Machine Catalog and Click on Analyze AppDisk. 34

AppDisk analysis will take some time. Wait for the time till the state changes to Ready.35 36 37 38

Click on View Report to check the Compatibility Analysis report for any issues.39 40

You can also view the reports from within the AppDNA console under the reports section.

This concludes the process to perform capability analysis of an AppDisk using Citrix AppDNA. I hope this will be informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it. Happy Learning 🙂

 

Integrating XenApp/XenDesktop Delivery Studio with AppDNA

Introduction

Citrix AppDNA is an application testing and management technology that detects and repairs compatibility problems that might prevent applications from migrating to a virtual desktop operating system easily. In one of my previous post I discussed the steps for Installation / Configuration of Citrix AppDNA Server. Once you have Citrix AppDNA server installed and configured you can integrate Citrix AppDNA with XenAPP/XenDesktop studio.This integration is very much required to analyze the virtualized applications (AppDisk) before assigning to the end users for use.

As we have already done with Installation and Configuration of AppDNA, we are ready to integrate Studio with the AppDNA server.

Integrating AppDNA with XenAPP / XenDesktop Delivery Studio

Logon Delivery Studio and go to Configuration -> AppDNA. Click on Create AppDNA Connection.19

Provide the required details.

Note : If you have not created other then the default users use username : administrator & Password : apps3cur3

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Connection State will be marked as Enabled once connected.

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This concludes the process to Integrate Citrix AppDNA server with XenAPP / XenDesktop Delivery Studio. I hope this will be informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it. Happy Learning 🙂

Deploying Citrix AppDNA

Introduction to Citrix AppDNA

One of the largest concerns that businesses searching at desktop virtualization must face is whether or not application packages will function effectively inside the new virtualized environment. Traditional awareness dictates performing rigorous manual utility testing, but granular software checking out isn’t always realistic. Your enterprise may have such a lot of applications that it’s far almost impossible to check all of them. Even if you have a workable number of apps, it’s far unrealistic to check every feature of every application. There are numerous tools available to help you compile applications and affirm compatibility with diverse operating systems. Microsoft Application Compatibility Manager and Citrix AppDNA is few among them. Citrix AppDNA is an application testing and management technology that detects and repairs compatibility problems that might prevent applications from migrating to a virtual desktop operating system easily..

AppDNA works through examining the application’s installer file. Apart from examining the application installer file, Citrix AppDNA also learn about the application dependencies usually without installing the application. In addition to testing and reporting, Citrix AppDNA can also do application remediation if needed. Citrix AppDNA provides a link to perform a automatic fix for an application but if in case remediation  cannot happened automatically, there may be manual processes required to be performed for the fix. AppDNA is probably best suited for large organizations that can quickly evaluate and re-mediate large numbers of applications.

Deploying Citrix AppDNA

Before deploying Citrix AppDNA in your production environment make sure you meet system requirements for Citrix AppDNA. If you are deploying Citrix AppDNA server behind firewall you need to have required network ports to be opened. In my lab I am using Windows 2012 R2 with SQL Server 2012 installed on it.

AppDNA server should have the following:

  • 12 GB of RAM
  • 80 GB free disk space for up to 200 applications. 150 GB if more applications.
  • Cannot be installed on a Delivery Controller. Must be a separate machine

Logon to the server with administrative rights and start the installation. Click Next to proceed

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Accept the License agreement and click on Next2

As this is the first Citrix AppDNA server we are installing, choose Complete and click on Next.3

Change the installation location in case required and click Next.4

Click Finish to start the installation.5 6Once installed AppDNA server need to be configured. Keep “Launch the configuration wizard to configure this new installation” selected and Click on Finish.7

Configuration Wizard with perform a prerequisites check. Click Enable if required features are not enabled.8

As this is a new installation. Select Configure new installation and click on Next.9

Provide in the server name where Microsoft SQL Server is installed and provide the Database Name. Select Windows authentication and click on Next10Select Use the built-in IIS application pool identity and click Next.11

Provide the License database. In lab I am choosing Run in trial mode. Click Next to proceed further.12

Choose appropriate option and click on Next.13

If you have Windows Firewall enabled on the server open the mentioned port numbers and click Next.14

Click on Configure on the System Check page.15

The configuration process will take time. Wait till the time configuration process completes.  16 17 18

Launch the click from the start menu. Use below credentials and click on Login.

  • Username : administrator
  • Password : apps3cur3

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This completes the installation of Citrix AppDNA server. In this post we covered Introductions to Citrix AppDNA and the required steps to install AppDNA server. Thanks for Reading!!. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it. Happy Learning 🙂

Applications delivery using Citrix AppDisk

In one of my earlier post, I covered the step by step procedure to create an Citrix AppDisk. Now once we have the AppDisk is in ready stage and sealed the application deployed can be assigned to a Random  Delivery Catalog.

Before proceeding further lets have a look to the desktop part of delivery cataog.

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As we see there is no application attached to this desktop. Now, lets logo to the Citrix Studio and go to Delivery Catalogs. Click on Manage AppDisk.

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On manage AppDisk page click on Add to associate appdisk to the delivery catalog.27

Select the application and click OK. 28Post adding AppDisk. Click on Next to proceed further. 29

Choose the rollout strategy 30

Click on Finish to surrort.31

Post rollout applications available in AppDisk will be available to end users once they login to desktop part of this Delivery Catalog group.

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We can see applications assigned to delivery catalog is available to users

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This summarizes the required steps need to assign an appdisk to the end users. Thanks for Reading!!. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it. Happy Learning 🙂

 

Creating Citrix AppDisk

In few or my earlier post, we discussed Application Layering and also covered how you can virtualize an application using VMware application layering technology (VMware App Volumes). In this post I will be covering the process to virtualize and application using Citrix Application layering technology ( AppDisk ). If you are new to Citrix AppDisk, I would recommend to visit my another post on Introduction to Citrix AppDisk before this post.

Creating AppDisk Prerequisite :

  • Antivirus process can delay AppDisk creation process add CtxPvD.exe and CtxPvDSvc.exe to the exclusion list of your antivirus program. (Known Issues).
  • Shadow Copy and Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Service Provider services must be enabled on the machines.
  • For creating AppDisk you need one Machine catalog of type random and should not be assigned to any Delivery Catalog.

Creating AppDisk :

  1. Logon to Citrix Studio. Go to AppDisk. Click on Create AppDisk1
  2. On Getting started with AppDisk page click on Next2
  3. On Create AppDisk page select the size of the AppDisk. These new AppDisk will be a thin provisioned AppDisk, choose the disk size which can hold the application. Click Next to proceed.3
  4. Select the MCS or PVS random catalog from the list. This catalog should not be assigned to any Delivery Catalog. Click Next to proceed.4
  5. Give appropriate name to AppDisk. Click on Finish to create AppDisk.5
  6. Wait for the time AppDisk creation process finish.6
  7. Post successful completion of AppDisk creation process, you will see status of AppDisk as Ready to Install Application.7
  8. AppDisk is ready now to Install Applications. Right click on AppDisk and click on Install Applications.8 9
  9. Remote into the machine and Install the applications to be made available to the users. Once application installation and configuration is done, return back to Citrix Studio and click on Seal AppDisk.10
  10. Click Yes to Seal the application.11 12

Post completion Status of AppDisk will change to Ready. 13In this post, we covered the process to create AppDisk. Next step is to assign AppDisk to a Delivery Group to made application installed in this AppDisk accessible to end users. I hope this is informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it. Happy Learning 🙂

 

Introduction to Citrix AppDisk

Introduction to Citrix AppDisk

In one of my earlier post I discussed about Application Layering. Using Application layering technology applications that need to communicate with device and kernel drivers can also be virtualized and delivered to users. Using Application layering Microsoft virtual hard disk (VHD) or VMware virtual machine disk (VMDK) can be created having the layered applications. These VHD and VMDK can be located on a network file share and made accessible to the users. App layering tools use filters depending on users, groups or locations to determine which layer to make available to each user.

Similar to other Application Solutions like VMware App Volume, Liquidware Labs, FlexApp from Unidesk, Citrix AppDisk is an Application layering technology  Citrix released with XendApp / XenDesktop 7.8 (all versions) built on the ‘Personal vDisk’ foundation. Using Citrix AppDisk you can layer additional applications on top of a Desktop or Server OS instead of providing application directly within the gold MCS or PVS Images. Citrix AppDisk reduces administrative overheads and helps administrator to manage OS and applications independently. The operating systems treats these layered applications as if they are installed locally.

Point need to be considered before deployment.

  • AppDisks can be created on vSphere 5.1 or later and XenServer only. AppDisk are not support for Hyper-V.
  • Hosting AppDisk on VSAN Datastore is not supported.
  • Additional data might be written to the write cache if deployed in Provisioning Services environments. AppDisks are stored on hypervisor storage, not Provisioning Services storage.
  • AppDisk must be on the same hosting resources as the linked clones it is attached to. In case of multiple hosting resources, AppDisk nee to be imported.
  • At present Windows OS is the only supported platform for AppDisk.
  • Just like PVS vDisk Versioning, Appdisk have versioning and rollback capablility.
  • You cannot assign Citrix AppDisk to a user, it is assigned to Delivery Group. Once assigned to Deliver Group, applications will be available on all machines. If you want to hide from Certain users, Group policies can be used.
  • AppDisk can only be assigned with Random Desktop and Server OS Catalogs. Appdisk cannot be associated with the dedicated machine catalogue.
    It is recommended to grop the applications to one AppDisk Layer if possible this will help in reducing resource utilization.
  • Machines must have atleast VDA 7.8 installed to make use of AppDisks.
  • Citrix AppDisk can be integrated with Citrix AppDNA to analyze the AppDisk before deploying to the end users.

In upcoming post, I will be covering the process how we can deploy Citrix AppDisk and assign to the user. I hope this is informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it. Happy Learning 🙂