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Managing Application Packages with App Volumes 4 Simplified Application Management

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What is an Application Package?

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.

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.

Applications delivered by App Volumes follow users seamlessly across sessions and devices. Administrators can assign, update, or remove applications at the next user login.

In this lesson, you will:

  • Create an App Volumes 4 application package
  • Deploy the application package using dynamic marker-based assignments
  • Update a deployed application package to a new version

Launch Firefox

On the Main Console desktop, launch the Firefox browser

Log in to App Volumes Manager

To login to the App Volumes Manager:

  1. Open the Region A shortcut folder
  2. Click on App Volumes Manager A shortcut
  3. Enter Username: Administrator
  4. Enter Password: VMware1!
  5. Click Login

Create a New Application

Applications are a logical construct new to App Volumes 4.x and represent a collection of packaged versions of a particular application. Packages are entitled to end users and computers at the application layer.

  1. On the Applications tab, click Create

Enter the Application Name

  1. In the Name field, enter 7-Zip. Note that we are not entering an application version number, because the 7-Zip Application would likely contain several different versions of the 7-Zip software in a production environment.
  2. Click Create

Confirm Create Application

  1. Click Create

Create a Package for 7-Zip

  1. In the Name field, enter 7-Zip 22.01. Note that we are using the version name here, because we are creating a package for this specific version of 7-Zip.
  2. Note the Delivery Type is Classic. On-Demand delivery is covered in Module 6.
  3. Click the Stage drop down and note the various lifecycle stages available with which to label this application. Leave the application stage at New.
  4. Click Create.

Confirm Create Package

  1. Click Create

Begin the Packaging Process

  1. From the Inventory tab, click Packages
  2. Click the + icon next to 7-Zip 22.01
  3. Click Package

 

Find a Packaging Computer

  1. In the Find Packaging Computer field, enter Win10
  2. Click Search
  3. Select the radio button next to CORP\Win10-02A$
  4. Click Package

 

Confirm Start Packaging

  1. In the Confirm Start Packaging dialogue box, click the Start Packaging button

Log in to vCenter

To log in to vCenter:

  1. Click the + icon to open a new tab in the Firefox browser
  2. Click the Region A bookmarks folder
  3. Click vcsa-01a Web Client to open vCenter
  4. Enter Username: [email protected]
  5. Enter Password: VMware1!
  6. Click Login

Login to the Packaging Machine

The packaging machine is a specialized VM that is used to create application packages. It is running the same version of Windows 10 as the gold image that will be used to create the VMware Horizon pools to which we will be deploying App Volumes packages. In order to avoid capturing any unnecessary software in the App Volumes application package, a minimum amount of software and agents are installed on the packaging machine. Once the creation of the packaging machine is completed but before any application packages have been packaged, a snapshot of the packaging machine should be taken so that the packaging machine can be reverted to a known clean version for subsequent packaging captures. For more information on preparing the packaging machine, visit Best Practices for Packaging Applications.

  1. Scroll down in the list of VMs and Templates until you see Win10-02a
  2. Click on Win10-02a to select it
  3. Click Launch Web Console

Log in to the Packaging Machine

HOL-2251-01-DWS - VMware Horizon - Getting Started with App and Desktop Virtualization | Lab Console | VMware Learning Platform - Google Chrome
  1. Click Send Ctrl+Alt+Del
  2. Click Other User
  3. Enter Username: user1mod5
  4. Enter Password: VMware1!
  5. Click the arrow button to log in

Observe Packaging in Progress Dialogue Box

Note the VMware App Volumes - Packaging in progress dialogue box in the lower right. Do not click OK at this time.

NOTE: The App Volumes popup may take 20-30 seconds to display.

  1. Click the File Explorer icon in the taskbar
  2. Click Documents
  3. Double click on the HOL folder

Run 7-Zip Installer

  1. Right click on 7-zip_22.01-x64
  2. Click Run as administrator
  3. Click Install

Close 7-Zip Installer

  1. Click Close

End Packaging

  1. Minimize any open windows so that you can see the Packaging in Progress dialogue box on the desktop. Click OK.
  2. Click Yes.

Finalize Package

  1. Click Finalize on the Finalize Package dialogue box. App Volumes will analyze the installed application, and then prompt you to restart the packaging machine.

Restart the Packaging Machine

  1. Click OK to restart the packaging machine

Log in Post-Capture

After the packaging machine reboots, you will need to log in to the packaging VM as the capture user one more time to complete the package capture process.

  1. Enter password: VMware1!
  2. Click the arrow button to log in

Packaging Successful

Click OK on the Packaging successful! dialogue box to complete the capture process.  It may take a few moments for it to appear.

Note: At this point in a production environment, we would revert the packaging machine back to a known clean snapshot in vCenter. Because this is the only application we are capturing in this lab, we are skipping this step in the lab.

Return to App Volumes Manager

  1. Click the App Volumes Manager tab to return to App Volumes Manager.

Log in to App Volumes Manager

You may find that your session has timed out, and you must log in again.

  1. Enter Username: Administrator
  2. Enter Password: VMware1!
  3. Click Login

Mark 7-Zip 22.01 as Current

In App Volumes 4, you have the option to use dynamic marker-based entitlements when assigning application packages. Marker-based entitlements allow the App Volumes administrator to designate a package as Current, and then create an entitlement that states a given user, computer, or group should receive the version of the application that carries the Current tag. Static package-based assignments are also available should a user, computer, or group require a specific version of an application. If there is a conflict (i.e. if one user has both a dynamic and a static entitlement), static package-based assignments have precedence over dynamic marker-based assignments.

  1. Click Inventory
  2. Click Packages
  3. Click the + icon next to 7-Zip 22.01 to expand it
  4. Click the Set CURRENT button

Confirm Set CURRENT

  1. Click Set CURRENT

Assign the Application Using the Current Marker

Next, we will assign the application to a group of end users using a dynamic marker-based entitlement.

  1. Click Applications
  2. Click the + icon next to 7-Zip
  3. Click Assign

Assign 7-Zip to Domain Users

  1. In the Search Active Directory field, enter Domain Users
  2. Click Search
  3. Tick the checkbox next to CORP\Domain Users
  4. Ensure the Marker radio button is selected
  5. Click Assign

Confirm Assign

  1. Click Assign

Launch the VMware Horizon Client

Next, we will log in to a VMware Horizon virtual desktop to verify that the assigned application package is successfully deployed.

Minimize the Firefox Browser, and double-click the VMware Horizon Client on the desktop of the Main Console VM.

Choose a Horizon Pod

Double-click horizon-01a.corp.vmbeans.com

Enter Credentials

Log into VMware Horizon.

  1. Enter Username: user1mod5
  2. Enter Password: VMware1!
  3. Click Login

Choose the Instant Clone Pool

Double click on the Instant Clone Pool to launch the virtual desktop

Launch 7-Zip

  1. Click the Start Menu button
  2. Click the arrow to expand the 7-Zip folder
  3. Click 7-Zip File Manager

Confirm that 7-Zip is Being Deployed Via App Volumes

Close 7-Zip. Note the Host Name of the virtual desktop you are currently logged into.  It may differ from what you see in the image.

NOTE: The Host Name on the virtual desktop may take a few minutes to display.

Minimize the Horizon Client

  1. Minimize the Horizon Client using the buttons in the upper right of the Horizon Client Toolbar at the top of the screen.

Check Attachments in App Volumes Manager

  1. Return to Firefox and the App Volumes Manager tab, then Click Inventory
  2. Click Attachments to view all currently attached app packages
  3. Note the name of the Host Computer 7-Zip is currently deployed to. It should match the name of the Instant Clone desktop you were logged into in the Horizon Client in the previous step.

Update an Existing Application Package to a New Version

In this exercise, you will update an application package currently deployed using dynamic marker entitlements to a new version by moving the Current marker from one package to another.

  1. Open the minimized Instant Clone Pool virtual desktop

Open Programs and Features

  1. Click the search box on the taskbar, type appwiz.cpl and hit ENTER on the keyboard

Note the Version Number of VLC Media Player

  1. Expand the Programs and Features window until you can see the Version column on the right. Note that the currently installed version of VLC Media Player is 3.0.17.

Log out of VMware Horizon

  1. In the VMware Horizon Toolbar at the top of the screen, click the ellipsis  
  2. Click Logoff Desktop
  3. Click OK on the confirmation pop-up

Move the Current Marker to VLC 3.0.18

In this lab, we have an existing entitlement for CORP\Domain Users to receive the version of VLC Media Player that is tagged as Current. To save time, we have pre-packaged the new version of VLC, Media Player 3.0.18. To update VLC Media Player for CORP\Domain Users, we need to move the Current marker from VLC 3.0.17 to VLC 3.0.18.

  1. Return to Firefox and App Volumes Manager tab, then click Inventory
  2. Click Packages
  3. Click the + sign next to VLC 3.0.18 to expand it
  4. Click Set CURRENT

Confirm Set CURRENT

  1. Click Set CURRENT to apply the change

Note New Location of Current Tag

Note that the green Current tag has now moved to VLC 3.0.18. Only one version of an application package can be set to Current at a time.

Launch the Instant Clone Pool in the VMware Horizon Client

HOL-2251-01-DWS - VMware Horizon - Getting Started with App and Desktop Virtualization | Lab Console | VMware Learning Platform - Google Chrome
  1. Click the VMware Horizon Client shortcut on the task bar.
  2. Click the Instant Clone Pool.

NOTE: If you were signed out of horizon-01.corp.local, follow the below steps to sign-in again. Otherwise, continue to the next step.

  1. In the VMware Horizon Client, click horizon-01.corp.local.
  2. Enter user1mod5 for User name.
  3. Enter VMware1! for the Password.
  4. Click Login.

Follow the first steps in this section to launch the Instant Clone Pool after logging in.

Open Programs and Features

On the Instant Clone Pool virtual machine:

  1. Click the search box on the taskbar, type appwiz.cpl and hit ENTER on the keyboard

Note the Installed Version of VLC Media Player

  1. Expand the Programs and Features window until you can see the Version column on the right. Note that VLC has been updated to version 3.0.18.

Log Off of the Instant Clone Pool

HOL-2251-01-DWS - VMware Horizon - Getting Started with App and Desktop Virtualization | Lab Console | VMware Learning Platform - Google Chrome
HOL-2251-01-DWS - VMware Horizon - Getting Started with App and Desktop Virtualization | Lab Console | VMware Learning Platform - Google Chrome
  1. Click Options.
  2. Click Disconnect and Log Off.
  3. Click OK.
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