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App Volumes AppStack Creation

Dale CarterBy Dale Carter, Senior Solutions Architect, End-User Computing

VMware App Volumes provide just-in-time application delivery to virtualized desktop environments. With this real-time application delivery system, applications are delivered to virtual desktops through VMDK virtual disks, without modifying the VM or applications themselves. Applications can be scaled out with superior performance, at lower costs, and without compromising end-user experience.

In this blog post I will show you how easy it is to create a VMware App Volumes AppStack and how that AppStack can then be easily deployed to up to hundreds of users

When configuring App Volumes with VMware Horizon View an App Volumes AppStack is a read-only VMDK file that is added to a user’s virtual machine, and then the App Volumes Agent merges the two or more VMDK files so the Microsoft Windows operating system sees the files as just one drive. This way the applications look to the Windows OS as if they are natively installed and not on a separate disk.

To create an App Volumes AppStack follow these simple steps.

  1. Log in to the App Volumes Manager Web interface.
  2. Click Volumes.
    DCarter Volumes
  3. Click Create AppStack.
    DCarter AppStack
  4. Give the AppStack a name. Choose the storage location and give it a description (optional). Then click Create.
    DCarter Create AppStack
  5. Choose to either Perform in the background or Wait for completion and click Create.
    DCarter Create
  6. vCenter will now create a new VMDK for the AppStack to use.
  7. Once vCenter finishes creating the VMDK the AppStack will show up as Un-provisioned. Click the + sign.
  8. Click Provision
    DCarter Provision
  9. Search for the desktop that will be used to install the software. Select the Desktop and click Provision.
    DCarter Provision AppStack
  10. Click Start Provisioning.
    DCarter Start Provisioning
  11.  vCenter will now attach the VMDK to the desktop.
  12. Open the desktop that will be used for provisioning the new software. You will see the following message: DO NOT click OK. You will click OK after the install of the software.
    DCarter Provisioning Mode
  13. Install the software on the desktop. This can be just one application or a number of applications. If reboots are required between installs that is OK. App Volumes will remember where you are after the install.
  14. Once all of the software has been installed click OK.
    DCarter Install
  15. Click Yes to confirm and reboot.
    DCarter Reboot
  16. Click OK.
    DCarter 2
  17. The desktop will now reboot. After the reboot you must log back in to the desktop.
  18. After you log in you must click OK. This will reconfigure the VMDK on the desktop.
    DCarter Provisioning Successful
  19. You can now connect to the App Volumes Manager Web interface and see that the AppStack is ready to be assigned.
    DCarter App Volumes Manager

Once you have created the AppStack you can assign the AppStack to an Active Directory object. This could be a user, computer or user group.

To assign an AppStack to a user, computer or user group, follow these simple steps.

  1. Log in to the App Volumes Manager Web interface.
  2. Click Volumes.
    DCarter Volumes Dashboard
  3. Click the + sign by the AppStack you want to assign.
  4. Click Assign.
    DCarter Assign
  5. Search for the Active Director object. Select the user, computer, OU or user group to assign the AppStack to. Click Assign.
    DCarter Assign Dashboard
  6. Choose either to assign the AppStack at the next login or immediately, and click Assign.
    DCarter Active Director
  7. The users will now have the AppStack assigned to them and will be able to launch the applications as they would any normal application.
    DCarter AppStack Assign

By following these simple steps you will be able to quickly create an AppStack and simply deploy that AppStack to your users.

Dale is a Senior Solutions Architect and member of the CTO Ambassadors. Dale focuses in the End User Compute space, where Dale has become a subject matter expert in a number of the VMware products. Dale has more than 20 years experience working in IT having started his career in Northern England before moving the Spain and finally the USA. Dale currently hold a number of certifications including VCP-DV, VCP-DT, VCAP-DTD and VCAP-DTA.

For updates you can follow Dale on twitter @vDelboy

11 thoughts on “App Volumes AppStack Creation

  1. Robert Woods

    Great little how to, love to see these things. Wonder though why it us that VMware insists on being so windows centric, surely it would pay to match features for Linux desktops too? Maybe even criss platform features like Windows appstacks which can be deployed to Linux desktops as ‘remote applications’ ?

    1. juliap Post author

      Thanks for the comment. As a Solutions Architect responsible for Professional Services development, setting product direction is out of scope for Dale personally but, I will pass along to the product team. (Meanwhile, be on the lookout for Dale’s next blog post on App Volumes, coming next week.)

  2. Rus Healy

    Dale, nice article, thanks. Seems that this gives us yet another way to deliver applications–how do you recommend going about choosing what to use with AppStack, what to package with ThinApp, and what to deliver using RDS hosted applications in Horizon View 6? We almost have too many choices–and this counts only the VMware options!


    1. Dale Carter

      Agreed this is another option and it will depend on the application and how you want to deliver those applications. Remember that ThinApped applications can be delivered using AppStacks and AppStacks can also be used with RDS hosts.

      One thing to remember is App Volumes helps with the delivery of applications to a desktop or RDS host; ThinApp is an Application Virtualization technology.

  3. Ahmad Khan

    Hi Dale, Nice article !

    Can you please put some light in the HA part here so that we can find out how to design the App volume for enterprise class deployement.


  4. Pingback: Provisioning Office 365 with App Volumes AppStacks - VMware End-User Computing Blog - VMware Blogs

  5. Apps Bazar

    Hi Dale its a nice article and thanks for this. you describe structured how to set app volume .Architect responsible for Professional Services development. I am waiting for new article.

  6. Greg Case


    Thanks for the post. When I am provisioning I am not getting the pop-up on the workstation and consequently no capture. I am running Windows 7 – AV is not present , firewall is off.

    Where should I check next to troubleshoot?

    It is working on another Workstation (different Parent) on our system




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