The work of application management is never done! Providing applications to your end users includes packaging, delivering, and updating–all of which can be challenging, whether physical or virtual desktops are used. As a result, application management is expedited too often at the expense of user experience.
But wait! VMware App Volumes includes enhancements to both application management and user experience. Using Simplified Application Management, App Volumes employs a dynamic new method of delivering applications in real time based on the user and user groups.
What’s New video
Catch the What’s New video to hear about the latest features and enhancements in App Volumes 4:
Interactive Feature Walk-Through demo
Don’t miss the interactive feature walk-through demo, which gives you the chance to dive in and see how it works firsthand:
In this demo, you can hear the concepts of Simplified Application Management explained and demonstrated. You can also get hands-on with the simulation, without even leaving the window! You step through the process of creating an application, creating a package, and assigning that package using both marker and package assignment types.
This interactive demo gives you the ability to see and feel Simplified Application Management in action. This gives you more granular control over your application assignments and management.
New Simplified Application Management capabilities
One of the highlights for App Volumes 4 is the new Simplified Application Management capabilities. This includes improvements in the way application lifecycle is managed. Instead of capturing applications in objects called AppStacks, as you did in App Volumes 2.x, you now work with applications, packages, and programs. These additional components provide you with granular control over application lifecycle and improve administrative workflows.
App Volumes employs Simplified Application Management, which typically has the following workflow:
- Applications – You create the application first. An application in App Volumes 4 represents one or more packaged versions of software. Assignments are done at the application level to users, groups, computers or organizational units. Assignments can now be made directly to a specific package or to the package with the current marker.
- Packages – Next, you use a packaging VM to capture application bits to a virtual disk for distribution to users and computers. The process is similar to creating AppStacks. Packages are assigned a stage at creation, and the stage can be advanced as the package goes through its lifecycle.
- Programs – Finally, the program is auto-generated during package creation. The name of the program is automatic, and executables and actual bits are captured during the package creation. The program may contain one or more application installers.
You can manage applications individually, application by application. For example, say you want to deploy Notepad++ to your end users as an individual application. As new versions become available, you add those packages to your application. Each package contains one version of one piece of software. This gives you granular control over the lifecycle of this application.
On the other hand, you could manage applications based on logical groups, such as business groups. For example, say you want to deploy multiple applications to your marketing department. You create one or more packages, each containing one or more programs. When these need to be updated, you create a new package that includes all updates, and distribute the entire package to your marketing department. This results in fewer package attachments.
New coexistence capability
Another highlight of App Volumes 4 is the fact that you can now run your 2.x implementations from the new App Volumes 4 admin console. This is called coexistence. You can upgrade to App Volumes 4 and start playing with the new features, while still managing your 2.x environment from a separate “tab” in the App Volumes Manager console. This means it is possible for you to migrate slowly and gradually, instead of conducting a major overhaul of the tool and admin workflows.
Additional new highlights for App Volumes 4
In addition to the new coexistence and Simplified Application Management capabilities, App Volumes 4 also includes numerous performance improvements, new features, and management workflows that make your life easier.
• Application Owners– You can assign Active Directory entities to indicate ownership of a particular application.
• Application History– You can view a list of administrative actions that have been performed on a particular application, and who performed them.
• Intent-based Assignments with a Current Marker– You can mark one of an application’s packages as current to indicate the intended version for delivery.
• Single-app Package Format– Package applications individually and deliver in any combination.
• Package Lifecycle Stages– You can now denote the maturity of a package by setting it as New, Tested, Published or Retired.
• Package Notes– You can now track package details by noting any specific steps or configurations after packaging an application.
• Improved Template Management – Template policy files (cfg) have moved out of the template disk to the base image, so that it may be updated easily when updating the Agent. App Volumes Manager also provides an improved management interface for uploading and maintaining templates.
• Upgrading – You can upgrade App Volumes Manager from 2.18 or later and continue managing 2.x agents. See the App Volumes 4 documentation for more details.
• Prevent Modifications to Installed Applications (Tech Preview)– Some of your end users might have the ability to modify or uninstall applications in the base image. This can have consequences, such as leaving artifacts on the writable volume, which, if attached to another VM with that same application, can result in unexpected behavior. App Volumes 4 provides you with more control over this possibility. As administrator, you can prevent modifications by end users, and prevent such artifacts from being written to the writables in the first place. By default, this feature is disabled.
• AppStack Migration Tool – There’s a tool to migrate 2.x AppStacks to Packages. See App Volumes Migration Utility to find out more.
Hungry for more?
• If you are new to App Volumes 4, you can get the most current scoop at the VMware App Volumes product page.
• For the eagle-eye view of where we’ve come and where we’re going, see Package Delivered: App Volumes 4.
• And if you are hungry to become an App Volumes pro, the Master App Volumes activity path is the place for you to go!