Provisioning applications on physical system using VMware App Volumes


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



  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.


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.



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.


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


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.


  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.


  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.



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.




Step by Step – Installing VMware App Volumes Agent

Installing VMware App Volume Agent

Post installation of VMware App Volumes Manager, install the App Volumes agent on the provisioning computer and target desktops. You don’t need to install on the server where you have App Volumes Manager installed. You need to deploy App Volumes Agents on desktops that will be accessing AppStacks and writable volumes, as well as on provisioning machines, and RDSH hosts. Provisioning machines will be the machines used to capture applications for AppStacks.



  • The account used to install Agent should have local administrator privileges on the target computer.
  • App Volumes Manager IP Address.


  • Although it is not strictly required, as a best practice it is recommends to use the same Windows OS  version for the provisioning machine that an AppStack will be attached to. For example, use a Windows 10 provisioning machine for AppStacks that will be attached to Windows 10 desktops, and a Windows Server 2012 R2 provisioning machine for AppStacks that will be attached to a Windows Server 2012 R2 RDSH host.
  • On provisioning host, you should disable any agents that will perform any type of updates like Windows Update and virus definitions.
  • On provisioning host, disable agents like antivirus agents, Horizon Agents, etc



This video demonstrates you the installation of VMware App Volumes Agent. You can choose to install App Volume agent to communicate on port 80 or 443.  By default, Agent will communicate with App Volume manager on port 443.


This concludes the installation of VMware App Volumes agent on provisioning host. You can follow the same process to install App Volumes agent on the desktop where app stack to be attached. Next step is to create an app stack which will be further used for delivering the application in real time on to virtual desktops. Hope this will be informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!!. Be social and share if you find worth sharing it.




Step by Step : Installing & Configuring VMware App Volume Manager

Introduction to App Volumes

In a VDI environment, you can provide a user access to persistent or a non-persistent desktop. In a persistent desktop, you can install all the applications within the base image and create virtual desktops using that base image. Installing applications in a single base image will grow the disk size and the same will get replicated to the virtual desktops created using that base image. If users or departments require applications that differ from the baseline, you have to create separate desktop pools. Multiple pools lead to multiple base image to be created which significantly increases the storage and administrative overhead. Installing apps on a non-persistent desktop are especially challenging. Any configuration changes will be lost once user logout of the desktops.

VMware App Volumes is an application layering product to deliver real-time applications on the virtual machines. Quickly providing users with applications that require no installation reduces infrastructure strain and overhead and simplifies application life-cycle management. App Volumes or App Stacks are virtual disks (VMDK or VHD) consist of everything required to run an application. App Volumes, help organizations to centrally manage the application that is deployed to a virtual desktop with virtual disks. Once captured, you can provision applications to users, group or computer assignment. You can manage the process using App Volume Manager a web-based interface that is integrated with Active Directory and vSphere. When an application is no longer required, you can easily remove it.

App Volumes Benefits

  • Delivering multiple applications from a single App Stack.
  • Real-time provisioning of applications to user, groups, computers and organizational units.
  • Persistent desktop experience in a non-persistent enviornment.
  • Application isolation within AppStacks using ThinApp.

App volume Components

  1. App Volume Manager: Is a Windows Server system used as the Web Console for administration and configuration of App Volumes and assignment of AppStacks and writable volumes. It is also used as a broker for the App Volumes Agents, for automated assignment of applications and writable volumes during desktop startup or user login.
  2. App Volume Agent: Is a software to be installed on all Windows desktops where users receive AppStack volumes and writable volume assignment. 
  3. App Volumes Database: MS SQL database that holds configuration information for AppStacks, writable volumes, users, machines, entitlements, and transactions.
  4. Provisioning Virtual Machine: Is a provisioning virtual machine that includes the OS, necessary updates, and service packs, and has only core applications installed. This VM should have App Volume agent installed on it.
  5. vCenter: Provides an interface to manage VMware Infrastructure from a centralized console.

App Volumes Manager Installation Prerequisites.

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 VM configured with 2 vCPU and 4 GB RAM.
  • Active Directory account with read access to the domain.
  • VMware vCenter Server administrator account.
  • App Volumes ISO installer. To download the trial evaluation, go to
  • Microsoft SQL Server.
    • SQL Express 2008 R2 or above supported for testing or nonproduction
    • SQL 2008 R2 or 2012 Standard  or above
    • SQL Server account with DB Owner role required for installation and operations

Installing VMware App Volume Manager

This video demonstrates the installation of VMware App Volume Manager



This concludes the installation of VMware App Volume manager. Once we have App Volume Manager installed, we need to install App Volume agent on the provisioning host or target client. In next post to the series, I will be demonstrating the installation of VMware App Volume agent o the provisioning host or target machine. Hope this will be informative to you. Thanks for Reading!!! Be social and share if you find worth sharing it.





Updating an Citrix AppDisk

You might be asked to deploy new set of applications or update the existing applications to new release. In that scenario you might decide to update the existing AppDisk assigned to the users. At present Citrix don’t provide any option to upgrade the existing AppDisk as there is no version management built into AppDisk. This means every time when you need to add / update the application, you are cloning the existing AppDisk, making changes to the cloned Appdisk and assigning back to the Delivery Group. Another important point you need to remember is that, you CANNOT resize an AppDisk while creating a new version. As of now there are no option to resize an AppDisk within Studio. You would have to resize the AppDisk at hypervisor level and then reimport and reassign the AppDisk.

Related Post

Updating an AppDisk

To update an existing AppDisk, Logon to Citrix Studio. Select the AppDisk you like to update and select “Create New Version” from the Action pane. Select the Machine Pool to be used for preparing virtual machine required to update applications. This start the AppDisk creation process. Once AppDisk sealed after updating / Adding application, AppDNA compatibility analysis will be carried out against the preparation VM machine catalog. Once you have new version is ready with all the updated / added applications, you can assign the AppDisk to the required delivery group and unassign the old one.

Login to Citrix Studio and Select the AppDisk to update. Click on Create New Version.


Give the appropriate name and click OK.2Select the new AppDisk and Click on Install Application.



Login to the desktop and install / updated the required applications. Once Installed / updated, Click on Seal AppDisk.

5 6

After sealing the AppDisk, AppDNA will perform the compatibility analysis. Post analysis you can check the report for any compatibility issues. 7 8

You can also view the reports after login into AppDNA directly. 9 10

In this post we covered the process to update an existing AppDisk. 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 🙂


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.


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.


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


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


Connection State will be marked as Enabled once connected.


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


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

21 22 23

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.


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.


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.


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


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 🙂