On May 29, VMware Released a new version of VMware App Volumes (2.14 ) with a lot of great features as Backup Writable,restore Writable, Writable volumes on shared datastores, Share Writable volumes wilt multiple vCenter servers, improved logon time and Role-Based Access Controls.
In this blog i will cover some of these great features, with a more detailed view, and my personal opinion about it.
New Features Backup/Restore and Move Writable volumes
Before this release, there was no built-in option to make backups, move or export the users writable volumes. Within this release the following options possible
- move your writable volumes
You can now use the GUI for moving the writable volumes to another datastore
Select the destination storage and hit “Move”
#When the user is logged in, the move task will be run when the writable volume is detached, although the system admin can schedule the move task, which is a great thing!
- move your writable volumes
- Regular Backups of all your writable volumes
Before this release, it was not possible to backup all your writable volumes with a regular interval
On the configuration tab within the admin console, select settings and scroll down to the Writable volumes backup sectionThe default backup interval is set to 7 days, I’ve changed this in 4 days, just for testing. There is one important thing “Backup is only performed for writable volumes that have been used at least once since the last backup up.”
- Backup and restore writable volumes
With this option you can backup single writable volumes to a another datastore for archiving reasons or restore the current volume with the backup made a few days ago.
Writable Volumes on Shared Datastores
You can now share writable volumes with multiple vCenter servers using shared datastores. Users can now logged in at multiple desktop environments with different vCenter servers and bring along their user settings and applications in their Writable volume
Role Based Access Controls
New in this release, it’s now possible to delegate task with controlled access rights, you can use the built-in rules or make your own custom role.
You can find the page “admin roles” under the tab configuration
While creating a Custom Role you can select the access rights of your administrators on different levels.
Just for demo purposes, I’ve made an custom role named “Support”. Members of the security group “Support Appvolumes” are allowed to view,assign/unassign appstacks and has view, disable/enable rights for writable volumes.
When the custom role is created, we can now assign the role to the active directory group “support appvolumes”
1 Select the Role ( support in my case )
2 Insert the name of the group and press search
3 check if the correct group is selected
The last step is checking if the user member of the group “support appvolumes” has the correct rights and not more than that 😉
Remarkable is that all options are still showing, so if the user support ( member of support appvolumes ) wanna delete an appstack, the user can push the bottom delete, after pushing the bottom, the user gets a warning “you do not have permission” it will be nice for the next release that the user only gets the options that are available for him only.
Microsoft outlook and windows search with ost redirection
**”From official release notes”Turn on Outlook’s Cached Exchange Mode to store the user’s large OST files on Writable Volumes. No more offline mode or complex configurations for Microsoft Outlook—with App Volumes alone, it just works.**
So far i know, with the pervious release of VMware Appvolumes, it was possible to redirect the ost file on a writable volumes using app volumes in combination with UEM 9.3 or GPO . I write a blog about it “https://leclmaas.nl/2017/12/05/handle-ost-files-with-vmware-app-volumes/”
New in this version is that you can now use the writable volume to redirect windows search in combination with ost.
Windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel Alignment
App Volumes 2.14 supports Windows 10 version 1709 and 1803. From now VMware plans to release every six months a new version of app volumes to align with the windows guest os. This is great news, your plans to upgrade the current windows desktop environment is not limited by app volumes!