App Volumes: Architecture, Security, Storage, and Logs…Oh My!

So, you’ve gone and gotten yourself a copy of App Volumes, or are thinking about it? Welcome to the club. It is a pretty slick piece of software, and I am really enjoying working with it. We have replaced our Unidesk deployment with Horizon Enterprise using App Volumes for application delivery. If you already have App Volumes deployed, or are even just thinking about it, here is some info that may be of use. Shout out to @chrisdhalstead and @VirtualStef for all the great info presented here. They put on some great sessions at VMworld this year.

Architecture Considerations:

2 App Volumes Managers at minimum, load balanced.

SQL Express for Dev / Test ONLY

Clustered SQL servers

App Volumes – Storage

AppStack

  • Read Only
  • 1:Many
  • 20GB Default Template
  • Dedicated Datastore Recommended for AppStacks
  • Right-Size your templates (No need for 20GB template for a 10MB program)

Writable Volumes

  • Read / Write
  • 1:1 Per User
  • 10GB Default Template
  • Right-Size your templates here too.

Optimize storage volumes for Writable Volumes

  • Consider RAID 1 or RAID 10

Flash Storage Array Support

User Concurrency for each application and storage requirement may impact IOPS

Security Considerations

Replace default self-signed SSL certificate for App Volumes Manager (svserver.crt)

Deploy ThinApp packaged applications to leverage isolation modes

Use a read-only Active Directory service account for App Volumes

  • vCenter Administrator Privileges required for mount operations.
  • ESXi root required if using local mount option

App Volumes – Agent Log Files

The App Volumes Agent has 2 log files that can be found on the machine. These two files are the svservice.log and the svdriver.log. Both of these logs can be found in the same directory:

C:\Windows\*.log

The App Volumes Agent can be found in the Windows Services, as with any other agents. Check there if you’re not getting any response or issues from the agent.

App Volumes – Manager Log Files

The App Volumes Manager also has 2 log files that can be found on the App Volumes Manager server. These logs are called production.log and svmanager_server.log. Both of these logs can be found in the same directory:

C:\Program Files(x86)\CloudVolumes\Manager\*.log

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Hopefully some of this info was helpful to you. If you have any questions or concerns about your deployment, feel free to leave a comment or tweet in my general direction. Happy Stacking!

-vTimD

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