App Volumes on VMware Horizon Cloud is Just in Time to Save Your App Woes in Azure

A short week ago, my recent post on Horizon Cloud on Azure has been a huge hit among my peers. As promised, I have built out part two of my series on VMware Horizon Cloud on Azure with Horizon’s two buddies: (1) VMware Dynamic Environment Manager (DEM) and (2) App Volumes that drive a special “Just-in Time” experience for a gorgeous user experience.

Building the App Volumes Virtual Machine

We start things out by building the App Volumes VM, which is easy enough. The main takeaway here is if you don’t see the “App Volumes Agent” radio button, you need to make sure they entitle your Horizon Control Plane properly. Make sure you buckle up, the build will take a strong 30-45m to complete.

Customizing the App Volumes Virtual Machine

I was quite surprised when working through the configuration of the VM by the challenges that exist. The thing that stands out most to me is a MAJOR need for manageability and monitoring for the Pod Manager. The Pod Manager basically spins up a standalone NIC for App Volumes on Port 3443, which is a black box.

We definitely need better monitoring because the only thing I was able to do is some basic tests to see if it was up or not. Once I found it was done, I bounced the VM. It definitely warrants a look at the configuration of the Agent. You can see below that you can configure EnforceSSLCertificateValidation to address some issues along with configuring the ports, SSL, and more.

Overall, once I got things squared away and ran this great one-liner for DEM the rest was a charm:

msiexec.exe /i "C:\VMware Dynamic Environment Manager Enterprise 10.0 x64.msi" /qn /l* InstallUEM.log NOADCONFIGFILEPATH=\\\\syn-azuredc01\Config\General

The video will do things justice because I did a ton of editing to eliminate the pain. You will find with Horizon Cloud that the documentation isn’t super available so many of the things that I provide will give you way more insight than elsewhere.

Building the App Volumes App on the Horizon Cloud for Azure

It was definitely interesting building the App Volumes App. The main takeaway is how it spins up a few VMs to build the apps to deploy to your Instant Clone (IC) Pools. I do have a few interesting things that came up while I was building this.

One thing that I ran into was a new SSL issue with Azure Load Balancers. Now, you need to use the following key usage or you will run into ERR_SSL_KEY_USAGE_INCOMPATIBLE

keyUsage = nonRepudiation, digitalSignature, keyEncipherment

Another thing to be mindful of is your cleanup. It’s a really good idea to delete your assignments after you have a successful packaging. The costs can really pile up even if you don’t physically pay the bill.


Labeling your App Volume Apps

For all of you App Volume veterans, we know you LOVE marking app stages and markers. It’s a nice way of organizing your apps and keeping things “tight.” I had to make sure I paid it a bit of love otherwise be smited by the Horizon gods.



Witnessing the Final Product Starring App Volumes

It’s lovely and all that we did all this stuff, but does it ACTUALLY work?! You better believe it! My final video showcases the great user experience that App Volumes gives you on Horizon Cloud on Azure seamlessly delivering apps to your IC pools with minimal effort.

Final Thoughts

I find it difficult to imagine what Horizon Cloud was prior to this great new offering with App Volumes seamlessly within the Horizon Cloud portal. I’m thrilled that it is now available. As people become more comfortable with Horizon Cloud vs. their clinging onto Horizon On-Premise with their dying breathe, they will experience an amazing advancement in the user experience.

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