Notes From the Field–VSAN Deployment and Licensing

clip_image001For today’s post I am happy to have guest blogger Bruce Henderson (Twitter). Bruce and I worked together on one of our first customer VSAN deployments (this post has been in draft status for a bit) and  captured a few “gotcha’s” that we stumbled across along the way. More importantly this post coincides with a great post by Tom Howarth (Blog/Twitter) around challenges with VSAN licensing a last week that caught my eye, that post is located here.

Without further ado, a VSAN deployment in Bruce’s own words….

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Using Windows Integrated Authentication with VMware App Volumes

CloudVolumes-SquareLast week on Twitter Jason Shiplett (Blog/Twitter) raised the question about configuring VMware App Volumes to use Windows Integrated Authentication when connecting to the backend SQL database. While this is supported in App Volumes the documentation (v2.6 of the User Guide located HERE) doesn’t mention the “How” of setting this up. Now usually this isn’t much of a challenge if using using/requiring Windows Integrated Authentication for SQL connectivity, you simple create or use an existing Active Directory user account with the needed SQL permissions to make the connection. Easy peasy.

Well, for App Volumes if it was that straight forward there would be no need for a blog post. Smile When running through the App Volumes Manager installation (documented HERE) when you get to the “Database Server’’  dialog you will notice the two SQL authentication methods. But pay close attention to the Windows Integrated Authentication option, the key here is the mention of “automatically use this server’s SYSTEM account”  and no ability to specify an actual user account as you would normally see:

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VMware App Volumes with RDSH and Horizon View 6

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Some of my favorite things seem to go better when paired, peanut butter and chocolate, hamburgers and French fries, and VMware App Volumes and Horizon View 6.x. Over the last month or so I have written several posts covering the use of App Volumes and mostly demoed that using my Horizon View lab environment with floating non-persistent desktops.

In this post we are going to switch gears a bit and focus on a feature that was made available with View 6.0, support for application delivery via Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Host or RDSH in short. This was a welcome edition to View to attempt feature parity with offerings from Citrix. But managing a farm of installed RDSH applications can be both a bore and a chore.

Well with App Volumes we can limit some of the overhead in managing those applications with the use of  App Volumes AppStacks. Leveraging AppStacks allows you to update user applications in one location and deliver the update to many RDSH servers. The concept and setup is very straight forward, though the configuration for RDSH servers is lacking from the VMware App Volumes product documentation.

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Notes From the Field–Upgrading VMware App Volumes 2.6

CloudVolumes-SquareA few weeks back VMware announced the released version 2.6 of its App Volumes product. You may have missed as they another small release as well in vSphere 6.0. The release notes for the update are located here, but below is a brief breakdown is a quick breakdown of the new feautures, along with a short video that VMware has put together to cover them as well:

  • Microsoft Office applications can now be presented both via an AppStack and installed in the base OS image. I know a few folks that ran into issues around this in App Volumes 2.5 where they wanted the core Office suite installed in the base OS image (Word, Outlook, Excel, etc) but wanted to present PowerPoint, Visio, etc via AppStack to a subset of users/groups.
  • Storage Groups  have been updated to support not only Writable Volumes (discussed here) but also the distribution of AppStacks.
  • Improved internationalization for support of i18N support for English and non-English operating system.

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