Updating a VMware App Volumes AppStack

Welcome to the third post in the VMware App Volumes series. In the previous two posts we covered the installation and configuration of Cloud Volumes and in the second post we walked through the creation and assignment of an AppStack.  Well in true IT fashion as nothing stays the same for long, in this post we are going to step through the process of updating the previously created AppStack.  More precisely I will be updating the version of Notepad++ contained in the AppStack as well as adding Google Chrome to the cast of characters. Let’s get on with it!

First PostInstalling and Configuring VMware App Volumes Manager

Second PostCreating an App Volumes AppStack

Third PostUpdating a VMware App Volumes AppStack

Updating an AppStack

Starting the process off already logged into the App Volumes management interface, select the “Volumes” menu and go to the “AppStacks” tab. Displayed in the screenshot below is the AppStack Base OS Applications  that we created in the second blog post. Expand the AppStack and select “Update” from the selections on the right:


Provide a name for the updated AppStack (I used Base OS Applications v2) and make any needed changes to the storage or path location. Click “Create”  to continue:


Select if you wish to have the Update AppStack task run in the background (default) or choose to wait for completion. I went for the later and clicked “Update” to continue. At this point App Volumes will create a copy of the Base OS Applications AppStack  for us to work.

NOTE –  This process does not affect the original AppStack and still can be used/provisioned


Alright, with the copy completed we now see the new AppStack listed. Notice the highlighted section calling out the “Parent AppStack”. Click the “Provision” link on the right:


As we did in the Creating an AppStack post, I have provisioned the Base OS Applications v2 AppStack to my installation system, Win7-AppVolProv. With the system selected, click “Provision” to continue:


Confirm the selection, click “Start Provisioning”:


With the AppStack provisioned, from the dashboard menu we can see we are set to begin the software upgrades and installation:


The following steps are basically going to mirror the overall AppStack creation process. Once logged into the provisioning system we are presented with the App Volumes message letting us know we are in “Provisioning Mode”. Just be sure at this point not to click “OK”.


Now you are just going to have to trust me, but as seen below I updated the version of Notepad++ (from v6.7.3 to v6.7.4) and added Google Chrome to the mix:


With the installations completed, bring the focus to the App Volumes Provisioning Mode dialog and click “OK” to continue:


You will be prompted with additional dialogs making sure you have completed the application installs and letting you know that the host system will be rebooted:




With the successful reboot of the provisioning VM I logged backed in and received the “Provisioning successful” message. I clicked “OK” and then powered down the system:


Going back into the App Volumes dashboard we can see that the new AppStack, Base OS Applications v2 is displayed and its status is listed as Enabled. At this point we need to Unassign the original AppStack.

Before doing so, lets take a step back and discuss how the first version of the AppStack is assigned as this will impact the following steps. In my lab setup I am assigning the AppStacks to a Windows Organization Unit (OU) comprised of Horizon View non-persistent floating desktops. As you can see in the screen shot below it is currently “Attached” to six of those desktops.  To remove we are going to click on “Unassign”:


I am going to select the vDesktops OU and click “Unassign”:


For the Confirm Unassign dialog I left the default “Detach AppStack on next logout or reboot”.  This is a precaution in case any users are accessing the AppStack. Click “Unassign”:


From this point, the process of assigning the new and updated AppStack is the same process and steps covered in the second post. Fast forwarding through those steps and re-assigning the vDesktops OU to the Base OS Applications v2 AppStack, we can see that the Attachments have been made as well as spot checking one of the virtual desktops (take note of the update VMDK name):



And like that, we have an updated AppStack! Stayed tuned as in the fourth post we will cover/discuss the use of Writable volumes.

Thanks for reading!


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