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.

Doing the Upgrade

While I have done several posts around VMware App Volumes and have found the product pretty easy to use. One thing that has been some what lacking is the quality of the support documentation and while the latest iteration of the documentation for 2.6 is better it sill leaves you with wanting some additional details (App Volumes 2.6 User Guide). Specifically it lacks details around upgrading an existing App Volumes (though not difficult) and speaks to a green field installation.

For those doing an upgrade from App Volumes 2.5 I wanted to provide a few things to consider and the work flow I have worked through:

  • Take a backup of your backend App Volumes database
  • Take a backup/snapshot of your App Volumes Manager server
  • To complete the App Volumes upgrade you have to UNINSTALL  the previous version of App Volumes. Note – AppStacks and Writable Volumes WILL BE unmounted during the process without message/warning. Do the upgrade during in a maintenance window when users are logged off the system.
  • After the uninstall is complete mount the App Volumes 2.6 ISO and work through the installation. Two key things to keep in mind. Be sure to check “Connect to an existing SQL Sever database”. The second is to be sure to UNCHECK “Overwrite existing database (if any)”. Refer to screen shots below:

AppVolumes_Pic1

AppVolumes_Pic2

  • And one final clean up piece, the uninstall/reinstall does not clean up pre-existing App Volumes Windows Firewall rule. You will need to manually do the pruning.

AppVolumes_Pic3

If anyone else has ran into some additional issues or gotcha’s please share them in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

-Jason