VMware AppVolumes in more detail

Late last year VMware released AppVolumes 2.10. In this article some of the more important new functionality is discussed in more detail.

Writable Volumes Easy Expansion

The App Volumes writable-volume template is 10 GB by default. Although 10 GB might be more than enough for most users, what happens when a user fills the writable volume? In this case, either you can tell the user to delete some files on their C: drive, which automatically removes the files from the writable volume, or you can extend the size of the writable volume for the user. Before App Volumes 2.10, increasing the size of a writable volume was a tedious manual procedure for expanding the VMDK file in vSphere. In App Volumes 2.10, you can increase the size of the writable volume with the click of a button in the App Volumes Manager interface.

Figure 2: Increasing the Size of a Writable Volume in App Volumes 2.10

After you click the Expand button, you specify the new size for the writable volume.

Figure 3: Confirming Expansion of a Writable Volume


vMotion Support

If you are managing an end-user-computing environment, you are probably familiar with vSphere and all of its benefits. One of these benefits is vMotion, which is the ability to perform a live migration of a running virtual machine from one host to another. (Do not confuse this with storage vMotion or migrating a datastore.) Administrators are familiar with vSphere features such as vMotion, DRS, and ESXi host maintenance mode as part of normal operations. Older versions of App Volumes did not support vMotion while volumes were attached, which affected service operations, maintenance, and the load distribution in the system.

App Volumes 2.10 removes this limitation and includes vMotion support. (Storage vMotion is not yet supported.)

Windows 10 Support

App Volumes 2.10 is the first version to support the latest Windows version, Windows 10. If you are upgrading, make sure you also have versions of vSphere and View in Horizon 6 that support the Windows 10 guest OS.

Note: Windows apps (formerly Metro Apps or Windows Store apps) are not yet supported on App Volumes 2.10.

Support for vSphere 6 Update 1

App Volumes 2.10 includes all the benefits of Update 1 for vSphere 6, including the latest features of Virtual SAN, such as Stretch Cluster. Virtual SAN is the VMware innovative, easy-to-use, software-defined storage solution. Utilizing local disks from your ESXi hosts, you are able to create a shared datastore with sophisticated yet easy-to-use Storage Policy-Based Management (SPBM).

Storage-Group Enhancements

App Volumes 2.10 includes some important storage-group enhancements:

  • AppStacks can now be replicated between datastores from different vCenter Servers.
  • A datastore can be flagged as “non-attachable” to prevent it from mounting volumes to users. This is useful to ensure that a slower storage tier is used only for backup and replication purposes.

This is only a partial list of the features of the new App Volumes 2.10 release; for the full list, see the VMware App Volumes 2.10 Release Notes.

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