Guest Blogpost by Chas Setchell…
Centralized management of VDI vs. physical computers saves on time and resources however depending on which kind of VDI deployment you have you could be realizing even more savings. Ideally the most efficient deployment type is Non-persistent / Stateless VDI, this is when you have one or many golden master VM’s that are then shared by a VDI pool. When your VM’s are Non-persistent / Stateless the user gets a fresh VM at login and at logout the VM gets recycled.
In a Non-persistent / Stateless VMware Horizon View deployment with Composer the admin creates a base image and performs a VM snapshot that is used as the starting point for the VM’s. When patch Tuesday rolls around and the admin will boot the golden master apply the patch and take a snapshot, the admin then needs to perform a recompose that will update all existing VM’s, and depending on the urgency of the update you might need to have users log off. This process will can take 1 or more minutes per VM.
What if you could take an active VMware Horizon View session and inject new applications, update existing applications including system and application patches in real time with no reboot, zero install, zero configuration, and no streaming.
Using CloudVolumes you get exactly that, let’s take a look at how this works in a VMware Horizon View environment. Let me introduce you to Appstacks. Appstacks are volumes that contain a single Application or Multiple Applications or anything you can install in a VM when it is in capture mode that enables the creation of a Appstack including dependencies, services, roles and even settings. A single AppStack can be shared across thousands of VM’s saving on storage and management.
How does it work? The CloudVolumes agent is installed in your Golden Master, when a user is login the Appstack’s get attached to the VM and any applications located in that Appstack are immediately made available to that user. When a user is already logged in to a VM when the administrator assigns a new Appstack CloudVolumes will attach the Appstack to the running VM and the agent will detect and inject the Application into the VM and will be ready use within seconds.
Using CloudVolumes Writable Volumes also enables some other exciting features for Non-persistent / Stateless VMware Horizon View environments. The CloudVolumes Writable Volumes will capture the changes made in the session providing Persona / User Profile Persistence across the Non-persistent / Stateless VDI pool.
This also enables the ability for User Installed Applications (UIA) or Admin Installed Applications (AIA).
A good example could be a User Installed Plug-in as the user changes VM’s the plugin will stay in the CloudVolumes Writable Volume. When a user logs out all of his changes are retained and again instantly applied to any pooled VM he logs back into.
There are many benefits to using CloudVolumes in a VMware Horizon View environment:
• Minimize the need for Department based Golden Master Images.
• Deploy Applications and Updates in real-time.
• Reduce Disk space by using only a single copy of the Applications and Updates across VMs.
• Writable Volume enables User Installed Applications for Non-persistent / Stateless.
• Change Golden Master without Reinstall of Core Applications.
• Change Golden Master without Impacting Users Writable Volume.
• CloudVolumes works with all existing tools and Application Virtualization including profile mgmt.
• Appstacks support even difficult applications with DCOM, Drivers and Services and even custom apps.