VMware announces App Volumes 3.0 with healthy dose of new features
It looks like VMware is preparing some new EUC nuggets for everyone to consume soon. Today marks the announcement of App Volumes 3.0 and with other events planned in February there seems to be other news coming also.
AppToggle – This feature introduces the idea of app cloaking or the ability to hide applications within a layer if the user is not entitled to them. This provides the option for organizations to create fewer application layers containing multiple applications rather than a larger amount of layers with single apps. In the briefing it was explained that VMware is not just simply hiding the application from the user, they are preventing individual apps from being layered on at the time of the layering being attached to the OS based on individual user entitlements. This sounds pretty interesting and I look forward to getting some hands-on time with this feature.
AppCature with AppIsolation – This feature is integrating ThinApp with the App Volumes capture process. Through a CLI in your capture VM you can enable the application to be isolated, which creates a ThinApp package as part of the process. This allows for applications to enjoy the benefits of isolation where needed and have it all happen in the same workflow. In the past you were able to separately create ThinApps and then include them in a layer, VMware is streamlining the process here.
AppScaling with Multizones – This feature is about working on improving the recovering and multi-site alternatives that App Volumes can support. In the past I’ve been pretty critical of several VMware products for not having a mature story around DR and Active-Active designs. I won’t know if this is a solid alternative or just a good enough one. What is now possible is the ability to use external file servers as the central point to pull AppStacks from. The external file servers has an association with each vCenter server and allows for flexibility in dealing with multiple sites. The idea allows for designs to use DFSR or NAS devices and take advantage of their replication functions, rather than build a replication engine into App Volumes.
Linux-based management VM – The previous versions of App Volumes required Windows for the install of the management console. This new version moves this to Linux which aligns with what VMware is doing for other products and allows for opening up API’s and the unified console story.
Other misc features to mention
- Layer merging – the ability to merge multiple AppStacks into a single layer (Stack).
- CLI – A command line interface has been added, which would primarily be used in the capturing and building of AppStacks.
Unified Admin Console
It seems that VMware is developing a new unified admin console that will sit above the individual EUC products, such as App Volumes, UEM, and others. The unified console does not replace the individual element managers that will provide full functionality. I personally am thinking about the unified console as a place that organizations will go to enable the individual services for the use cases they want to deliver. So once the products are all configured and capturing is done, the unified console makes them easier to assign and consume. I expect to hear more about this as other products in the EUC space are updated to support. The unified console has the AirWatch look and feel which is an upgrade compared to several legacy experiences.
New App Volumes Licensing
As part of the App Volumes 3.0 update a new set of licenses is being pushed out also. In previous version, there was a single license that included all features. The new Standard license seems to map to the App Volumes license of past with some of the new features, it also included UEM for profile management. The addition of UEM could be attractive for customers that want to bundle with VDI only deployments. This gives them app layering along with another profile management alternative if they already have one.
It’s good to see VMware keep up their EUC momentum with App Volumes and other updates promised soon in other products. The reality is that app layering is still a pretty immature feature and both vendors and customers are figuring out what works and what set of features are really needed. I expect this space to continue to mature for the next 18 months before it becomes close to feature complete and widely deployed within designs.
About Brian Suhr
Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design