App Volumes 2.14 is the latest version of the VMware application layering technology and is a key part of the Horizon virtual desktops and apps platform. Compared to some recent releases the 2.14 release contains quite a lot to be excited about:
Role Based Access control – until now App Volumes has not contained and RBAC functionality. Now you can select from pre-defined roles or create your own custom ones.
FIPS compatible agent – for anyone requiring FIPS compliance on their devices
Support for shared datastores – App Volumes now understands shared datastores between vCenters. Writable volumes on shared datastores will no longer show duplicates.
Move writable volumes – You now have the option to ‘move’ a writable volume from one datastore to another which could be a requirement if you need a balance datastore usage
Backup and restore of writable volumes – the fling has been around for a while but now we officially have backup and restore functionality in the App Volumes GUI. You have the option to perform manual backups or scheduled backups. You also have the option to restore writable volumes should you need to recover them. Note though that you can only restore single volumes, and that volumes have to be detached for the backups to run. If they are mounted the backup will run as soon as they are unmounted.
Windows search – Windows search index is usually created on the local C drive. Now if a user has a writable volume it will be automatically redirected to improve peformance and user experience
Outlook search index – This too is now redirected by default
Outlook OST files – VMware have been able to redirect these to writable volumes for a while now using a combination of App Volumes and User environment manager, but as of 2.14 this will happen automatically.
Asynchronous mounting – Available but not supported for a while now, this is now enabled by default in 2.14. Additional controls have been added to throttle vCenter to guard against it getting overloaded with mount requests. This should result in improved logon times during busy periods
Windows 10 – As from 2.14, Windows 10 1709 and 1803 and the new Semi-Annual channel will now be supported.
SQL Express support – only recommended for proof of concepts but sql express 2014 is now supported, to help get users up and running quicker.