Creating an App Layer in VMware Horizon Mirage


Creating app layers within VMware Horizon Mirage is where things start to get interesting. The principle behind the process is very similar to many other products but with the end goal in mind of assigning base layers and then app layers  on top of the base layer to provide an Endpoint with all the necessary software which is not installed in the traditional sense like programs like Microsoft SCCM. The app layer captures everything as it is installed into the operating system and simple layers the installed application into the assigned base layer within the endpoint.

If you need to create multiple app layers from a single clean virtual machine then ensure you take a snapshot of the VM before capturing an app layer. Once the app layer has been captured and you are confident that it works then revert the snapshot of the virtual machine to take it back to a clean state and begin capturing a new app layer. Again in you’ve been around a while this process will be similar to other app virtualisation technologies.

Firstly ensure your app layer endpoint has the Horizon Mirage client installed and is showing as connected and pending assignment.

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Logon to your Horizon Mirage management console and select the Pending Devices node.


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Now right click on your app layer endpoint and select Create a new Reference CVD which will open a new wizard.


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Select Create Reference CVD for App Layer capture and hit Next.


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Select the Horizon Mirage default policy and hit Next again.


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If you have more than one cache volume then click the manually choose a volume and select correct location with the enough space to store the app layer.


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The Mirage server will now contact the Endpoint and validate that there are no compatibility issues and click Next when the Endpoint passes validation.


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The wizard will now show a summary of the information you have provided click Finish to continue.


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Now open your app layer endpoint and you will notice the Mirage client is conducting a pre application installation scan, please wait until this process has finished (do not make any changes during this scan).


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When the pre install scan has completed the client will inform you that you can now install the software in the normal way. (If you are logged onto the management server you will notice that the task progress will be at 25% when the endpoint is ready to install the application).


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Install your application exactly how you would normally on an endpoint. Its also a good idea to open the application and make any configurational changes that you would like to be replicated with an app layer.


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When you are happy the application is installed correctly log back into your management server and open the task viewer, right click on the Capture App Layer task and select Finalize App Layer Capture.


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The management server will now display the applications that were captured during the installation.


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Now you must give your App Layer a name, you can keep the default name based on the installation or change it as required.


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If a reboot is required to complete the application installation you will be notified, restart the endpoint and when back up click the refresh button on the management server.


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Providing no compatibility issues are detected click next and then finish on the proceeding two screens.


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The app layer endpoint will now perform a post installation scan to capture the changes made by the installation to the operating system and import them into the App Layer.


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Once the endpoint has finished capturing the post installation tasks the layer will appear within the management console and be available for allocation.





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Author: Dale Scriven

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