With Writable Volumes, you can configure per-user volumes where users can install and configure their own applications and keep the data that is specific to their profile. A Writable Volume is assigned to a specific user and becomes available to the user from any machine.

A Writable Volume is an empty VMDK or VHD file that you assign to a specific user. It mounts to the VM when the user authenticates to the desktop. You can attach only one Writable Volume at a time per-user per OS. For example, if a user logs into a Windows 7 machine and a Windows 10 machine at the same time, one volume is attached to the user on Windows 7 and another one on Windows 10.

A Writable Volume can contain data such as application settings, user profile, licensing information, configuration files, and user-installed applications.

Using App Volumes Manager, you can create, import, edit, expand, and disable Writable Volumes.

Writable Volumes with User Environment Management Solutions

You can use Writable Volumes to complement a user environment management solution such as VMware User Environment Manager. Such solutions can manage data in Writable Volumes at a more granular level and enforce policies based on different conditions or events by providing contextual rules. With Writable Volumes, you can use containers for local user profile delivery across systems.

Writable Volumes with Non-Persistent Virtual Desktops

On a non-persistent virtual desktop environment, all applications that the user installs are removed after the user logs out of the desktop. Writable Volumes store the applications and settings of users and make user-specific data persistent and portable across non-persistent virtual desktops. This way, you can address use cases, such as providing development and test machines for users to install custom applications on non-persistent virtual desktops.

Storage Configuration with Writable Volumes

When designing your environment for Writable Volumes, consider that a Writable Volume requires both read and write I/O. The input output operations per second (IOPS) for a Writable Volume might vary for each user depending on how the users consume their data. IOPS might also vary depending on the type of data that the users are allowed to store on their Writable Volume.

You can manage the number of Writable Volumes that can be configured on a single storage LUN by monitoring how the users access their Writable Volumes.

Writable Volumes and Shared Datastores

You can create, import, and attach Writable Volumes from shared datastores. See Support for Shared Datastores.

Writable Volumes Exclusions

Using the Writable Volumes exclusions feature, you can exclude specific locations of user Writable Volumes, such as file paths or registry keys, from being overwritten. Use this feature only if you are an IT administrator or an advanced App Volumes administrator. The exclusions do not affect AppStacks or system volumes. See Writable Volume Exclusions for more information.

Move, Backup, and Restore Writable Volumes

You can move Writable Volumes from one storage to another. You can also take backups of the volumes and restore them. See Move, Back Up, and Restore Writable Volumes.