The App Volumes operation mode is determined by configuring the Machine Manager. The Machine Manager determines the type of hypervisor connection.

Three types of hypervisor connections are available. You can configure the hypervisor to connect to one of the following hosts using the App Volumes Manager console.

Table 1. Hypervisor Connection Types
Hypervisor Connection Type Description
VMware vCenter Server Preferred connection type for mid-to-large environments. Enables the use of VMDK Direct Attached operation mode. When using this connection type, you can assign Applications, Packages, AppStacks, and Writable Volumes to the virtual machines running on multiple hypervisor hosts.
Single ESXi Host Enables the use of VMDK Direct Attached Operation Mode, but only for a single ESXi host. Use this connection type for small deployments and proofs of concepts. You can assign Applications, Packages, AppStacks, and Writable Volumes to the virtual machines running on a single hypervisor host.
VHD In-Guest Services Deactivates other hypervisor connections and activates the use of VHD In-Guest operation mode. Use this connection type to assign Applications, Packages, AppStacks, and Writable Volumes either to virtual machines running on an unsupported third-party hypervisor or to the physical computers.

Considerations When Hypervisor Connection Type is VMware vCenter Server

You can be aware of the following:
  • You cannot change the operation mode after you configure the Machine Manager. However, if you have configured vCenter Server as the first Machine Manager, additional vCenter Server instances can be added and configured.
  • If you regenerate new certificates for ESXi hosts and you have selected vCenter Server as your machine manager, with the Mount ESXi option, you must reconfigure your vCenter Server.

    See Regenerate Certificates for an ESXi Host section in the VMware vSphere ESXi and vCenter Server 5 Documentation.

  • App Volumes Manager uses certain parameters sent from App Volumes agent to remember the last vCenter Server that successfully responded to virtual machines using similar parameters. This mechanism prevents App Volumes Manager from having to contact all vCenter Servers when seeking a virtual machine. To use this mechanism effectively, it is recommended that administrators must use unique data center and pool names.
  • Few permissions are required if you are configuring a vCenter Server as the machine manager.

    You also require these permissions if you choose the Mount ESXi option when you are configuring the machine manager.

    Note: Datastore browsing must be enabled for the App Volumes Manager to enumerate volumes on the datastore. Check the enableHttpDatastoreAccess parameter under C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\vpxd.cfg in the vCenter Server. If it is set to false, change the parameter to true and restart the vCenter Server service.
    • Allocate space
    • Browse datastore
    • Low level file operations
    • Remove file
    • Update virtual machine files
    Global Cancel task
    Host Local Operations -> Reconfigure virtual machine
    • Host permission is required when using the Mount ESXi option.
    • Mount ESXi option is not available for the VMware Cloud on AWS environment.
    Sessions View and stop sessions
    Note: This permission is not required for the VMware Cloud on AWS environment.
    Tasks Create task
    Virtual machine
    • Configuration
      • Add existing disk
      • Add new disk
      • Add or remove device
      • Query unowned files
      • Change resource
      • Remove disk
      • Settings
      • Advanced
    • Inventory
      • Create new
      • Move
      • Register
      • Remove
      • Unregister
    • Provisioning
      • Promote disks

Configurations Required When Hypervisor Connection Type is VHD In-Guest Services

To use App Volumes with VHD In-Guest Operation mode, the machines where the App Volumes Manager and agents are installed require special permissions on the CIFS file share.

The CIFS share must be created on a stable network, which can handle the applications residing on the share for VDI desktops.

  1. On a file server, create an empty folder.
  2. Copy the contents of the Hypervisor\In-Guest VHD folder from the App Volumes installation media to the new folder.
  3. Share the folder and grant full access permissions on the file share to any logged-in user.
  4. Configure NTFS permissions for the folder created in one of the previous steps.
    An Active Directory domain group might be used to manage permissions for the following roles:
    • Managers: App Volumes Manager
    • Agents: Machines that receive App Volumes application packages and Writable Volumes assignments
      Note: If a service account with permissions to access packages and Writable Volumes on a file share is configured for the file share, then it is not necessary to configure the NTFS folder permissions for the agent machines.

      You can set up a service account for the file share when configuring the storage for VHD In-Guest machine manager. For more information, see Configure and Register the Machine Manager.

    • Capture Agents: Machines that are used for packaging new App Volumes applications.
    Table 2. NTFS folder permissions required for each role
    Folder Managers Agents Capture Agents
    packages Full Read Write
    packages_templates Read None None
    writables Full Write or None
    Note: Write permissions are required by Agents when Dynamic Permissions are not enabled.
    writables_templates Read None None