Book Image

Microsoft Application Virtualization Advanced Guide

By : Augusto Alvarez
Book Image

Microsoft Application Virtualization Advanced Guide

By: Augusto Alvarez

Overview of this book

Microsoft's Application Virtualization technology has been emerging as one of the main platforms in application virtualization. This is mainly because more and more organizations are thinking about application virtualization as a valid implementation; also because App-V represents probably the most attractive solution. App-V introduces a new and efficient way to improve operating systems and application life cycles in organizations. However, if we want to maximize our investment we must learn that every scenario and application differs from another, as does complexity.With Microsoft Application Virtualization Advanced Guide administrators will find detailed topics for understanding App-V components, architecture and implementation models; as well as step-by-step guidance to master App-V processes. There is also guidance on integrating App-V with other robust platforms like VDI, SCCM 2012 and even virtualizing server applications. Microsoft Application Virtualization Advanced Guide will start by giving readers the means to discover unfamiliar topics in App-V, as well as understanding App-V's architecture. By doing so, it will provide the baseline needed before shifting to advanced topics in App-V, like complex scenarios for sequencing and deploying applications. The book details scripting within App-V, as well as handling the platform using the command line; there is a complete review of troubleshooting installations, sequencing and deploying applications. Integration is another key component we will cover by introducing App-V in VDI and SCCM 2012. Server applications are not forgotten with Server App-V, using this book the reader will have a detailed understanding, with how-to steps to virtualize server applications.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Microsoft Application Virtualization Advanced Guide
Credits
About the Author
About the Reviewers
www.PacktPub.com
Preface
Index

Microsoft tools for App-V


Microsoft includes an important set of tools completely free and available for use by App-V administrators and sequencing professionals. There are several of these tools that we can use even if we are App-V beginners, but there are a few oriented towards the more experienced administrator or sequencer.

Note

In this appendix, we include the official links offered by Microsoft to download these tools, but, in case those become unavailable, they can still be found at the Microsoft Download Center home page, http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/default.aspx.

Application Virtualization Dashboard

The Application Virtualization Dashboard is a key component for those App-V administrators looking to retrieve statistics and usage reports from the platform. Some of the features included in this application are as follows:

  • Built-in reports available—top five applications used, top five users, applications never used, application usage for a specific user, system utilization, and so on

  • Administrators can create their own dashboards with a simple process

  • The graphical dashboard lets customers view any App-V dataset in near-real time

The Application Virtualization Dashboard, supported by App-V 4.5 and 4.6, interacts with SharePoint services to generate these kinds of reports.

Note

Additional details:

  • License: Free

  • Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=16183

  • Requirements:

    • Same OS supported by App-V 4.5/4.6 servers

    • Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 or 4.6

    • Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 SP2

    • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

    • Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher

Application Virtualization Dynamic Suite Composition tool

The Dynamic Suite Composition tool offered by Microsoft simplifies the task of editing OSD files to add or remove dependencies between packages. This task can be executed without the tool, although even with the right guidelines, is not a complex process; making any mistake could lead to serious problems in the application.

Note

Additional details:

  • License: Free

  • Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=6655

  • Requirements:

    • Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, or Windows XP

    • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or higher

    • Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 or higher

In Chapter 2, Sequencing in Complex Environments, we had a good look at using this tool.

Application Virtualization Administrative template (ADM template)

The ADM template represents an important component in the administration process of the App-V environment. Using the ADM template, we can easily configure App-V Desktop and Remote Desktop Services Client settings, including communication and client interface, using only Group Policy settings.

In Chapter 4, Handling Scripting and App-V Command Lines, we've learned how to configure our App-V clients using the manual procedure (registry) and the Group Policy procedure (using the ADM template).

Note

Additional details:

  • License: Free

  • Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=25070

  • Requirements:

    • Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, or Windows XP

    • Application Virtualization 4.5/4.6 Client for Windows Desktops or Remote Desktop Services

Application Virtualization Best Practices Analyzer

The App-V BPA (Best Practices Analyzer) is a simple tool that we can run to evaluate common best practices for App-V Management or Streaming Servers 4.5. Best Practices Analyzer generates an HTML report with all the information about warnings and guidance for configuration settings that should be adjusted.

Note

Additional details:

  • License: Free

  • Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=4022

  • Requirements:

    • Windows XP or Windows Vista

    • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or greater

    • Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer v1.0

    • App-V Streaming Server version 4.5 or App-V Management Server version 4.5

Application Virtualization 4.5 Security Configuration Roles

The Security Configuration Roles tool will help administrators to harden their App-V platform, disabling unnecessary ports in the server. The components involved are: Management Server, Streaming Server, and Management Service.

A guide on how to use it can be found in Aaron Parker's blog at http://blog.stealthpuppy.com/virtualisation/microsoft-application-virtualization-45-security-configuration-roles/.

Note

Additional details:

  • License: Free

  • Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=21863

  • Requirements:

    • Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008

    • Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5

Application Virtualization Sequencing SuperFlow

The Application Virtualization Sequencing SuperFlow is not actually a tool per se but could be very helpful for those just starting out with sequencing. SuperFlow provides an interactive interface to view and understand the App-V Sequencing process, step by step, best practices, sample log entries, troubleshooting guidance, and so on.

Note

Additional details:

  • License: Free

  • Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=5262

  • Requirements:

    • Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Vista

    • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1

Application Virtualization Listing tool

The Application Virtualization Listing tool detects and lists all the virtual processes running in the system; this way, we can easily detect the virtual applications running. Also, it retrieves the priority and owner of the process, virtual memory, and so on.

Note

Additional details:

  • License: Free

  • Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=8901

  • Requirements:

    • Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, or Windows XP

    • Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 or higher

    • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or higher

Application Virtualization Client Log Parser utility

This tool helps administrators to simplify the use and understanding of App-V client log files. The Client Log Parser filters the information in log files and generates an output file with the following fields: System, OS, Build, Date, Time, Module, Log Level, hApp, App, User, Thread, and Message.

This information can also be imported into Excel using a CSV file. More information about log files can be found in Chapter 5, Troubleshooting App-V.

Note

The Client Log Parser is not supported by Microsoft Support channels.

Additional details:

  • License: Free

  • Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=24492

  • Requirements:

    • Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, or Windows XP

    • Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 or higher

Application Virtualization SFT View

SFT View is a simple tool that allows "mounting" (creating a view as .dir folders) the SFT file with all its files and folders into a directory for read-only access. Within these browsing capabilities, we can permit antivirus software to scan these files and folders for any malware.

This tool includes two important disclaimers:

  • This application is not supported through the official Microsoft Support channels. That means if we detect any problem within our packages using this tool, the Support team will not support any analysis or information using this software.

  • SFT View should NOT be installed on App-V Streaming Servers.

Note

Additional details:

  • License: Free

  • Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=8897

  • Requirements:

    • Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, or Windows XP

    • Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 or higher

Application Virtualization SFT Parser tool

The SFT Parser tool is a tool for advanced App-V Sequencer professionals and displays detailed information for SFT files. Some of the tasks we can perform are:

  • Process corrupted SFT files and recover information from corrupted SFT files

  • List files in the SFT file

  • Provide statistics about properties of the SFT metadata

  • Display size, timestamps, attributes, and version information associated with the package

Note

Additional details:

  • License: Free

  • Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=12350

  • Requirements:

    • Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, or Windows XP

    • Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 or higher

Application Virtualization Cache Configuration tool

The Cache Configuration tool allows administrators to reconfigure the cache size set in any given App-V client. Remember that the cache size is only configured in the installation process of the App-V client; it cannot be redefined using the Management Console. This tool uses a scriptable command line interface to set the desired parameters.

Note

This application is also not supported by Microsoft Support channels.

Additional details:

  • License: Free

  • Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=5927

  • Requirements:

    • Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, or Windows XP

    • Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 or higher

Application Virtualization MSI Compat Transform

The MSI Compat Transform is quite a helpful tool, if we are migrating App-V 4.5 to 4.6 client machines. It basically transforms the MSI created, using an App-V Sequencer 4.5, to be compatible with an App-V Client 4.6.

Note

This application is also not supported by Microsoft Support channels.

Additional details:

  • License: Free

  • Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=5927

  • Requirements:

    • Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, or Windows XP

    • Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 or higher

Microsoft Application Virtualization DemoMate demo

DemoMate is a platform where we can easily create any particular demo and package it to use it later as guidance in a presentation. In this case, Microsoft offers a download to use preloaded demos of App-V regarding:

  • Handling package upgrades and permissions

  • Handling Dynamic Suite Composition

  • App-V metering

  • App-V Sequencer usage

Note

Additional details:

  • License: Free (only preloaded demos)

  • Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=11523

  • Requirements:

    • Windows Vista or Windows 7