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VMware Flings: App Volumes Backup Utility

 

In December 2014, VMware released VMware App Volumes, a portfolio of integrated application and user management solutions for VMware Horizon, Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop, and RDSH virtual environments.  These solutions take desktop and application environments to the next level by providing radically faster application delivery, unified application and user management, while reducing IT costs by up to 70% according to VMware.

Although App Volumes has proven popular for VMware, there has been a big request from its users.  App Volumes users have been asking for a way to back up their AppStacks and writable volumes.  VMware knows that normal virtual-machine backup tools cannot back up App Volumes AppStacks and writable volumes because the AppStacks and writable volumes are not part of the vCenter inventory unless they are connected to a user's virtual machine (VM). 

So, how does VMware help?  Answer: A new Fling.

If you aren't already familiar with Flings, they are free "experimental tools" that aren't part of any official VMware product, but they are created by VMware engineers in a lab environment.  There is one important aspect that you should be aware of before going down the proverbial path of installation and usage: VMware clearly states that these tools are intended to be played with and explored, but they do not come with VMware support and therefore shouldn't be used in production environments. If you are the adventurous type, perhaps these Flings will find their way into your production environment at work. Like anything else, it may come down to a risk/reward scenario.

The App Volumes Backup Utility Fling works in the following way:

  • it connects to both the App Volumes Manager and Virtual Center using API calls
  • a backup virtual machine is created
  • the underlying VMDK files of selected AppStacks and Writable Volumes are attached to the backup virtual machine
  • a backup solution which is able to back up VMDK files should be configured to save the VMDK files attached to the backup virtual machine

There is also a utility that can be called from the backup software which will automatically detach, and re-attach any writable volumes which are in use while the backup is running.

 

Ready to give it a try?  Click here to download the App Volumes Backup Utility Fling.

Getting started.  Read instructions here and more details instructions here.

Published Monday, May 02, 2016 3:47 PM by David Marshall
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