6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 21, 2020 2:50 PM by DaveG_QVC

    App Volumes 4.0 - Change Default Size of Writable Volume

    DaveG_QVC Novice

      I think I might be missing something obvious but we are getting ready to roll out writable volumes to about 1000 of our back office non-persistent (instant clones) vm users. We currently use DEM with folder redirection. Due to non-VMware related issues the folder redirection isn't an option for now. We have done our testing and piloting using writable profile disks and everything is working very well. The one issue is since these are established users they have profiles (many applications) that right out of the box can eat up most of the initial 10 GBs of the volume. And while yes, we can expand the disks after creation, we would like to start off with them having 20 GBs available so we don't have to manually expand 500 disks as we migrate them over.


      I knew the process in App Volumes 2.x to make a custom template (concerning size, not talking about the config files inside) to create a custom size but for App Volumes 4 I can't seem to find the same documentation for App Volumes 4. And the old process does not work for the new that I can tell.


      Any help would be appreciated.

        • 1. Re: App Volumes 4.0 - Change Default Size of Writable Volume
          vBritinUSA Hot Shot

          So I have not tested this on a user but I was able to expand the template and it shows as 20Gb when I assigned the writable template.


          What I did was created a backup templates folder under appvolumes\backup_templates

          Copied the writable templates to the backup location

          Then renamed the templates so as not to get confused with original.

          Edit setting of a VM and added a new existing Hard disk and point it to one of the newly renamed writable templates.

          Click OK to confirm the change

          Edit the setting of the VM again and expanded the HD. Click ok to confirm again and then edit the VM settings and remove the disk

          Now copy the new template to the Writables_template folder on the storage.


          From AppVolumes Manager attach the new Template and it should reflect the size that you expanded it too. Not tried it with a user yet.


          • 2. Re: App Volumes 4.0 - Change Default Size of Writable Volume
            DaveG_QVC Novice

            Ok, so it was that I was missing the obvious. I was thinking attach the vmdk to a vm without the app volume client, mount it and let it be an additional drive. When I went to boot up the vm it game me an error about the disk. Similar to the process with App Vol 2.x.


            So I simply added the profile vmdk to a vm that was turned off. Hit apply, then went back and edited the size to 20, commit, remove and walah.


            And I can confirm, it does work as expected. I have two users testing now and all looks good.





            PS.Have a good guide on how to add exclusions to a writable in App Vol 4.0?  The VMware documentation confuses the hell out of me. I tried taking a SnapVol.cfg file and place it on the gold image under the App Volumes client directory Config\Custom\system  but that made the volume add 3 minutes onto the boot time and not only did none of my folder exclusions work, the profile disk it self would not save anything.


            Again, I must be missing something obvious but I am stumped.

            • 3. Re: App Volumes 4.0 - Change Default Size of Writable Volume
              vBritinUSA Hot Shot

              Great glad that worked for you and thanks for letting me know. I can update the blog


              Haha, you have the same issue as me with regards to the custom writable, I am trying to figure out the process myself. I also have the 3 min wait time. If I solve it I will ping you and will also blog it for the rest of the community.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: App Volumes 4.0 - Change Default Size of Writable Volume
                sjesse Master
                User ModeratorsvExpert

                3 mins is that only with the writable?

                • 5. Re: App Volumes 4.0 - Change Default Size of Writable Volume
                  vBritinUSA Hot Shot

                  Yeah, it’s because I’m trying to figure out the exclusion on the writable. It’s not the same method as in 2.X


                  so for me I think I broke it hence the long log in times

                  • 6. Re: App Volumes 4.0 - Change Default Size of Writable Volume
                    DaveG_QVC Novice

                    The delay with the writable only occurs when trying to do a custom template (add exclusions). When just using the default writable profile template, several App packages on Windows 10 we get to the desktop in 35 seconds every time. I assume the delay is caused by the me not having the correct process as I try and get these exclusions added. At this point we are just looking to exclude two folder locations on our Profile Only template:


                    C:\Users\\Username\AppData\Local\Temp and one of the Google Chrome cache directories also under AppData\Local


                    Here is what the documents say on how to Specify Exclusions in Writable Volumes:





                    • You must have administrator privileges on the machine where the App Volumes agent is installed.
                    • You must have uploaded the policy file (snapvol.cfg) and scripts to the Writable Volumes.To upload the files to a Writable Volume, see Update Writable Volumes.For an understanding of (default and custom) policy files and scripts, see Policy Files and Scripts.




                    It says you  as a PREREQUISUTE you must have uploaded the policy file (snapvol.cfg) and scripts to the Writable Volumes....which files? which snapvol.cfg? Aren't the default scripts and cfg files already located on the agent at this point? Why would this be needed first?


                    Then the actual procedure:






                    1. Log in as administrator to the machine where the App Volumes agent is installed.
                    2. Locate and open the writable volumes configuration file, snapvol.cfg.
                    3. Add the following entry in the snapvol.cfg file, where path is the location of the application or registry that you want to exclude: exclude_uwv_file=path.You can specify multiple exclusions.

                    Example: Exclude an Application Location

                    The following examples exclude the folder and registry location of Notepad++ from being overwritten during an update:

                    • exclude_uwv_file=\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++
                    • exclude_uwv_reg=\REGISTRY\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Notepad++
                    • exclude_uwv_file=\Users\username\folder
                    • exclude_uwv_file=\Users\userprofile\folder




                    Locate and open which snapvol.cfg? This is the list of the snapvol.cfg files under:


                    C:\Program Files (x86)\CloudVolumes\Agent\Config\Default


                    1. app
                    2. profile
                    3. provisioning
                    4. system
                    5. uia
                    6. uia_plus_profile



                    Now I get that profile is likely the one I want (and have been using) but when you then reference the section above under Prerequisites it tells you this:




                    Policy Files and Scripts



                    The policy and script files in the Default folder are factory-shipped and get installed with the App Volumes Agent. These files are located in the base virtual machine at \CloudVolumes\Agent\Config\Default.

                    Important:Default policy ( snapvol.cfg) and script files must not be modified. These files are overwritten during the App Volumes Agent upgrade.


                    The policy files and scripts must be created in the Custom folder, which resides in the App Volumes Agent installation folder. Customization of any policy and script files are applicable to all attached volumes.

                    Policy and script files in the Custom folder are preserved during an App Volumes Agent upgrade.

                    The following table shows the Custom folder structure containing the policy and script files:

                    \Customcustom policies with global scope that apply to all volumes attached
                    \Custom\systemcustom policies applicable to System Writable Volume
                    \Custom\provisioningcustom policies applicable during App packaging
                    \Custom\appcustom policies applicable to all App packages



                    Ok, it says I have to create the scripts/snapvol.cfg files in a new directory under:


                    C:\Program Files (x86)\CloudVolumes\Agent\Config


                    labeled Custom. Ok, I get it, pretty straight forward until you look at the choice for writable, it says System. Well does that mean I have to use the snapvol.cfg from the System directory under the default or do I use the snapvol.cfg from the directory under default labeled Profile? What if I want to edit both the profile and the uia_plus_profile with the same exclusions (which we do)? Ok, once I have the right file in the right directory, what do I do then? Leave it in the custom directory on my gold image or do I zip that part up and then update that via the management console? And if that is what I am supposed to do, why did the Prereq mention uploading the files before I do anything?


                    Again, I might be having a serious burn out moment (been going 60+ hours a week since COVID) but I this entire thing confuses me. I just want to be able to exclude several directories from the writable volume profile and uia plus profile templates. And I am missing something.