I am in the process of deploying AppStacks however I am a little confused on the best practices for creating a deployment machine. In the VMWare documentation it is recommended that a machine with no applications that is at the same patch and service pack level as your pool machines be used. I have tried it that way and ran into issues with some AppStacks. I struggled with getting SMSS 2012 to work in that configuration however I was able to get it to work when it was provisioned on a machine with our base desktop load installed. If anyone can provide any recommendations on the best way to proceed it would be greatly appreciated. I have found the documentation to be a little vague and have seen cases where people have attempted varying approaches in their implementation. I have also tried using machines that were members of the domain and not on the domain. I want to formulate one way to proceed with creating AppStacks in the future.
My provisioning machine is the same as the pool machine, minus the View Agent, that's it.
I understood the service pack/patch level statement to mean that your provisioning machine should never be more updated than the pool machine the application will be attached to. So I stopped patching the provisioning machine.
My base desktop includes Office 2010, Flash, Reader, JRE, and that's about it. I was able to build a successful SSMS 2012 package, patched it to SP2 + CU4, all is working well. I've been able to build stacks for 2008 SP4 and 2014 CU5 as well. When the 2008 and 2012 stacks both are applied, the 2012 seems to cancel the 2008 one out (not that you need the older one to connect to 2008 servers). The 2014 stack works, but seems to run a little sluggish for some reason. I might need to rebuild it now that we updated the environment to 2.5.2. These were all built with 2.5.0.
Is your provisioning machine on the domain?
It is not. I'd rather not have any policy getting applied and having to sort that out, etc. Big company problems.
Ideally you want a machine that is similar form an OS perspective as the production VM's and joined to the domain as some apps will behave differently depending on permissions granted etc. That said the least amount of additional applications the better and no filter drivers, AV, profile managers etc. And of course no View agent