Archive | App Volumes RSS feed for this section

VMware EUC stack upgrade – Legacy? or Modernizing? or Middleground?

14 Sep

It was that time of the year to perform a VMware End-User Computing (EUC) stack upgrade on the environment, and I thought of sharing the overall thought process and decisions made along the way. It will be interesting to share with others who might be in a similar situation or process of developing their upgrade/migration strategies. In this post, we shall take a look into these topics:

  • Current versions of the VMware EUC Stack
  • What version numbers did we upgrade/migrated to?
  • Why did we migrate to these versions?
  • Wishlist (Someone Listening?)
  • Valuable links to reference during upgrade/migration

Current versions of the VMware EUC Stack

  • VMware Horizon 7.11 (Connection Server/Agents)
  • VMware Horizon Client 5.5
  • VMware App Volumes 2.18.1.x Manager/VMware App Volumes 2.18.5 Agent version
  • VMware Workspace ONE Access 20.01/Connector 1903 (Not in scope for the upgrade)
  • VMware Dynamic Environment Manager 9.10
  • VMware Unified Access Gateway 3.10

What versions numbers did we upgrade/migrated to?

  • VMware Horizon 7.13.1 (Connection Server/Agents)
  • VMware Horizon Client 5.5.2
  • VMware App Volumes 2.18.10.10 (Manager/Agents)
  • VMware Dynamic Environment Manager 2103
  • VMware Unified Access Gateway 2103.1

Why did we migrate to these versions?

The obvious question everyone might ask is the latest versions are Horizon 8.x and App Volumes 4.x why are you picking older versions for the upgrade? The short answer is the limitations and trade-off, and the following matrix tries to uncover in more detail.

Note – Not all customers might fall under the limitation category, or the limiting feature/functionality could be different in your case. By no means this should be your defacto reasons. Make sure to evaluate your situation and create a matrix to make a data-driven decision. If the project is greenfield/no-limitations applied, it’s a no-brainer to opt for the latest product releases.

ProductUpgrade DecisionVerison of Choice
VMware Horizon++ We had all the boxes ticked from a feature/functionality standpoint to be able to upgrade/migrate to Horizon 8.x version. (Instant Clones, Printing, UAG etc.). Infact everything worked well in the development environment
++ The latest vROPS Horizon Adapter 1.2/Horizon 8.x version doesn’t include the built-in Horizon reports. We use the reporting feature for all sorts of custom reporting on Horizon PODs. The older version of vROPS Horizon Adapter 6.7.1/Horizon 7.x has all the existing metrics and reporting available but doesn’t include support for Horizon 8.x on the support matrix
++ The no reporting on the Horizon Adapter 1.2 + limited metrics on RDSH limited our ability to move to the latest version of Horizon 8.x. Once the built-in reports\metrics and guidance is made available, we shall jump onto the latest version (n-1)
Horizon 7.13.1
VMware App Volumes++ Lack of Writable Volumes (UIA+Profile and UIA) migrations from 2.18.x to 4.x. Need official guidance or tool/script/guidance to upgrade all the wrtiable of the 2.18.x environment to 4.x. I am sure alot of enterprise customers will have plenty of Writable Volumes to migrate and don’t have the flexibility to start from scratch on a new version
++ VMware AppStack Migration fling is the perfect migration utility to migrate AppStacks 2.18.x to 4.x need something similar for Writable Volumes
App Volumes 2.18.10.10
VMware Dynamic Environment Manager++ This was the only piece of software that didn’t have interoperability or upgrade complexity. The obvious choice was to upgrade to the latest (n-1)DEM 2103
VMware Unified Access Gateway++ The appliance has no interoperability issues with Horizon 7.13.1 or upgrade complexity. The obvious choice was to upgrade to the latest (n-1)UAG 2103.1
Upgrade Decision Matrix

The above stack provides us with the required General Availability support until Q2 FY2022 and beyond.

Wishlist

I am looking forward to vROPS Horizon Adapter XX to include the built-in Horizon Reports/Additional Metrics for RDSH in the new version or provide detailed guidance on creating meaningful reports in future releases. Additionally, the App Volumes team releases tools and advice on migrating 4000’s+ Writable Volumes from 2.18.x to 4.x. Once the above is released, I plan to upgrade to the branch of Horizon 8.x and App Volumes 4.x releases version numbers.

Valuable links to reference during upgrades

Here is the cheat sheet for all the useful links to review and formulate an upgrade plan:

DescriptionLinks
VMware Product Interoperability MatrixProduct Interoperability Matrix (vmware.com)
Product DocumentationVMware Horizon Documentation
VMware App Volumes Documentation
VMware Dynamic Environment Manager (Formerly Known as VMware User Environment Manager) Documentation
Techzone Migrating Legacy Horizon Components to Modern Alternatives

View Composer –> Instant Clones
Security Server –> UAG
Persona –> DEM
Persistent Disk – FSLogix
Modernizing VDI for a New Horizon | VMware
App Volumes Upgrade considerationsVMware App Volumes 4 Installation and Upgrade Considerations | VMware
Fling Migrate App Volumes AppStack from 2.18.x to 4.xApp Volumes Migration Utility | VMware Flings
Supported Windows 10 versions based on Horizon AgentSupported versions of Windows 10 on Horizon Agent Including All VDI Clones (Full Clones, Instant Clones, and Linked Clones on Horizon 7) (2149393) (vmware.com)
VMware EUC Stack Agent OrderAgent installation order for Horizon View, Dynamic Environment Manager, and App Volumes (2118048) (vmware.com)
Supported Windows 10 versions based on App Volumes AgentVMware App Volumes and Microsoft Windows 10 Support
VMware Product Lifecycle – End of LifeProduct Lifecycle Matrix (vmware.com)
Reference Material

I hope you will find the above information useful in your enterprise upgrade/migrate strategy for VMware EUC Stack. I would love to hear your strategy and similar situations limiting your ability to migrate to the latest and greatest versions.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

VMware App Volumes upgrade from 2.18.1 to 2.18.10 – Startup Failure – Unable to start App Volumes Manager

13 Sep

While upgrading from VMware App Volumes 2.18.1 to 2.18.10.10 version, the upgrade installer completes successfully. However, when you load the App Volumes Manager portal, you get the following error message – Startup Failure – Unable to start App Volumes Manager – Migrations are pending. To resolve this issue, run bin/rails db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production

Startup Failure

Cause

Upon quickly checking the App Volumes computer account (<Domain>\<MachineName>$ within SQL Server was missing the db_onwer permissions. Obviously, that caused the above error post-migration.

Note – This is a very corner case and not expected to see along on most of the App Volumes Migration/Upgrade scenarios. If you did come across one now you know how to remediate.

Resolution

Step 1 – Adding the missing db_owner permission back to the App Volumes Manager computer security account within SQL Server Management Studio

Step 2 – As the db:migration didn’t complete during the upgrade, we need to re-run the following command on the App Volumes Manager server. Open the CMD and change directory to the following path – C:\Program Files (x86)\CloudVolumes\Manager\ruby\bin and run the following command:

bundle exec rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production

You should see the following output:

Command Output

Step 3 – Restart the App Volumes Manager service, and now you will see the login page of the App Volumes Manager.

The mystery remains how did that permission go missing as the additional App Volumes Manager account had retained the db_owner role. But none the less the above steps came in handy with help from VMware support – Suman Rout luckily, has seen a similar issue before.

Lesson Learnt

  • Create a pre-upgrade task item on checking to making sure all the App Volumes Manager computer accounts within the SQL Server have the db_owner permissions.

I hope you will find these steps helpful to resolve missing SQL permissions causing upgrade issues during the App Volumes migration from 2.18.x to 2.18.10.10.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

Script to install CrowdStrike Sensor and VMware App Volumes snapvol.cfg exclusions for CrowdStrike Sensor

20 Aug

If you are planning to deploy CrowdStrike Sensor (CS Sensor) within your virtual desktop (Windows 10) or server operating(Remote Desktop – Windows Server 2016), then continue reading. In this post, we will take a look into the following topics:

  • Scripted silent install of CrowdStrike Sensor
  • Process exclusions for VMware App Volumes – Writable Volumes (snapvol.cfg)

Script to install CrowdStrike Sensor

Pre-requisites:

  • Based on your requirements, a complete range of silent switches can be found here – How to Install CrowdStrike Falcon Sensor | Dell US
  • Create a folder called C:\Temp\Sensor and place all the CS Sensor EXE within this folder.
  • Make sure to read the installer log files after the install is completed.
  • We use the proxy details as the virtual machines don’t have direct internet access.
  • Look for the exit code = 0 = success
#############################################################################################
# Install Crowd Strike Sensor to the Golden Image on Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016/2019
# Look for Exit Code 0 = Success
# Comment or Un-comment the Agent that does not apply to your environment
# Author - Aresh Sarkari - https://twitter.com/askaresh
#############################################################################################

###################################################################
#                    Declare Variables                            #
###################################################################

#Sensor Names
$CSSensorName = "WindowsSen*"

#The sensor installer Location
$TempInstallPath = "C:\Temp\Sensor"

#Log Files location
$CSSensorlogFile = "C:\Temp\Sensor\CSSensor.log"

###################################################################
#                    EXE Arguments Arrary for CS Sensor           #
###################################################################
# Modify any Installer switches related to the sensor here.
# Dell Article covering all silent switches 
# https://www.dell.com/support/kbdoc/en-us/000126124/how-to-install-crowdstrike-falcon-sensor
# Proxy switches if your endpoints dont have direct Internet Access
# Log Files w.r.t to installation is generated in C:\Temp\*

# Crowd Strike Sensor Arguments
$CSArguments = @(
    "/install"
    "/quiet"
    "/norestart"
    "CID=YOUDIDGUIDWILLGOHERE-EG"
    "ProvToken=YOURTOKENNUMBER"
    "GROUPING_TAGS=TAG1,TAG_VDI"
    "ProvWaitTime=3600000"
    "APP_PROXYNAME=proxy.whateverproxy.com"
    "APP_PROXYPORT=80"
    "VDI=1"
	"/log"
    $CSSensorlogFile
)

###################################################################
#                    Main                                        #
###################################################################

# Install Crowd Strike Sensor
Write-Host "Installing the Crowd Strike Sensor" -ForegroundColor Green
$CSSensorPath = (Get-ChildItem -Path $TempInstallPath | Where-Object {$_.name -like $CSSensorName}).Fullname
$CSSensorInstall = (Start-Process -Filepath $CSSensorPath -Wait -ArgumentList "$CSArguments" -PassThru)
$CSSensorInstall.ExitCode

Start-Sleep 20

Git Hub scripts/CSSensor-Install at master · askaresh/scripts (github.com)

Process exclusions for VMware App Volumes

It is advisable you add the CrowdStrike process exclusions within the VMware App Volumes – Writable Volumes templates on snapvol.cfg. Here is the detailed guidance on how to modify the snapvold.cfg – Using the VMware App Volumes snapvol.cfg File to Customize Writable Volumes | VMware End-User Computing Blog. These two processes are visible within the Task Manager.

#Crowdstrike Exclusions
exclude_process_name=CSFalconService.exe
exclude_process_name=CSFalconContainer.exe

A big thanks to Jishan for the numerous testing cycles! I hope you will find this script and exclusions useful to install the CrowsStrike Sensor. A small request if you further enhance the script or exclusions, I hope you can share it back with me?

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

VMware App Volumes – AD Domain – LDAPS Configuration/Certificate Renewal

19 Aug

The Enterprise Root CA certificate was coming close to expiry, and we had to replace the certificate on VMware App Volumes Manager. In this blog post, we will take a look into the following topics:

  • How to identify the Microsoft Enterprise Root CA
  • How to generate the Root Certificate *.cer
  • Convert the certificate *.cer to *.pem format for App Volumes Manager
  • Replace the certificate within the App Volumes Manager
  • Configuring the App Volumes Manager for LDAPS

How to identify the Microsoft Enterprise Root CA

On any domain-joined box where you have the Active Directory administrative tools installed, open the adsiedit.msc and change the Naming Context to Configuration partition.

Adsiedit Connection

Navigate to the below path Under Certification Authorities, and you’ll find your Enterprise Root Certificate Authority server.

CN=Certification Authorities,CN=Public Key Services,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=askaresh,DC=dir
Active Directory – Configuration Partition

How to generate the Root Certificate *.cer

Log into the Root Certification Authority server with Administrator Account. Go to Start > Run > and type Cmd, and press on Enter button. Enter the following command:

certutil -ca.cert C:\Temp\rootca_cert.cer

Convert the certificate *.cer to *.pem format for App Volumes Manager

I typically use OpenSSL to convert all my certificates. Copy the rootca_cert.cer certificate into Folder – C:\OpenSSL-Win32\bin and run the following command to convert the certificate to PEM.

openssl x509 -in root_cer.cer -out adCA.pem

Note – We want the exported name to be adCA.pem as App Volumes Manager needs that name during setup.

Replace the certificate within the App Volumes Manager

Depending upon the number of AV Managers, you will have to repeat the steps:

  • Copy the adCA.pem on each App Volumes Manager server, to the /config directory where the App Volumes Manager is installed. The default installation location for App Volumes Manager is C:\Program Files (x86)\Cloud Volumes\Manager.
  • Restart the App Volumes Manager servers.

Configuring the App Volumes Manager for LDAPS

You only need to perform these steps on one App Volumes Manager per POD as the configurations are central on a SQL Database.

  • Login to the App Volumes Manager and go to Configuration – AD Domains – Select the Domain – Edit or New depending upon your requirements
  • Enter the Domain Name, Service Account Username, Service Account Password and Select Secure LDAPS. The port number is 636.
  • Click on Update
App Volumes Manager – AD Domains

I hope you will find these steps helpful to replace or configure the VMware App Volumes Manager with LDAPS.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

Reference Links

Export Root Certification Authority Certificate – Windows Server | Microsoft Docs

Find the name of Enterprise Root CA server – Windows Server | Microsoft Docs

Configure CA Certificates in App Volumes Manager (vmware.com)

VMware App Volumes Database – Annual Clean-up (Pruning old data)

22 Jul

The VMware App Volumes database archival tables grow constantly, and it can quickly outgrow the database size. To prevent this growth, it is advisable to perform regular pruning of the database. In our scenario, we prefer to perform this activity annually as we have sufficient space to accommodate the growth. There are mainly three tables that need pruning. (log_records, snapvol_timeseries and system_messages)

VMware has a detailed knowledge base article decribing Pruning the VMware App Volumes SQL database (2132454). However, if you are trying to delete many records at one time, you will get a full transaction log error. The below procedure will help you overcome this challenge.

Query to identify the entries older than 60 days:

SELECT * FROM log_records WHERE created_at < DATEADD(day, -60, GETDATE());
SELECT * FROM snapvol_timeseries WHERE created_at < DATEADD(day, -60, GETDATE());
SELECT * FROM system_messages WHERE created_at < DATEADD(day, -60, GETDATE());

The output of the query will be as follows:

Select SQL Query on AV DB

The challenge is if you ran the Delete query mention in the VMware KB it would work 100%. However, while deleting all the rows, the transaction log will run out of space. If you follow my procedure, the transaction log will still run out of space, but the amount of transaction logs flush you need to perform is minimized to a great extend.

This query will delete the rows in the batches of 10,000, allowing some room to perform the clean-up and no need to flush the transaction logs at every run. (In our scenario for 8 million records, I had to flush the transaction log twice.)

DECLARE @continue INT
DECLARE @rowcount INT
   
SET @continue = 1
WHILE @continue = 1
BEGIN
    PRINT GETDATE()
    SET ROWCOUNT 10000
    BEGIN TRANSACTION
    DELETE FROM log_records WHERE created_at < DATEADD(day, -60, GETDATE());
    DELETE FROM snapvol_timeseries WHERE created_at < DATEADD(day, -60, GETDATE());
    DELETE FROM system_messages WHERE created_at < DATEADD(day, -60, GETDATE());
    SET @rowcount = @@rowcount
    COMMIT
    PRINT GETDATE()
    IF @rowcount = 0
    BEGIN
        SET @continue = 0
    END
END

The output after the clean-up:

Delete SQL Query – AV DB

I hope you will find this SQL query helpful to perform App Volumes Database clean-up in a jiffy. My request if you further enhance the query or make it more creative, I hope you can share it back with me?

You can also follow the procedure to clean-up Horizon Events Database – VMware Horizon Events Database – Annual Clean-up (purge old data) | AskAresh

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

Script to install VMware EUC Agents – App Volumes Agent, DEM Agent and Horizon Agent

30 Jun

If you are planning for the VMware EUC Stack migration or upgrade and want to install the VMware EUC agent, then continue reading. The guidance on uninstalling the existing agents can be found on this blog post – Script uninstall VMware EUC Agents – App Volumes Agent, Horizon Client, DEM Agent, Horizon Agent and VMware Tools | AskAresh

In this script, we shall perform the agents install and reboot the golden image towards the end. There is no need to install the individual agents one by one, instead, sit back, relax and have a coffee!

VMware EUC Agents:

  • VMware Horizon Agent (Works on 7.x and 8.x/YYMM)
    • Note few MSI switches are deprecated if you still use them, you will have an error code 1603
  • VMware Dynamic Environment Manager Agent (Works on 9.x and YYMM)
  • VMware App Volumes Agent (Works on 2.x and 4.x/YYMM)

Note – All the above testing is carried out on Windows 10 1909 with PowerShell 5.1. Reboot is required to complete the installation operations.

VMware EUC Agents Install

Pre-requisites:

#################################################################################################
# Install EUC Agents in the proper order - Horizon Agent , DEM Agent and App Volumes Agent
# Reboot the OS towards the end after install all Agents. Look for Exit Code 0 or 3010
# If you notice exit code 1603 there is a installation issue. Refer to my MSI switches blogpost
# Comment or Un-comment the Agent that does not apply to your environment
# Author - Aresh Sarkari (Twitter - @askaresh)
################################################################################################

###################################################################
#                    Declare Variables                            #
###################################################################

#Agent Names
$HorizonAgentName = "VMware-Horizon-Agent-x86_64*"
$DEMAgentName = "VMware Dynamic Environment Manager*"
$AppVolumesAgentName = "App Volumes Agent*"
$AppVolMGR = "avm001.domain.com" # Manager LB VIP

# All the installer Location
#Create a folder C:\Temp\Agents and place all the MSI\EXE in there
$TempInstallPath = "C:\Temp\Agents" 

#Log Files location
# Go through all the logs post installation
$HZlogFile = "C:\Temp\Agents\HZAgent.log"
$DEMlogFile = "C:\Temp\Agents\DEMAgent.log"
$ApplogFile = "C:\Temp\Agents\AppVolAgent.log"

###################################################################
#                    MSI Arguments Arrary for EUC Agents          #
###################################################################
# Modify any MSI switched related to the agent here.
# Follow this blog post for swithces - https://askaresh.com/2021/06/28/comparision-vmware-horizon-agent-7-x-8-x-silent-install-switches-and-properties/

# VMware Horizon Agent MSI Switches
$HZMSIArguments = @(
	"/qn"
	"VDM_VC_MANAGED_AGENT=1"
    "SUPPRESS_RUNONCE_CHECK=1"
	"VDM_IP_Protocol_Usage=IPv4"
	"ADDLOCAL=Core,ClientDriveRedirection,NGVC,USB,RTAV,PerfTracker,PrintRedir,HelpDesk,TSMMR,VmwVaudio,V4V"
	"REBOOT=REallySuppress"
	"/L*v"
	$HZlogFile
)

# VMware Dynamic Enivornment Agent MSI Switches
$DEMMSIArguments = @(
    "/qn"
    "ADDLOCAL=FlexEngine"
    "REBOOT=REallysuppress"
    "/L*v"
    $DEMlogFile
)

# VMware App Volumes Agent MSI Switches
$AppVolMSIArguments = @(
    "/qn"
    "MANAGER_ADDR=$AppVolMGR"
    "MANAGER_PORT=443"
    "REBOOT=REallysuppress"
    "EnforceSSLCertificateValidation=0"
    "/L*v"
    $ApplogFile
)

###################################################################
#                    Main                                        #
###################################################################

# Install VMware Horizon Agent
Write-Host "Installing the VMware Horizon Agent" -ForegroundColor Green
$HZAgentPath = (Get-ChildItem -Path $TempInstallPath | Where-Object {$_.name -like $HorizonAgentName}).Fullname

# The switches "/s /v " is the Install Shield switches and rest of the aruguments are passed with MSI
$HZAgentInstall = (Start-Process -Filepath $HZAgentPath -Wait -ArgumentList "/s /v ""$HZMSIArguments" -PassThru)
$HZAgentInstall.ExitCode

Start-Sleep 20

# Install DEM Agent
Write-Host "Installing the VMware DEM Agent" -ForegroundColor Green
$DEMPath = (Get-ChildItem -Path $TempInstallPath | Where-Object {$_.name -like $DEMAgentName}).Fullname
$DEMAgentInstall = (Start-Process -Filepath $DEMPath -ArgumentList $DEMMSIArguments -Wait -PassThru)
$DEMAgentInstall.ExitCode

Start-Sleep 20

# Install App Volumes Agent
Write-Host "Installing the VMware App Volumes Agent" -ForegroundColor Green
$AppVolPath = (Get-ChildItem -Path $TempInstallPath | Where-Object {$_.name -like $AppVolumesAgentName}).Fullname
$AppVolAgentInstall = (Start-Process -Filepath $AppVolPath -ArgumentList $AppVolMSIArguments -Wait -PassThru)
$AppVolAgentInstall.ExitCode

Start-Sleep 20

# Restart the computer
Write-Host "Restarting the computer post the VMware EUC Agents install" -ForegroundColor Green
Restart-Computer -Force

Git Hubscripts/vmwareeucagent-install at master · askaresh/scripts (github.com)

A big thanks to Chris H for providing the original blueprint of the script and Wouter for showing me the magical “space” on the switch /v within the Horizon Agent installer. Final thanks to Jishan for the numerous testing cycles and additions to a different version of this script which tackles VMware Tools reboot and continues installing post a reboot.

I hope you will find this script useful to install the VMware EUC agents and never look back to install them individually. A small request if you further enhance the script or make it more creative, I hope you can share it back with me?

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

Reference Article – VMware Agent Install order – Agent installation order for Horizon View, Dynamic Environment Manager, and App Volumes (vmware.com)

Script uninstall VMware EUC Agents – App Volumes Agent, Horizon Client, DEM Agent, Horizon Agent and VMware Tools

29 Jun

If you are planning for the VMware EUC Stack migration or upgrade and are in the middle of uninstalling the existing agents, look no further and here is the script that will allow you to uninstall all the agents and reboot the golden image towards the end. There is no need to remove individual agents one by one from the “Program and Features”; instead, sit back, relax and have a coffee!

VMware EUC Agents:

  • VMware App Volumes Agent (Works on 2.x and 4.x/YYMM)
  • VMware Horizon Client (Optional)
  • VMware Dynamic Environment Manager Agent (Works on 9.x and YYMM)
  • VMware Horizon Agent (Works on 7.x and 8.x/YYMM)
  • VMware Tools (Works on 11.x)

Note – All the above testing is carried out on Windows 10 1909/Windows Server 2016 with PowerShell 5.1. The PowerShell module Uninstall-Package suppresses individual reboot and we perform the final reboot towards the end using the Restart-Computer module. (Reboot is required to complete the uninstallation operations.)

VMware EUC Agents
#################################################################################
# Un-Install EUC Agents in the proper order for Golden Image
# App Volumes Agent, Horizon Client(Optional), DEM, Horizon and VMware Tools
# Suppressed auto Reboot the OS towards the end after un-installing all Agents.
# Comment or Un-comment the Agent that does not apply to your environment
# Author - Aresh Sarkari (Twitter - @askaresh)
#################################################################################

#Un-installing VMware App Volumes Agent
Write-Host "Un-installing the App Volumes Agent" -ForegroundColor Green
Get-Package -Name 'App Volumes **' | Uninstall-Package

sleep -Seconds 60

#Un-installing VMware Horizon Client
#Write-Host "Un-installing the VMware Horizon Client" -ForegroundColor Green
#Get-Package -Name 'VMware Horizon Cli**' | Uninstall-Package

#sleep -Seconds 60

#Un-installing VMware Dynamic Environment Agent
Write-Host "Un-installing the Dynamic Environment Agent" -ForegroundColor Green
Get-Package -Name 'VMware Dynamic **' | Uninstall-Package

sleep -Seconds 60

#Un-installing VMware Horizon Agent
Write-Host "Un-installing the VMware Horizon Agent" -ForegroundColor Green
Get-Package -Name 'VMware Horizon Ag**' | Uninstall-Package

sleep -Seconds 60

#Un-installing VMware Tools Agent
Write-Host "Un-installing the VMware Tools Agent" -ForegroundColor Green
Get-Package -Name 'VMware Tools' | Uninstall-Package

sleep -Seconds 60

# Restart the computer
Write-Host "Restarting the computer post the VMware EUC Agents Un-install" -ForegroundColor Green
Restart-Computer -Force

GitHub scripts/vmwareeucagent-uninstall at master · askaresh/scripts (github.com)

Thanks to Hilko and Joel for reviewing the script and providing valuable feedback.

I hope you will find this script useful to uninstall the VMware EUC agents and never look back to remove individual programs under “Programs and Features”. A small request if you further enhance the script or make it more creative, I hope you can share it back with me?

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

VMware App Volumes – Volumes were not mounted due to an issue with your Writable Volume

18 Mar

Random floating desktop pools within our environment would exhibit issues where in the end-user would login to their desktop and they will be presented with a black screen with the message – Volumes were not mounted due to an issue with your Writable Volume. Please try logging in again, or contact your administrator.

Error

When this issue would surface, neither the AppStacks nor Writable Volumes would mount to the end-user desktop and if the end-user clicked on OK the session would log-off.

Environment Details

VMware Horizon 7.11
VMware App Volumes 2.18.5
VMware Dynamic Environment Manager 9.10
Windows 10 1909 Enterprise

Process of elimination

  • The App Volumes (AV) agent is able to communicate to the AV Manager on port 443 without any issues.
  • There were no SSL errors or load balancing issues communicating with the Agent/Manager.
  • We thought a particular Writable Volumes (WV) would be causing the issue. Deleted and re-created the WV still the issue would persist.
  • The issue would happen randomly for few users again and again.

Resolution

My team managed to open a VMware GSS case handled by Sanjay SP (A very helpful support engineer), he mentioned there were quite a few cases opened on a similar pattern. Following were the assessments from our logs:

  • During the first startup of Instant Clones, App Volumes Agent queries below registry key to know the customization status and updates manager with the same
    • [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\VMware, Inc.\ViewComposer\ga\AgentIntegration]
      • “CustomizationState”=dword:1
  • It has a timeout of 300 seconds, and if this task times out AppVolumes manager will fail to create a unique identity for the VM in its database
  • In the App Volumes Agent logs, we see the respective timeout
    • [2021-03-09 07:11:34.009 UTC] [svservice:P1564:T1976] HandleNGVC: Waiting for NGVC to complete (count 299)
    • [2021-03-09 07:11:34.009 UTC] [svservice:P1564:T1976] Timed out waiting on NGVC after 300 seconds, disabling
  • The customization itself is working fine and we do see the registry entries getting updated with appropriate values. However, its not completed within 300 seconds. 

Fix

  • The delay in cloneprep customization was not found with IPv6 disabled on the primary nic adapter. The recommendation was to disable IPv6 since we don’t use it within the NIC adapter properties.
Disable IPv6 in the network adapters

I hope you will find this information useful if you encounter the issue. If you manage to tweak or improvise further on this solution, please don’t forget to keep me posted.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

Horizon VDI – Calculator – Photos – Edge Not launching for end-users – Windows 10

8 Feb

In Windows 10 1909 VMware OST optimized image the end-users report they cannot open the following three built-in UWP windows application.

  • Microsoft Calculator
  • Microsoft Photos
  • Microsoft Edge browser

When the end-users try to open any of the three applications, nothing would happen – No error messages or pop-ups. The application doesn’t launch.

Environment Details

VMware Horizon 7.11
VMware App Volumes 2.18.5
VMware Dynamic Environment Manager 9.10

Process of elimination

  • The AppX package for (Calc, Photos and Edge) did exist in the base operating system
  • We can launch all the three applications within the optimized golden image template.
  • We were running the VMWare OSOT tool with the default VMware Windows 10 template. No additional customization or options selected.
  • One thing was evident the base template was working fine. The suspicion was around AppStack – App Volumes (We disabled the AppStacks/Writable Delivery – Same issue observed) or Dynamic Environment Manager causing the application from launching
  • We were running out of troubleshooting ideas

Resolution

Upon searching, I came across this community page – https://communities.vmware.com/t5/Horizon-Desktops-and-Apps/Windows-10-UWP-Applications-and-Taskbar/m-p/523086 and it outlined a solution of re-registering the UWP AppX package for the built-in application. We tried the fix in the DEV environment and it worked. Further it was replicated to the production setup.

Step 1: A Powershell script to register the AppX packages

Get-AppxPackage -allusers *windowscalculator* | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}
Get-AppxPackage -allusers *windows.photos* | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}
Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers *edge* | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

Step 2 : Create a Dynamic Environment Manager – Logon Tasks

We selected to put the Powershell script within the UEM Share as the end-users have the read- access.

DEM - Logon Task
DEM-LogonTasks

 Quick Update based on 4th Aug 2021 (Thanks to Curtis for bring this up in the comments section)

The above DEM 9.10 logon task no longer works in situation where end-users dont have local administrative priviledges users not being able to run the script at logon.

In the latest version of Dynamic Enivornment Manager 20XX onwards, you can now hook logon tasks into Elevated Tasks by using Privilege Elevation rules.

In DEM:

1. User Environment > Privilege Elevation > Create new privilege elevation rule

2. In the “Type” drop down menu, select “Elevated Task”

3. Click “Add”

4. In the Executable field:
“C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe”

5. In the Arguments field type the path to your script logon script

6. In User Environment > Logon Tasks, select the logon task that runs and registers the UWP apps.

7. Check “Elevated Task” and in the drop down select the Elevated Task you just created in the list.

After this, the script should be able to run at logon regardless of whether or not the user has local administrator rights!

I hope you will find this information useful if you encounter the issue. If you manage to tweak or improvise further on this solution, please don’t forget to keep me posted.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

Unable to uninstall/upgrade VMware Horizon Client within the VMware App Volumes AppStack

22 Jul

We had a very long ongoing issue wherein we couldn’t uninstall or upgrade the VMware Horizon Client within the AppStack. We had successfully installed the Horizon Client within the AppStack. However, when it was time to perform an upgrade or uninstall to the latest version, it would fail during a reboot with the following error.

Unknown HardError

We initially saw the issue on App Volumes 2.14. While we were troubleshooting for an extended period, we upgrade to App Volumes 2.18.1, and both the versions exhibited the same failure during uninstall or upgrade.

Process to reproduce the error

  • Upgrade horizon client –> reboot –> hard error
  • Uninstall horizon client –> reboot –>hard error
  • Uninstall horizon client –> install horizon client –> reboot –> hard error
  • Upgrade horizon client –> complete provisioning without reboot –> completes successful –> during next update of AppStack it crashes with Hard error
  • Uninstall horizon client –> complete provisioning without reboot –> completes successful –> during next update of AppStack it crashes with Hard error

Environment Details

VMware Horizon 7.11
VMware App Volumes 2.18.1
VMware Dynamic Environment Manager 9.10
VMware Horizon Client 5.x

Process of elimination

  • Upgrade the Horizon Client to the various 5.x version to remove any version specific Client related issues
  • We didn’t have Antivirus running on the AppStack capturing template
  • We could build the AppStack from scratch with the newer version of Horizon Client but only upgrade/uninstall would fail
  • We were honestly running out of troubleshooting ideas

Resolution

After trying out all the usual steps and avoid re-creating AppStack every single time during life cycle management, we managed to open a VMware GSS case handled by Karan Ahuja(Very helpful support engineer), which ended been worked by the engineering team(Art Rothstein – Champ in AV Eng Team). Note quite alot of logs and Procmon were exchanged from the problematic application capturing VM template. Finally, the fix was determined as a AppStack snapvol.cfg exclusion. After putting this exclusion into the AppStack – App capturing VM during provisioning we could upgrade or uninstall Horizon Client.

exclude_registry=\REGISTRY\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileService
Path exclusion in AppStack snapvol.cfg

Disclaimer – Due to the nature of the issue and time taken to resolve it we decided to move the Horizon Client from AppStack into the base image. However, the fix is validated, and 100% working post the exclusion.

I hope you will find this information useful if you encounter the issue. A big thanks to Manivannan Arul my teammate for his continuous effort while troubleshooting with GSS over a period of 4+ months.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari