If your daily job has anything to do with virtual workspaces, you definitely have heard something about app layering. App layering is seen as the replacement for the ‘old’ application virtualization solutions like Microsoft App-V and VMware ThinApp.
While app layering is a good solution for most of the usual issues that come with running many applications on the same machines, it still takes a lot of time to create all those layers.
So together with automation-aficionado Chris Twiest we asked ourselves the question:
‘Is it possible to automate app layer creation?’
This blog will focus on the automation of creating app layers with Citrix App Layering, while Chris Twiest focused on doing the same with VMware App Volumes, the result of which you can find here. This blog is also a precursor to our presentation at the Expert 2 Expert Virtualization Conference in Athens (link).
EDIT Dec 19th 2018: Click here for a YouTube video of the presentation.
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At a customer a while back we had an Citrix XenDesktop 7.9 environment. VMware vSphere 6.0 was used as hypervisor, Citrix Provisioning Services 7.9 for deployment and Microsoft Windows 10 as OS for the virtual desktops. Since these desktops were non-persistent we were able to use the local solid state storage in the hypervisors. This did however present some challenges when it came to the deployment of the virtual desktops. We (my colleague Leon van Efferen and myself) ended up with a PowerShell script that did just about everything.
In this post I will explain what the script does and what you need to do to use it in your own XenDesktop/PVS/vSphere environment. You can find the actual script at the end of the post.
Keep in mind that the customer used VMware vSphere (XenServer or Hyper-V were a big no-no for unknown reasons) and therefore the script only contains the commands for vSphere (PowerCLI 6.x). If you would like to use it for other hypervisors, feel free to alter it in any way and present it as your own on your own blogsite.
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A while back I needed to automate the deployment of Citrix StoreFront 3.x for a customer I was working for at the time. However it wasn’t perfect. It only did the installation of the software and didn’t do anything with stores, server groups and certificates. Since time was scarce these items were put on hold. However, I put them on my own ToDo-list with the goal to automate an (almost) complete deployment of StoreFront with Ivanti Automation and share it with anyone who would like to use it.
I will give a small walkthrough of the automation steps and why I made certain decisions and of course instructions on how to import and use them.
You can find the download link for the Ivanti Automation building blocks here and also at the bottom of this blog post.
These modules have been tested on Windows Server 2012 R2 and 2016 (with User Experience enabled) and up to StoreFront version 1912.
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