Module 3 os app layers
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Module 3: OS & App Layers. Agenda. Preparing and importing a gold image Creating and understanding Install Machines Creating basic Application layers Understanding what is captured in an App Layer Layer Priority and conflict resolution Updating layers. Module 3.

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Module 3 os app layers

Module 3: OS & App Layers


Agenda

Agenda

  • Preparing and importing a gold image

  • Creating and understanding Install Machines

  • Creating basic Application layers

  • Understanding what is captured in an App Layer

  • Layer Priority and conflict resolution

  • Updating layers


Importing a gold image into an os layer

Module 3

Importing a gold image into an OS layer


Terminology

Terminology

  • Gold Image = The VMware Virtual Machine built that contains the base operating system you will import into a Unidesk OS Layer.

  • OS Layer = Operating System layer stored in Unidesk format and managed by Unidesk. No association with the original gold image.

  • Application Layer = Independent layers created based on specific OS layers. Can contain anything, an application, individual files, registry entries, service states, etc.


Basic steps in creating an os layer

Basic Steps in Creating an OS Layer

  • Create a Windows VM in vCenter

  • Prepping the Gold Image for import

    • Disabling certain Items, “tuning” the OS, etc

  • Create the Unattend.xmlanswer file

    • Our scripts to c:\windows\setup\scripts

  • Install Unidesk drivers

  • Import the OS into Unidesk

  • Pro-tip: if you are new to this, create a VMware snapshot prior to configuration to allow you to rollback if you make a mess of the setup 


Os layer key concepts

OS Layer Key Concepts

  • Each desktop built has a single OS Layer, version may change, OS may be updated, OS Layer stays the same.

  • Desktop Build Automation is based on Windows mini-setup being invoked during build. Unattend.xml drives the automation for basic Windows settings.

  • Setupcomplete.cmd is a MS script that runs post build for additional configuration/customizations to occur.


Understanding desktop build steps

Understanding Desktop Build Steps


Creating the gold image

Creating the Gold Image

  • Unidesk supports Win 7 32 or 64 bit and 32 bit Windows XP

  • Disk size and type during creation doesn’tmatter as the import process only grabs file system contents and does not copy the VMDK at all

  • Install VMware tools, Disable System Restore & turn off Windows auto-updates

    • Auto-updates can be re-enabled when updating the gold image. Or can be manually initiated.


Prep the gold image

lab

Prep the Gold Image


Unattend xml creator

Unattend.xml creator

  • Copy the tools into the Setup\Scripts dir first

  • Use ‘Run as administrator’

  • Will report errors if you cannot save to the proper locations


Download tools and run unattend xml creator

lab

Download tools and run Unattend.xml creator


Optimizer tool

Optimizer Tool

  • Created by the Unidesk Solution Team

  • Allows for you to pick and choose optimization

  • Use intelligently! Some tuning hurts applications!


Installing the unidesk drivers

Installing the Unidesk Drivers

  • Installs our drivers, and registers with the Unidesk Management Appliance

  • Registration allows for Unidesk to be aware of the gold image for import tasks

  • Run as administrator

  • Do not run from a share

  • Will request the DNS name/IP of the Unidesk Management Appliance


Creating the os layer

Creating the OS Layer

  • Running the “Create OS layer” wizard starts the process

  • Know your Gold Image VM name as seen in vCenter

  • Layer name and version info in the wizard can be changed later. The key is to get the import running.

  • Import may take between 7 and 20 minutes depending on hardware.


Installing the drivers and importing the os layer

lab

Installing the drivers and importing the OS layer


Post import

Post Import

  • Test Deployment of desktop with just the OS layer

  • Validate Domain Join and other functions from automated setup function properly

  • Add versions to the OS layer to make adjustments to the unattend.xml, scripts or anything else OS related. No need to re-import.


Inst allation machines

Installation Machines


Install machines

Install Machines

  • Install Machines are a staging area for the creation of app layers and for adding versions to app layers and OS layers

  • There are VMs with no “hard drive” that are created specifically for the app layer or OS layer being created or versioned

  • Think of IMs as automatically created and refreshed packaging machines!


Install machines1

Install Machines


Creating installation machines

lab

Creating Installation Machines


Building an app layer

Building an app layer

  • A new, empty app layer is created

    • Or, when doing updates/patches, the prior copy of the layer

App layer (all writes go here)

O/S layer (read-only)

C:\DIR\A.DAT

C:\DIR\B.DAT

C:\DIR\C.DAT


Building an app layer1

Building an app layer

  • A new, empty app layer is created

    • Or, when doing updates/patches, the prior copy of the layer

  • Any data that is written (directories, files, keys, …) is stored in the new layer

  • Files in the O/S layer that are modified are first copied to the app layer, and then modified

App layer (all writes go here)

C:\DIR\D.DAT (new file)

C:\DIR\B.DAT (copied and then modified)

Delete C:\DIR\C.DAT (marks C.DAT as deleted)

O/S layer (read-only)

C:\DIR\A.DAT

C:\DIR\B.DAT

C:\DIR\C.DAT


Building an app layer2

Building an app layer

C:\DIR\A.DAT (from O/S)

C:\DIR\B.DAT (from App)

(C:\DIR\C.DAT removed by App)

C:\DIR\D.DAT (from App)

Resulting C:

  • A new, empty app layer is created

    • Or, when doing updates/patches, the prior copy of the layer

  • Any data that is written (directories, files, keys, …) is stored in the new layer

  • Files in the O/S layer that are modified are first copied to the app layer, and then modified

App layer (all writes go here)

C:\DIR\D.DAT (new file)

C:\DIR\B.DAT (copied and then modified)

Delete C:\DIR\C.DAT (marks C.DAT as deleted)

O/S layer (read-only)

C:\DIR\A.DAT

C:\DIR\B.DAT

C:\DIR\C.DAT


Creating a basic app layer

Lab

Creating a basic APP layer


App layering pro tips

App Layering Pro Tips

  • Reduce desktop (File system) change during install

    • Don’t copy installer locally unless required

    • Install from a share or ISO

    • This will keep package size to a minimum

  • On the Administrator Profile leave a shortcut to your Install Media Share

  • User Changes are caught in current user’s profile, NOT deployed to the user

    • Use GPO/GPP or simple script to deploy User based application changes

  • MS Products license together (like MS Office and Visio) use Office as a prerequisite layer any time creating a layer for other “Office” products


Layer priorities and conflicts

Layer priorities and conflicts


Layer priority rules

Layer Priority Rules

  • All Layers are “stacked” in a priority order

  • Personalization layer always wins (unless you override)

  • OS layer is always on the bottom of the stack

  • Layer priority within the application stack based on package creation date and time

    • MSI installer rules during install are followed- key to understand pre-requisite layers


Layer priority example

Layer Priority Example

Results within desktop:

C:\DIR\A.DAT from APP1

C:\DIR\B.DAT from APP1

C:\DIR\C.DAT from APP2

C:\DIR\D.DAT from OS

  • Layers Stacked based on internal priority numbering system

  • Can override priorities system wide

  • Personalization layer override done on an app by app basis

App layer 1

C:\DIR\A.DAT

C:\DIR\B.DAT

App layer 2

C:\DIR\B.DAT

C:\DIR\C.DAT

O/S layer

C:\DIR\C.DAT

C:\DIR\D.DAT


Layer priority example1

Layer Priority Example

Results within desktop:

C:\DIR\A.DAT from APP1

C:\DIR\B.DAT from APP2

C:\DIR\C.DAT from APP2

C:\DIR\D.DAT from OS

  • Layers Stacked based on internal priority numbering system

  • Can override priorities system wide

  • Personalization layer override done on an app by app basis

App layer 2

C:\DIR\B.DAT

C:\DIR\C.DAT

App layer 1

C:\DIR\A.DAT

C:\DIR\B.DAT

O/S layer

C:\DIR\C.DAT

C:\DIR\D.DAT


Layer priority screen

Layer Priority Screen


Changing layer priority

Lab

Changing Layer priority


Layer storage

Layer Storage

  • Stored in VDMK format

  • All Layers start life on the Master CachePoint datastore

  • Layers are replicated to other CPs/datastores based on desktop layer assignments

  • Layer versions are all stored in the same directory under the layer name in the datastore


Viewing layers on the datastore

Lab

Viewing Layers on the Datastore


Versioning app and os layers

Versioning App and OS Layers


Updating an existing layer

Updating an Existing Layer

App layer (all writes go here)

C:\DIR\D.DAT (new file)

C:\DIR\B.DAT (copied and then modified)

Delete C:\DIR\C.DAT (marks C.DAT as deleted)

O/S layer (read-only)

C:\DIR\A.DAT

C:\DIR\B.DAT

C:\DIR\C.DAT

  • Original App Layer is copied on the MCP datastore

  • This copy is mounted to the IM and the admin updates the existing layer

  • Any data that is written (directories, files, keys, …) is stored in this copy


Versioning a layer

Lab

Versioning a Layer


Swapping layers vs versioning

Swapping Layers vs Versioning

  • You also have the ability to create a NEW layer instead of versioning a layer

  • Key difference in swapping is that the personalization layer is “cleaned up” of any application conflicts from the “old” layer.

  • This is often used for Agents and other mgmt or IT type software


Questions you may see again

Questions you may see again


Review questions

Review Questions

  • What desktop operating systems does Unidesk 2.1 support?

  • During installation of the Unidesk drivers the installer asks for the IP or DNS name of what piece of infrastructure?

  • When creating a new version of a layer what happens to the existing (current) version?

  • What do you edit/create to modify which domain or OU new desktops join to?


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