May 21, 2015 - Sven Huisman

Disable App Volumes service before updating OS or installed apps

When you use VMware App Volumes to provision your applications to your RDSH-VMs, how do you keep you’re Windows OS and locally installed applications up to date? As you can not use Horizon Composer (yet) to update RDS-hosts with a new image, you should still use a tool like Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to install Windows updates and update locally installed applications. In a demo-environment I recently installed Windows updates through the Windows updates service, but as the App Volumes service was still running and there were AppStacks attached to the machine, this did’t work as expected. I installed 36 new Windows updates, but after a reboot and a scan for new updates, the message appeared that there were still 36 updates available:

Windows updates

At first, I installed the updates again, but after a reboot, still the same updates available. After stopping the App Volumes service and disabling it I installed the updates again. This time the updates were successfully installed. After a reboot, I enabled the App Volumes service again and rebooted the server, so the AppStacks would be attached to the server again.

I have not tested this with unattended installation of updates (with SCCM for example), but I expect that you could run into the same issue.

So lessons learned: if using a persistent image (like my RDSH-VMs) with App Volumes read-only Appstacks attached, disable the App Volumes service before updating the OS or installed applications.

I hope VMware will soon allow cloning of RDSH-VMs with Horizon Composer or instant cloning technology.

Virtual Desktop