One thing I have noticed when visiting different sites is that a lot of organisations are now moving away from the traditional method of delivering applications to the end user. Whilst there are still organisations installing applications physically on devices, more and more are now taking the approach of streaming applications to the end user. This is a great way to deliver applications if you are in an environment where users move around between desks or buildings. In the main most are using Citrix Xenapp to do this, however Microsoft also have a tool on the market capable of doing this – App-v.
In this post I’m going to provide the steps to create a basic App-v environment, in the real world you would want to look at providing some resilience by clustering the relevant servers. I have a basic lab environment running in Hyper-V made up of a DC, a SQL server running SQL 2008 SP1 CU10, a server with just a base install which will be used for the App-v installation and a Windows 7 Enterprise client. The three servers are both running Windows Server 2008 SP2 and all machines are members of my lab domain.
The first thing we need to do is configure some of the pre-requisites for the App-v installation. On the DC you need to create AD groups in my case I have called these App-V_Users and App-V_Admins. Add the Domain Admins group to the App-V_Admins group.
In a production environmeyour wouldn’t add domain admins to the App-V_Admins group, I would just add the required users to this group.
The following steps will be completed whilst logged into the App-V server as a domain administrator.
Create a shared folder on the the App-V server and assign the following permissions:
App-V_admins: Full control
App-V_users: read only
On the App-v server open server manager, click Roles, Click Add Roles and select Web Server (IIS), Click Next until you get to the Role Services screen. On the Role Services screen select Asp.net, you will receive a prompt to add some additionally required role services, click Add Required Role Services
In addition to these, we also need to add the following:
- Windows Authentication
- IIS Management Scripts and Tools
- IIS 6 Management Compatibility
Click Next and then Install. Hopefully at the end of the install process you will have a series of green ticks to confirm the installs were successful.
Install .net Framework
The final pre-requisite to install is .net Framework, this can be installed via server manager, features and selecting add feature. Select .net Framework and click Next and Install. Again we are looking for a green tick to confirm the install was successful.
Now that the pre-requisites are installed the next step is to install with App-v Management Server. Depending on your licensing model this can be downloaded from a number of places, in my case I downloaded the latest version of MDOP from my Technet account. Once download mount the ISO file and launch the splash.hta file.
From this screen select Application Virtualization for Desktops
From the next screen select Install Management Server 4.5 SP2, this will launch the Management Server installation wizard.
- At the Welcome Screen, Click Next
- Accept the License terms, Click Next
- Select I don’t want to use Microsoft Update, Click Next
- Enter a User Name and Organisation, Click Next
- Select Typical installation which will install the Management Web Service, the Management Console and the Management services, Click Next
- On the next screen select your Database server, Click Next
- Select create a new database, Click Next
- On the Certificate screen, Click NextNote: A certificate is only required if you choose to use RTSPS, I am only using RTSP
- On the TCP port configuration screen, Click Next
- On the Administrator Group screen, enter the name of the AD group you created for App-V Admins, Click Next
- On the Default Provider group, enter the name of the AD group you created for App-V Users, Click Next
- Enter the path to the shared folder you created earlier, Click Next
- Click Install
- Once the install has completed, Click Finish and reboot the server
Assuming that all of the above steps completed successfuly you should now have a working App-V server environment, the next steps are to start sequencing apps which I will cover in a separate post.