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When setting up App-V, virtualized packages (.APPV files) can be deployed in a variety of ways. Because the package contents contain a MSI, Group Policy or System Center Configuration Manager can be used for installation. But where is the fun in that?
By using the App-V Servers for package management, you will gain some awesome and unique abilities. For example, some software may require restarts when deployed traditionally. When an App-V server is used, a restart is not required! This same benefit applies to an uninstall as well.
As a note, this walkthrough combines the App-V components for simplicity. Due to this, we will only configure two virtual servers. Larger environments may want to run redundant servers or to separate the components out onto specific servers.
Installing the servers ^
In part 1, we created three servers for our test domain. One of these servers, App-V, will host all of the server components. SQL-01, our other server, will host the two App-V database components. If needed, you can check the App-V 5.0 prerequisites here before proceeding.
First, we will need to setup the database components. If you haven’t installed SQL already, refer back to Part 1 for the SQL download and component selection.
To get started, simply execute the App-V 5 Setup.
App-V 5 initial setup
Continue past the EULA and if desired, enable automatic updates for the server components.
As a best practice, enable Updates for App-V components.
On the server feature selection page, only check the options for the Management Server DB and Reporting Server DB.
Installing the databases on a dedicated SQL machine will be a common configuration for most organizations.
Continue through the wizard until you reach the database creation page. Once you are on the Database creation window, you can customize the SQL Server instance and Management Server database. For simplicity, I accepted the default values.
Management Server Database Creation
Proceed through the Reporting Server Database setup as well. I accepted the default values here. Continue until the Setup has finished.
The App-V database components successfully installed.
Because this guide configures App-V in a test environment, the SQL security best practices were followed. If you are interested in Microsoft’s Best Practices for App-V security, please see this guide.
Now that we are finished with SQL-01 (and the two App-V databases), let’s complete the installation of the App-V server components. Launch the setup and continue until you reach the feature selection window. Once there, select Management, Publishing and Reporting server.
As a note, the account running this setup must be able to modify the two SQL databases on SQL-01.
Because we previously created our SQL server, the App-V setup will completely configure the two databases. On the existing management Database window, enter your SQL server name and accept the other values.
Repeat these same steps for the Reporting Server
Once finished, you will be presented with a link to access the management console.
Helpful Hint: Favorite the Management Console – it will make your life much easier!
The Management Console has certainly been streamlined in version 5 and appears much like Server Manager for Windows Server 2012.
App-V 5 Management Console
In my next post, we will setup our sequencer and package Office 2013. If you run into issues setting up your lab, let us know in the comments.