Product Documentation

Export and import layers

The layer Export and import feature lets you export layers from your App Layering appliance, and import the layers into an appliance installed in another location in your environment. For example, you can import layers from a appliance in a proof-of-concept environment onto a new appliance in your production environment.

Once imported, the appliance runs an analysis on each of the layers to determine whether they can be assigned as Elastic layers. The results are include in the layer details.

Before you start

Before exporting or importing layers, please please meet the following requirements, and review related considerations.

Requirements

To export and import layers you need the following:

  • The appliance that contains the layers you want to export.

  • The appliance to which you want to move the layers.

  • A configured SMB Network File Share that is:
    • Reachable by both appliances.
    • Has enough space for all exported layers, plus the meta data and icons for the layers.
  • Information required:
    • The path, username and password for the SMB Network File Share to which you want to export the layers.
    • Administrator name and password for the management console.

Considerations

Please keep the following considerations in mind when exporting and importing layers.

If filenames on the File Share include special characters

Since the File Share does not support some special characters, layer names containing those characters are temporarily changed to underscores (_) on the File Share, and all unsupported characters are changed.

For example, a layer named “Notepad++” becomes “Notepad__” when exported. When the layers are imported onto the new appliance, the original name is restored, and it again appears as “Notepad++”.

Run no more than one import or export at a time

Only one import or export should be run at a time.

The required OS layer must be included in your layer export

You can copy exported layers to a different File Share for import, but be sure to move the required OS layer file along with the other layer files. The appliance imports the OS layer first, because the OS layer is required to import other layers.

Naming layers for export

All layers are exported to the following directory on the File Share:

\network-file-share\Unidesk\Exported Layers\

The exported file names reflect the Layer Name, Layer Version Name, and Layer GUIDs.

Selecting layers

When selecting layers, the icons not only indicate which layers are selected, they also indicate whether a folder contains layers that have already been exported or imported, depending on which operation you are engaged in.

When exporting layers:

  • If an icon is partially selected, it means that the folder includes some layers that are not selected.
  • If an icon is grayed out, it means that the layer cannot be selected for export, most likely because the layer has already been exported. Hover over the layer for a message about why it cannot be selected.

When importing layers:

  • If an icon is partially selected, it means that the folder includes some layers that are not selected.
  • If an icon is grayed out, it means that the layer cannot be selected for import, most likely because the layer has already been imported. Hover over the layer for a message about why it cannot be selected.

Searching layers

The Search box allows you to quickly find all layers and versions containing the search text. Searches are not case sensitive.

Remember, when you select a folder, the UI only selects the subset of layers that are visible. When a folder you select has a partially selected icon, it means that some of the selected layers have already been exported or imported. You can view those layers, which are normally hidden, by selecting the Show versions which cannot be selected checkbox above the list.

Export layers

  1. In the App Layering management console, select Layers > Export.

  2. On the File Share tab, enter the path of the File Share where you want to export the layers. The App Layering software appends the following path to the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) you specify:

    \Unidesk\Exported Layers\

    Enter the User name and Password for an administrator who has Full Access to the File.

  3. Click Test SMB File Share. If necessary, adjust the credentials until the test is successful. You cannot proceed until there is a connection to the File Share.

  4. On the Version Selection tab, choose the layers for export:

    1. Expand each available OS layer to reveal folders of your OS layer versions, Platform layers, and App layers.
    2. If you have already exported to the selected location, you can click the Show versions that cannot be selected checkbox to reveal the layers previously exported to this location.
    3. Select the layers and versions to export.
  5. On the Confirm and Complete tab, verify the layers to be exported, and make sure that the space available exceeds the estimated file size. When space is sufficient, the wizard allows you to click Export Layers. A Layer Export task is created where you can track progress.

  6. If you cancel the export before the OS layer is fully exported, be sure to re-export all of the layers again, including the OS layer.

  7. If you create more layers after the initial export, run another export to the same location. Only the new layers will be exported.

    Warning

    Do not attempt to edit or rename any of the exported files.

Import layers

When importing layers from one appliance into another, if two layers have the same name even though the contents of the layer are different, the layer that is imported has a “1” appended to the name. If other layers with the same name are imported, the “1” is incremented.

  1. Log into the App Layering management console and select Layers > Import.

    Note:

    You can deselect individual layers in the folder, as explained in step #4 below.

  2. On the File Share tab, enter the path to the File Share where you exported layers. The following is appended to the URL you specify.

    \Unidesk\Exported Layers\

  3. Enter the User name and Password for an administrator who has Full Access to the File Share.

  4. Click Test SMB File Share. If necessary, adjust the credentials until the test is successful.

    The wizard compares the contents of the appliance with that of the selected File Share, and prepares to import the layers that have not yet been imported.

  5. On the Version Selection tab, choose the layers for import:

    1. Expand the OS layer that includes the layers you want to import, and select one of the subfolders to import. This selects every layer and version available for import in the folder.

    2. If you want to see the layers that have already been imported from this location, make them visible by clicking the checkbox Show versions that cannot be selected.

    3. If one of the folders includes layers that you do not want to import, deselect each of those layers.

  6. On the Confirm and Complete tab: Verify the layers to be imported.

    • Verify the layers queued up for import. Only layers that have not yet been imported from the File Share are listed.
    • Verify that there is enough space on the appliance’s local storage for the layers. The wizard will not allow the import to proceed until there is enough space for the layers.

    Important

    If you cancel an OS layer import, all layer imports that rely on the OS layer are canceled.

  7. When all settings are valid, click Import Layers. An Import task is created where you can track progress.

    Once the layers are imported, an “Elastic Fit Analysis” is run on the layers, allowing you to see which layers can be elastically assigned.

Export and import layers