Product Documentation


Jan 11, 2018

This section defines unique terms used when creating and managing layers in all supported environments. Some of these terms may not pertain to your environment.


  • App Layer
    A virtual disk on which you install one or more applications. You can combine an App Layer with the following:
    • OS Layer used to install the App Layer.
    • Platform Layer that enables the image to run flawlessly in your virtual environment.
    • App Layers in an image template. You can run an unlimited number of App Layers in an image template.

You can use the Image Template to publish any number of Layered Images to your environment for use in provisioning servers. 


  • Connector
    Connectors are the interfaces to environments where layers are created and images are published. The type of platform connector determines the information required to create a specific Connector Configuration.

  • Connector Configuration
    A stored set of values for connecting to a specific environment. A configuration typically includes credentials for authentication, a storage location, and any other information required to interface with the environment where you will be creating layers or publishing images.


  • Directory Junction
    A connection to a base Distinguished Name in a directory service (such as Microsoft Active Directory). Adding a Directory Junction to the local tree allows you to assign Administrator privileges to users that are defined in the directory service instead of in the Management Console.

  • Directory service
    A hierarchical repository of information about users, devices and services on a network server. Microsoft Active Directory and LDAP are examples of directory services.

  • Directory service user
    A user whose attributes reside in a remote directory service but also are visible in the environment through the use of a directory junction. You can assign App Layering Administrator privileges to users.

  • Directory tree
    A view of data in a hierarchical, tree-like structure. The App Layering directory tree contains entries for users, groups, containers, and Virtual Machines. You can extend this view by adding connections to a remote directory service, such as Active Directory.


  • Elastic Layer
    An App Layer that the administrator can deliver based on user entitlements when users log onto sessions or standalone desktops. Elastic Layers allow administrators to give each user his/her own unique set of applications, on top of the base Layered Image used across sessions (in the case of session hosts), and across floating pools/shared groups (in the case of desktops). This can drastically reduce the number of base Layered Images that administrators need to maintain.

  • Enterprise Layer Manager (ELM)
    The App Layering virtual appliance that coordinates communication in the App Layering environment, and hosts the Management Console, the administrator interface for the App Layering environment. The appliance also manages copies of all Layers.


  • Image Template
    An Image Template saves the OS Layer, App Layer, and Platform Layer assignments you have chosen for a Layered Image, allowing you to use any combination of layers to provision any number of servers.


  • Layer
    A Layer captures a Windows Operating System, and a Windows Application, along with the configuration settings and tools required for Images to run in a particular environment. The layer is created as a virtual disk that can be combined with other layers to create Layered Images. Layered Images can be published to a variety of locations for use in provisioning servers. You can reuse the same layers in any combination to provision a variety of servers.

  • Layered Image
    A bootable image composited from an OS Layer, a Platform Layer, and any number of App Layers. Layered Image(s) are published using Image Templates where you save your layer selections for a particular use, usually provisioning servers in a specific silo.

  • Management Console
    The Web-based management console that runs on the App Layering appliance, also called the Enterprise Layer Manager (ELM). This console allows you to manage the App Layering components in your environment. You can use is to create Layers, publish Layered Images, and manage system settings.

  • Local Storage
    A Layer repository where the appliance creates, composites, and stores Layers and Layered Images. Local storage is used for temporary files during the creation of Layers and Layered Images, and for persistent files, for example, Layers and Image Templates. Administrators can define the Network File Share location that will be used for Elastic Layers in the Management Console’s System and Settings.


  • OS Disk
    The virtual disk containing the Operating System that is imported to create an OS layer. To prepare the OS disk you will install and configure an Operating System on a virtual machine and install the App Layering tools. The OS Disk is the virtual disk where the Operating System was installed.

  • OS Layer
    A virtual disk containing the operating system. You can use an OS Layer with any compatible App Layers in any number of Layered Images. You can create a new Version of the OS Layer for every patch you need to roll out, and continue deploying every and all versions of the layer as you add patches.

  • OS Machine
    The Operating System (OS) Machine is a virtual machine that you create from which you can generate an OS Disk and an OS Layer.


  • Packaging Disk
    A bootable virtual disk used to create a Packaging Machine needed for creating or updating a Layer. The Packaging Disk always includes your OS Layer and may also include selected Application and Platform Layers.

  • Packaging Machine
    A virtual machine that acts as a staging area for the creation of App Layers, App Layer Versions, and OS Layer Versions. The Packaging Machine is booted from a Packaging Disk using the credentials and location specified in the selected Connector Configuration.

  • Platform Layer
    A layer that includes configuration settings, tools, and other software required for Images to run on a particular platform. For example, a platform layer for vSphere would include vmTools. Platform Layers also remove leftover software from other platforms from your image.

  • Prerequisite Layer
    An application that is required when installing another application for a new Application Layer or Layer Version. For example, you would select your Microsoft Office App Layer as a Prerequisite Layer when installing a Microsoft Office plugin in a separate App Layer. Or, you would select your Java App Layer as a Prerequisite Layer when creating a Layer for an application that requires Java.


  • Session Container
    A Citrix technology that allows different users logged into the same Session Host to be assigned different versions of the same Elastic Layer, and ensures that those Layer versions do not conflict.