Citrix CCA-V: Managing – Notes2

Manage Device Collections, Target Devices, and vDisks

Convert Private Mode vDisk to Standard Mode vDisk

Power down the VM to remove the lock associated with the VM.  In the Provisioning Services Console open the vDisk Properties and change Access Mode from Private Image to Standard Image.

Automation process for creating multiple VMs for Machine Catalog

Launch Streamed VM Setup Wizard

  • Requirements: Hypervisor connection and plate VM
  • Existing Provisioning Services Device Collection
  • A standard-mode vDisk for the selected VM template

A template VM in XenServer needs to be created prior because a container needs to exist for the settings that correspond with VM hardware.

In XenCenter:

  1. Create new VM.
  2. Name it Master Template
  3. Boot from Network
  4. Diskless VM
  5. Do not start automatically
  6. Convert to Template

In Provisioning Services Console:

  1. Launch Streamed VM Setup Wizard
  2. Hypervisor connection to Citrix XenServer (or other Hypervisor)
  3. Select template
  4. Select vDisk
  5. Identify Collection
  6. Select number of VMs to create
  7. Choose to Create New Accounts in AD
  8. Choose proper AD OU and specify naming scheme (pvsdesktop##)

Process takes less than MCS.

In Citrix Studio Create Machine Catalog that interfaces with Provisioning Services:

  1. Create Machine Catalog
  2. Desktop OS Catalog
  3. Citrix Provisioning Services
  4. Choose Random Desktop
  5. Identify Provisioning Services server to connect to
  6. Identify Site and Collection
  7. Name Machine Catalog
  8. Associate with Delivery Group to deliver desktops to users

To add machines at a later time, run the Streamed VM Setup Wizard and add additional VMs.  Afterward, add them in Citrix Studio Machine Catalog.

Automation using XenDesktop Setup Wizard – create VMs in Provisioning Services and create Machine Catalogs in Citrix Studio

XenDesktop Setup Wizard can be launched in Provisioning Services Console under Site.


  1. XenDesktop Controller with permissions for current user
  2. Configured XenDesktop Host Resources
  3. Standard-mode vDisk for the selected VM template


  1. Launch XenDesktop Setup Wizard
  2. Connect to XenDesktop Controller
  3. Select XenDesktop Host Resources
  4. Select VM template and identify VDA version
  5. Choose the vDisk
  6. Create a new catalog or use an existing catalog
  7. Select the number of machines to create
  8. Choose the boot mode
  9. Select the AD OU


Update Tasks

vDisk Update Management Tool – to be discussed later

Updating a Base vDisk in Provisioning Services Console

  • Create new vDisk Version – Creating a new vDisk Version, creates a new differencing disk off of the base disk.

The differencing disk becomes a location on which to apply changes to.

The new version is created as a maintenance version.

  • In device collections, a target device can be selected and the Type can be changed from Production to Maintenance.  Once the VM is started up, it provides a menu from which to boot into maintenance mode.  The VM is then operating off of the differencing disk.  It provides for changes without impacting the base disk used by other users.
  • After updating the VM it should be powered down.
  • In Provisioning Services vDisk Pool, there are now two version.  The maintenance version has been updated.  Click Promote to Test or promote it to Production.  The base version still exists.  Users need to reboot the VM to be using the new version.  Once all VMs have been rebooted, the Merge function is used to get rid of unnecessary .vhd files by selecting Merged Base  and Production.

The two previous versions will have a red X and can be kept in case you need to revert back.



#cca-v, #citrix-xenapp-7-6-cca-managing, #managing, #provisioning-services, #vdisks

Citrix CCA-V: Managing – Provisioning Services Notes 1

Citrix Studio does not include Provisioning Services management.  A separate Provisioning Services Console is used to for managing PVS.

For an existing setup, in the Provisioning Services Console, a Farm will already exist and a Site exists within the Farm.  This is the location where all vDisks will be created.  For an existing setup, a server will already exist in the Servers node.

Also residing within  the Site is the Stores node.  A store should exist already and under Store Properties>Paths, a path to the location of the existing store is present.  In the case of Standard Mode vDisks, a different path can be specified for Differential Disks.  By default Deferential Disks will be stored in a sub-folder within the default store path.

Step 1:

Create new vDisk template.

By right-clicking over vDisk Pool in the Provisioning Services Console, a vDisk can be created.  This vDisk will include all information that exists in a template virtual machine that already exists in XenServer.  The new vDisk will reside in the Site and in the Store.  A file name needs to be  specified for the vDisk.  The size of disk can be modified as can be the Type and also Block size.  The defaults should work fine in most cases.

The vDisk creation process happens very quickly.  A new .vhd file will have been created in the default location of the Store directory.

Step 2:

Update PVS target device software that exists in the VM.

In XenCenter, create a clone of an existing Master Image and rename the clone and power on the VM.  Log in to the template VM from the XenCenter by selecting the VM and selecting the Console Tab.  PVS target device software needs to be installed on the VM.

As a best practice, before launching the Imaging Wizard at the end of the PVS target device software installation, it is recommended to run the Provisioning Service Device Optimization Tool on the VM first.  This tool helps improve VM performance by disabling some Microsoft services that can negatively impact performance on a VM.

Step 3:

Launch Imaging Wizard.

Identify the server that the VM image will be transferred to.  Select the existing vDisk created in Step 1.  Select the type of Microsoft Volume Licensing.  It is important that for Target Device Name, a name is entered that is different from the Active Directory name of the VM.

After clicking Finish, Provisioning Services Imaging Wizard will prompt to reboot and modify the BIOS boot order so Network boot is the first item in the boot order.  That can be accomplished by powering down the VM and modifying Boot Options in the VM Properties in XenCenter.  The VM will now boot in PXE after it is powered back on.  The Provisioning Services Imaging tool is presented upon logon to the VM.  At this point data is being transferred to the vDisk; the process can take a while.  The log will contain any errors with the data transfer.

In the Provisioning Services Console, under Device Collections, a new device will now show.

In the vDisk Pool, the vDisk will now show a lock; this is to protect the template from corruption.  Locks can be managed by right-clicking on the vDisk and selecting Manage Locks.

Right-clicking on the vDisk and selecting Show Usage will show mappings between target devices and vDisks.  Any VMs that are using the vDisk must be powered off prior to removing the lock off of a vDisk.

The .vhd file that was created is in Private vDisk Mode by default.  Private vDisk Mode is not usually used in a production environment.

Link VM Container to vDisk.

VMs can be created manually in XenCenter and linked to a vDisk such as the one already created.  When creating a new VM manually, instead of using a Virtual Disk, the option to create a Diskless VM that boots from the network should be selected.

To attached to the vDisk, the machine should be configured to boot from the network.  The MAC address is the unique identifier needed to link the VM to the vDisk.  The MAC address can be found under the VM’s Networking Tab in XenCenter.

In the Provisioning Services Console, create a new Target Device under Device Collections.

Set to boot from a vDisk.

Enter the MAC address information.

Under the Target Device Properties, in the vDisks tab, associate the target device with the vDisk.

#citrix-xenapp-7-6-cca-managing, #create-vdisk-template, #launch-imaging-wizard, #link-vm-to-vdisk, #provisioning-services, #pvs, #update-pvs-target-device