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.

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