Citrix: PVS 7: Configure Personal vDisks

Configure Personal vDisks

http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/provisioning-7/pvs-inventory-vdisks-pvd.html

Updated: 2013-04-11

Citrix XenDesktop with personal vDisk technology is a high-performance enterprise desktop virtualization solution that makes VDI accessible to workers who require personalized desktops, by using pooled-static virtual machines.

Provisioning Services target devices that use personal vDisks are created using the Citrix XenDesktop Setup Wizard. Within a Provisioning Services farm, the wizard creates target devices, adds target devices to an existing site’s collection, and then assigns an existing vDisk, which is in standard image mode, to that device.

The wizard also creates XenDesktop virtual machines to associate with each Provisioning Services target device. A catalog exists in Citrix Desktop Studio that allows you to preserve the assignment of users to desktops; the same users are assigned the same desktop for later sessions. In addition, a dedicated storage disk is created (before logon) for each user so they can store all personalization’s to that desktop (personal vDisk). Personalizations include any changes to the vDisk image or desktop that are not made as a result of an image update, such as application settings, adds, deletes, modifications, or documents. Target devices using personal vDisks can also be reassigned a different vDisk if that vDisk is from the same base vDisk lineage. For additional information on using personal vDisks with XenDesktop, refer to XenDesktop’s About Personal vDisks topic.

Inventory is run when a Provisioning Services vDisk is configured or updated. The method selected to configure or update a vDisk image for use as a personal vDisk image may determine when vDisk inventory runs in your deployment. The content that follows identifies the different methods from which you can choose, provides the high-level tasks associated with each method, and indicates at which point inventory runs for each method.

After configuring and adding a new personal vDisk image, do not use your golden VM as the machine template because it creates an unnecessary large disk as your write cache disk (the size of your original HDD).

Configure and deploy a new personal vDisk image

Configuration methods include:

Provisioning Services, then capture image, then XenDesktop

  1. Install and configure the OS on a VM.
  2. Install the Provisioning Services target device software on the VM.
  3. Run the Provisioning Services Imaging Wizard to configure the vDisk.
  4. Reboot.
  5. The Provisioning Services Image Wizard’s second stage runs to capture the personal vDisk image.
  6. From the Console, set the target device to boot from the vDisk.
  7. Configure the VM to boot from the network, then reboot.
  8. Install XenDesktop software on the VM, then configure with advanced options for personal vDisk.
  9. Manually run inventory, then shut the VM down.
  10. From the Console, place the vDisk in Standard Image Mode. Image is ready for deployment.

Provisioning Services, then XenDesktop, then capture image

  1. Install and configure the OS in a VM.
  2. Install the Provisioning Services target device software on the VM.
  3. Install XenDesktop software and configure with advanced options for personal vDisks enabled.
  4. Reboot.
  5. Log on to the VM.
  6. Run the Provisioning Services Imaging Wizard on the VM to configure the vDisk. (Inventory automatically runs after the VM successfully shuts down and reboots.)
  7. The Imaging Wizard’s second stage runs to capture the personal vDisk image.
  8. Shut the VM down.
  9. From the Console, place the personal vDisk image in Standard Image Mode. The personal vDisk is ready for deployment.
  10. Before using a VM template to provisioning multiple VMs to a XenDesktop site, verify the new vDisk can successfully boot from the VM created to serve as the machine template (not the golden VM), and verify the write cache disk is recognized successfully:
    1. Place the vDisk image in Private Image mode.
    2. Boot the new vDisk image from the VM.
    3. Format the new write cache partition manually.
    4. Shut down the VM. During the shut down process, when prompted run personal vDisk inventory.
    5. Turn this VM into a template.

XenDesktop, then Provisioning Services, then capture image

  1. Install and configure the OS in a VM.
  2. Install XenDesktop software on the VM, then configure with advanced options for personal vDisk enabled.
  3. Reboot.
  4. Log on to, then shutdown the VM. Inventory automatically runs at shutdown.
  5. Log on to, then install the Provisioning Service’s target device software.
  6. Run the Provisioning Services Imaging Wizard on the VM to configure the vDisk.
  7. Reboot. (Inventory automatically runs after the VM successfully shuts down and reboots.)
  8. The Imaging Wizard’s second stage runs to capture the personal vDisk image.
  9. Shut the VM down.
  10. Place the vDisk in Standard Image Mode. The personal vDisk is ready for deployment.
  11. Before using a VM template to provisioning multiple VMs to a XenDesktop site, verify the new vDisk can successfully boot from the VM created to serve as the machine template (not the golden VM), and verify the write cache disk is recognized successfully:
    1. Place the vDisk image in Private Image mode.
    2. Boot the new vDisk image from the VM.
    3. Format the new write cache partition manually.
    4. Shut down the VM. During the shut down process, when prompted run personal vDisk inventory.
    5. Turn this VM into a template.

MCS

  1. Install and configure the OS in a MCS VM.
  2. Install XenDesktop software and configure with advanced options for personal vDisks.
  3. Reboot the VM.
  4. Log onto the VM, and then shut the VM down. Inventory automatically runs at shutdown.
  5. The personal vDisk image is ready for deployment.

Update an existing personal vDisk image

Updating existing personal vDisk methods include using:

  • Provisioning Services
  • MCS

Updates for both Provisioning Services and MCS must be done on VMs that do not have a personal vDisk.

Provisioning Services

  1. Create a new version of the vDisk image.
  2. Boot the VM from the vDisk image in Maintenance Mode.
  3. Install updates on the new vDisk version.
  4. Shut the VM down. Inventory runs automatically when the VM shuts down.
  5. Promote the new version to either Test or Production. Other VMs will have access to the updated vDisk version the next time they reboot.

MCS

  1. Boot the ‘golden’ VM.
  2. Install updates on the VM.
  3. Shut the VM down. Inventory automatically runs when the VM is shutdown.

For additional information on how to create a Provisioning Services target device that uses a personal vDisk, refer to Deploy virtual desktops to VMs using the XenDesktop Setup Wizard. To view the properties of a Provisioning Services target device configured to use a personal vDisk, refer to Configure target devices that use personal vDisks.

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