Last week I was altering a Citrix XenApp image at a customer site. The Citrix Provisioning environment is setup to use the VHD files from the D drive from the two virtual Provisioning servers. The customer was ready to deploy this image, just a couple of days before the deployment an extra program needs to be updated.
When streaming a Windows machine the Windows license can be managed by a Key Management System (KMS). Citrix describes it as follows “KMS volume licensing utilizes a centralized activation server that runs in the datacenter, and servers as a local activation point (opposed to having each system activate with Microsoft over the internet).”
To ensure KMS is working correctly the Windows machine needs to be prepared for KMS, this involves setting the right license key and “re-arming” the license. Citrix has done a pretty good job describing different scenarios in CTX128276 and explaining which actions to take, but there are more steps involved.
In this article I’ll explain what steps you can take to build a PVS vDisk where licensed are managed by KMS and how to troubleshoot some known caveats.
With Citrix PVS the content of a disk is streamed over the network to an endpoint. This requires sufficient bandwidth and an optimized configuration. If both criteria are not met the endpoint suffers from delays, retries or failures.
A number of best practices apply when using Citrix PVS, most of them probably apply for your situation. In the past I had to optimize my VM’s manually each and every time I had to create a new vDisk! Ain’t nobody got time for that (link)!
I wrote a PowerShell script that optimizes the endpoint for Citrix PVS and would like to share it with you.
Updated on October 13th, 2013 with version 1.4
Author: Ingmar Verheij
In a previous article I wrote that for streaming vDisks to endpoint you don’t necessarily need PXE, you can also attach an ISO to the virtual machine (“Who needs PXE for Citrix Provisioning Services?”). Although this eliminates the dependency for a PXE server (which is challenging to make high available), mounting an ISO file to the CD rom of a virtual machine creates another problem in some hypervisors.
When a hypervisor host needs maintenance a (storage) vMotion is a good way of moving all systems with no downtime. Mounting an ISO file breaks the ability to vMotion with some hypervisors.
Citrix XenServer and VMware vSphere 5 (Hyper-V I’m not sure of) can mount ISO files from shared storage, so this does not apply to all situations.
Fortunately the bootstrap can also be placed on a virtual hard disk (VHD). In this article I’ll guide you step-by-step how this is done. In this example I’m using VMware vSphere 5 but most steps are equal for other hypervisors.
Author: Ingmar Verheij
With Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS) the content of a disk can be streamed to a (virtual / physical) machine via the network. A (virtual) machine that boots needs a bootstrap to locate a PVS server (that has a vDisk available) and the ability to stream the disk to the machine.
The bootstrap, the Boot Device Manager (BDM), needs to be delivered to the machine. It is common to deliver the BDM bootstrap via a Pre Execution Environment (PXE) network boot, but it’s not required. Although the PXE method seems the most straight forward method (and most advocated), it it difficult to make it resilient.
After joining a new Windows 2008 R2 Server to the domain I could not login to the domain.
I would get the following error message:
Additionally the following error was logged in the Eventlog: