In the previous blog post we covered the steps to prepare a XenApp Master Image server for provisioning. We installed the software necessary for communicating with PVS services, performed a PXE boot and readied a blank vDisk to store the server image. We are now ready to continue on and capture the XenApp Master Image to a PVS vDisk.

From the XenApp Master Image server launch XenConvert. The XenConvert options we will use will be from “This Machine” and to “Provisioning Services vDisk”.

Make sure to take the following actions, at the next step:

  1. Remove the Write Cache disk from the list of Source drives.
  2. Click the Autofit button, to automatically adjust the free space of the vDisk.
XenConver before changes
Figure 1: XenConvert before making changes

After making changes, screen should look something like this: (numerical values will be different)


XenConvert after changes
Figure 2: XenConvert after making changes

On the next screen click the Optimize for Provisioning Services button. Make sure all options are selected.


PVS Device Optimization Tool
Figure 3: PVS Device Optimization Tool

Click the Convert button to launch conversion process. You may be prompted to format the disk, which you should do.  Once the conversion process is finished, shut down the XenApp Master Image server, and switch back to the PVS Service Console. From the PVS Service Console, change the vDisk access mode from Private to Standard. Also change the cache type to Cache on device hard drive.

vDisk Properties
Figure 4: vDisk properties

We’re now ready to begin deploying new XenApp servers from the vDisk just created.  From the PVS Service Console launch the Streamed VM Setup Wizard.  Begin the wizard by selecting the hypervisor you’re using, and enter the credentials used to access the hypervisor.

Streamed VM Wizard Hypervisor
Figure 5: Streamed VM wizard hypervisor connection

Next select the VM template created earlier from the XenApp backup.  Specify the PVS Collection where the XenApp VMs are to be created, and select the XenApp vDisk to assign to them.

Next, specify how many virtual machines to create (I recommend one or two for initial test), how many vCPUs to assign, and how much memory to allocate.

Streamed VM Wizard preferences
Figure 6: Streamed VM Wizard preferences

Next specify the OU where the accounts will be created in Active Directory, as well as define an account naming scheme.  After reviewing the settings summary, hit Finish to begin the build process of the virtual machines. If everything is successful, you should now see new XenApp VMs in your hypervisor.

Power on the new XenApp virtual machines. If the VM template used to create the machine was configured with a static IP address, then you should assign a new IP address at this point to avoid an IP conflict.

Login to the new XenApp server and launch the Citrix AppCenter.  Run Discovery, and specify any XenApp controller server in the farm as the server to manage.

Expand the Farm node and select the Servers folder. The new provisioned XenApp servers should appear in the list.

XenApp farm servers
Figure 7: XenApp farm servers

If you have applications published to Worker Groups, then you will want to add the new servers to the Worker Groups so they can begin serving applications. Other recommended steps to perform are:

  • Ensure redirection to the Write Cache is working properly for the Pagefile and Event Logs.
  • Configure antivirus software as stated in CTX127030 and CTX124185. Antivirus pattern files should be placed on the Write Cache drive.
  • Hide the Write Cache drive using a GPO.
  • From the PVS Service Console follow the process to configure the vDisk to use Microsoft KMS or MAK Volume Licensing.  To configure KMS see CTX128276, follow Scenario 2 procedures. To configure MAK see Configuring Microsoft MAK Volume Licensing in eDocs.

 That’s pretty much it. I hope you found this blog informative.

Ed Duncan – Senior Consultant
Worldwide Consulting
Desktop & Apps Team
Virtual Desktop Handbook
Project Accelerator