• Citrix XenApp 7.6, Provisioning Services 7.6 and the XenDesktop Setup Wizard with Boot Device Manager

    I have written several articles about using the Provisioning Services (PVS) XenDesktop Setup Wizard with XenDesktop. Now I wanted to find out if the Wizard would also work with XenApp 7.6. Another item I wanted to test was using the Boot Device Manager (BDM) only.

    Introduction

    As with most things involving XenApp and or PVS, there is NO one way or one right way to do anything. This article will give you detailed information on the process I worked out and documented.

    Many XenApp/XenDesktop projects I work on now, excluding HP Moonshot, do not use DHCP Options 66/67, PXE, or TFTP. For that reason, I wanted to document using BDM only for this process.

    I am using components that come with XenApp/XenDesktop 7.6 Long Term Service Release (LTSR):

    • PVS 7.6.1.8
    • XenApp 7.6
    • StoreFront 3.0.1.56
    • Virtual Delivery Agent 7.6.300

    This process should also work for PVS and XenApp versions 7.7 and 7.8.

    Assumptions:

    1. PVS 7.6.1.8 is installed, configured and a farm created.
    2. XenApp 7.6 is installed and a Site created and configured.
    3. Hosting resources are configured in Studio.
    4. PXE, TFTP, and DHCP Options 66/67 are all disabled.

    Lab Setup

    All servers in my lab are running Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 fully patched. The lab consists of:

    • 1 PVS 7.6 server
    • 1 XenApp 7.6 Controller running Studio
    • 1 SQL 2014 SP1 Server
    • 1 Windows Server 2012 R2 with Update VM

    I am using XenServer 6.5 SP1 fully patched for my hosting environment.

    Figures 1 through 3 show PVS configured not to use DHCP Options 66/67, PXE, or TFTP.

    Figure 1
    Figure 1
    Figure 2
    Figure 2
    Figure 3
    Figure 3

    The Hosting Resources are configured in Studio as shown in Figure 4.

    Figure 4
    Figure 4

    To start off, in my lab I created my Organization Unit (OU) structure in Active Directory (AD) for my domain, WebstersLab.com, as shown in Figure 5.

    Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Most organizations that use XenApp to serve virtual desktops and applications require that Event Logs persist between reboots or the security team sits in the corner crying. Other items that may need to persist between server/VM reboots are antivirus definition files and engine updates. To accomplish these a Group Policy with Preferences is used. The Write Cache drive is always created as Drive D. The Group Policy with Preferences is linked at the OU that will contain the computer accounts created by the XenDesktop Setup Wizard. These are the settings in the policy used for this lab.

    • Computer Configuration\Policies\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options\Domain member: Disable machine account password changes: Enabled
    • Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\System\Group Policy\Configure user Group Policy loopback processing mode: Enabled, Replace
    • Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Event Log Service\Application\Control the location of the log file: Enabled Path: d:\eventlogs\application.evtx
    • Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Event Log Service\Security\Control the location of the log file: Enabled Path: d:\eventlogs\security.evtx
    • Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Event Log Service\System\Control the location of the log file: Enabled Path: d:\eventlogs\system.evtx
    • Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Connection\Allow users to connect remotely by using Remote Desktop Services: Enabled
    • Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Licensing\Use the specified Remote Desktop license servers: RDS License Server Name
    • Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Defender\Turn off Windows Defender: Enabled
    • Computer Configuration\Preferences\Windows Settings\Folders:
      • New\Folder
      • Action: Update
      • Path: d:\eventlogs
    • Computer Configuration\Preferences\Control Panel Settings\Local Users and Groups:
      • New\Local Group
      • Group name: (selected from the dropdown list) Remote Desktop Users (built-in)
      • Delete all member users: Not selected
      • Delete all member groups: Not selected
      • Add members: Group(s) that need access to XenApp servers (for my testing I used Domain Users)
    • Computer Configuration\Preferences\Control Panel Settings\Power Options
      • Power Plan Name: High Performance
      • Action: Update
      • Make this the active Power Plane: Enabled
    When computer is: Plugged in Running on batteries
    Require a password on wakeup: No No
    Turn off hard disk after: Never Never
    Sleep after: Never Never
    Allow hybrid sleep: Off Off
    Hibernate after: Never Never
    Lid close action: Do nothing Do nothing
    Power button action: Shutdown Shutdown
    Start menu power button: Do nothing Do nothing
    Link State Power Management: Off Off
    Minimum processor state: 100% 100%
    Maximum processor state: 100% 100%
    Turn off display after: Never Never
    Adaptive display: On On
    Critical battery action: Do nothing Do nothing
    Low battery level: After 10 minutes After 10 minutes
    Critical battery level: After 5 minutes After 5 minutes
    Low battery notification: Off Off
    Low battery action: Do nothing Do nothing
    • User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar
      • Remove Notifications and Action Center: Enabled
      • Remove the Security and Maintenance icon: Enabled
      • Turn off all balloon notifications: Enabled
      • Turn off automatic promotion of notification icons to the taskbar: Enabled
      • Turn off feature advertisement balloon notifications: Enabled
      • Turn off notification area cleanup: Enabled
    • User Configuration\Preferences\Windows Settings\Drive Maps:
      • New\Mapped Drive
      • Location: Leave empty
      • Label as: Leave empty
      • Existing: D [comment – this will hide the write cache drive]
      • Hide/Show this drive: Hide
      • Hide/Show all drives: No change
    • User Configuration\Preferences\Windows Settings\Drive Maps:
      • New\Mapped Drive
      • Location: Leave empty
      • Label as: Leave empty
      • Existing: E [comment – this will hide the CD/DVD drive]
      • Hide/Show this drive: Hide
      • Hide/Show all drives: No change

    These settings will:

    • Disable machine account password changes
    • Enable loopback replace mode
    • Create the EventLogs folder on drive D (the Write Cache drive)
    • Redirect the Application, Security, and System event logs to the new D:\EventLogs folder
    • Enable to connect using Remote Desktop Services
    • Configure the server for High-Performance power settings
    • Set the Remote Desktop Services license server
    • Turn off Windows Defender
    • Add a group to the Remote Desktop Users group
    • Turns off several items from the Start Menu and Taskbar
    • Hides drives D and E

    Create the Virtual Machine

    Next up is to create a Windows Server 2012 R2 VM to be used as the Master or Golden image. Do just basic configuration of the VM at this time. Do not install any applications at this time. Make sure to give the server a meaningful name like Master2012R2 or Master2008R2.

    Once the basic VM is built these items need to be done before joining the VM to the domain.

    1. If using Server 2008 R2, fix the WMI error that is the Application event log. Run the Mr. FixIt from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2545227.
    2. If using Server 2008 R2, install the hotfix for using a VMXNet3 network card in ESXi. Request and install the hotfix from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2550978.
    3. If using Server 2008 R2, from an elevated command prompt, run WinRM QuickConfig. This allows the servers to work with Citrix Director.
    4. Disable Task Offload by creating the following registry key:
      1. HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\TCPIP\Parameters\
      2. Key: “DisableTaskOffload” (dword)
      3. Value: 1
    5. Install the .Net Framework 3.5.x Feature.
    6. If needed, make sure IPv6 is unselected on the NICs properties.
    7. For the Advanced Properties for the NIC, make sure that every option that has “Offload” in the name is disabled for UDP, TCP, IPv4, and IPv6.
    8. If there are any Power Management or Power Savings options available for the NIC, make sure every option is disabled.
    9. If running vSphere, follow the instructions in CTX133188 to look for and remove ghost NICs. If you do not remove ghost NICs from a VMware image, you will have issues running the PVS Imaging Wizard.

    Note: Igmar Verheij provides a script to automate several of these steps. Citrix PVS: Optimize endpoint with PowerShell

    The Write Cache drive will become drive D when it is created so before installing any software change the CD drive letter from D to another letter. I used E.

    The VM is ready to join the domain. After joining the domain, move the computer account into the proper OU and reboot. When the server reboots, login with a domain account.

    Install PVS Target Device Software

    The process at this point is very different than the previous articles with XenDesktop and PvD. Since this will be an application server, no software should be installed until the Virtual Delivery Agent is installed later on. Since the PVS software used is the LTSR version, from the XenApp_and_XenDesktop_76_LTSR.zip file, extract the PVS folder to the C drive.

    Run C:\PVS\PVS_Device_x64.exe

    Follow the Installation Wizard to install the PVS Target Device Software. On the last page of the Installation Wizard, uncheck Launch Imaging Wizard and click Finish as shown in Figure 6.

    Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Click Yes to restart the server as shown in Figure 7.

    Figure 7
    Figure 7

    After the server restarts, log in with a domain account.

    Search for Imaging and start the Imaging Wizard.

    Click Next on the Imaging Wizard as shown in Figure 8.

    Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Enter the name or IP address of a PVS Server, select the option for Credentials, and click Next as shown in Figure 9.

    Figure 9
    Figure 9

    To Create new vDisk, click Next as shown in Figure 10.

    Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Enter a vDisk name, Store, vDisk type, and click Next .as shown in Figure 11.

    Note: Dynamic is the recommended vDisk type.

    Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Select the licensing type and click Next as shown in Figure 12.

    Note:  Leave this set to None for now. The Licensing type will be set later when the vDisk is changed from Private Image mode to Standard mode.

    Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Verify only the C drive is selected and click Next as shown in Figure 13.

    Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Enter a Target device name, select the MAC address, select the target device Collection and click Next as shown in Figure 14.

    Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Click Optimize for Provisioning Services as shown in Figure 15.

    Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Verify all checkboxes are selected and click OK as shown in Figure 16.

    Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Depending on the .Net Framework versions installed on the VM, the optimization process could take from less than a second to over an hour.

    Once the process has completed click Finish as shown in Figure 17.

    Figure 17
    Figure 17

    The vDisk is created as shown in Figure 18.

    Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Once the vDisk is created, a Reboot popup appears as shown in Figure 19. DO NOT reboot at this time. Since this process is using BDM only, the BDM ISO file needs to be created and mounted to the CD/DVD drive.

    Figure 19
    Figure 19

    Before we continue, what did the Imaging Wizard do inside of PVS? First, a vDisk was created as shown in Figure 20.

    Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Second, a Target Device was created, as shown in Figure 21, with the MAC address of the VM, linked to the vDisk just created and the Target Device is configured to boot from its hard disk because the vDisk is empty right now.

    Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Creating the BDM ISO File

    On the PVS server, search for boot and run the Provisioning Services Boot Device Manager.

    Select Use static IP address for the server and click the Edit button as shown in Figure 22.

    Figure 22
    Figure 22

    Enter the IP address of the server and click OK as shown in Figure 23.

    Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Click Next as shown in Figure 24.

    Figure 24
    Figure 24

    I prefer to always select Verbose Mode. This allows you to see more information when the VM is booting. Click Next as shown in Figure 25.

    Figure 25
    Figure 25

    Select Citrix ISO Image Recorder from the dropdown list and click Burn as shown in Figure 26.

    Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Select a location to save the ISO file, enter a File name and click Save as shown in Figure 27.

    Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Click OK.

    Figure 28
    Figure 28

    Click Cancel as shown in Figure 29.

    Figure 29
    Figure 29

    Copy the ISO file to a location the hypervisor will allow it to be mounted to the VM and mount the ISO to the VM. Configure the VM to boot from the CD/DVD first and then from the hard drive.

    Continue With the Imaging Wizard Process

    Configure the VM to boot from CD/DVD first and hard drive second. Now go back to the master image VM and click Yes to reboot as shown in Figure 30.

    Figure 30
    Figure 30

    You can see the BDM boot process as shown in Figure 31.

    Figure 31
    Figure 31

    When the VM is at the login screen, log in with the same domain account and the Imaging Wizard process continues as shown in Figure 32.

    Figure 32
    Figure 32

    When the Imaging Wizard process is complete, click Finish, as shown in Figure 33, and shut down the VM.

    Note: If there are any errors, click Log, review the log, correct any issues and rerun the Imaging Wizard.

    Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Configure the vDisk in PVS

    What has happened is that the Imaging Wizard has now copied the contents of the VM’s C drive into the vDisk. That means the C drive attached to the VM is no longer needed. Detach the C drive from the VM as shown in Figure 34. DO NOT DELETE the C drive, just detach it.

    Figure 34
    Figure 34

    Now that the VM has no C drive, how will it boot? In the PVS console, go to the Target Device, right-click and select Properties as shown in Figure 35.

    Figure 35
    Figure 35

    Change the Boot from to vDisk as shown in Figure 36 and click OK.

    Figure 36
    Figure 36

    The vDisk contains everything that was on the original C drive and the vDisk is still set to Private Image mode. That means everything that is done to the vDisk is the same as making changes to the original C drive. Any changes made now will persist. When the vDisk is changed to Standard Image mode, the vDisk is placed in read-only mode and no changes can be made to it. Before the VM is powered on, an AD Machine Account must be created. Right-click the target device, select Active Directory, and then Create Machine Account… as shown in Figure 37.

    Figure 37
    Figure 37

    Select the Organization unit from the dropdown list as shown in Figure 38.

    Figure 38
    Figure 38

    Once the correct Organization unit has been selected, click Create Account as shown in Figure 39.

    Figure 39
    Figure 39

    When the machine account is created, click Close as shown in Figure 40. If there is an error reported, resolve the error and rerun the process.

    Figure 40
    Figure 40

    Power on the VM (it should still have the BDM ISO mounted) and log in with domain credentials.

    You can verify the VM has booted from the vDisk by checking the Virtual Disk Status icon in the Notification Area as shown in Figure 41.

    Figure 41
    Figure 41

    As shown in Figure 42, the Virtual Disk Status shows:

    • The vDisk status is Active,
    • The IP address of the PVS server streaming the vDisk,
    • That the Target Device is booting from the vDisk,
    • The name of the vDisk, and
    • The vDisk is in Read/Write mode.
    Figure 42
    Figure 42

    Exit the Virtual Disk Status.

    Install the Virtual Delivery Agent

    Note: You should make a copy of this vDisk before you start making any changes to it. That way if something goes wrong somewhere down the line, you can get back to the original vDisk and not have to redo the capture process.

    The XenDesktop 7.6 Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) needs to be installed.

    Since the VDA software used is the LTSR version, from the XenApp_and_XenDesktop_76_LTSR.zip file, extract the Virtual Delivery Agents folder to the C drive.

    Run C:\Virtual Delivery Agents\ VDAServerSetup_7.6.300.exe as administrator.

    Select Create a Master Image and click Next as shown in Figure 43.

    Figure 43
    Figure 43

    Verify Citrix Receiver is selected and click Next as shown in Figure 44.

    Figure 44
    Figure 44

    Enter the Fully Qualified Domain Name of a XenDesktop 7.6 Controller, click Test connection, and, if the test is successful (a green checkmark is displayed), click Add as shown in Figures 45 and 46. Repeat until all XenDesktop 7.6 Controllers are entered. Click Next when all Controllers are added.

    Figure 45
    Figure 45
    Figure 46
    Figure 46

    Verify all options are selected and click Next as shown in Figure 47.

    Figure 47
    Figure 47

    Select the appropriate firewall rules option and click Next as shown in Figure 48.

    Figure 48
    Figure 48

    Click Install as shown in Figure 49.

    Figure 49
    Figure 49

    The VDA installation starts as shown in Figure 50.

    Figure 50
    Figure 50

    The first step of the installation is to install the Remote Desktop Services role. That will require a restart so the Role can be installed before the VDA can be installed.

    Click Close to restart the server and start the installation of the Remote Desktop Services Role as shown in Figure 51.

    Figure 51
    Figure 51

    After the server restarts, log back in using the same domain credentials.

    The installation continues as shown in Figure 52.

    Figure 52
    Figure 52

    When the VDA installation completes, verify Restart machine is selected and click Finish as shown in Figure 53.

    Figure 53
    Figure 53

    After the server restarts, log in with domain credentials.

    You can now install all your software, tools, utilities, and any additional Windows Updates.

    In order for non-admin users to launch applications, they must be added to a new local security group Direct Access Users. I have not found a way to populate this group using group policy or any other method. Go to Computer Management, Local Users and Groups, Groups, double-click Direct Access Users and add Domain Users as shown in Figures 54 and 55. Access to specific applications and desktops will be controlled at the Delivery Group level.

    Figure 54
    Figure 54
    Figure 55
    Figure 55

    Things to Do or Consider Before Switching the Image to Standard Mode

    1. Delete any installation files from the C drive. For example, the PVS and VDA folders and files.
    2. Clear the Application, Security, and System event logs. This way the new servers will not have entries from the master image server’s event logs.
    3. Run Disk Cleanup as administrator. Reboot after running since some cleanup will only be done upon a reboot.
    4. Set page file to a fixed size. Reboot after making this change (or combine with #3).
    5. Delete all files in C:\Windows\Temp (Disk Cleanup doesn’t always delete these).
    6. Do a final reboot just to be safe.

    Defragment the VHD file.

    1. Eject or disconnect the BDM
    2. Shutdown the VM
    3. Open an elevated command prompt on the PVS server
    4. Change to the following folder: C:\Program Files\Citrix\Provisioning Services
    5. Run the following commands:
      1. Cvhdmount –p 1 d:\store\NameOfvDisk.vhd (Figure 56)
        1. Check in Windows Explorer and see what drive letters were assigned (usually F and G). (Figure 57)
        2. F will be a system reserved drive and G will be the OS drive for the vDisk (you can browse G to verify).
      2. Defrag g: /H /U /V (Figure 58)
      3. When the defragmentation is finished, run cvhdmount –u 1 (Figure 59)

    Note: Doing these processes for my 2012 R2 vDisk took over two hours.

    Figure 56
    Figure 56
    Figure 57
    Figure 57
    Figure 58
    Figure 58
    Figure 59
    Figure 59

    PVS XenDesktop Setup Wizard

    If you have not already done so, eject or disconnect the BDM ISO and shut down the VM. Make a copy of the VM and create a template of the copy. That way the original VM is still available when needed in the future. I named my copy “Master2012R2 PVS Template”. That makes it easier to spot when running the wizard and in the VMware console should show it is not a regular VM template.

    When making the template, make sure the template is stored in a storage location that is available when running the XenDesktop Setup Wizard.

    In the PVS console, click on the vDisk Pool node, right-click the vDisk and select Properties as shown in Figure 60.

    Figure 60
    Figure 60

    Change the Access mode to Standard image and Cache type to Cache in device RAM with overflow on hard drive as shown in Figure 61.

    Note: If you leave the Cache type at the default of Cache on server, when you run the XenDesktop Setup Wizard there will not be an option to configure the Write Cache drive size.

    Note: I highly recommend you read the following two articles by Dan Allen:

    1. Turbo Charging your IOPS with the new PVS Cache in RAM with Disk Overflow Feature! – Part One
    2. Turbo Charging your IOPS with the new PVS Cache in RAM with Disk Overflow Feature! – Part Two

    The Maximum RAM size should be set only after testing in your environment with your users and your applications. For my little lab, I used a value of 256.

    Figure 61
    Figure 61

    Note: For PVS 7.6, if you enter a value larger than 1024 you will get a popup warning. Click Yes on the popup.

    Note: If you are using KMS, this is where you would set that option. I have always been told that setting the licensing value to KMS should be done as a separate step from changing the vDisk to Standard mode. It should work if you do it

    Right-click the Site and select XenDesktop Setup Wizard as shown in Figure 62.

    Figure 62
    Figure 62

    Note: If you get an error popup that states “No Standard Image vDisk exists in this Site”, that simply means the vDisk is still in Private Image mode.

    Click Next as shown in Figure 63.

    Figure 63
    Figure 63

    Enter the name of a XenDesktop 7.6 Controller and click Next as shown in Figure 64.

    Figure 64
    Figure 64

    Select a host resource from those configured in Citrix Studio and click Next as shown in Figure 65.

    Figure 65
    Figure 65

    Enter the login credentials for the host resource and click OK as shown in Figure 66.

    Figure 66
    Figure 66

    Select the appropriate template and VDA version and or functionality desired and click Next as shown in Figure 67.

    Figure 67
    Figure 67

    Select the vDisk and click Next as shown in Figure 68.

    Figure 68
    Figure 68

    Select whether to Create a new catalog or Use an existing catalog and click Next as shown in Figure 69. If you Create a new catalog, enter a Catalog name and Description.

    Note: The wizard creates a Machine Catalog in Citrix Studio and a Device Collection in PVS with the Catalog name entered here.

    Figure 69
    Figure 69

    Select Windows Server Operating System and click Next as shown in Figure 70.

    Figure 70
    Figure 70

    For this lab, I am creating 2 VMs (servers) with 4 vCPUs, 4 GB RAM, a 30GB write cache disk, and selecting BDM disk. Click Next as shown in Figure 71.

    Note: If you do not see the option Local write cache disk that means you left the vDisk at the default of Cache on server. Exit this wizard, correct the vDisk properties, and rerun the wizard.

    Note: You are free to change the number of vCPUs and Memory. Those values are read in from the template but can be adjusted.

    Figure 71
    Figure 71

    Select Create new accounts to have new AD computer accounts created and click Next as shown in Figure 72.

    Figure 72
    Figure 72

    Select the Domain, OU, Account naming scheme, and click Next as shown in Figure 73.

    Figure 73
    Figure 73

    Verify the Summary information, click Finish, as shown in Figure 74, and the wizard will begin creating the following:

    • Virtual Machines
    • AD computer accounts
    • Target Devices
    • Machine Catalog in XenDesktop Studio
    • BDM
    Figure 74
    Figure 74

    When the wizard is complete, click Done as shown in Figure 75.

    Figure 75
    Figure 75

    Looking at the Device Collection in the PVS console (you may need to right-click the Site and select Refresh) shows the two target devices as seen in Figure 76.

    Figure 76

    Figure 76

    Looking in Active Directory Users and Computers shows the new computer accounts as seen in Figure 77.

    Figure 77
    Figure 77

    In the hypervisor, look at the storage for one of the new virtual machines.  You will see BDM and Write Cache drives have been created as shown in Figure 78.

    Figure 78
    Figure 78

    The Wizard has configured each new VM to boot from Hard Disk first as shown in Figure 79.

    Figure 79
    Figure 79

    In Citrix Studio, a Machine Catalog has been created and the two servers added as shown in Figure 80.

    Figure 80
    Figure 80

    While not necessary, I find this helps speed up the creation of the Delivery Group. Power on each of the new VMs.  As shown in Figures 81 and 82, the VMs will boot from BDM.

    Figure 81
    Figure 81
    Figure 82
    Figure 82

    Create XenApp Delivery Group

    Currently, there is no Delivery Group to deliver desktops or applications. Right-click the Delivery Groups node in Citrix Studio and select Create Delivery Group as shown in Figure 83.

    Figure 83
    Figure 83

    Click Next as shown in Figure 84.

    Figure 84
    Figure 84

    Select the Machine Catalog and the number of machines to be added from the catalog to this delivery group and click Next as shown in Figure 85.

    Figure 85
    Figure 85

    Select the appropriate Delivery Type and click Next as shown in Figure 86.

    Figure 86
    Figure 86

    Click Add… as shown in Figure 87.

    Figure 87
    Figure 87

    Use the Select Users or Groups dialog to add users and click OK as shown in Figure 88.

    Figure 88
    Figure 88

    Click Next as shown in Figure 89.

    Figure 89
    Figure 89

    If you did not power on the new VMs earlier, wait while the VMs are powered on and applications are discovered.

    Note: You will only see this if you selected Desktop and Applications or Applications earlier.

    Selection the application(s) to be delivered and click Next as shown in Figure 90.

    Figure 90
    Figure 90

    Select the appropriate StoreFront option and click Next as shown in Figure 91.

    Figure 91
    Figure 91

    Enter a Delivery Group name, Display name, an optional Delivery Group description for users, and click Finish as shown in Figure 92.

    Figure 92
    Figure 92

    Back in the PVS console, the vDisk will show two connections and both target devices will show powered on as shown in Figures 93 and 94.

    Figure 93
    Figure 93
    Figure 94
    Figure 94

    Back in Citrix Studio, refresh the Delivery Group and you will see there are now Sessions in use with no Unregistered or Disconnected machines as shown in Figure 95.

    Figure 95
    Figure 95

    Double-click the Delivery Group to see detailed information as shown in Figure 96.

    Figure 96
    Figure 96

    Testing Access to Desktops and Applications

    Start a browser and go to your StoreFront Receiver for Web site as shown in Figure 97.

    Figure 97
    Figure 97

    Log in as a regular user. If there is only one published desktop, the desktop will automatically start as shown in Figure 98.

    Note: How to Disable Desktop Auto Launch in StoreFront

    Note: How to Configure StoreFront to Start Published Desktops in Full Screen Mode

    Figure 98
    Figure 98

    On the StoreFront website, click APPS, and the published applications appear as shown in Figure 99.

    Figure 99
    Figure 99

    Click one or both applications and the application(s) launches as shown in Figure 100.

    Figure 100
    Figure 100

    Exit all applications and desktops and logoff StoreFront.

    Updating the Master Image

    How is the master image updated if an application needs to be installed that all users need? Simple, in the PVS console create a Maintenance version, update it, test it and then make it available to users. In the PVS console, right-click the vDisk and select Versions as shown in Figure 101.

    Figure 101
    Figure 101

    Click New as shown in Figure 102.

    Figure 102
    Figure 102

    A new Maintenance version of the vDisk is created as shown in Figure 103. Click Done.

    Figure 103
    Figure 103

    In the PVS console, go to the Device Collection the original master target device is in, right-click the target device and click Properties as shown in Figure 104.

    Figure 104
    Figure 104

    Change the Type from Production to Maintenance and click OK as shown in Figure 105.

    Note: In a production environment, you should have a dedicated Target Device to use for Maintenance versions of vDisks.

    Figure 105
    Figure 105

    In the hypervisor, mount the BDM ISO, start that VM, and open the VM’s console. An option to boot into either the Production version or the Maintenance version is shown. Select the Maintenance version as shown in Figure 106.

    Figure 106
    Figure 106

    What has happened is that the target device has been configured to boot from a Maintenance image and during the bootup communication, the PVS server recognized the MAC address and offered the target device the maintenance vDisk to boot from. The maintenance vDisk is in Read/Write mode so changes can be made to the vDisk. Log in to the desktop with domain credentials. I installed Notepad++ as shown in Figure 107.

    Note: Whatever software is installed, verify that any license agreements and popups are acknowledged and any other configurations needed are done before sealing the image. For example, in Notepad++ I did not install the updater.

    Figure 107
    Figure 107

    In order for testers to see any new or updated applications, a new Machine Catalog and Delivery Group must be made.

    In Citrix Studio, right-click the Machine Catalogs node and select Create Machine Catalog as shown in Figure 108.

    Figure 108
    Figure 108

    Click Next as shown in Figure 109.

    Figure 109
    Figure 109

    Select Server OS and click Next as shown in Figure 110.

    Figure 110
    Figure 110

    Select Machines that are powered managedCitrix Provisioning Services, and click Next as shown in Figure 111.

    Figure 111
    Figure 111

    Enter the address for the PVS server and click Connect. If you have multiple domains, select the correct domain. Select the device collection that contains the updated maintenance device and click Next as shown in Figure 112.

    Figure 112
    Figure 112

    Enter a name and description for the machine catalog and click Finish as shown in Figure 113.

    Figure 113
    Figure 113

    Follow the same process shown earlier to create a Delivery Group that uses this new Machine Catalog. For the Users, enter the group of testers who will test the new or updated applications. Make sure to add any new applications.

    Before promoting the test version, follow your standard procedure for sealing the image. This process is unique to every environment. For my lab, I have no antivirus software and I am not using WSUS so I have no registry keys to clear out. Go back to the section “Things To Do or Consider Before Switching the Image To Standard Mode” to see if you need to redo any of those steps.

    Shutdown the maintenance VM. Once the VM has shut down, in the PVS console, right-click the vDisk and select Versions as shown in Figure 114.

    Figure 114
    Figure 114

    Select the Maintenance version and click Promote as shown in Figure 115.

    Figure 115
    Figure 115

    Select Test and click OK as shown in Figure 116.

    Figure 116
    Figure 116

    The vDisk version is promoted to Test, as shown in Figure 117. Click Done.

    Figure 117
    Figure 117

    In the PVS console, go to the Device Collection the original master target device is in, right-click the target device and click Properties as shown in Figure 118.

    Figure 118
    Figure 118

    Change the Type from Maintenance to Test and click OK as shown in Figure 119.

    Note: In a production environment, you should have dedicated Target Devices to use for Test versions of vDisks.

    Figure 119
    Figure 119

    In the hypervisor, start that VM and open the VM’s console. An option to boot into either the Production version or the Test version is shown. Select the Test version as shown in Figure 120.

    Figure 120
    Figure 120

    What has happened is that the target device has been configured to boot from a Test image and during the bootup communication, the PVS server recognized the MAC address and offered the target device the Test vDisk to boot from. The Test vDisk is in Read-only mode so no changes can be made to the vDisk.

    Start a browser and go to your StoreFront Receiver for Web site as shown in Figure 121.

    Figure 121
    Figure 121

    Log in as a test user. If you chose to publish a desktop and the auto-launch feature has not been disabled and there is only one desktop for the test user account, the desktop launches. Notice the new application icon on the desktop as shown in Figure 122.

    Figure 122
    Figure 122

    Logoff the desktop. Click APPS in StoreFront and the new application is there as shown in Figure 123.

    Figure 123
    Figure 123

    Launch the new application and use Citrix Connection Center to verify the server as shown in Figure 124.

    Figure 124
    Figure 124

    Close Citrix Connection Center, exit all applications and log off from StoreFront.

    Once testing is completed, shut down the VM.

    Once the VM has shut down, in the PVS console, right-click the vDisk and select Versions as shown in Figure 125.

    Figure 125
    Figure 125

    Select the Test version and click Promote as shown in Figure 126.

    Figure 126
    Figure 126

    Select Immediate and click OK as shown in Figure 127.

    Figure 127
    Figure 127

    The updated vDisk is now available for use as shown in Figure 128. Click Done.

    Figure 128
    Figure 128

    Verify the Master Image Update

    If you added applications during the maintenance process, the original delivery group needs to know about them. Restart the servers for the original delivery group to read the updated vDisk. Wait until this reboot is complete before updating the delivery group. Once the servers have all restarted, right-click the original delivery group in Studio and click Add Applications as shown in Figure 129.

    Figure 129
    Figure 129

    Click Next as shown in Figure 130.

    Figure 130
    Figure 130

    Scroll down the list of found applications, select the newly added application as shown in Figure 131 and click Next.

    Figure 131
    Figure 131

    Since the application name is already in use in the testing delivery group, click Yes on the popup as shown in Figure 132.

    Figure 132
    Figure 132

    Note: You can work around this by using Application Folders. You can create a folder for Test applications and a folder for Production applications. Once the folders are created, move those applications into their appropriate folder.

    In StoreFront, log in as a non-test user to verify the new application is available and launches, as shown in Figures 133 and 134.

    Figure 133
    Figure 133
    Figure 134
    Figure 134

    And there you have it, one way to do XenApp 7.6 with BDM .

    I hope this detailed process explanation will help you in working with BDM, XenApp 7.6 and PVS 7.6.

    Thanks

    Webster







    About Carl Webster

    Webster is a Sr. Solutions Architect for Choice Solutions, LLC and specializes in Citrix, Active Directory and Technical Documentation. Webster has been working with Citrix products for many years starting with Multi-User OS/2 in 1990.

    View all posts by Carl Webster

    3 Responses to “Citrix XenApp 7.6, Provisioning Services 7.6 and the XenDesktop Setup Wizard with Boot Device Manager”

    1. Jim Says:

      Hi Carl,
      What drive is the page file set on, C?
      D drive is created as part of XenDesktop setup Wizzard so the image has no D currently I assume.

      Reply

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