Howdy! Welcome to Part 2 of my Citrix Personal vDisk blog.
Today’s blog will cover a more practical side of the Personal vDisk – use in a PVS streamed environment. Well, it’s also true for a MCS environment too but I’m using PVS 🙂
As I mentioned in the last blog, you create the pools of Desktops with PvDs attached through Machine Catalogs. In the case of MCS, you do this in Desktop Studio and you will notice TWO new catalog types. Apologies for the misspelling of Catalogues but it’s a bug with Citrix – they’re American 🙂
So, you can see there is Pooled with personal vDisk for MCS and Streamed with personal vDisk for PVS. Now, the Streamed with personal vDisk is a bit misleading as you cannot actually create the pool here! You have to do it through the XenDesktop Setup Wizard in PVS J. You will need to be utilising the latest version of PVS, 6.1.
When you run through the XenDesktop Setup Wizard you will see a couple of different options; the first is that for machine type, you have the new option of Streamed with Personal vDisk (see below).
The next new option is when creating the Virtual Machines. Notice that is has automatically picked up the local write cache disk (4 GB). You can now decide on the size of the PvD for each user. In the following video, Citrix elude to the fact that you can change the size of the PvD at a later date and that is it a relatively easy change – http://www.citrix.com/tv/#videos/5359 although according to the PvD FAQ http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX131553 “Expanding the vDisk is available through a PoSH script or by hypervisor console (resize of Personal vDisk)”. You can also select the drive letter if you wish to change it from the default.
The next steps in the XenDesktop Setup Wizard are the same as in previous versions. Once complete, you will have a pool of XenDesktops with a PvD attached!
Now, before you can have users logging in and merrily filling up their PvD, you will need to do an additional step on your Streamed image, either in Private Mode or a Maintenance difference disk of the Standard mode image – so read and write mode basically. Once the image is in Read/Write mode, log on, make any other changes you wish to make and then before shutting down you will need to run the Update Personal vDisk tool (from Start\Programs\Citrix).
This will then update the inventory which I believe collates a load of information about what is and isn’t going to be redirected to the PvD and other settings. Handily, you get the option to shut down the VM once the inventory is updated. This means you can include this step in your reseal script.
Now that you have created the Machine Catalog (assignments are created as in previous versions of XenDesktop), you have launched your PVS image in Read/Write mode and run the inventory update tool, shut down and put the PVS image into Standard mode, you are ready to get users logged on and using their brand new, shiny PvD!
When you launch a XenDesktop with PvD for the first time, it will assign that user to the VM so that every time that user logs in, they will always connect to the same VM. This is because the PvD is attached at a Hypervisor level and not streamed so the user will only get their personalisation and applications by connecting to “their” VM.
So, that’s enough for Part 2 I think. In Part 3, I’ll be diving deeper into the nuts and bolts of the PvD and how to configure various features and what my findings have been so stay tuned!