Provisioning Services is used to have a consistency across all XenApp servers within the farm. PVS is recommended for deploying XenApp servers in large implementations. As we have a single vDisk for all servers, management and administration of the XenApp farm becomes much easier.
With PVS we should only deploy XenApp Session-Only member servers and not the first server in the farm or any farm servers that are also Zone Data Collectors.
Procedural steps in deploying XenApp servers with PVS:
1. Install XenApp “Master Image” server and join it to the XenApp farm with all the applications.
2. Install the PVS Target Device from the media and shutdown.
3. Launch PVS Service Console in the PVS server and create a new vDisk in the PVS store.
4. Create a new Device Collection in PVS for the Master Image server.
5. Create a target device in PVS for the XenApp Master Image server. Configure the target device to boot from Hard Disk in Maintenance mode and assign the blank vDisk created earlier to the XenApp Master Image target device.
6. In the hypervisor host, change the boot order of the XenApp Master Image VM to boot from the network adapter. Now boot the XenApp Master Image server. It should perform a PXE boot and retrieve bootstrap file from PVS. The server will proceed to boot into Windows as normal. Login and make sure the Virtual Disk status in the System Tray shows activity. This indicates that everything is fine. So now create and add a new disk that will serve as the local Write Cache.
7. Shut down the XenApp Master Image server.
8. Remove the local C drive and create a backup
9. Convert the backup into a VM template and stored in the hypervisor. The VM template should only have the Write Cache drive attached.
10. Power on the XenApp Master Image VM template, and launch the Citrix XenApp Server Role Manager to Prepare this server for imaging and provisioning.
11. Now we need to capture the XenApp Master Image to a PVS vDisk.
12. Install XenConvert in the XenApp Master Image server, launch XenConvert and select options This Machine and Provisioning Services vDisk.
13. Remove the Write Cache disk and select Autofit to automatically adjust the vDisk space.
14. After conversion process is finished, shut down the XenApp Master Image server.
15. Launch PVS Service console, change the vDisk access mode from Private to Standard and the cache type to Cache on device hard drive.
16. Launch the Streamed VM Setup wizard enter the hypervisor and the credentials.
17. Select the VM template created which we created earlier, PVS Collection where the XenApp VMs are to be created and the XenApp vDisk to assign to them.
18. Specify number of virtual machines to be created with hardware specification and provide the Active Directory OU, where the accounts will be created.
19. After finishing the build process, we can see new XenApp VMs in the hypervisor.
20. Now everything is completed. Power on the VM. We should assign a new IP address if we use static IP for the VM Template.