What is PVS and how does it work?

In a nutshell, “target” systems (Virtual Machines that don’t have an OS disk) are configured to boot from the network (PXE). A PVS streaming server(s) provides a PXE bootstrap which instructs the machines to request a vDisk from one of the PVS streaming servers to boot off. The PVS Servers hold a record of all preconfigured “targets”, identifiable by MAC address. When the requesting MAC address is found in the backend database of all targets, a vDisk is streamed to the target, along with unique personalization (machine name, SID, domain computer account password, etc.) injected in. The streamed OS disk (C: drive) is appears as a Citrix Virtual Disk from within the guest.

Targets are VMs that will boot up and stream its OS volume (C: Drive) over the network from one or more PVS Streaming servers. The vDisk that a target boots from, is determined in the properties of each target object that are created and managed within the PVS Console. A target uses the MAC address from the requesting VM to determine what its logical identity (i.e. Windows machine name) will be on the network and in the Active Directory, and what vDisk version to present to it. Targets are stored in “Device Collections”, which are logical groups that allow you to manage many targets that share common characteristics, such as which vDisk is used. Create a unique Device Collection for each Machine Catalog you will create in XenDesktop.


About Murugan B Iyyappan

Working as a Consultant - Citrix solutions architect with 18 years of experience in the IT industry. Expertise in Citrix products and Windows platform.
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