Home Guides HOW To Install and Configure Citrix Provisioning Server for Deploying XenApp

HOW To Install and Configure Citrix Provisioning Server for Deploying XenApp

 Before installing Provisioning Server we first have to do some preparations in Active Directory, Network Services and storage. Furthermore we need a SQL and License server.

Preparing Active Directory
In my environment I’m using a fileshare as store for the vDisks. Because a fileshare is being used, an Active Directory account is needed as service account for the streaming service.

- Create an Active Directory account (e.g. SA-PVS)
- Make sure the password never expires
- The account only needs to be a Domain User

For delegation of control there needs to be a Provisioning Servers administrators group. This group has to be created before the installation of Provisioning Server. The account that is used for the installation of Provisioning Server will be a member of this group.

- Create an Active Directory group (e.g. PVS-Admins)
- Add the account you’re going to use for the installation of Provisioning Server to the PVS-Admins group

When streaming the XenApp image the Provisioning Server takes care of the hostname of the target devices. This name and password assigned by Provisioning Server must match the information in the corresponding computer account within the domain. Otherwise, the target device is not able to log on successfully. For this reason, the Provisioning Server must manage the domain passwords for the target devices. To enable domain password management you must disable the Active Directory controlled automatic re-negotiation of machine passwords. The best way to do this is to create a GPO on the XenApp Server OU in which the “Disable machine account password changes” setting is enabled.

Preparing network services
Provisioning Server depends on several network services to build and deploy the OS images. A TFTP server is being used to provide the bootstrap file wit boot information to the target devices. Provisioning Server provides a TFTP service. Use this service when no other TFTP server is available in your network. Be aware of the fact that high availability is not by default supported with the Provisioning Server TFTP service. For this article the Provisioning Server TFTP Service is being used.

In my environment an existing DHCP server is being used to provide the location of the TFTP server and the name of the bootstrap file to the target devices. This information is going to be provided by configuring DHCP options 66 and 67 (Boot server hostname and Boot file name). Providing the bootstrap information by using DHCP options 66 and 67 is best practice, use this when possible.

- Open DHCP manager
- Right click Scope Options and choose Configure Scope Options
- Select option 66: Fill in the ip-address of the TFTP server
- Select option 67: Fill in ARDBP32.BIN
- Click OK

Preparing the Store location
Provisioning Server needs a storage location to create a store for the XenApp image(s) and writecache. In this scenario a Windows filesshare is being used as store location.

- Create a fileshare
- In the fileshare create 2 folders; “vDisks” and “Cache”
- Add at least read/write permissions to the fileshare for the PVS service account and the PVS admin group you created earlier.

 SQL server is necessary for hosting the Provisioning Server database. This can either be SQL 2005 Express, Workgroup, Standard and Enterprise. No other database platforms are supported. The Provisioning Server installation media provides a SQL Express installation, use this for small implementations like for test and PoC environments.The Provisioning Server database will be created during the Provisioning Server installation process. Also the permissions for the service account on the database will be automatically set. Make sure the account used for installing Provisioning Server has enough permissions on the SQL server to create and configure the database.

Citrix License Server
Provisioning Server requires a Citrix License Server with valid licenses to provide the ability to stream images. When you already use a Citrix License Server for other Citrix products you can use this License server for Provisioning Server also. In this case make sure to upgrade your License server at least to the version delivered on the Provisioning Server media.
When a License Server is not installed, no valid licenses are available or an older version of the Citrix license server is installed, Provisioning Server clients will shutdown after 5 minutes

Installing Provisioning Server Platform

1.      Insert the media and choose Install Server for 32bit/64bit Platform (depending on your OS)
2.      Read through the License Agreement
3.      Fill in the customer information
4.      Choose the destination folder
5.      Choose Installation Type

Use Custom installation when not using the Provisioning Server network services, or when you don’t want to install the console.

6.      Click Install to begin the installation. After the installation the Configuration Wizard automatically starts.

Configuration Wizard

1.    Click Next
2.    Choose to use DHCP on another computer

3.    Choose to use PXE on another computer

4.    Choose create farm
5.    Fill in the name of the SQL server
6.    When using SQL Express add the instance name SQLEXPRESS

7.    New Farm:

a.    Fill in the name of the database
b.    Fill in the Farm name
c.    Fill in the name of the first Site, e.g. LocalSite(additional sites can be configured after the installation)
d.    Fill in the name of the first device collection, e.g. XenApp Servers (additional collections can   be configured after the installation)
e.    Choose Use Active Directory groups for security
f.  Select the PVS Admin group (only groups that the installation user is member of are listed)

9.    Fill in the name of the License server you installed in Part 1
10. Choose “Specified user account”
11. Fill in the credentials for the PVS service account
12. Select “Configure the database for the account” to set the correct permissions for the service account on the database.
Select this option only when creating a new farm, never when adding servers to the farm

13. Choose the network adapter and portrange for the streaming traffic. And choose the portrange for streaming traffic.

Best practice is to use two seperate networks, one for communications with the domain and a separate one for the streaming traffic.14. Select if you want to use the Provisioning Server TFTP service. Use this options when no existing TFTP server is available.
15. When using Provisioning Server TFTP add the IP-addresses of all Provisioning Servers in your farm
16. Click Finish to configure Provisioning Server

Prepare Provisioning Server farmNow the Provisioning Server farm is installed and configured, there are some manual actions that need to be done before we can build and stream images.

- Create a store: A store needs to be created for storing the XenApp images.
- Active Directory Password Support must be enabled so Provisioning Server can take control over AD machine account password management.

1.    Start the Provisioning Server console
2.    Right Click store and choose Create Store
3.    Choose a name for the store, e.g LocalSiteStore
4.    Fill in a description for the store
5.    Choose the site that acts as owner of the store e.g. LocalSite
6.    In the Path tab, type the location of the vDisk folder we created earlier
7.    Add a default writecache path: Type the location of the cache folder we earlier

8.    In the Servers tab, select the Provisioning Server(s) that must provide images from this store
9.    Click the Servers node in LocalSite
10. Right click the Provisioning Server and choose properties
11. In the Options tab, enable Automatic Password Support
12. Accept the default of 7 days

13. Click OK

Creating a vDiskA vDisk must be created. This vDisk will contain the XenApp image and will be streamed to the clients.  

1.    Right click the store and choose Create vDisk
2.    Choose the Site to which the vDisk store must be added
3.    Choose the Server used to create the vDisk
4.    Choose a name for the vDisk.

Use versioning in the image name so you can make registration about which vDisk contains which changes, e.g Base-XenApp-v015.    Fill in the size of the vDisk, e.g. 30GB. When determining the size of the vDisk take into account future growth of the image.
6.    Choose VHD format;  

Fixed – When using fixed format the complete size of the vDisk will be immediately reserved on the storage system.
Dynamic – When using Dynamic format only the space that is actually being used on the vDisk is being reserved on the storage system. This can save a lot of storage space.










Now we have setup the Provisioning Server environment and prepared the environment for the XenApp Image to be created.
to create the XenApp image, you can eather use the guide for a Golden Image in guide section, or follow the arcticle CTX120513 from citrix

Source: Nico van Meurs / http://www.virtualdesktopblog.com

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