After you install and configure Citrix Provisioning components, a vDisk is created from a device’s hard drive by taking a snapshot of the OS and application image, and then storing that image as a vDisk file on the network. The device that is used during this process is referred to as a master target device. The devices that use those vDisks are called target devices.
Configuring target devices that use personal vDisks
Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops with personal vDisk technology is a high-performance enterprise desktop virtualization solution that makes VDI accessible to workers who require personalized desktops using pooled-static virtual machines.
Target devices that use personal vDisks are created using the Citrix Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop Setup Wizard. In a Citrix Provisioning farm, the wizard creates and adds target devices with personal vDisks to an existing site’s collection. It then assigns an existing shared-mode vDisk to that device.
The wizard also creates virtual machines to associate with each device. A type of catalog in Citrix Studio allows you to preserve the assignment of users to desktops (static assignment). The same users are assigned the same desktop for later sessions. In addition, the wizard creates a dedicated storage disk (before logon) for each user so they can store all personalization’s to their desktop. Personalizations include changes to the vDisk image or desktop that are not made as a result of an image update. These personalizations include application settings, adds, deletes, modifications, and documents.
Target devices that use personal vDisks can only inherit properties from another device that uses personal vDisks.
Use the Device with Personal vDisk Properties dialog to configure, view, or modify the properties of a target device using a personal vDisk.
To update read-only fields, the device needs to be deleted and re-created with the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Setup Wizard.
|Name||The name of the target device or the name of the person who uses the target device. The name can be up to 15 bytes in length. However, the target device name cannot be the same as the machine name being imaged. This field is read-only. If the target device is a domain member, it should use the same name as in the Windows domain, unless that name is the same as the machine name being imaged. When the target device boots from the vDisk, the name displayed here becomes the target device machine name.|
|Description||Provides a description to associate with this target device.|
|MAC||The media access control (MAC) address of the network interface card that is installed in the target device. This field is read-only.|
|Port||Displays the UDP port value. In most instances, you do not have to change this value. However, if target device software conflicts with any other IP/UDP software (that is, they are sharing the same port), you must change this value.|
|vDisk||Name of the vDisk that this device uses. This field is read-only.|
|Change||Use to change the vDisk assignment for this device. The Assign vDisk dialog displays with the currently assigned vDisk’s Store information. The vDisk you select must be from the same vDisk base image as the previous image.|
|Personal vDisk drive||Drive letter from which the personal vDisk is accessed. Default is P: (range allowed is between E: to U: and W: to Z:). This field is read-only.|
|Name and string||There is no fixed limit to the number of names you can add. However, the maximum name length is 250 characters and the maximum value length is 1000 characters. Use any name for the field Name, but do not repeat a field name in the same target device. Field names are not case sensitive. The system interprets “FIELDNAME” and “fieldname” as the same name. Blank spaces entered before or after the field name are automatically removed. A personality name cannot start with a $. This symbol is used for reserved values such as $DiskName and $WriteCacheType.|
The following target device status information appears:
- Status: status of this device (active or inactive).
- IP Address: provides the IP Address or unknown.
- Server: the provisioning server communicating with this device.
- Retries: the number of retries to permit when connecting to this device.
- vDisk: provides the name of the vDisk or displays as unknown.
- vDisk version: version of this vDisk currently being accessed.
- vDisk full name: the full file name for the version currently being accessed.
- vDisk access: identifies that the version is in Production (it cannot be in Maintenance or Test).
- License information. Depending on the device vendor, displays product licensing information (including; n/a, Desktop License, Datacenter License, XenApp License, or Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops License).
Select the logging level or select Off to disable logging:
- Off — Logging is disabled for this provisioning server.
- Fatal— Logs information about an operation that the system could not recover from.
- Error— Logs information about an operation that produces an error condition.
- Warning— Logs information about an operation that completes successfully, but there are issues with the operation.
- Info— Default logging level. Logs information about workflow, which generally explains how operations occur.
- Debug— Logs details related to a specific operation and is the highest level of logging. If logging is set to DEBUG, all other levels of logging information are displayed in the log file.
- Trace— Logs all valid operations.
Personal vDisk test mode
Use the personal vDisks test device to test vdisk updates for a device that uses personal vDisks within a test environment. Using the PvD production environment, you can then test for compatibility with your actual environment.
- Personal vDisk devices can be test or production devices.
- Citrix Provisioning displays an appropriate error message when trying to boot a private image or a maintenance version with a personal vDisk device. Only devices without personal vDisks disk can boot a private image or maintenance version.
- You can change the vDisk assignment in the Citrix Provisioning console with these methods:
- Change assignment with Target Device properties vDisk tab.
- Copy and paste target device properties.
- Drag and drop a vDisk to a collection or a view.
- Informational warning displays when changing vDisk assignment for personal vDisk devices.
- Changing personal vDisk device type requires extra privileges for the soap/stream services user.
- Local administrator on the Citrix Provisioning server system.
- Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops full administrator.
- Full permission to the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops database (a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops requirement).
- For merging, Citrix Provisioning automatically reboots devices and personal vDisk runs inventory when needed.
- Citrix recommends that you dedicate a small group of personal vDisk devices for test mode in their own catalog. Also, keep this desktop group in maintenance mode when not used. Otherwise, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops power management is in control and turns devices on and off. This configuration may potentially interfere with merging.
- By default, Citrix Studio does not show the personal vDisk stage.
- The personal vDisks test mode environment requires that two catalogs are available: one for personal vDisk test devices and the other for personal vDisk production devices. If you want to use this feature in an environment where both personal vDisk test and production devices exist in one catalog, consider changing a production personal vDisk device to test. This configuration causes all devices in that catalog to reboot. Change the production personal vDisks devices to test devices before creating any test version vDisk.
When using SCCM and a provisioned device:
- Add the command C:\Program Files\Citrix\personal vDisk\Bin\CtxPvd.exe to the shutdown script
- Updates typically require numerous reboots, as a result, you must inventory all provisioned devices each time you reboot or shutdown a device.
About personal vDisk test devices
Use the information in this section when using personal vDisk devices in a provisioned environment:
- personal vDisk devices should either be in test or production mode.
- Citrix Provisioning displays an error message when you try to boot a private or maintenance version with a personal vDisk device. Only devices without a personal vDisk disk can boot a private image or maintenance version.
- A vDisk assignment can be changed in the Citrix Provisioning console using the following methods:
- Changing the assignment using the device’s properties.
- Copying and pasting the device’s properties.
- Dragging and dropping the vDisk to a collection or a view.
- Citrix Provisioning displays an informational warning when you change the vDisk assignment for a personal vDisk device.
- Changing the personal vDisk device type requires more privileges for the SOAP/Stream Service user:
- Local administrator privileges on the provisioning server system.
- Full administrator privileges on the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops system, including the database
- When merging, Citrix Provisioning automatically reboots devices. A personal vDisk device runs an inventory, as needed.
- Citrix recommends that you allocate a small group of personal vDisk devices for test mode. This group of personal vDisk devices should be kept in maintenance mode when not in use. Otherwise the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops power management feature initializes these devices, potentially interfering with the merge process.
- this environment is suitable when two catalogs are available, one for PVD test and another for personal vDisk production devices. If you want to use this feature in an environment where both personal vDisk test and production devices exist in the same catalog, change a production personal vDisk device to test. This process causes all devices in that catalog to reboot.
- changing production personal vDisk devices to test before creating any test versions of a vDisk.
Assign or reassign a vDisk to a target device that uses a personal vDisk
You can assign a different vDisk to a target device that uses a personal vDisk if that vDisk is from the same base (.vhdx) vDisk lineage. For example, to update an existing vDisk you can make a copy of the target device’s currently assigned vDisk. Update the new vDisk, then assign the updated vDisk to the device.
To assign or reassign a vDisk:
- On the Device with Personal vDisk Properties dialog’s General tab, click Change…. By default, the Assign vDisk dialog displays the current vDisks Store location. It also lists all vDisks available from that Store, except for the currently assigned vDisk.
In the Filter section, optionally:
a. Change the Store location from which to select vDisks from.
b. Filter vDisks that display in the list based on the server’s that can deliver them.
- Select the vDisk to assign to this target device.
Adding target devices to the database
To create target device entries in the Citrix Provisioning database, select one of the following methods:
- Using the console to Manually Create Target Device Entries
- Using Auto-add to Create Target Device Entries
- Importing Target Device Entries
After the target device exists in the database, you can assign a vDisk to the device. Refer to assign a vDisk to the device for more details.
Using the console to manually create target device entries
- In the console, right-click on the Device Collection where this target device is to become a member, then select the Create Device menu option. The Create Device dialog appears.
- Type a name, description, and the MAC address for this target device in the appropriate text boxes.
If the target device is a domain member, use the same name as in the Windows domain. When the target device boots from the vDisk, the machine name of the device becomes the name entered. For more information about target devices and Active Directory or NT 4.0 domains, refer to “Enabling Automatic Password Management.”
- Optionally, if a collection template exists for this collection, enable the checkbox next to Apply the collection template to this new device.
- Click the Add device button. The target device inherits all the template properties except for the target device name and MAC address.
- Click OK to close the dialog box. The target device is created and assigned to a vDisk.
Importing target device entries
Target device entries can be imported into any device collection from a .csv file. The imported target devices can then inherit the properties of the template target device that is associated with that collection. For more details, refer to Importing Target Devices into Collections.
Using the Auto-Add Wizard
The Auto-Add Wizard automates the configuration of rules for automatically adding new target devices to the Citrix Provisioning database using the Auto-Add feature.
The Auto-Add Wizard can be started at the Farm, Site, Collection, or Device level. When started at a level lower than farm, the wizard uses that choice as the default choice. For example, if it is started on a particular target device, it will:
- Select the Site for that Device as the Default Site choice in the combo-box.
- Select the Collection for that Device as the Default Collection choice in the combo-box.
- Select that Device as the Template Device choice in the combo-box.
The wizard displays each page with choices pre-selected based on the location from which the Auto-Add Wizard was started.
A provisioning farm administrator can turn Auto-Add on or off and select the default Site.
A site administrator can select the default site if the current default site is a site in which that administrator is the Site Administrator. If the site administrator is not the administrator of the currently selected default Site, then that administrator can only configure the sites they have access to.
To configure Auto-Add settings (the default collection of a site, template device for the default collection and target device naming rules):
On the console, right-click on the farm, then select the Auto-Add wizard. The Welcome to the Auto-Add Wizard page appears.
Click Next. The Enable Auto-Add dialog appears.
Only a farm administrator can change settings on this page.
Check the box next to Enable Auto-Add to enable this feature, then click Next. The Select Site page appears.
Site administrators can only select sites to which they have permissions.
From the Site drop-down list, select the site where devices should be added, then select Next. The Select Collection page displays with the default collection selected.
Accept the default collection or select a different collection from the Collection drop-down list, then click Next. The Select Template Devices page appears.
Select the device to use as a template, so that new devices inherit the existing target device’s basic property settings, then click Next.
To view the selected device’s properties, click Properties. A read-only dialog displays the selected device’s properties. Close the dialog after reviewing the properties.
Click Next. The Device Name page displays.
Enter a static prefix that helps identify all devices that are being added to this collection. For example: ‘Boston’ to indicate devices located in Boston.
The prefix can be used with the suffix, but is not required if a suffix is provided. The entire device name can have a maximum of 15 characters (the prefix length + number length + suffix length). For example, the following device names are considered valid:
- Boston000Floor2 (prefix, incrementing number length, and suffix provided. The maximum of 15 characters has been reached)
- Boston000 (no suffix is provided)
- 000Floor2 (no prefix is provided)
The prefix cannot end with a digit.
Enter the length of the incrementing number to associate with the devices being added to this collection. This number is incremented as each device is added. For example, if the number length is set to ‘3’, Citrix Provisioning starts naming at ‘001’ and stops naming or adding devices after the number reaches ‘999’.
Enable the Zero fill option to automatically add the necessary number of preceeding zeros to a numbers length. For example, if the numbers length is set to ‘4’, then the first target device number would be assigned as ‘0001’.
The number length must have a minimum of three digits and a maximum of 9 digits.
Enter a static suffix that helps to identify all devices being added to this collection. For example: Boston001Floor2 might be helpful to indicate the floor where these devices reside.
The suffix can be used with the prefix, but is not required if a prefix is provided.
The entire device name can have a maximum of 15 characters (the prefix length + number length + suffix length).
The suffix cannot start with a digit.
The prefix and suffix combination must be unique in each collection.
Click Next. The Finish dialog appears.
Review all Auto-Add wizard settings, then click Finish. Auto-Add is now configured.
Disabling a target device
The Disable Target Device feature prevents a new target device from booting. Each time a new target device boots when the Auto-add option is enabled, a new record is automatically created in the database. The following message appears on the target device:
This target device has been disabled. Please Contact your system administrator.
Once contacted, the system administrator can validate the target device. After the administrator disables the option, the target device can boot successfully.
To disable or enable a target device, in the Console, right-click on the target device, then select the Disable or Enable menu option.
To disable all target devices as they are added to a collection, enable the Disable target device option on the template target device.
Deleting a target device
To delete a target device:
- In the Console, right-click on the target devices you want to delete within the collection.Multiple selections can be made in the Details view. Select the Delete menu option.
- Click Yes to confirm the delete request. The target device is deleted from the collection and any associated views. However, the vDisk image file for the target device still exists.
Improving performance with asynchronous I/O streaming
In previous Citrix Provisioning releases, before version 1808, a target device served incoming operating system storage requests by traversing through three different layers (RAM cache, VHDX file, and network streaming) sequentially to complete a request. This traversing led to less than optimal performance due to the latency introduced when waiting for sub-IO completion, before submitting a new sub-I/O request.
Target devices support asynchronous I/O in all three layers of the provisioning model: RAM cache, the VHDX file, and network streaming, effectively improving performance.
Asynchronous I/O streaming provides better performance, but comes with higher, temporary memory consumption. Citrix recommends that you test this feature in a non-production environment to verify that the performance is favorable before deploying to production.
The following vDisk cache modes support asynchronous IO:
- Private or maintenance mode
- Cache in device RAM with overflow on hard drive
- Cache on server persistent
Enable asynchronous I/O using the Provisioning Console
This release improves asynchronous I/O streaming functionality by allowing you to enable it for a vDisk directly from the Provisioning Console. In the vDisk properties screen, select Asynchronous IO.
In this article
- Configuring target devices that use personal vDisks
- General tab
- Personality tab
- Status tab
- Logging tab
- Personal vDisk test mode
- Assign or reassign a vDisk to a target device that uses a personal vDisk
- Adding target devices to the database
- Using the console to manually create target device entries
- Importing target device entries
- Using the Auto-Add Wizard
- Disabling a target device
- Deleting a target device
- Improving performance with asynchronous I/O streaming