- Provisioning Services Product Infrastructure
- Provisioning Services Administrator Roles
- Product Utilities
- Getting the Bootstrap File
- Selecting a vDisk Access Mode
- Selecting the Write Cache Destination for Standard vDisk Images
The Provisioning Services infrastructure design directly relates to administrative roles within a Provisioning Services farm. The Provisioning Services administrator role determines which components that administrator can manage or view in the Console.
There are several components that make up a Provisioning Services farm. The graphic that follows provides a high-level view of a basic Provisioning Services infrastructure and illustrates how Provisioning Services components might appear within that implementation.
The sections that follow provide a brief introduction to Provisioning Services components.
When the Farm node is expanded at the highest level, the Provisioning Services Console window appears. The Console includes the following:
The Action menu displays Provisioning Services tasks that can be performed on an object that is highlighted in the Console. The same tasks are available when you right-click on the object in the Console.
Tasks are object specific and can only be performed if the user has the appropriate role assigned (role-based administration). Your role determines what displays in the Console. For example, if you are a farm administrator, you can perform all tasks and see all objects in the farm. Device administrators can only perform device-collection management tasks on collections to which they have privileges. Administrator roles are described later in this chapter.
Console Tree and Details Pane
To view information about an object in the Details pane, click on the object or folder in the Tree pane. The Details pane provides information such as the objects name and a description of that object.
To view or change an object’s properties, right-click on the object, then select the Properties menu option. You can also highlight the object in the Console window, then select Properties from the Action menu options. The Properties dialog displays property settings in tabular format.
Network services include a DHCP service, Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) service, and a TFTP service. These service options can be used during the boot process to retrieve IP addresses, and locate then download the boot program from the Provisioning Server to the target device. Alternative boot options are also available.
A farm contains one or more stores. A store is a logical name that is given to a physical or virtual vDisk storage location. The store name is the common name used by all Provisioning Servers within the farm.
The physical vDisk for Windows XP resides on a Provisioning Server local to a site. The logical name that is given to this physical location is the store.
Store name (logical name): bostonwinxp
Physical path to the vDisk is: C:\vDisks\
The physical vDisk for Windows XP resides on a network share (FinanceVdisks) at the farm level.
Store name (logical name): financevdisks
Physical path to the vDisk for all Provisioning Servers in the farm is: \\financeserver\financevdisks\
Sites are represented in the Console as follows:
A Provisioning Server is any server that has Stream Services installed, which is used to stream software from vDisks, as needed, to target devices. In some implementations, vDisks reside directly on the Provisioning Server. In larger implementations, Provisioning Servers may get the vDisk from a shared-storage location on the network.
Provisioning Servers also retrieve and provide configuration information to and from the Provisioning Services Database. Provisioning Server configuration options are available to ensure high availability and load-balancing of target device connections.
vDisk pools are the collection of all vDisks available to a site. There is only one vDisk pool per site.
vDisk Update Management
In the Console, the vDisk Update Management feature is used to configure the automation of vDisk updates using virtual machines. Automated vDisk updates can occur on a scheduled basis, or at any time that the administrator envokes the update directly from the Console. This feature supports updates detected and delivered from Electronic Software Delivery (ESD) servers, Windows updates, or other pushed updates.
For details on using the vDisk Update Management feature, refer to Automating vDisk Updates.
Device collections provide the ability to create and manage logical groups of target devices. A target device is a device, such as desktop computer or server, that boots and gets software from a vDisk on the network. A device collection could represent a physical location, a subnet range, or a logical grouping of target devices. Creating device collections simplifies device management by performing actions at the collection level rather than at the target-device level.
Device collections are created and managed by farm administrators, site administrators that have security privileges to that site, or device administrators that have security privileges to that collection. Device administrators can not modify the collection itself; only the devices within it. Device operators can only perform tasks on device collections to which they are assigned.
vDisks exist as disk image files on a Provisioning Server or on a shared storage device. A vDisk consists of a VHD base image file, any associated properties files (.pvp), and if applicable, a chain of referenced VHD differencing disks (.avhd).
vDisks are assigned to target devices. Target devices boot from and stream software from an assigned vDisk image.
vDisk images are configured to be in Private Image mode (for use by a single device, read/write) or Standard Image mode (for use by multiple devices, read-only with various caching options).
Any updates to a vDisk base image may be captured in a versioned differencing disk, leaving the original base disk image unchanged. The following illustrates the basic relationship between a base disk and versions that reference that base disk.
Booting a vDisk
The method used to locate and boot from a vDisk on a server share is illustrated in the graphic that follows.
Views provide a method that allows you to quickly manage a group of target devices. Views are typically created according to business needs. For example, a view can represent a physical location, such as a building or user type. Unlike device collections, a target device can be a member of any number of views.
Views are represented in the Console as follows: