Product Documentation

Creating vDisks

Jan 15, 2016

This section provides the information and tasks necessary to create a new base vDisk image.

vDisks act as a hard disk for a target device and exist as disk image files on a Provisioning Server or on a shared storage device. A vDisk consists of a VHDX base image file, any associated properties files (.pvp), and if applicable, a chain of referenced VHDX differencing disks (.avhdx).

When creating a vDisk image file, keep the following facts in mind:
  • You can create as many vDisk image files as needed, as long as you have enough space available on the Provisioning Server, or on the storage device containing the vDisk image files.
  • vDisk files use FAT or NTFS file systems for Microsoft operating systems.
  • Depending upon the file system used to store the vDisk, the maximum size of a VHDX file (vDisk) is 2 terabytes (NTFS) or 4096MB (FAT).
  • A vDisk may be shared (Standard Image) by one or more target devices, or it can exist for only one target device to access (Private Image).

Creating a new vDisk is the first stage in the lifecycle of a vDisk. To create a vDisk basically requires preparing the master target device for imaging, creating and configuring a vDisk file where the vDisk will reside, and then imaging the master target device to that file; resulting in a new base vDisk image. This process can be performed automatically, using the Imaging Wizard, or manually. Provisioning Services also provides the option to create a commom image for use with a single target platform or for use with multiple target platforms.

Note: Your administrator role determines what displays and which tasks you can perform in the Console. For example, you can view and manage vDisks in sites in which you are a site administrator. However, unless the farm administrator sets a site as the owner of a store, the site administrator can not perform store management tasks.

The following provides an overview of the steps necessary to create a vDisk automatically and manually.

Automatically creating a vDisk image using the Imaging Wizard

This is the recommended method for creating new vDisk images.

Note: The master target device, physical or virtual, is prepared by installing and configuring the operating system of choice, as well as any applications that should be included in the base vDisk image. For details, refer to Preparing the Master Target Device.

To image the master target device, run the Imaging Wizard to automatically create a new vDisk file on a Provisioning Server or shared storage, and then image the master target device to that file.

Manually creating a vDisk file then creating the image using Provisioning Services imaging

This is the optional method used to create new vDisk images.

  1. The master target device, physical or virtual, is prepared by installing and configuring the operating system of choice, as well as any applications that should be included in the base vDisk image. A vDisk file is then created on a Provisioning Server or shared storage, which can be accessed by any Provisioning Server that will provide the vDisk. The file must be mounted, formatted, then unmounted manually. This can be accomplished from the Console or from the target device.
    Note: In the Console, a new vDisk file can be created by right-clicking on the vDisk Pool or the Store, and then selecting the Create new vDisk menu option. Once created, vDisks display in the details pane when a site’s vDisk pool is selected, or when a store in the farm is selected.
  2. The master target device is imaged to the new vDisk file using the Provisioning Services imaging utility.
    Note: As a physical to virtual conversion tool, the imaging utility can convert a server or desktop workload from an online physical machine running Windows to a XenServer virtual machine or Provisioning Services vDisk. As a virtual-to-virtual tool, the imaging utility can convert a server or desktop workload from an offline virtual machine or disk, containing any guest operating system, to a XenServer VM.