Using a Provisioning Services streamed vDisk, the Provisioning Services XenDesktop Setup Wizard assists in deploying virtual desktops to virtual machines (VMs) as well as to devices that use personal vDisks.
You must use corresponding releases of Provisioning Services and XenDesktop. The Provisioning Services XenDesktop Setup Wizard works only with the corresponding XenDesktop controller.
You must select the Target Device Optimizer when creating the vDisk image, otherwise the VM may fail to boot.
- Creates VMs on a XenDesktop-hosted hypervisor server using an existing XenDesktop machine template:
- ESX via V-Center
- Hyper-V using SCVMM (when provisioning to a SCVMM server, the wizard automatically changes the network configuration of both the first legacy NIC and the second synthetic NIC. ). Note that:
- You cannot provision vGPU-enabled VMs on Hyper-V.
- The Boot Device Management boot mode is not available for Generation 2 VMs.
- When creating a machine template for SCVMM 2012, ensure that it has a similar hard disk drive structure and that it can boot from a vDisk in Private Image mode. Examples:
To PXE boot a VM with write cache, create a VM with 1 hard disk drive.
To use Boot Device Manager (BDM) to boot a VM with write cache, create a VM with 2 hard disk drives.
To use BDM to boot a VM that uses a personal vDisk and write cache, create a VM with 3 hard disk drives.
- Creates Provisioning Services target devices for each new VM within a new or existing Provisioning Services Device Collection matching the XenDesktop catalog name.
- Assigns a Standard Image vDisk to VMs within the Device Collection.
- Adds virtual desktops to a XenDesktop catalog.
For ESX 5.5, the minimum permissions include the following:
Note: Other previously supported versions of ESX may require the same permissions to work with Provisioning Services 7.x.
- Datastore Permissions
- Allocate space
- Browse datastore
- Low level file operations
- Network Permissions
- Resource Permissions
- Assign virtual machine to resource pool
- System Permissions - These permissions are automatically added when you create a role in vCenter.
- Task Permissions
- Virtual Machine/Configuration Permissions
- Add existing disk
- Add new disk
- Change CPU count
- Change resource
- Modify device settings
- Remove disk
- Virtual Machine/Interaction
- Power Off
- Power On
- Virtual Machine/Inventory
- Create New
- Create from existing
- Virtual Machine/Provisioning
- Clone virtual machine
- Clone template
- Allow disk access
- Allow virtual machine download
- Allow virtual machine files upload
- Deploy template
- Manager custom attributes
- Set custom attribute
Write cache considerations
To minimize the time it takes to provision, the XenDesktop Set Up Wizard discards any hard disks that are attached to a template.
The wizard provisions diskless VMs if the vDisk is in Standard Image mode and cache is set as cache on the server. If the cache is server-side, Provisioning Services does not automatically boot the provisioned VMs.
The wizard provisions VMs with write cache drives (the default size is 6 GB and the default type is dynamic), if the vDisk is in Standard Image mode and cache is set as cache on the local hard disk. To format the write cache drive, the wizard automatically boots the VMs in Standard Image mode with the cache on the server. After formatting completes, VMs are automatically shut down, then XenDesktop can boot the VMs as necessary.
If the write cache is stored on hypervisor local storage, configuring deployment through the XenDesktop Setup wizard varies depending on your hypervisor:
- On XenServer, VMs are spread across multiple local storage resources. Create the template without storage (network boot).
- On Hyper-V, VMs are spread across multiple local storage resources. The configuration file follows the write cache, but it is a small file.
- On ESX, you cannot use the XenDesktop Setup Wizard to provision VMs if you are using hypervisor local storage.
Virtual disk types
VMs provisioned through the XenDesktop Setup Wizard have new disks created and attached for local Provisioning Services write cache use. The default virtual disk types created are:
- "Fixed" or "dynamic" depending upon the storage repository used in XenServer
- "Dynamic" for SCVMM 2012 SP1
- "Fixed" for SCVMM 2012
- "Thin-provisioned" for ESX
There is a reg key to override the default types of write cache disks created by provisioning deployments on SCVMM and ESX. This does not apply to XenServer. To force "fixed" (or "eager-zeroed thick" for ESX):
Setting this same key to "false" will override to dynamic. Remove the key to return to default behavior.