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Think IPM

Friday, June 13, 2014

First Look: Citrix Provisioning Service Cache size

Although its been out for a while, I know there are still a lot of you that haven’t had a chance to check out Citrix Provisioning Server 7.1 yet so here’s a peek at a neat new feature you can look forward to.

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The new Provisioning Services agent now gives you details on the cache being used within a read only session.  How to properly size the cache of a provisioned machine has always been something that comes up when talking to clients so I think being able to run a machine for a while under typical usage and check on the cache being used is a neat little enhancement to the agent.  You could always go to the file system and sniff it out yourself but since the information is so useful, why not put it front and center for display.   Eventually, I’d love to see this information make it up to the central console.

Monitoring cache sizes is useful for determining whether you under or oversized the local hard drives (especially in virtual environments) and also to help determine reboot schedules (to clear the cache).

There’s plenty more enhancements in 7.1 but I liked this one. :)

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Safe to upgrade to vSphere 5.5 Update 1 with NFS

After a couple of months of ignoring Update Manager’s rollup patch to vSphere 5.5 Update 1, it is now safe to click install. :)   (Although you might want to wait a week or two for others to test it before deploying into production)

Back in April, a vSphere bug was discovered in Update 1 that would cause an APD (All Paths Down) situation for some NFS datastores.  It was advised by VMware to not upgrade to this latest version if you had NFS datastores. 

They have finally come out with a patch that addresses the ADP issue.  You can read more about it on Duncan’s Blog below.

http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2014/06/11/vsphere-5-5-u1-patch-released-nfs-apd-problem/

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Quick Tip on Adding Roles and Features to Windows Server 2012 (and Windows 8?)

Unlike Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7, which pre-stage all available roles and features during setup for easy addition at any later time, Windows Server 2012 (and probably also Windows 8.x) do *not*.  This means that when attempting to add a role or feature (such as .NET Framework 3.5/3.0/2.0 in the first screenshot below), you may get a message to the effect that some of your selections “are missing source files”.  If that happens, mount the Windows installation ISO or insert the installation disk, click “Specify an alternate source path” as shown below, then specify “x:\Sources\SxS” in the resulting dialog (where x: is the ISO mount drive letter or the letter of your optical drive) and click OK before continuing with the wizard (as shown in the second screenshot).

Jacques Bensimon 

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Citrix PVS Pro Tip : Watch your Slots on VMware!

I was recently creating some new XenDesktop published sets and ran into a Blue Screen on cloned machines via the Provisioning Server XenDesktop Wizard.  I have run into this before and it was normally a Microsoft PnP value gone wrong or something similar.   The familiar 7B error that is also typical of a disk driver mismatch (usually after a P2V) resulting in Windows not finding it’s boot drive.

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This time around, it was a VMware SLOT issue.  For some reason, the template machine had an Ethernet slot identity of 33 and the newly created machines were given slot numbers of 32.  Since these machines were streamed, this gave me the 7B BSOD on all machines cloned via the wizard.

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Swap the slot number in the VM’s properties and everything booted up just fine. :)

Jan’s excellent blog post here put me on the right track to resolution.

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