Citrix / VDI Pilot – Implementation Trouble with Hyper-V

This is part 5 of an ongoing series of posts to document and describe my journey implementing Citrix VDI with XenApp.  Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4.

It wasn’t all so rosy and perfect going from Proof-of-concept to pilot, and we knew things might not be.  During our PoC we relied solely on Machine Creation Services (MCS), though I did test it on both VMware vSphere 4 (and later 5) as well as Hyper-V 2008 (with SCVMM 2007).  These configuration changes were sure to bring about some learning curve, but the bright point of it all is just how awesome Citrix Provisioning Services is as a product.  Not even listed under products, PVS is included in the XenDesktop platinum license we selected and offers truly wonderful scalability.  Prior to XenDesktop 5.5, in fact, the limits of MCS would not realistically reach to our intended target deployment of up to 2,000 devices.

With our infrastructure in place and our servers built, we went about the task of creating PVS targets from a template VM we had setup.  It was at this point during implementation we ran into a snag – PVS could not see the template.  We had done everything according to eDocs, and to our Citrix partner’s knowledge correctly, but it just wouldn’t work.  After a bit of trial and error (and some serious searching, that unfortunately did not include #Citrix IRC on freenode), we logged a case with Citrix support.  After a few calls and e-mails back and forth, Citrix placed the blame squarely on Microsoft.  A bit upset, our project manager opened a case with Microsoft (who promptly said it was a Citrix issue) and was about to put both Citrix and Microsoft in a cage match to fight until the bloody end (of the issue).  Literally two minutes before our conference call was to be started, the Citrix support team e-mailed an unpublished fact about Hyper-V/SCVMM templates with use with PVS:

Your Hyper-V template can not have any options for customization selected.  I promptly shared this fact on the Citrix support forums.

Now three days behind, we pushed forward with our implementation and spun up 100 Windows 7 desktops and 2 XenApp servers.  It was then I was hooked, and although it had not been coined yet, I knew “PVS is sex”.
(Note:  I am |Atum| on freenode)

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