3 months ago
I have always been a promoter for Citrix Machine Creation Services (MCS) over Provisioning Services (PVS). When opportunity is given, and the technologies requirements allow for it, I always recommend MCS during new setups/installations. I have never converted a PVS master device to MCS and an inquiry to do so was received.
As IT is all about learning new things I thought of this as an excellent opportunity to experience a conversion of a master device from PVS to MCS. I could not find an easy hands-on guide in how to do it, so therefore I am writing this blog post for my successors.
The master VM consists of installation of Citrix 7.15 LTSR CU3 – Provisioning Services Target Device x64 and an ordinary PVS setup with PVS servers etc. Instructions (as of how I did it, I welcome any further suggestions of steps):
- Make sure Master VM boots on hard drive instead of previous PXE (for the PVS environment), changing the boot order from Network to Hard Disk. This is done on your hypervisor. The hypervisor the image is showing is Citrix Hypervisor (formerly Citrix XenServer).
- Uninstall PVS Target Device Software, in my case I had 7.15 LTSR CU3 – Provisioning Services Target Device installed:
- Uninstall the Virtual Delivery Agent (as the Core Components/Environments of the installation is PVS Target Device)
- Install the Virtual Delivery Agent (you might as well install the latest while you are at it). I installed 1912 LTSR CU2. During the installation you choose the environment configuration with the following alternatives (as can be seen below) where I went from previous PVS to now MCS:
- Create a master MCS image
- Create a master image using Citrix Provisioning or third-party provisioning tools
- Enable Remote PC Access
- Create a hosting connection (to the hypervisor which the MCS master images and targets resides/will reside).
- Create a machine catalog based on the new master image on the new hosting connection.
- Add the new machine catalog to an existing or new delivery group.
We are running test and production machine catalogs and delivery groups. This makes it easy to test the single master image prior to production. My steps will be:
- Create/adjust the master image
- Create MCS machine catalog for testing
- Add the (new) MCS machine catalog within the test delivery group and remove the (old) PVS machine catalog (mulitple machine catalogs can be added to a delivery group).
- Conduct testing – if testing is working fine proceed:
- Create a MCS machine catalog for production
- During late afternoon (when the usage of the platform has exceeded its peak): Add MCS machine catalog to the existing PVS delivery group with 1 machine
- Log on and test the new machine – this will not interfere with any other sessions on the PVS machines as several machine catalogs can be included in one delivery group
- Conduct testing on that single MCS machine in production
- Declare win = proceed with removing PVS machines and adding MCS machines
As this process is new to me I am very open for any adjustments and improvements of routine. Thank you very much for reading.
/ Gus Johansson
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