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Rebooting a Provisioning Server


Mike Maggio

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I am new to Citrix Provisioning server and have a question about rebooting.

We have been told that the Provisioning servers needs to be rebooted about once a month. We have a load balanced envrionment which has two servers (though the load does not seem to get balanced evenly). What is the proper procedure to reboot one of the servers? Will vdisks automatically get redistributed during the process or do we need to do something manually?

Thanks in advance for the help.

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I like to stop the stream service and watch my console and make sure my failover happens correctly before I then proceed to windows updates and a reboot. Just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling that if something goes wrong I can just start the stream service which is just a few seconds as opposed to a five minute reboot.

Alan Lantz
SysAdmin
City of Rogers, AR

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Were you told why to reboot your PVS servers once per month? That makes no sense to me unless you're including the monthly patch cycle from Microsoft which requires a server reboot.

For load balancing, assuming multiple PVS servers can serve the vdisk and you're not using server-side caching directly onto a server, PVS servers can be rebooted without service interruption.

- Padraig.

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The only interval for PVS Server reboot is what you want just like other windows servers. I am a security update freak, so monthly for me when the Windows updates come out. For the disks running from PVS you will want to cycle those frequently due to clear out the cache. I do those weekly which works for us. Others that have more read/write going on choose daily.

 

Alan Lantz

SysAdmin

City of Rogers, AR

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Although in theory not rebooting PVS servers would seem like a good thing (as Padraig outlined to maximize cache hits) the reality is you do not have a PVS server a such, you have a windows server hosting PVS. Likely you will have monitoring/av software on it. We've had lots of issues with 2008 R2 bugs for WMI etc and are forced to reboot monthly to keep things ticking over nicely. I do this by firstly stopping the stream service and monitoring the reconnections to my other PVS servers then rebooting the PVS server. This is done with powershell .

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On ‎26‎-‎04‎-‎2012 at 9:05 PM, Padraig Sweeney said:

Well, rebooting provisioned XenApp servers may well have been recommended. The longer a provisioned machine is up and running, the greater the amount of cache is will have produced. A reboot clears this cache.

- Padraig.

do you have any article or doc for this which state that recommendation for PVS server reboot. if yes could you  please share it with me @yogesh.dandwate@gmail.com

 

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I know of no articles that recommends rebooting a PVS server on a regular basis and I see no need to reboot it unless required to patch it or regular windows/software maintenance..  If you plan on rebooting the server that your PVS server is running on I recommend the following:

 

  • Make sure you PVS farm/site  is properly sized and configured so targets can failover to another PVS server so you minimize disruption of the targets
  • shutdown the PVS server before rebooting using the console or shutdown the stream service in the services control panal, this will insure the targets fail over to another PVS server faster than if you just reboot the server. 
    • make sure all targets have failed over to other PVS servers
  • reboot the server
  • check to make sure PVS server has started and then go to the next PVS server, I am assuming if you are going to reboot one you may do them all.
  • After all have been rebooted or if you only had to reboot one, manually rebalance the targets if you want it is not really necessary if you have automatic rebalancing enable they will eventually rebalance if the site/farm is large enough, there is a minimum threshold that PVS uses to determine if it should rebalance.

 

This will make sure that the targets have very little disruption and users should not notice that you just rebooted the PVS server.

 

Carl

 

 

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On 11/16/2017 at 5:55 AM, Carl Fallis said:

I know of no articles that recommends rebooting a PVS server on a regular basis and I see no need to reboot it unless required to patch it or regular windows/software maintenance..  If you plan on rebooting the server that your PVS server is running on I recommend the following:

 

  • Make sure you PVS farm/site  is properly sized and configured so targets can failover to another PVS server so you minimize disruption of the targets
  • shutdown the PVS server before rebooting using the console or shutdown the stream service in the services control panal, this will insure the targets fail over to another PVS server faster than if you just reboot the server. 
    • make sure all targets have failed over to other PVS servers
  • reboot the server
  • check to make sure PVS server has started and then go to the next PVS server, I am assuming if you are going to reboot one you may do them all.
  • After all have been rebooted or if you only had to reboot one, manually rebalance the targets if you want it is not really necessary if you have automatic rebalancing enable they will eventually rebalance if the site/farm is large enough, there is a minimum threshold that PVS uses to determine if it should rebalance.

 

This will make sure that the targets have very little disruption and users should not notice that you just rebooted the PVS server.

 

Carl

 

 

Carl,

 

 

I was just looking into the rebalance properties to see if automatic rebalancing was enabled....Where exactly do you check for that? Is this something you can pull from the PoshCLI?

 

Thank you,

 

Rob

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I have looked after many sites over the last 23 years.  I find a whole lot of problems go away when your XenApp servers are rebooted regularly.  When I can I reboot nightly I do it at stagger reboot intervals in the early am. 

 

On another site I reboot XenApp servers twice a week.  At 4:00pm I run a script to execute:  change logon /drainuntilrestart

at 4:00am I do a reboot.   I do a third of the servers in the XenApp fleet each night over 3 consecutive nights twice a week.  This works well for twice weekly reboots.

 

The PVS Servers I reboot weekly.  They are in a HA pair and the fail over works fine so there is no impact on the users.  This is consistent with recommendations from Citrix consulting.

 

Nightly reboots can be justified from a Cyber Security perspective.  Any infection that get is in is blown away by the nightly reboots as the rebooted server reverts back to the clean vDisk image.  While we are talking Cyber Security use whitelisting on your XenApp servers rather than the traditional blacklisting approach of anti-virus scanning.  It puts a much lower load on the XenApp server and is more effective

 

 

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