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PVS still being used to steam to physical targets?


Stephen D. Holder

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Greetings all

 

I recently signed a client who would like to leverage their existing hardware. All hardware is the same. I'm using CVAD 1906 and Citrix cloud.

 

I am trying to P2PVS a fresh copy of Win2019 from their existing hardware into PVS and then mount/load in PVS so I can manage it remotely, and then stream out updates and other changes the remaining physical targets (~20.). My Hypervisor is Citrix Hypervisor.

 

  • I am able to P2PVS a fresh image from the client's hardware into PVS.
  • I am able to stream that image out to the other physical endpoints in standard mode (same hardware.)

 

 

  • I am unable to stream that same image to any newly created shell in XenServer mimicking the same HHD and CPU resources. Windows will blue screens with CVhdMp.sys
  • I am unable to place the image in private mode and stream to a hardware target for updates - upon booting PVS states the vdisk access permission is denied.
  • The only way I can make changes, is to return to the physical endpoint, make my update, and t hen P2PVS the entire image again.

 

Anyone have any ideas?  The hardware is a bit older, so I understand there could be some hardware compatibly issues....

 

I made a point of a fresh install of win2019 on the existing hardware and then P2PVS.

I’ve checked for ghost NICs on the image (there were none)

I’ve removed all but the one active nic on Citrix Hypervisor.

I thought I might try installing Xentools on the physical hardware before I P2PVS it

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So... apparently… what I am asking has low chance of success.

 

I had a chat with Citrix tech support. They informed me that the architecture is different when it comes to what I want to do, which is; convert a physical image to a virtual image and then stream out that virtual image to identical endpoint hardware. I get that to a point but still have a bit of hesitation. Isn’t the whole idea of P2V to convert a physical machine to a VM? I know from experience I converted an old physical desktop to a bootable VM on VMware.  I understand VMware and Citrix are different platforms, but the principal should be the same – convert a bootable physical machine to a bootable virtual machine.

 

I also realize this is not the direction of the industry - that is -- streaming to physical targets, but unfortunately that is this client’s situation. So I find myself in a pickle:

 

1] Continue streaming to physical targets…

 

Pros: No hardware or licensing to maintain, PXE boot and done.
Cons: Always return to a master physical machine for updates, and then re-P2V the vhdx back into PVS.

 

OR

 

2 ] Apply a Citrix receiver desktop lock  (YouTube ref.) policy across all customers 15+ endpoints pointing to a freshly built VM on Citrix Hypervisor.

 

Pros: Easy management for single image.
Cons: Instantly increase management by now having to (possibly) manage 15+ independent endpoints not to mention their licensing/security. Introduce another level of design – customer is on Citrix cloud, and from my reading looks like I’ll have to introduce a local storefront if I want to deploy Citrix receiver desktop lock. Design is not optimal.

 

The real solution here is to introduce true thin clients instead old physical desktops, but customer does not have the funds. I’ve thought about the Raspberry Pi deal but looks like the server will have to process everything and while the local sever is decent, PVS is not the only component demanding resources.

 

Any other ideas out there? 

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