Understanding Citrix®Provisioning Services 7.0

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by Puthiyavan Udayakumar | January 2014 | Enterprise Articles Networking & Telephony

Citrix Provisioning Services is designed to connect to administrative roles within a Citrix Provisioning Services farm. A Citrix Provisioning Services administrator role is to govern the components an administrator can manage or view in the Citrix Provisioning Console. There are several components that make up a Citrix Provisioning Services farm that are explained in this article by Puthiyavan Udayakumar, author of Getting Started with Citrix®Provisioning Services 7.0, along with system requirements for running the software.

(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

The following diagram provides a high-level view of the basic Provisioning Services infrastructure and clarifies how Provisioning Services components might appear within the datacenter post installation and implementation:

Provisioning Service License server

The License Server either should be installed within the shared infrastructure or an existing Citrix license server can be selected. However, we have to ensure the Provisioning Service license is configured in your existing Citrix Enterprise License servers.

A License Server can be selected when the Provisioning Service Configuration Wizard is run on a planned server. All Provisioning Servers within the farm must be able to communicate with the License Server.

Provisioning Service Database server

The database stores all system configuration settings that exist within a farm. Only one database can exist within a provisioning service farm. We can choose an existing SQL Server database or install an SQL Server in cluster for High Availability from a redundancy business continuities perspective.

The Database server can be selected when the Provisioning Service Configuration Wizard runs on a planned server. All Provisioning Servers within the farm must be able to communicate with the Database server, and only one database can exist within a Provisioning Service farm

Provisioning Service Admin Console

Citrix Provisioning Service Admin Console is a tool that is used to control your Provisioning Services implementation. After logging on to the console, we can select the farm that we want to connect to. Our role determines what we can look at in the console and operate in the Provisioning Service farm.

Shared storage service

Citrix Provisioning Service requires shared storage for vDisks that are accessible by all of the users in a network. They are intended for file storage and allowing simultaneous access by multiple users without the need to replicate files to their machines' vDisk.

The supported shared storages are SAN, NAS, iSCSI, and CIFS.

Active Directory Server

Citrix Provisioning service requires Microsoft's Active Directory. It provides authentication and authorization mechanisms as well as a framework, within which other related services can be deployed. Microsoft Active Directory is an LDAP-compliant database that contains objects. The most commonly used objects are users, computers, and groups

Network services

Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) is used for the purpose of getting IP addresses for servers and systems.

Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) is used for automated transfer of boot configuration files between servers and a system in a network.

Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) is a standard used for client/server interface that allows networked computers that boot remotely to boot locally instead.

System requirements

Citrix Provisioning Service can be installed with following requirements:

Citrix Provisioning Server

Requirement

Description

Operation system

Windows 2012: Standard, Essential, and Datacenter editions; Windows 2008 R2; Windows 2008 R2 SP1: Standard, Enterprise, and DataCenter editions; and all editions of Windows 2008 (32 or 64-bit)

Processor

Intel or AMD x86 or x64 compatible

2 GHz / 3 GHz (preferred) / 3.5 GHz Dual Core / HT or an equal one for growing capacity fulfiller

Memory

2 GB RAM; 4 GB (greater than 250 vDisks)

Hard disk

To determine IOPS needed along RAID Level, please plan your sizing based on the following formula:

Total Raw IOPS = Disk Speed IOPS x # of Disks

Functional IOPS = ((Total Raw IOPS * Write %)/RAID Penalty ) + (Total Raw IOPS*Read %)

For more, please refer to http://support.citrix.com/servlet/KbServlet/download/24559-102-647931/

Network adapter

IP assignment to servers should be static. 1 GB is recommended for less than 250 target devices. If you are planning for more than 250 devices, Dual 1 GB is recommended. For High Availability, please have two NICs for redundancy purposes.

Pre-requisite software components

Microsoft .NET 4.0 and Microsoft Powershell 3.0 loaded on a fresh OS

The Infrastructure components required are described as follows:

Requirement

Description

Supported database

Microsoft SQL 2008, Microsoft SQL 2008 R2, and Microsoft SQL 2012 Server (32-bit or 64-bit editions) databases can be used for the Provisioning ServicesDB sizing. Please refer to http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms187445.aspx. For HA Planning, please refer to http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/provisioning-7/pvs-installtask1....

Supported hypervisor

XenServer 6.0, Microsoft SCVMM 2012 SP1 with Hyper-V 3.0; SCVMM 2012 with Hyper-V 2.0, VMware ESX 4.1, ESX 5, or ESX 5 Update 1; vSphere 5.0, 5.1, 5.1 Update 1; along with Physical Devices for 3D Pro Graphics (Blade Servers, Windows Server OS machines, and Windows Desktop OS machines with XenDesktop VDA installed).

Provisioning Console

Hardware requirement: Processor 2 GHz, Memory 2 GB ,Hard Disk 500 MB

Supported Operating Systems: all editions of Windows Server 2008 (32-bit or 64- bit); Windows Server 2008 R2: Standard, DataCenter, and Enterprise editions; Windows Server 2012: Standard, Essential, and Datacenter editions; Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit); Windows XP Professional (32-bit or 64-bit); Windows Vista (32-bit or 64-bit): Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate (retail licensing); and all editions of Windows 8 (32-bit or 64-bit).

Pre-Requisite Software: MMC 3.0, Microsoft .NET 4.0, and Windows PowerShell 2.0

In case we are using Provisioning Services, we would require XenDesktop and, NET 3.5 SP1, and in the event that we are using Provisioning Services then we would require SCVMM 2012 SP1 and PowerShell 3.0.

Supported ESD

Apply only in case VDisk Update Management is used; ESD supports WSUS Server-3.0 SP2 and Microsoft System Center Configuration Management 2007 SP2, 2012, and 2012 SP1

Supported target device

Supported Operating Systems: all editions of Windows 8 (32 or 64-bit); Windows 7 SP1 (32 bits or 64 bits): Enterprise, Professional, and Ultimate (Support alone in Private Mode); Windows XP Professional SP3 32-bit and Windows XP Professional SP2 64-bit; Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1: Standard, DataCenter, and Enterprise editions; Windows Server 2012: Standard, Essential, and Datacenter editions.

Summary

This article has thus covered the several components that make up a Citrix Provisioning Services farm and the system requirements that need to be met to run the software.

Resources for Article:


Further resources on this subject:


Getting Started with Citrix® Provisioning Services 7.0 An example-packed guide to help you successfully administer Citrix® Provisioning Services with this book and ebook
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About the Author :


Puthiyavan Udayakumar

Puthiyavan Udayakumar has more than six years of IT experience with expertise in Citrix, VMware, Microsoft products, and Apache CloudStack. He has extensive experience in designing and implementing virtualization solutions using various Citrix products, VMware Products, and Microsoft products. He is an IBM certified Solution Architect and Citrix certified Enterprise Engineer along with more than 15 certifications in infrastructure products. He is the author of the book, Getting Started with Citrix® CloudPortal™. He holds a master's degree in Science with a specialization in System Software from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, a bachelor's degree in Engineering through SKR Engineering College from Anna University, and National award from the Indian Society for Technical Education. He presented various research papers in more than 15 national and international conferences including IADIS (held in Dublin, Ireland) followed by the IEEE pattern.

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