Creating a Windows 2012 R2 Target Device with Citrix Provisioning Services 7.8

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS) is a great way for running your virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). In my recent blog here I showed you how to setup Citrix Provisioning Services 7.8.

Using Windows 2012 R2 as a VDI platform, you can easily give like 90% of your workers a full-functional desktop or Workspace. And because the concept is Server Based Computing (SBC or Shared Desktop), you can provision multiple full-functional desktops using just one Windows 2012 R2 server. Off course having just one Windows 2012 R2 Server is not ideal, but you get what I’m aiming at. In the end it is all about managing resources and being high-available.

In this blog I will show you how to create a Windows 2012 R2 target device running from Citrix Provisioning Services. I will then use this target device disk (vDisk) as a template (golden image) to create multiple target devices running from the same vDisk in another post using Citrix XenDesktop 7.8. For now let’s focus on creating the Windows 2012 R2 Target Device vDisk.

In this post I will show you how to:

  • Create a Windows 2012 R2 Target Device vDisk
  • Configure a Target Device to use said vDisk and boot from PVS

My lab setup:

  • Windows 2012 R2 server with Citrix Provisioning Services 7.8 installed (pvs01.vikash.nl)
  • Local domain (vikash.nl)
  • Domain controller (dc01.vikash.nl)
  • Hypervisor Hyper-V 2012 R2
  • Windows 2012 R2 Server with latest updates
  • All servers and desktops are running as virtual machines
  • DHCP running on my router
  • Citrix Provisioning Services Boot Disk (blog here)

Make sure that the virtual machine configured in Hyper-V for Windows 2012 R2 PVS target is setup as Gen 1 (generation 1) virtual machine, and that the network card is a Legacy network adapter. Otherwise the virtual machine will not be able to boot using PVS. Sources tell me that the next version of Citix Provisioning Services will be able to work with Gen 2 (generation 2) virtual machines in Hyper-V.

Target Device Installation

So let’s start by installing the Citrix Provisioning Services components in my Windows 2012 R2 virtual machine. Mount the Citrix Provisioning Services ISO using Hyper-V management console.

pvs78_w2012r2_target_01

Start the autorun.

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Choose Target Device Installation.

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Click again on Target Device Installation.

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Click on Install to install the required components.

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Click on Next to start the installation.

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Accept the License Agreement and click on Next.

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Enter your customer information and click on Next.

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Select the Destination Folder for installation and click on Next.

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Click on Install to complete the installation.

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Imaging Wizard

After the installation has completed, make sure to check the Launch Imaging Wizard box (if it is not checked automatically). Click on Finish.

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You are now presented with a welcome window. Click on Next.

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Enter the name of the PVS server. Make sure you have the right port and use the correct credentials for the PVS server. This can be a domain admin account, provided that they have admin rights on the PVS server. Because I am on my homelab I used my Administrator account. In my case I am using the IP-adress from my PVS server. If you are using a hostname, make sure it always resolves to the PVS server.

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Select Create a vDisk and click on Next.

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The Provisioning Services Imaging Wizard will create a new Target Device on the PVS server. Choose the correct Device Collection name. I my case I made a separate device collection for Windows 2012 R2 Target Devices. Click on Next.

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Specify the vDisk name and click on Next.

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Select the appropriate Windows Activation method for you. Click on Next

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Choose to image the entire boot disk, and click on Next.

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Select the option to Optimize the hard disk and then click on Next. You can adjust the options according to your needs, I choose the defaults because I my experience that is fine.

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You will be presented with a summary screen. Check that everything is entered correctly and then click Create.

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The wizard will create the vDisk and the target device on the PVS server, after optimising the virtual machine. It needs to restart the virtual machine to start the imaging process. Click on Continue.

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Now you will be asked to reboot the device. If you choose Yes the Imaging Wizard will restart the virtual machine. At this point you have to make sure that the virtual machine will boot from network or the PVS boot iso. If you choose No the virtual machine will be shut down. I choose No, so I could mount the PVS boot iso to the virtual machine. The Wizard will then shutdown the machine.

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Click on Yes to shutdown the virtual machine.

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Change Boot Settings Target Machine

Go to the Settings of the virtual machine. In my case that is the Hyper-V management console.

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Make sure the virtual machine boots from CD.

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The make sure you mount the PVS boot iso to the virtual CD of the virtual machine. Click on OK.

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No start the virtual machine and logon to let the Imaging Wizard continue.

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The Imaging Wizard will automatically continue.

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Click on Done when the Wizard finishes.

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Now go to your PVS console, select the Target Device properties.

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We can now boot the Target Device using our newly created vDisk. But before we do so we have to set it to boot from vDisk. Click then on OK.

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Restart the Windows 2012 R2 Target Device and you will see that it boots now using the PVS server and the vDisk.

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Now let’s check the status of the vDisk after logging in.

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We can see that we are now using the vDisk.

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Note that the vDisk is in Read/Write mode. This is because the Access Mode of the vDisk is Private. This is default after creating a vDisk. Adjust this before starting to provision multiple target devices using the same vDisk.

pvs78_w2012r2_target_35

This concludes this tutorial. Feel free to contact me of you have any questions or comments.

You can also follow me on twitter or add the rss feed from the blog and you will be notified when I add new posts.

Creating a Windows 2012 R2 Target Device with Citrix Provisioning Services 7.8 Read More

Creating a Windows 10 Target Device with Citrix Provisioning Services 7.8

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS) is a great way for running your virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). In my recent blog here I showed you how to setup Citrix Provisioning Services 7.8.

In this blog I will show you how to create a Windows 10 target device running from Citrix Provisioning Services. I will then use this target device disk (vDisk) as a template (golden image) to create multiple target devices running from the same vDisk. I will cover this in another post using Citrix XenDesktop 7.8. For now let’s focus on creating the Windows 10 Target Device vDisk.

In this post I will show you how to:

  • Create a Windows 10 Target Device vDisk
  • Configure a Target Device to use said vDisk and boot from PVS

My lab setup:

  • Windows 2012 R2 server with Citrix Provisioning Services 7.8 installed (pvs01.vikash.nl)
  • Local domain (vikash.nl)
  • Domain controller (dc01.vikash.nl)
  • Hypervisor Hyper-V 2012 R2
  • Windows 10 desktop with latest updates
  • All servers and desktops are running as virtual machines
  • DHCP running on my router
  • Citrix Provisioning Services Boot Disk (blog here)

Make sure that the virtual machine configured in Hyper-V for Windows 10 PVS target is setup as Gen 1 (generation 1) virtual machine, and that the network card is a Legacy network adapter. Otherwise the virtual machine will not be able to boot using PVS. Sources tell me that the next version of Citix Provisioning Services will be able to work with Gen 2 (generation 2) virtual machines in Hyper-V.

Target Device Installation

Now we have to install the Citrix Provisioning Services components in the Windows 10 desktop from which we will create the vDisk.

Mount the PVS ISO on the Windows 10 virtual machine.

pvs78_w10_target_01

Start the autorun and choose Target Device Installation.

pvs78_w10_target_02

Click on Target Device Installation.

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Click Install to install the requirements.

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Click on Next to start the installation.

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Accept the license agreement and click on Next.

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Enter your customer information and click on Next.

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Select the Destination Folder for installation and click on Next.

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We are now ready to install. Click on Install.

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After installation has finished, make sure to select Launch Imaging Wizard option and click on Finish.

pvs78_w10_target_10

Now the Imaging Wizard will start. Click on Next.

pvs78_w10_target_11

Enter the name of the PVS server. Make sure you have the right port and use the correct credentials for the PVS server. This can be a domain admin account, provided that they have admin rights on the PVS server. Because I am on my homelab I used my Administrator account.

pvs78_w10_target_12

Select Create a vDisk. Click Next.

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The wizard will create a new target device on the PVS server. Choose a device collection to put the newly created target device in. Click on Next.

pvs78_w10_target_14

Enter a name for the vDisk. Select the the correct store and choose the vDisk type. Click on Next.

pvs78_w10_target_15

Choose the activation type for Windows 10. This depends on the license model you have from Microsoft. Click on Next.

pvs78_w10_target_16

Choose to image the entire boot disk. Click Next.

pvs78_w10_target_17

Select the option to Optimize the hard disk and then click on Next. You can adjust the options according to your needs, I choose the defaults because I my experience that is fine.

pvs78_w10_target_18

You will be presented with a summary screen. Check that everything is entered according to your needs and then click Create.

pvs78_w10_target_19

The wizard will create the vDisk and the target device on the PVS server, after optimising the virtual machine. It needs to restart the virtual machine to start the imaging process. Click on Continue.

pvs78_w10_target_20

Now you will be asked to reboot the device. If you choose Yes the Imaging Wizard will restart the virtual machine. At this point you have to make sure that the virtual machine will boot from network or the PVS boot iso. If you choose No the virtual machine will be shut down.

pvs78_w10_target_21

In my case I have to choose No because I can’t change the boot order of a Gen 1 Hyper-V virtual machine while it is powered on. Check if your hypervisor is able to adjust while the virtual machine is powered on.

So I have to adjust the settings of my virtual machine.

pvs78_w10_target_22

First I have to mount the PVS boot iso. Go to the DVD Drive and select the iso.

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Now we have to adjust the boot order. Go to BIOS, select the CD and move it to the top of the list. Then click OK.

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We can now power on the virtual machine. Connect to the console and check that it is booting from the PVS boot iso and connecting to the PVS server.

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Now logon to the virtual machine so the Image Wizard can continue.

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The Image Wizard will continue automatically and start with taking a snapshot.

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Then the Image Wizard will start the copy process to the PVS server.

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After the Image Wizard completed the copy process successfully click on Done.

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Time for testing

Now shutdown the virtual machine and disconnect the local “physical” disk, because now we want to start from the newly created vDisk from the PVS server. This has to be done using the hypervisor manager, in my case Hyper-V mmc. Go to settings to remove the locally attached “physical” disk.

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Go to IDE Controller 0 and Remove the disk. This will only disconnect it and make it invisible to the virtual machine, the virtual disk file will not be deleted.

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When the target device is created on the PVS server, it is set to boot from hard disk. This is done to complete the image proces but can also be used to make changes to the virtual disk. Now we have to tell the target device that is has to boot from the vDisk.

Go to your PVS console and select the Properties from you target device.

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In the General tab choose vDisk in the Boot from dropdown menu. Then click on OK.

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Also we want to set the Access mode for the vDisk to Standard Image. This is necessary if we want to start multiple virtual machines using the same vDisk (in the future). Go to the vDisk Pool in your PVS console and select the Properties for the vDisk we just made.

pvs78_w10_target_35

In the General tab set the Access mode to Standard Image. Then click OK.

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Now it is time to boot the virtual machine and see some PVS magic! Connect to the console of the virtual machine using your hypervisor tools, in my case Hyper-V mmc, so you can see what is happening during boot.

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As you can see the virtual machine is booted from my PVS boot iso and logged in to PVS. PVS is accepting the connection and providing the virtual machine with a vDisk.

Logon to the virtual machine to check if the Virtual Disk Status.

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In the General tab you can see that the vDisk is now Read Only. This is exactly what we wanted.

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In the Statistics tab you can see some diagnostic information.

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This concludes this tutorial. Feel free to contact me of you have any questions or comments.

You can also follow me on twitter or add the rss feed from the blog and you will be notified when I add new posts.

Creating a Windows 10 Target Device with Citrix Provisioning Services 7.8 Read More
Create Bootable ISO for target devices

Citrix Provisioning Services create bootable ISO for target devices

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The target devices booting from Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS) server can boot using PXE or using a bootable ISO. I choose to boot my devices using a bootable ISO. This method is very reliable, as it doesn’t rely on PXE services or network connections.

My lab setup:

  • Windows 2012 R2 server running Citrix Provisioning Services 7.8.

In this post I will show you how to:

  • Create a bootable ISO for PVS target devices

Create a bootable ISO for your PVS target devices

Go to the Start Menu and select Provisioning Services Boot Device Manager.

Create Bootable ISO for target devices

 

In my experience many boot related problems can be solved when you enter the IP address of the PVS server here instead of the hostname or fqdn. So I selected Use static ip for the server. Then click on Add.

Create Bootable ISO for target devices

 

Enter the network settings and fill in the IP address of your PVS server. Click on OK.

Create Bootable ISO for target devices

 

Click on Next.

Create Bootable ISO for target devices

 

In the Set Options window enable Verbose Mode. This is very useful in case you have to troubleshoot, and the added boot delay can be neglected. Then click on Next.

Create Bootable ISO for target devices

 

Select Citrix ISO Image Recorder in the dropdown menu and click on Burn.

pvs78_boot_iso_06

 

Choose a location to save the ISO file and click on Save.

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When the ISO has been created successfully, click on OK.

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You can now close the Boot Device Management window.

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Check that you have the ISO file.

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This concludes this tutorial. Feel free to contact me of you have any questions or comments.

You can also follow me on twitter or add the rss feed from the blog and you will be notified when I add new posts.

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Setup and configuration of Citrix Provisioning Services 7.8

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Recently Citrix has released Citrix Provisioning Services 7.8 (PVS). I wanted to see how this works, so I decided to set it up in my homelab and share the setup and configuration steps with you guys.

I will be needing this component to stream my desktops and servers. Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS) eliminates the need to manage, update and patch individual systems. Instead it allows us to use a master image to provision computers. This master image (vDisk) can be used simultaneously by multiple computers.

In this post I will show you how to:

  • Install PVS
  • Basic configuration using the PVS wizard
  • Create a PVS farm

My lab setup:

  • Windows 2012 R2 server with patches and updates which I will be using to install PVS
  • Downloaded PVS ISO from www.citrix.com
  • Service Account in Active Directory
  • Local domain (vikash.nl)
  • Domain controller (dc01.vikash.nl)
  • Hypervisor Hyper-V 2012 R2
  • SQL server (sql01.vikash.nl)
  • Citrix License Server (dc01.vikash.nl)
  • All servers running as virtual machines

Install Citrix Provisioning Services 7.8

Mount the ISO to using Hyper-V manager on your virtual server and start the setup. Click on Server Installation.

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The setup wizard will automatically detect the required components and will prompt to install them. Click on Install.

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Click on Yes to install the SQL components.

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Click on Next on the welcome screen.

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Accept the license agreement and click on Next.

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Enter the username and organization name. Select the all users option and click on Next.

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Choose the installation folder. In my case I left this default. Then click on Next.

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Click on Install to start the installation.

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Click on Finish to finish the installation.

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You will get a warning message about the PVS Console. We will install this later. Click on OK.

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Now the Provisioning Services Configuration Wizard will automatically start. Click on Next.

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You will now be prompted to choose a DHCP option. When the PVS server is running DHCP (local service), choose The service that runs on this computer. In my case my DHCP is running on my router, so I choose The service that runs on another computer. Click on Next.

pvs_78_12

 

Choose the PXE options. If your virtual machines will boot using the PXE service, enable this. In my environment I will be using a bootable ISO for all the virtual machines running from PVS. You can see  here how to create a bootable ISO. So I choose The service that runs on another computer and click on Next.

pvs_78_13

 

Now we have to create a new farm since this is my first PVS server. Choose Create farm and click on Next.

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The wizard will create the database now. The active directory account running the configuration wizard should have rights to create the database on the SQL server. Otherwise make sure the database is created beforehand and that you have the correct account to login to the database. Enter the SQL fqdn and click on Next.

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Enter the database name. If this is an existing database, choose the name using the dropdown menu. Make sure to select the correct Active Directory group to manage the PVS server (Farm Administrator group). Enter the other information needed to create the farm and click on Next.

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Select the destination to store the virtual disks for the virtual machines running from PVS. Give it a name and click on Next.

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Enter the license server fqdn. Click on Next.

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Now we have to specify an account for running the PVS service. This will be used to run the Stream and Soap service. Enter the correct information and click on Next.

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The target devices running from PVS cannot update their own password in the Active Directory, so we must enable PVS to do this for us. Make sure this is enabled and click on Next.

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Check the network communication settings for management and streaming. Select the correct interface, check with your network admin in case this is not clear. In my case my PVS server has one NIC. Click on Next.

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Next you will be prompted to enter the TFTP options. Enable it and click on Next.

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Now everything is setup to finish the configuration wizard. Click on Finish.

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If you have Windows Firewall running on your server, you will get a message about that. Make sure you disable it later or open the necessary ports. Click on OK.

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Click on Done after the configuration wizard has finished.

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Install the Citrix Provisioning Services Console

In order to manage Citrix Provisioning Services you need to install the console. Run the setup from the Citrix Provisioning Services ISO and this time click on Console Installation.

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Click Next in the welcome screen.

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Accept the License Agreement and click on Next.

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Enter the Customer Information and click on Next.

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Choose the installation path and click on Next.

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Click on Install to begin the installation.

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After the installation is finished, click on Finish.

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Now go to the Start Menu and start the Provisioning Services Console.

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Right click Provisioning Services Console and click on Connect to Farm….

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Enter the correct fqdn, select Auto-login on application start or reconnect to automatically connect to the PVS server and then click on Connect.

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Now you should be able to manage the PVS server.

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This concludes this tutorial. Feel free to contact me of you have any questions or comments.

You can also follow me on twitter or add the rss feed from the blog and you will be notified when I add new posts.

 

 

Setup and configuration of Citrix Provisioning Services 7.8 Read More

How to setup and configure Citrix Licensing Server 11.13.1.2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I already did a setup and installation of Citrix Licensing Server 11.12.1 here, but it is always nice to have a setup guide for a new version.

Adding a Citrix Licensing Server to your environment is important if you are going to setup and use Citrix products and solutions. So let me show you how to:

  • install the license server
  • configure the license server
  • add a license file to the license server

My environment for the installation:

  • downloaded the Citrix Licensing Server 11.13.1.2 (Build 16002) for Windows (www.citrix.com)
  • Windows 2012 R2
  • domain name: VIKASH (vikash.nl)
  • account for setup: Administrator (VIKASH\Administrator)

Installing Citrix Licensing Server 11.13.1.2

Unpack the .zip file and start the installer.

lSrv_11.13.1.2_01

 

You will be presented with the screen below. Accept the license agreement and click on Next.

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Choose your installation path and click on Next.

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Next you will be presented by the port for the Licensing Server. Change it as you prefer, just make sure that it doesn’t interfere with services using those same ports on your server. Click on Next and the installation will begin.

lSrv_11.13.1.2_04

 

After the installation has finished, you will be presented with a summary screen. I selected the option not to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Experience Program. Make your choice and click on Finish.

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Now it is time to upload your license. Go to the Start Menu and start the Citrix License Administration Console.

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Your default browser will open with the correct URL for the Citrix License Administration Console. Click on “Continue to this website” to move past the SSL warning. We can fix this later, for now it is not important. Your session will be encrypted using the SSL certificate installed with the Citrix Licensing Server anyway.

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Click on Administration.

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You will be prompted to log on. Use your Domain Administrator (or the user used to install the Citrix Licensing Server) to log on. Click on Submit.

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Click on Vendor Daemon Configuration in the menu on the left site. Then click on Import License.

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Now click on Browse to locate your license file. Then click on Import License.

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Click on OK after the import is finished.

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The Citrix Licensing Server will only read the imported licenses after a reboot, or after the Citrix Licensing Server has been restarted. Let’s restart the license server. In the Run dialogue box enter services.msc and click on OK.

lSrv_11.13.1.2_13

 

Locate the Citrix Licensing service, select it and click on the reboot icon in the menu.

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Now switch back to your browser and reload (or re-open) the Citrix License Manager Console and go to the Dashboard. Your licenses should now be visible.

lSrv_11.13.1.2_15

How to setup and configure Citrix Licensing Server 11.13.1.2 Read More

Apple Airport Extreme “disable” DHCP and keep NAT

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Apple Airport Extreme is my home router and access point. Recently I wanted to use DHCP on my Synology NAS and disable it on the Airport Extreme. Guess what, when you disable DHCP on the Airport Extreme, it also disables NAT! Not what I had in mind. I am a fan of Apple products, and wanted to keep using the Airport Extreme for my WAN -> LAN connection (internet), because I am pleased with the performance and stability.

There are only three options to choose from:

  • DHCP and NAT (which I am using currently)
  • DHCP only
  • Off (Bridge Mode)

See the screenshot below:

airport_extreme_dhcp_01

None of the options suited my needs, so what I found out is that I can keep the DHCP and NAT option enabled, but deplete the DHCP servers IP address scope. So basically I am going to setup my DHCP server on the Airport Extreme with a scope of two IP addresses and then immediately reserve those ip’s with fake MAC addresses. This way the Airport Extreme will not be able to serve IP addresses in my network, and I can now setup another DHCP server to fit my needs. In another post I will explain why I need another DHCP server.

Let me walk you trough the procedure using the screenshots below.

First let’s start by opening the Airport Utility, select your Airport Extreme Base Station and click on Edit:

airport_extreme_dhcp_02

Then go to the Networking Tab and click on Network Options…:

airport_extreme_dhcp_03

Setup the DHCP scope according to the settings in the screenshot below. The IP address space on my LAN is 192.168.1.x. You can have another range, adjust it to your needs. So I basically setup a DHCP scope consisting of two IP addresses. When you’re done, click on Save.

airport_extreme_dhcp_04

Now we have to add the fake IP reservations. In the DHCP Reservations section click on the + sign.

airport_extreme_dhcp_05

I then add Dummy 1 and Dummy 2 clients using a fake MAC address. Click on Save

airport_extreme_dhcp_06

airport_extreme_dhcp_08

Now your Network tab should look something like this:

airport_extreme_dhcp_07

Click on Update and that’s it! DHCP is now “turned off” on the Airport Extreme, and you are free to use another DHCP server for more flexibility in your LAN.

 

Apple Airport Extreme “disable” DHCP and keep NAT Read More