Migrate MCS Master Image to PVS

I am currently working on a project that involves moving an Machine Creation Services (MCS) master image to Provisioning Services (PVS). While I found Citrix’s White Paper to be particularly useful in getting started, the process may prove to be a little more complicated in conjunction with personal vDisk (PvD).


Here is a description of the technology used for this particular environment:

  • VMware vSphere 5.1 Infrastructure,
  • Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 Site and
  • Windows 7 Professional Virtual Desktops with PvD.

Importance of User Profile Management

Now this part is particularly important to note – if you are not using a profile management solution like Citrix User Profile Manager (UPM) or AppSense Personalization Server, and simply keeping the user’s profile data stored on the PvD, then you should rethink your migration. Keeping user profile data on the PvD, which is a static mapping to the virtual desktop, makes this a persistent virtual desktop and not something I would recommend after dealing with many PvD corruptions.

As PvD is not mentioned in Citrix’s White Paper, I tried very hard to preserve the PvD in the migration process. Unfortunately, I was unable to as the XenDesktop Wizard in PVS wanted to create its own PvD to manage.

It goes without saying that any User Installed Applications (UIA) were lost in the process. However, thanks to having a profile management solution in place, the PvD became mostly disposable and made for a mostly non-persistent virtual desktop. And once you have a profile management solution in place, you should check out Nick Rintalan’s post on modifying the split in PvD.

Migration Process

Prior to performing any migration, consider the following points that can result in either poor performance or will break the image altogether.

  • VMXNET3 vNIC should be installed on the master image and any references to a different vNIC should be removed in Device Manager.
  • If you are going to create a wC overflow volume on the master image, pay special attention to the SCSI locations!
  • 256 MB RAM Cache for the wC is based off PVS 7.1 recommendations from Citrix.
  • Base virtual desktop memory is only 1 vCPU and 2 GB RAM because I am using AppSense Performance Manager to get more performance with less hardware.



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