Convert PVS images from XenServer to VMware

Merge PVS image to base

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Convert PVS images from XenServer to VMware

On a recent project, a customer had Citrix Provisioning Server 6.1 delivering XenApp and XenDesktop images to XenServer 6.0.2. They required a conversion of the XenApp and XenDesktop images to VMware vSphere 5.1 to simplify their DR plan. They also requested an upgrade to Provisioning Server 7.1 as part of the project.

Rather than rebuild each image, we decided to convert the images from VHD to VMDK and convert back to VHD for PVS 7.1 streaming to vSphere 5.1. Here are the steps we took to complete this task.

  1. Right-click the image and select Version…

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  1. Select Merge…

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  1. Select Merge Base and Maintenance Mode, click OK

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  1. Wait for the image to finish merging

OPTIONAL: While Windows makes the magic happen, open resource manager to monitor disk reads and writes on the VHD files.

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  1. Once the merge has completed, click Done.

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Create a Windows Server 2008 R2 NFS share for vSphere 5.1

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Convert PVS images from XenServer to VMware

Install Network File Services on one of the PVS hosts

  1. Select Add Roles from Server Manager

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  1. Select File Services, click Next

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  1. Select Services for Network File System, click Next

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  1. Select Install

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Once installed, create an NFS Share on the PVS host

  1. Create a folder on a drive that has adequate disk space and name it VMDKs
  2. Open the properties of the new folder, select the NFS Sharing tab, and select Manage NFS Sharing…

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  1. Configure the settings as displayed, and click Apply

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Add NFS Storage to a VMware ESXi host

  1. Open vCenter and select one of the ESXi hosts
  2. Select the Configuration tab and select Storage under the Hardware section
  3. Select Add Storage…

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  1. Select Network File System, click Next

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  1. Enter the PVS hostname and NFS share name created earlier, click Next

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  1. Select Finish

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  1. Once the NFS share has mounted check the Datastores to confirm its available to the host

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Convert VHD to VMDK

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Convert PVS images from XenServer to VMware
  1. Download and install StarWind V2V Converter on the PVS host
  2. Run StarWind V2V Image Converter

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  1. Click Next

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  1. Select the newly merged VHD file from the PVS Store, click Next

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  1. Select the appropriate VMware image format, click Next
    NOTE: In this case, the VHD file was a dynamic disk so we chose VMware growable image. Choosing the wrong image type may result in BSOD. This step might require trial and error if you are unsure of what to choose.

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  1. Select IDE for virtual disk type, click Next

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  1. Browse to the VMDK NFS share created earlier and provide a file name for the new VMDK, click Next

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  1. The conversion process will begin

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  1. Click Finish when complete

Create a new VMware VM with the converted VMDK

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Convert PVS images from XenServer to VMware
  1. Right-click an ESXi host that has access to the VMDK-NFS NFS Datastore created earlier and select New Virtual Machines…

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  1. Select Custom, click Next

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  1. Enter Name and Location, click Next

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  1. Select the VMDK-NFS NFS Datastore create earlier, click Next

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  1. Modify the Virtual Machine Version, Guest Operating System, CPUs, and Memory as necessary.  Proceed to the Network step.
  2. Select the appropriate Network and select the VMXNET3 adapter, click Next

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  1. Select LSI Logic SAS, click Next

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  1. Select Use an existing virtual disk, click Next

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  1. Browse to the converted VMDK file within the VMDK-NFS NFS Datastore, click OK

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  1. Select remaining defaults, click Finish

Update VM for Provisioning Server 7.1

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Convert PVS images from XenServer to VMware
  1. Right-click on the newly created VM and select Power On

update-vm_1

  1. For XenApp 6.x VMs, log in, and perform the following:
    • Uninstall Citrix Tools for Virtual Machines
    • Uninstall Provisioning Server target device software
    • Uninstall XenApp via the command line

update-vm_9

    • Uninstall any remaining XenApp 6.5 specific features.
    • Move the XenApp AD computer object to an OU that does not contain XenApp 6.5 specific policy settings
    • Reboot when complete.

NOTE: If you have difficulty logging in via RDP after the uninstall of XenApp 6.5, try deleting and recreating the RDP-Tcp connection in Remote Desktop Host Configuration

  1. For XenDesktop 5.x VMs, log in, and perform the following:
    • Uninstall Citrix Tools for Virtual Machines
    • Uninstall Provisioning Server target device software
    • Uninstall Citrix Virtual Desktop Agent
    • Uninstall Citrix Virtual Desktop Agent Core Services
    • Uninstall Personal vDisk
    • Uninstall Citrix Profile Management and any remaining XenDesktop 5.6 specific features
    • Reboot when complete

NOTE: After the uninstall is complete, check the services to ensure all Citrix related services are uninstalled from the system.  You may need to manually remove using the sc delete command.

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  1. After the VM has been rebooted, log in, and install VMware Tools.  Select defaults and reboot when the install is completed.

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  1. After the reboot, log in to the VM and perform the following:
    • Disable IPv6 if enabled on the ethernet adapter
    • For Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7 SP1, install KB2550978, reboot when complete
    • For Windows 2008 and Windows 7, install KB2344941, reboot when complete
    • Install Provisioning Server Target Device software 7.1, uncheck Launch Imaging Wizard, click Finish and reboot when complete
  2.  After the reboot, log in to the VM and perform the following to create the new VHD for Provisioning Server 7.1:
    • Run the Imaging Wizard

Screenshot - 12_13_2013 , 11_35_03 AM

    • Enter a Provisioning Server 7.1 IP or Hostname, click Next

Screenshot - 12_13_2013 , 11_39_32 AM

    • Select Create new vDisk, click Next

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    • Enter the info requested, click Next

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    • If you plan on using KMS or MAK activation, select that here and click Next

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    • Review/modify image volumes, click Next

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    • Enter the info requested, click Next

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    • Select Optimize for Provisioning Services, click Finish

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    • If you receive this message, click No

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NOTE: For our project, the Provisioning Server 7.1 environment was on the same subnet as the existing Provisioning Server 6.1 environment so we decided to use Boot Device Manager to create a Provisioning Server 7.1 boot ISO and boot this VM from CD.  This allowed us to continue to use the same subnet but avoid causing disruptions to the Provisioning Server 6.1 environment.  We also stopped and disabled the PXE service on the Provisioning Server 7.1 hosts.

      • If you decided to create a Boot ISO, perform the following:
        • Shutdown the VM
        • Mount the boot ISO to the VM in vCenter
        • Boot to the VMware BIOS
        • Update the VM BIOs boot order to boot from CD-ROM
        • Start the VM
        • At login, the Provisioning Server Imaging Wizard should begin creating the VHD file from the existing VMDK

Screenshot - 12_13_2013 , 1_15_59 PM

      • If you are using a separate subnet for Provisioning Server 7.1, perform the following:
        • Ensure your VM is on the same subnet as the Provisioning Server 7.1 host(s)
        • Ensure the PXE services are started on the Provisioning Server 7.1 host(s)
        • Shutdown the VM
        • Boot the VM to the VMware BIOs
        • Update the BIOs to boot from Network
        • Reboot the VM
        • At login, the Provisioning Server Imaging Wizard should begin creating the VHD file from the existing VMDK

Screenshot - 12_13_2013 , 1_15_59 PM

    • Once the image is created, shutdown the VM

Configure and deploy for XenDesktop 7.1

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Convert PVS images from XenServer to VMware
  1. Log into one of the Provisioning Server 7.1 hosts
  2. Change the newly created vDisk from Private mode to Standard and select the preferred method forCache type

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  1. Select the target device created earlier and modify the type to Maintenance and change to boot from vDisk

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  1. Right-click the target device and select Active Directory – Reset Machine Account Password…

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  1. Select the OU where the AD object exists and click Reset Account and Close

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  1. Add a vDisk version to the vDisk and add a property/description

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  1. Boot the VM
  2. Log in and install XenDesktop 7.1 Delivery Agent
    • Select the appropriate Virtual Delivery Agent installation based on the OS type (Desktop or Server)
    • Select Enable Remote PC Access

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    • Select the appropriate version of the VDA

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    • Select the Citrix Receiver if you plan on delivering hosted apps to the VMs created from this image

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    • Add the Delivery Controller(s)

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    • Select Personal vDisk if you are allowing some users to install their own applications

NOTE: This option is only available for Windows Desktop OS VDAs

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    • Accept remaining defaults and click Finish when complete and reboot

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    • Once the VM has rebooted, shut it down (update the Personal vDisk inventory if prompted)
  1. Create a VMware template from the VM used to create the image

NOTE: This step will ensure all target devices you create from this template will have identical virtual hardware.  This should prevent BSOD and any potential performance issues

    • Right-click the VM and select Clone to Template…

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    • Convert the newly created template back to a Virtual Machine

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    • Make any necessary modifications to the VM to match your preferred target device configurations

NOTE: You can remove local disks if you are using local disk write cache.  The XenDesktop Wizard in Provisioning Server 7.1 will perform this task as part of the target device creation.

Screenshot - 12_13_2013 , 3_07_58 PM

    • Right-click the modified VM and convert back to a template to prepare for Provisioning Server 7.1 target device creation

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  1. Log into the Provisioning Server 7.1 console and perform the following:
    • Promote the vDisk version to Production

Screenshot - 12_13_2013 , 2_50_55 PM

    •  Right-click on the site and select XenDesktop Setup Wizard…

NOTE: If it hasn’t been done already, configure the XenDesktop 7.1 farm to point to the vCenter server and specify a datastore for write cache and personal vDisks

Screenshot - 12_13_2013 , 2_53_53 PM

    •  Enter the XenDesktop Controller address and click Next

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    • When prompted, enter the XenDesktop Host Resources username and password

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    • Select the template created in step 9, click Next

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    • Select the vDisk, click Next
    • Create a new catalog or use an existing catalog, click Next
    • Select the appropriate OS type, click Next
    • Select a random or static desktop, click Next
    • Modify the virtual machine preferences as necessary, click Next

NOTE: Since we created the PVS 7.1 target devices on the same subnet as the PVS 6.1 target devices, we used a BDM disk which provides the Provisioning Server host information to the target device at boot.  It creates an 8 MB disk local to each VM and eliminates the PXE service requirement on the subnet.  This also eliminates the need to mount a boot ISO to each VM.

Screenshot - 12_13_2013 , 3_24_14 PM

    • Select Create new accounts, click Next
    • Specify the AD OU container and provide an account naming scheme, click Next
    • Click Finish

After the target devices were created, we checked XenDesktop and vCenter to confirm the devices came online, registered, and were configured correctly.  We then repeated these steps for each of the images we needed to convert.  If you have any questions about the process or run into issues while working through your project, please feel free to reach out to us via our Contact page.

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