Citrix Provisioning Server 7.7 What’s New
Together with its release of Xen Desktop/App 7.7 Citrix has released a new version of Citrix Provisioning Server 7.7.
So before we look at the new features which are in this version I am about to upgrade my home-lab. My home-lab PVS server is version 7.6
In a production environment one should follow the following guidelines provided by Citrix.
Provisioning Services supports upgrading to the latest product version from versions starting with 5.1 SP1.
Before attempting to upgrade a Provisioning Services farm:
- Select a maintenance window that has the least amount of traffic
- Back up the Provisioning Services database
- Back up all vDisks
Remember: Mirror if you are in a high-availability scenario; for more information, see Database Mirroring. No special action is required during the upgrade once mirroring is set up.
To upgrade from a previous Provisioning Services farm, complete the following procedures:
- Upgrade the first Provisioning Server, which upgrades the Provisioning Services database.
- Upgrade Consoles. The Console is a separate executable that can be installed on upgraded servers (PVS_Console.exe or PVS_Console_64.exe). Citrix recommends upgrading Provisioning Services server and console software at the same time for each Provisioning Server system in the farm. Remote Consoles can be upgraded at any time.
- Upgrade the remaining Provisioning Servers within the farm.
- Upgrade vDisks.Caution: If you are upgrading a Provisioning Services vDisk within a XenDesktop deployment, upgrade the Provisioning Services master target device software before upgrading the XenDesktop VDA software.
The Upgrade Wizard includes the following utilities:
The UpgradeAgent.exe runs on the target device to upgrade previously installed product software.
So let’s go forward upgrading the existing environment.
First I will start with the Console installation.
Accept the license agreement.
Click on Install to continue
After the installation has copied the new files , you can start the Provisioning Server Console… And you can check the version which should be 7.7
After installing the console we continue with installing/upgrading the server installation.
Click on next to continue.. you should see some new files being copied on your system, there is not really an nice gui
After the installation the PVS configuration wizard will popup.
Just go thru this configuration Wizard as usual, and select “Farm is already configured”
After upgrading the Console and Server you could check the versions which are installed.
Notice the fact that you also have to update the “Citrix PVSUpgrade Wizard” separately.
After removing you must run the setup again. At least in my environment there was no upgrade feature.
New features in PVS 7.7
The following new features are available with Provisioning Services 7.7:
Support for Microsoft Windows 10
- Enterprise, Professional and Education editions
- WHQL certified
- Support both Bios and UEFI
- KMS and MAK Licenses
In-place upgrade of target device software.
Rather than reverse-imaging, you can install a new version of the target device software without having to manually uninstall the previous version. To do an in-place upgrade from version 7.6 to version 7.7 you must first install version 7.6.1.
Support for UEFI pre-boot environments.
This enables you to stream at startup time using gigabit network speeds, so users experience faster startups, and to use disks over 2 TB.
License grace period
The licensing grace period for Provisioning Services has changed from 96 hours to 30 days, for consistency with XenApp and XenDesktop. Previously there where 2 grace periods. The Out of the Box grace period of 30 days. And the PVS grace period which was 4 days. This is extended to 30 days.
During the configuration wizard, you will see the following screen, this is also new
Enhance PVS management
The Provisioning Services API has been enhanced to provide a standard object-oriented PowerShell interface that enables you to integrate your products and tools easily with Provisioning Services.
vGPU-enabled XenDesktop machines can be provisioned using the Provisioning Services XenDesktop Setup Wizard, rather than manually or by using the Provisioning Services Streamed Virtual Machine Setup Wizard. You can provision machines on VMware vSphere 6.0 as well as on XenServer 6.2. sp1
Gen 2 Server VM
System Center Virtual Machine Manager Generation 2 VMs can be provisioned through Provisioning Services. Generation 2 VMs are optimized for modern workloads: the operating system does not carry the overhead of legacy drivers, devices and x86 architectures.
Provisioning Services uses a new algorithm that is compliant with Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS). You can apply this via a policy
XenApp Session Recording
XenApp Session Recording is automatically available by default on all machines: you do not need to use a manual workaround.
Streaming VHDX formatted disks
This feature adds flexibility and efficiency to image and merging operations by letting you stream VHDX files as well as VHD files. Provisioning Services recognizes and uses the file format .vhdx as the extension for base disks and .avhdx for differencing disks (also known as versions). No configuration of this feature is necessary.
You perform all image manipulation functions, such as deleting or merging vDisks, or creating new versions, in the Provisioning Services console the same way for both formats.
So I must say some good and nice enhancements in this new version.
I truly hope Citrix will continue building in new stuff. For instance
- Integration of Provisioning Server configuration in Xen Desktop Studio
- Maybe integration within Citrix Director. So we can do some real time monitoring
- More cloud integration
- How will the AppDisk evolve with PVS