PVS or MCS – What’s Your Decision Going to Be


Note: This blog is in reference to Citrix XenDesktop 5.0 ONLY. Note: The following link contains the  latest discussion between PVS and MCS (https://virtualfeller.com/2016/05/17/pvs-vs-mcs-part-1-resource-delivery-options/) The decision between using Provisioning Services or Machine Creation Services is based on many things, with a few being discussed previously: Big Picture Operations Resource Requirements Let’s say you’ve gone through these discussions and are still trying to determine what approach you should take. Personally, I like to use decision trees, like the following: By answering these questions, you will get a better idea of what is most appropriate: Hosted VDI Desktops Only: Larger enterprise environments … Continue reading PVS or MCS – What’s Your Decision Going to Be

XenDesktop 5 Scalability – Site Capacity


When we last looked at XenDesktop 5 scalability, we really focused on the user experience in that users should not be required to wait longer than 2.5 seconds before the system responded to an authentication or launch request. We said that if the controller got very busy due to logon storms, we could add additional controllers to help lower the overall load and get us back to that 2.5 second goal. But guess what? The 2.5 second goal might require that we look at other aspects of the XenDesktop 5 architecture beyond the controllers. We already looked at the maximum … Continue reading XenDesktop 5 Scalability – Site Capacity

PVS or MCS – We Talking About IOPS Again


Deciding between PVS and MCS is a tough decision for many organizations. Although MCS is limited in that it can only do virtual machines, it does appear to be easier to setup than PVS. In fact, MCS just works while PVS requires another server and configuration of bootstrap processes like TFTP/PXE. So it sounds like we should be using MCS for everything. Right? Not so fast. We need to look at the resource requirements, beyond servers, as this might negate the benefit of easier setup/configuration. If you’ve gone through the other two discussions so far, we focused on the Big … Continue reading PVS or MCS – We Talking About IOPS Again

XenDesktop 5 Scalability – XenDesktop Controller Capacity


Think about the architecture of XenDesktop 5. One of the core components responsible for an acceptable user experience during the initial authentication and launch of the virtual desktop are the controllers. If these controllers get overloaded, it will take users longer to launch their virtual desktops. What is acceptable is based on the users and their requirements. But for this example let’s say when we hit the icon for the virtual desktop we expect a response within 2 seconds. How many controllers do I need for 5,000, 10,000, 15,000 or even 20,000 users? It really boils down to the logon … Continue reading XenDesktop 5 Scalability – XenDesktop Controller Capacity

PVS or MCS – Operations Is Important


As we continue to decide between using Provisioning Services or Machine Creation Services in an environment, we need to go beyond the Big Picture factor explained in a previous blog. The second thing we should look at is the operational aspect of the solution. Operational models are rather boring. Who cares about supporting the environment? Well, the users will care and so will you. First, both models require you to have an operational model in place so you can maintain the base desktop images. We all know Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is coming. How will you update your virtual … Continue reading PVS or MCS – Operations Is Important

Provisioning Services or Machine Creation Services… Big Picture Matters


Note: this is the first part in a multi-part discussion on PVS and MCS Since XenDesktop 5 came out, one of the biggest questions flying around is, “Should I use Provisioning Services (PVS) or Machine Creation Services (MCS)?” Both options work and both options provide single image management, but what is the right answer?  Is it shocking that this question is the wrong question to ask? What you should be asking is “What is my desktop virtualization solution going to look like?” Are we only doing Hosted VDI desktops? Do we need Local VMs? Are Hosted Shared Desktops in the mix? (Note: … Continue reading Provisioning Services or Machine Creation Services… Big Picture Matters

Planning the XenDesktop 5 Database


With XenApp and previous versions of XenDesktop, the database was just the storage repository for static information. We really didn’t spend much time thinking about the impact of the database on production environments. The databases were small. They databases didn’t have a big impact on the underlying system. So what about XenDesktop 5’s SQL Database? Let me just say that the database is now the King. What happens if you don’t plan your database appropriately? How about this: You run out of disk space You have a XenDesktop environment that fails You have poor enumerating and launching performance I’m not … Continue reading Planning the XenDesktop 5 Database