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Using Windows 2008 EntEd Server Core with Hyper-V RC0, SCVMM 2008 Beta and XenDesktop

Using Windows 2008 EntEd Server Core with Hyper-V RC0, SCVMM 2008 Beta and XenDesktop

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image I was chatting with “Robin J Brandl” who is a Microsoft Technology Evangelist with Citrix. Robin as one of these guys I just love to chat to…. passionate about technology, great technical depth and a good laugh!!!!!

Robin and I where chatting on Virtualization and Citrix strategy and development. Wow there is some great stuff that is coming out of that shop!!! Seriously I was very very impressed! Anyway he told me about Gabe Carrejo’s blog. And an article on setting up from scratch XenDesktop with SCVMM and Server Core! There is a really good step-by-step guide that is great for newbies that are starting out! Well worth a dry run through and setting up for your self!

See the recipe that Gabe came up with below!

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Recipe is as follows…this assumes you are familiar with the XenDesktop Getting Started Guide here: http://support.citrix.com/article/ctx116931

Also, this is not meant to be a “How To” for setting up the XenDesktop components generally.

Disclaimer: DO NOT USE RC1, EVEN THOUGH IT IS AVAILABLE. Microsoft expects a version of SCVMM (which XenDesktop needs) that works with RC1 shortly, perhaps the week of June 9th.

Prerequisites:

· A separate Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista SP1 machine for remote management of HyperV
· SCVMM Beta 2008: http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/scvmm/downloadbeta.mspx
· XenDesktop 2.0 RTM: Available after logging into MyCitrix
· CoreConfigurator or CLI knowledge of Windows Server Core “programming”
· If you plan on using PVS for Vista in Standard Image mode, you will need a KMS license, with 25 activated physical machines in the network
· XenApp infrastructure – this “lipo’s” the footprint of the Operating System, and reduces the management of the guest OS significantly

HyperV System

1. Install Windows 2008 Core Services – don’t add any roles yet!
2. Assign ipaddress and computername: http://blogs.technet.com/keithcombs/archive/2007/11/04/windows-server-2008-core-screencast-series-watch-all-eight-parts-here.aspx
3. For non-CLI jockeys, download and install CoreConfigurator here: http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/blogs/guyt/archive/2008/03/22/windows-server-core-coreconfigurator-to-the-rescue.aspx

a. You just need to install to a Windows XP or Vista machine so you can copy over the 4 files that are extracted from the MSI to the W2K8 server. Once there, run CoreConfigurator.exe

4. Run windows update and obtain all High Priority hotfixes, before adding any roles. The easiest way to do this is to copy the .vbs script from here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa387102(VS.85).aspx, and run it local on the W2K8 server. If you enabled Updates via the CoreConfigurator utility, chances are by the time you are done with configuring all the other items, pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL will reveal 4 + updates ready to be installed.
5. Download and install KB919249, (you will need this prior to adding HyperV role) then use wusa.exe to install the msu: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/934307 
6. Remove any role packages not needed, if conserving local disk space is desired: http://blogs.technet.com/server_core/ CAUTION! 1-way operation, use at own risk!
7. Join the Domain, or not to join the domain, that is the question……I did. No reason not to, and I avoided those credential prompts when managing remotely. Used CoreConfigurator here again.
8. At this point the HyperV server is ready for the HyperV role. I used CoreConfigurator to add the HyperV “Feature”.

SCVMM Server/Guest VMs

1. Install Windows Server 2008 in a VM or on a Physical machine

a. If you are going to stand up a W2K8 machine on the same HyperV system as above, you will need to use Remote Server Management from the separate W2K8 machine, or the Vista SP1 machine with the following management tools pack installed: http://blogs.msdn.com/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2008/03/25/hyper-v-management-tools-available-for-vista-sp1.aspx

b. Creating the VM is pretty standard stuff, however you will find that there is not Virtual NIC built yet, so you will need to do that after creating the first VM. Make sure to use a Legacy Network Adapter for all guests.

c. When adding the NIC, the remote console will timeout, and if you had a RDP session to the HyperV server it will lose connectivity as well.

i. This is the FUN BIT. You will need to go back to the physical console and reconfigure the NIC HyperV added to a static IP address. When HyperV installs, it creates the virtual switch NIC, and recreates the previous physical NIC without preserving any settings! So now you will find that your DNS entry for the machine is out of sync as well.

2. Go back into the Settings of the W2K8 guest on HyperV (if you chose that route), and delete the Network Adapter, and re-add the Legacy Network Adapter, assigning it to the Physical NIC

a. Side Note for all Guest VMs: repeat step #2 for ANY guest VM you create for HyperV RC0.

i. Once started, prepare for your mouse to not function with any VM until you can install the optimization drivers into the guest. For Vista, that’s SP1, for XP that’s SP3, for 2008 it’s ready, for Windows 2003 SP2. It’s a bit painful, and you need to get used to using Tab, and the Spacebar a lot

ii. In my case, the Management Vista VM is being virtualized by XenServer and I was using XenDesktop ICA to this Vista machine, which was running Hyper-V management tools (I already had a XenServer infrastructure up…..takes about an hour).

iii. Use Windows Update (leveraging tabs, and spacebars) to get the 50+ updates, then copy locally SP1 to the VM guest, follow for XP, but with SP3….for Vista to get to that point is around 2-3 hours because of the Legacy Network Adapter and not having a mouse, and all the updates/SP1 to install

iv. Disable UAC, Firewall, Defender (if applicable), disable IPV6 on the NIC, disable Sidebar when windows starts, after updating turn off Windows Update, Turn Off System Restore, etc..

v. Then Sysprep the machine, unless you plan to use Provisioning Server (KMS licensing for Vista and VECD, or just VECD for XP)

1. I used Generalize for OOBE, and then Shutdown.
2. Back at the Hyper-V machine, I just copied the .VHD file for use as the template. Cloning using SCVMM is also an option here.

b. If you find the network throughput isn’t what you expected, or things are running slowly with Windows Update, etc, try the following

i. Inside this VM (and all others), disable TCP Offload by creating the following key:

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\TCPiP\Parameters
DWORD > DisableTaskOffload = 00000001

ii. Connect with REGEDIT to W2K8 machine and change TCP Offload settings on the properties of the NIC: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa938424.aspx

3. After all this, I had Terminal Services Role as well, and downloaded then installed XenApp 5.0 for Windows 2008 on this same box….works like a champ!

a. You can get that from here: http://www.citrix.com/English/ps2/products/subfeature.asp?contentID=1350143

Desktop Delivery Controller

1. Install W2K3 into a VM or a Physical Machine
2. Join to domain
3. Use Windows Update to obtain latest fixes
4. Download and install Powershell 1.0 from here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloadS/details.aspx?familyid=10EE29AF-7C3A-4057-8367-C9C1DAB6E2BF&displaylang=en

a. Powershell is a requirement for SCVMM 2008 Beta, but MS doesn’t include it in the installation

5. Run SCVMM Setup, and only select Administrative Console
6. Run through the defaults, you connect to the SCVMM system after install
7. Install the DDC software for XenDesktop

a. You need to reboot during this setup

8. Install the Web Interface framework for the Access Management Console from \en\Administration\Access Management Console\Setup\ASC_WebInterface.msi
9. Follow the Getting Started Guide for creating guest VM’s, licensing, PVS systems, etc.
10. We need to go back to the DDC one last time, and run the SCVMM admin console
11. Add the SCVMM server you created above, as a valid managed Host
12. Once done, you shouldn’t need to go back into the SCVMM console again….unless you add more hosts to the XenDesktop infrastructure

a. CAUTION: Do not remove the host after you have “mapped” desktops to a Desktop Group through SCVMM. If you do, you will have to go back into the DDC ASC and re-add the VMs.

13. Run the Access Management Console, and you should be able to “talk” to Hyper-V through SCVMM when selecting the Virtualization Infrastructure as Microsoft

b. Note: credentials will be in DOMAIN\username

Happy XenDesktop’ping!

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