Monday, August 04, 2008

Citrix Provisioning Server 5.0 (Project Charles) enters Release Candidate Status

Well I am now allowed to blog about the upcoming release of Citrix Provisioning Server 5.0.

Quickly though if you don't know what Citrix Provisioning Server is or does, take a look at this video. The video shows 150 desktops being provisioned with Windows XP, then changed to Windows Server, different versions of Linux and Vista instantly with a few mouse clicks. Which a better quality version can be downloaded from here to justify buying it to your boss. (note I suggest you right click on the above link and choose save target as and save the video to your local drive to view it)

Provisioning Server is also the magic behind Citrix Xenserver. So it is good idea to start learning about it if you want to use it to provison your servers.

I have been beta testing this product for several weeks and can tell you that it is spectacularly different than the 4.5 (1.0) product that Citrix purchased from Ardence and renamed.

Version 5.0 can be considered a grown up version of the 4.5 (really 1.0) product! While PVS 1.0 was a simple click install with few choices in the console for changing things and proprietary vdisk, version 5.0 begins to build standards and look like a product that is truly ready for the enterprise!

PVS 5.0 Datacenter version adds management improvements such as Role Based Administration that grant admin access rights based on Active directory group membership. Farm partitioning is available that allows the management of large server farms with the ability to group several provisioning server hosts, servers and vdisks into separately managed sites.

And the best part the new UI is a Microsoft Management console Snap in that lets you integrate PVS with your existing mmc's!

New in this version is the ability to use Microsoft Virtual Hard disks (VHD) for the vdisk and also customers can use Microsoft SQL Server for the backend database. There is also Windows 2008 streaming functionality that enables provisioning of physical and virtual W2K8 servers including the ability to stream Microsoft Hyper V to bare metal servers making it possible to dynamically configure servers to run a single, dedicated workload or be virtualized to run multiple workloads.

For a sneak peak at the console click here

PVS 5 introduces the concept of sites and stores. Stores are A logical name given to a physical storage location for vDisks. The store is used by all Provisioning Servers within a farm to refer to a shared storage location.

Sites is a container that groups a vDisk Pool, PVS Servers and Device Collection. A site can represent a physical or logical location… Citrix designed the GUI so you the administrator can create a hierarchy that makes sense to you!

The addition of sites and stores give administrators the flexibility to set up multiple PVS in multiple sites and locations and use multiple storage areas.

PVS 5 also introduces High Availability options among many other great new features.

As I test and learn more I will post here.

There seems to be a PVS 5 at Citrix here and Here is Pete Downing's video Gus Pinto recorded from a few months back at Citrix Synergy talking about PVS 5.0

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, checkout this Citrix alternative that looks like where Desktop Provisioning is heading towards in the future.