I cannot seem to find a better title for this post so I guess it will stay as it is.
This week my friend Carl Webster emailed me about the maximum number of PVS servers on a site. I told him that as far as I was aware of, there was no such limit. Months ago I was asked the same question by a customer and also questioned regarding the two PVS servers we can enter when creating an ISO using BDM.
And that is the reason for this post.
As Carl found out after reaching out some Citrix internal people, there is indeed no limit to the number of PVS servers on a site.
Regarding the maximum number of servers we can enter on BDM (two) or the bootstrap file has nothing to do with the maximum number of PVS servers on the site. It simply gives you the initial servers that will be contacted and after that, any server on the site that can serve that vDisk will handle the connection (unless you do subnet affinity).
The four server limit on the bootstrap has to do with the 32k bootstrap limit on the PXE specifications as pointed out by one of the guys on the PVS product group.
So just keep that in mind. The limit is for the initial login and has nothing to do with PVS farm limits.
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As part of one of our Citrix projects, we are helping out a customer with a brand new XenApp 6.5/XenDesktop 5.6 deployment. For the pilot we do not intend to run more than 20-30 users so the typical Citrix evaluation license should do the trick. These are usually good for 90-days/99-users what in most cases is all you need to see how things work, how they perform and so on.
My initial thought was to go on the Citrix website and grab evaluation licenses. Simple, correct? Well not that simple as it turned out. The Citrix XenApp license, not a problem at all. You simply select you want to do-it-yourself and after entering some information you do get a license key that you can fulfil on MyCitrix so you end up with your .LIC file. Perfect.
Problem is for XenDesktop it is not like that for some unknown reason and it should be. After you select the DIY route, first it assumes you will use the Express version (so you get 10-users). Once you enter all the info you see the following screen:
As you can see on the right there is indeed a “Try XenDesktop Platinum Edition” link and I though that would be all I needed. So there I clicked…
So what do we get? Oh, a 404 error. The page is nowhere to be found and you cannot get your XenDesktop Platinum trial license. Grrrrr.
Extremely annoying and a shame that for a flagship product for Citrix like XenDesktop, there is no damn anyone at least testing the stupid website to make sure potential customers can at least get a trial license.
And please do not give me the bullshit that all they need is to contact a reseller.
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As you guys know I was experiencing all sorts of issues with XenDesktop 5.5. Most of the time, when trying to connect from a Mac OSX Lion client with the latest OSX receiver, the connection would just sit there, trying to do something. Probably 5% of the time it would succeed. From a Windows 7 endpoint it would work most of the time but still fail here and there. The only reliable client was the iPad where it would work pretty much all the time.
Given the time I had on my hands over the holidays I decided to take a look at the issue and was able to fix it. The problem is simple: do NOT use anything other than full XenDesktop 5.5 components all across the board. That means if your DDCs are 5.o or 5.0 SP1, do not BOTHER using them. Even though Citrix states you can indeed use older components, the reality is you are way better off using the latest and greatest components. The latest VDA with older DDCs may work for some but after using (trying to) this combination since 5.5 was released my findings show it is not stable and IMHO not worth following this path.
So if you are going to XenDesktop 5.5 make sure you plan to go it all the way. Every single component updated. It will save you a lot of troubles down the road. Plus as soon as you call Citrix for support, the first thing they will tell you is to upgrade all to 5.5…
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