by Ray Davis
We recently purchased a 28-Node Nutanix setup. We currently have a good chunk of Citrix VAD in VMware. During the design, I was a bit confused about what plugin went where. After looking back, it’s now very straightforward. With that in mind, I wanted to take the opportunity and put this little quick guide together so that people who go through this can understand what the plugins are and where they go. These plugins are what allow you to integrate Nutanix into CVAD infrastructure. Thank you, Kees Baggerman and Jarian Gibson, for all the advice.
- To get to the Nutanix Plugs for Citrix: https://portal.nutanix.com/page/downloads?product=ahv
- The link will discuss: https://portal.nutanix.com/page/documents/details?targetId=NTNX-AHV-Plugin-Citrix:ahv-plugin-prereq-ahv-pvs-r.html
- FEATURES & SUPPORTED SOFTWARE | NUTANIX AHV PLUG-IN FOR CITRIX XenDesktop: https://portal.nutanix.com/page/documents/details?targetId=NTNX-AHV-Plugin-Citrix:nut-ntnx-ahv-plugin-features-mcs-r.html
- Director: https://portal.nutanix.com/page/documents/details?targetId=AHV-Plugin-Citrix-Director-Installation-Guide-v1_1_2_0:AHV-Plugin-Citrix-Director-Installation-Guide-v1_1_2_0
Nutanix Plugin for Delivery Controllers.
You need to install the Nutanix AHV plugin for Citrix XenDesktop setup wizard on all of your delivery controller. Download the plugin as in the screenshot above.
- Install this for the MCS (Host connection Integration).
- You need to open PowerShell as an admin and install it in my experience lately.
- This part is for the HOST Connection for Studio.
This plug is what will allow you to add the host connections for the Nutanix Hypervisor.
Nutanix Director plugin:
Citrix Director plugin “Unable to connect to the host.”
To run this plugin, you need to run as admin. Right-click run as admin (It threw errors when connecting for me when I didn’t do this.)
- The install is straightforward.
- Create a local account in PE/PC.
- To run this plugin, you need to run as admin. Right-click run as admin. (It threw errors when connecting for me when I didn’t do this.)
- Setup the Connection.
The documentation says (I am a bit confused—however, it’s ok for me. I am submitting a feature request to get this adjusted):
Nutanix Plugin for PVS
Now, Select the install for MCS. For PVS, Select the install. This will allow you to integrate into the PVS console.
MCS and PVS Plugin overview
Deploying Machines with XD wizard.
If you are used to using the streaming setup in PVS, this section will help you.
Important considerations when using Nutanix Acropolis hypervisors
When using Nutanix, consider the following:
- Please do not delete the NIC of a provisioned VM and then re-add them.
- Linux VMs and BDM partitions are not supported.
- Only the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Setup Wizard are supported, not the Streamed VM Wizard.
- Acropolis hypervisors use snapshots for setup wizard device creation and not templates (like VMware) for VMs.
- Ideally, a snapshot used as a template for VDI does not have an attached hard disk because the Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor does not remove the hard disk during provisioning.
- When you deploy machines that boot from BDM ISOs, the ISO is mounted in the snapshot. The
- provisioned VMs are set to use PXE boot and must be manually changed to boot from virtual
- optical Drive.
- For PXE booting, you must use a command-line option to set the VM boot order to network before imaging.
- When manually adding a Nutanix AHV host using the Virtual Host Connection Wizard, not enough information exists to communicate with the Nutanix AHV hosting unit effectively. This information, provided by the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops DDC, is not shared with the Virtual Host Connection Wizard. As a result, this information is not used to verify credentials. Therefore, the Verify Connection button in the Virtual Host Connection Wizard is disabled for Nutanix AHV hosts.
- Acropolis hypervisors use snapshots and not templates for VMs. So, a snapshot will reflect in the PVS wizard as a template when using Acropolis.
- If using BDM iso, attach it and then deploy it with all the PVS Target.
Process Change from VMware Streamed to PVS XD Deployment Wizard.
The problem I had:
Typically, we attach a D drive to a VMware Image, then copy the machine and convert it to a template. Then, we use that template when deploying devices. We used the awesome BIS-F to move logs, WEM and to add some third party tools integrated into BIS-F. What we found was that the XenDesktop wizard adds a D drive during the creation of the PVS targets (which was cool). Before that, when I tried to seal it, it wouldn’t work and would error out because the Snapshot (which is a template in AHV) didn’t have a Drive. When I changed it not to use a D Drive in the BIS-F GPO settings, it would seal but leave everything in place on the C Drive. There may be a better way to do this, but I was used to how I did it and wanted something similar. I could have created a GPO and placed it on the targets, and maybe it would have moved it? I am not sure. So, we came up with these steps to achieve what we wanted:
- Take a snapshot of the VM in AHV before adding the Drive. We don’t want the template pushing the D Drive because once you provision machines, you will have a D Drive and an E drive (PVS will create it write cache in the wizard).
- Now after the snapshot, Add the Drive-in Prism Elect.
- Make sure you put the vDisk in Private mode so that we can add the Drive.
- Log in as Local Admin.
- When adding the D drive, only MBR is supported GPT will not work.)
- The Cache disk must be Basic Disk, not Dynamic.
- The format is with NTFS.
- Please give it a Drive letter, Shutdown the machine, Put it back into Standard mode.
- Boot back up into a maintenance mode.
- Now you can run the BIS-F, and this will get moved to the D Drive.
- Now when deploying new machines, select the Snapshot in the that PVS wizard shows form AHV (which doesn’t have the Drive). You took this before adding the hard disk.
- Deploy the machines. They allow PVS to create its unique write-cache drive.
- Once the PVS Targets are up, you will see it has a D Drive (created by the PVS wizard). You will also notice it will have what you did in the image with the logs etc.
This is really a Snapshot. AHV will use it as a template from the PVS side.