NVIDIA GRID K2 VGPU with Citrix XenServer part 3 – VM deployment and drivers installation

This post is a part of following series:

Ok, at this point we already have our XenServer working with NVIDIA GRID K2 card and I’d like to directly move on to the test results, but to be honest – my GRID card is still useless since I can’t use it directly in any VM just like that 😉 To actually have some fun with GRID card,  we need to  deploy at least single VM Server for Citrix XenDesktop (Delivery controller and License server) and one VM Client (which will be used as our Master Image) – all of these are really nicely described on citrix webpages (which I quoted from at some points of this article).

We gonna start with the installation of XenDesktop Delivery Controller and License server. XenDesktop 7.6 ISO file will start with following window, where you should select XenDesktop option:

delivery_controller

Choosing XenDesktop option will lead you to the selection of available features. XenDesktop infrastructure requires at least one Delivery Controller. It is also possible to install VDA (Virtual Delivery Agent) on Desktop / Server, but we will only need it on those, which are going to host any desktops or appliacations.

xen_desktop_features

Since we are installing new environment, push the “Delivery Controller” button to start the installation process and then accept the license agreement. On the next window you will see selection of XenDesktop core components that you can install.

  • Citrix StoreFront – StoreFront enables you to create enterprise app stores that aggregate resources from XenApp 7.x, XenApp 6.x, XenDesktop, XenMobile® App Controller and Citrix VDI-in-a-Box.
  • Citrix Studio – Studio enables you to configure and manage XenApp and XenDesktop deployments. Studio provides various wizards to guide you through the process of setting up your environment, creating desktops and assigning desktops to users.
  • Citrix Director – This web-based tool enables IT support and helpdesk teams to monitor XenApp and XenDesktop environments, troubleshoot issues before they become system critical and perform support tasks for end users.
  • Delivery Controller – The delivery controller is responsible for distributing applications and desktops, managing user access and optimizing connections to applications. One or more delivery controllers make up a single site.
  • Virtual Delivery Agent – The agent, which is installed on the virtual or physical machines hosting applications to be delivered to users, enables these machines to register with the delivery controllers. It also manages the HDX connection between the hosted applications and Citrix Receiver.

xen_desktop_core_components2

In a production environment, it is best practice to install the core components on separate servers for high availability and resource scaling., but for this test environment, we will install all components on a single server. In the next steps you will be asked about SQL database (for test purposes – Express edition is enough, for production environment you most likely will use your own database server / cluster), firewall rules, and confirmation of selected installation options. Simply do “Next”, “Next”, “Install”, “Finish”.

As soon as your Delivery Controller is installed you can start Citrix Studio and beign configuration of new XenDesktop farm.

citrix_studio

Citrix Studio will start up with three options: Site Setup, Remote PC Access and Scale your deployment. Select Site Setup to configure new site for our tests. You will need to specify database and licences information. As licences server you should specify localhost on port 27000 and can use trial licences for test purposes.

citrix_licences

As soon as this part is done, you can start Citrix StoreFront console in order to configure first Store. Easiest way to do that is Create a Store option in the main window.

citrix_store

All you need to do is specify a name of Store and select your Delivery controller(s). Do not configure VPN unless you know that you need it.

Now, on your XenServer you have to create single VM with Windows 7 or higher. In the first step, install XenServer tools and NVIDIA GRID K2 drivers (drivers should be taken from the same package you downloaded for XenServer installation – drivers version should match between VM and Server). Now you can mount and run XenDesktop ISO. On the installation window select Virtual Delivery Agent for Windows Desktop OS  option.

vda-clientos

We want to create master image out of this VM so in the first selection, make sure you choose that option.

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On the next window, select option Yes, install the VDA for HDX 3D Pro to enable HDX features in our master image.

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You can either specify delivery controllers manually or let MCS do that for you (preffered option).

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We do need all the features for our 3D applications and tests, so I’ll select all of them besides Personal vDisk since I don’t really want to save any changes in VMs (all user data is discarded at VM reboot).

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Then only thing left are firewall settings – installation wizard can take care of all these things for us, just select Automatically and we are good to go.

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Since we have our Master Image ready, we can create machine catalog and delivery group now. To create Machine Catalog, open up your Citrix Studio and from the “Machine Catalogs” tab, in the right pane click on Create Machine Catalog link:

machine_catalog

In the Setup Wizard you should select operating system as Windows Desktop OS (as installed on our Test VM) and let MCS create new VM as needed:

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In the Desktop Experience window you can either use static or random desktops – for test purposes I’ll use random desktops, for productive environment you should consider other options.

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In the Master Image window, just select your VM and VDA version (latest one). Next steps will let you choose kind and amonut of resources you want to assign to VMs and how many VMs you want to create. As soon as this part is done, you should have your Virtual desktops deployed and ready for use. Now we can create a Delivery Group to finally deliver Desktops to the end users.

In the Delivery Groups tab’s right pane click on the Create Delivery Group  option. New window will pop-up – there’s not really much to do – just specify a name of delivery group, select Machine Catalog that should be used and in the Delivery Type select Desktops only.

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As soon as this is done you can use your Citrix Receiver to start a desktop VM.

In the next part of this article I’ll publish some test resutls so you can have an idea of the performance difference between physical and virtual environment.

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