Provisioning Adobe CS6 with Citrix PVS

Adobe CS6 on provisioned desktops resets the license and therefore users receive a notification asking them to start a trial. After you ensure you have a volume license, you can follow the procedure below to successfully deliver this application through Citrix Provisioning Services.

1. Install Adobe CS6 in a Read/Write enabled image (Standard image) by specifying the license code and the account ID.

2. Install Adobe Application Manager, Enterprise edition downloadable here and start it by selecting Serialization File. Select a folder containing the installation files for Adobe CS6, insert the required license and login with your account ID. It will generate two files: AdobeSerialization.exe and prov.xml

3. Copy files to a directory inside the machine, create a bat file to be run as a scheduled task at user login, containing:

AdobeSerialization.exe --tool=VolumeSerialize --stream --provfile=prov.xml

4. Perform other tasks if needed before shutting down the R/W image, promote it to production and TADA!

Citrix PVS – 2012 R2 – Deduplication

Some buddy of mine is using PVS in a university to manage the students PC. They are serving the images out of raid mirrors of Intel DC S3500 SSDs to reduce the number of spindles installed on the Citrix PVS servers. It’s a cost efficient solution and since they don’t need to host the write cache, read optimised SSDs are best suited for this task.

Over time more and more images have been created for serving different hardware and use cases totaling  about 650 GB of used space on the SSD mirrors. Space started to run low so they decided to enable deduplication on the  2012 R2 PVS servers. Since there is almost no write activity on the disks, fear of write amplification caused by deduplication is not a real issue. The VDI optimised dedup was chosen even if there is no write activity, but due to the similarity of workloads and due to the fact that this way it’s possible to deduplicate also open files. No background deduplication is taking place and there is a single dedup schedule taking place during the night when images are  usually not served.

Space usage went down from 650 GB to 77 GB, impressive but expected, PVS images have great similarity also across different operating system versions. This setup is now in test phase and if no issues arise, deduplication will also be deployed in the remaining PVS servers.