Sunday, July 28, 2013

vSphere 5.1 VMware Tools Upgrade on XenDesktop Streamed VM (PVS 6.1) - Part II


First off, sorry for the delay folks. I have been getting a ton of positive feedback on part 1 and to be honest I just have not had time to blog like I used to. I am doing my best to make sure that I am more diligent about it from here on out, but I need you guys to keep motivating me! Anyhow, here's where we left off. I had just successfully reverse-imaged my vDisk back to my utility vm and booted the utility vm to the VMDK with the vDisk attached as a second drive. The vDisk needs to be in private mode so that we can make edits to it. 

From a console perspective here is what you should be seeing in PVS:

Maintenance VM booting to HDD

vDisk in private mode

Here is what your VM's hard drive config should look like right now:

Maintenance VM with VMDK as boot volume

What this setup means is that we are ready to make changes to our new base disk. Since we are booted to a physical hard drive on the VM rather than a streamed vDisk, the fact that VMware tools updates the NIC driver is no longer a problem. So lets get started!

Updating VMware Tools and the XenDesktop VDA

There is a specific order we have to do this in and that order is VMware Tools first, then the VDA. Even if the VDA doesn't need upgrading, we will need to reinstall it. This is because VMware Tools will also install a display driver that is not compatible with XenDesktop. When we update Tools, we are forced to reinstall the VDA so that the display issue gets fixed. So lets go ahead and do that.

After the reboot is done, we need to either reinstall, or upgrade the VDA. I am going to reinstall the 5.6 FP1 VDA as well as apply the latest hotfix rollup as of today.

In my environment I install the VDA using a command line flag to hard code the DDC in the registry (it's just a lab folks) you may have your DDCs published in a more efficient manner like GPO or something like that, but for the slackers like me here is the command to execute the VDA installer with the DDC as an argument, be sure to substitute your DDCs IP or hostname:

msiexec /i XdsAgent_x64.msi CONTROLLER_NAMES=

Then we probably want to double check the event logs when it comes back up to verify that the VM is successfully registering with the DDC:

So far.. so good.

Next install the hotfix rollup. I am not posting pictures of this because that's a lot of work and you literally run the installer and hit next a few times then reboot.

That's it! Now we need to go ahead and get this image back on the vDisk.

Image the VMDK back to the vDisk

This portion is going to be a little bit less verbose than when we were reverse imaging the vDisk to the VMDK in part I because this is essentially just the opposite of that process. If you are unclear on anything here just check out part I and extrapolate the details.

First we need to run BNImage, it's located at  C:\Program Files\Citrix\Provisioning Services and run BNImage.exe. Make sure your source drive is your VMDK and that your destination is your vDisk. Leave it alone till it successfully reboots.

Once it reboots and announces success, shut down the maintenance VM, set the maintenance VM to boot from vDisk and verify that the it successfully PXE boots and that it does in fact boot to the vDisk (vDisk should be C:\).

Once we verify it boots successfully, all we need to do is shut down the maintenance VM, set the vDisk to standard mode, assign the vDisk to the appropriate VMs in provisioning server, remove their existing, out of date vDisk and then reboot them, then we are all set.

Again, thanks for motivating me to get this done. I really appreciate you all reading my mind dumps here, and look forward to doing this as frequently as possible. Please leave any questions you might have here, or feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@onethirtyone). Later!