MED-V: Creating and deploying images, workspaces

In this chapter excerpt, you will learn the necessary steps to prepare, deploy and create MED-V images and workspaces in your customers' environments.

Solutions provider takeaway: There are a number steps to take when creating MED-V images, including packing the tested image and and uploading or extracting the image, and this chapter excerpt offers the necessary steps to complete the process. You will also learn how to create and deploy MED-V workspaces for your customers.

About the book
This chapter excerpt on Deploying Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (download PDF) is taken from the book Mastering Microsoft Virtualization.

Solutions providers will get detailed information on Microsoft's virtualization products and expert advice on how to deploy a complete virtualization stack with Microsoft's server virtualization offerings. This book also covers topics such as Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2, installing and configuring Remote Desktop Services and the best practices for working with virtualized desktop infrastructures.

Preparing, Deploying, and Updating MED-V Images and
Workspaces

Now that the MED-V solution components have been installed and configured on the required servers and clients, the environment is ready to create and prepare VPC images, create test MED-V Workspace images, and deploy MED-V workspace images. The following sections pro-vide an overview of this process.

Create and Prepare a VPC Image for MED-V

A MED-V Workspace image consists of a Virtual PC (VPC) virtual machine that has been properly prepared for the MED-V environment. The preparation consists of the following steps:

  1. Create the virtual machine image with the Microsoft Virtual PC Console. As mentioned before, Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1 with KB 958162 update is required. In this instance, we will use VM configuration settings of 512 MB memory and hard disk size of 65 GB.
  2. Start the new virtual machine and install Windows XP SP2/SP3 or Windows 2000 SP4 in the VPC virtual machine. Note that the MED-V solution requires this Windows client operating system to use a Volume License Key (VLK).
  3. Install the VPC Virtual Machine Additions on the virtual machine.
    1. On the Virtual PC VM Console menu, select Action → Install Or Update Virtual Machine Additions.
    2. On the Would You Like To Install Or Update The Virtual Machine Additions Now? window, click Continue.
    3. On the Welcome To Setup For Virtual Machine Additions window, click Next, and the installation process will begin.
    4. On the Setup Completed window, click Finish and Yes to restart Windows.
  4. Install Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 on the virtual machine. Microsoft .NET Frame-work 2.0 SP 1 can be downloaded from www.microsoft.com/downloads.
  5. Install any additional software, such as utilities and applications.
  6. Install MED-V Workspace software, and run the VM Prerequisites tool on the virtual machine.
    1. Run the MED-V installation file MED-V_Workspace_1.0.72.msi in the virtual machine.
    2. On the Welcome To The InstallShield Wizard For MED-V screen, click Next.
    3. Review the License Agreement screen, and if you accept the terms, select I Accept The Terms In The Agreement, and click Next.
    4. On the Ready To Install Program screen, click Install.
    5. On the InstallShield Wizard Completed screen, select the check box for launching the VM Prerequisites tool and click Finish. Note that you can also run this tool from Start → All Programs → MED-V → MED-V VM Prerequisites Wizard.
    6. Review the MED-V VM Prerequisite Wizard Welcome screen, and click Next.
    7. Review the Windows Settings screen, accept the default settings, and click Next.
    8. Review the Internet Explorer screen, accept the default settings, and click Next.
    9. Review the Windows Services screen, accept the default settings, and click Next.
    10. On the Windows Auto Logon screen, select the check box for Enable Windows Auto Logon, enter a valid username and password, and click Apply.
    11. On the MED-V pop-up screen, when asked if you want to apply all the changes now, click Yes.
  7. Review the Summary screen, and click Finish.
  8. Test the newly created VPC image to ensure that the virtual machine, Windows operating system, and applications are running properly.
  9. The next step is to run the System Preparation Utility (Sysprep) on the Windows operating system. In this instance we will follow the steps below. For more information on how to use Sysprep, please refer to technet.microsoft.com.
  1. Create a directory called Sysprep on the root directory of the Windows XP VM.
  2. From the Windows XP media or www.microsoft.com/downloads, copy the Deploy Cabinet file to the VM. This file is located on the Windows XP media in the \support\tools directory.
  3. Extract the setupmgr, sysprep, and setupcl files from to the sysprep directory.
  4. Run the extracted setupmgr (Microsoft Setup Manager Wizard) file. Follow the Setup Manager Wizard, and create a new answer file, choose Sysprep setup, choose the correct product version, accept the terms of the licensing agreement (only if you agree to them), enter the name and organization, accept the default display settings, enter the time zone, enter the Volume Licensing Key (VLK) product key, select to auto generate the computer name, enter an administrator password, select network components, enter the workgroup or domain, enter Telephony settings, enter Regional settings, select a language, install printers, and enter additional commands and an identification string if appropriate. Click Finish, and save the answer file by clicking OK. Once Setup Manager is complete, close the Completing Setup Manager window.
  5. Run the extracted sysprep file. Follow the Sysprep wizard, clicking OK to run Sysprep, selecting to use Mini-Setup, and clicking the Reseal button. Click OK to regenerate SIDs. The Sysprep process will begin and when completed will shut down Windows and stop the VM.

Creating a MED-V Image

After the VPC virtual machine has been created and prepared for the MED-V environment, you can upload it into the Image Repository. The process for creating a test image, packing the tested image, and uploading or extracting the image is described next.

The first step to adding our newly created VPC virtual machine into the MED-V environment is to create a test image. The steps for creating a test image are as follows:

Creating a Test Image

  1. From PC1 client launch the MED-V Management Console from Start → All Programs → MED-V → MED-V Management or from the MED-V Management desktop shortcut.
  2. Select the Images icon.
  3. Under Local Test Images, select New.
  4. On the Test Image Creation dialog box, click Browse, select the Windows VM Settings file for the Windows XP image we just created, and click Open. Enter an image name and click OK. The Image Creation dialog box is shown in Figure 16.6. The process will create a new directory on the Management Console's local hard disk at C:\MED-V_Images\imagename. The directory includes a GlobalImageData XML file and Test directory. The Test directory includes an ImageState XML file and the image's Virtual Machine Settings file.

After a test image has been created and tested, you can further prepare the image by packing it. The packing process compresses the image and stores it on the Management Console's local hard disk at C:\MED-V_Images\PackedImages. Two packed image files are created: the Kidaro Compressed Machine (imagename.ckm) file and the Index file (imagename.ckm.index) file.

Packing an Image

  1. In the MED-V Management Console, select the Images icon.
  2. Under Local Test Images, select the test image we created earlier and click Pack.

The packing process will begin with the Packing The Image Files screen displaying the process and status, as shown in Figure 16.7. This process may take several minutes to complete.

Once a MED-V image has been packed, it can be uploaded. The uploading process copies the packed image files to the Repository Server, where it is available for client deployments.

Uploading a Packed Image

  1. In the MED-V Management Console, select the Images icon.
  2. Under Local Packed Images, select the image we just packed and click Upload.
  3. The action will begin with the Uploading screen displaying the process and status, as shown in Figure 16.8.

Figure 16.6 Test Image Creation dialog box

Figure 16.7 Packing The Image Files screen

Figure 16.8 Uploading the image

Creating a MED-V Workspace

The process to create a MED-V Workspace requires creating the Workspace in the MED-V Management Console and configuring settings in eight areas: General, Virtual Machine, Deployment, Applications, Web, VM Setup, Network, and Performance. The process for creating and configuring a MED-V Workspace is provided below:

  1. Launch the MED-V Management Console.
  2. Select the Policy icon.
  3. Under the Workspaces pane on the right side of the console, click the Add button to create a new Workspace, which we will configure in the following steps.
  4. Configure the General settings. The General configuration settings include areas for defining Workspace Properties, Workspace UI, and Host Verification.
    1. Click the General tab.
    2. Under the Workspace Properties settings, enter the name of the Workspace, its description, and support contact information. In this instance, we will accept the default name of Workspace.
    3. For the Workspace UI settings, you can choose Seamless Integration or Full Desktop. Accept the default settings of Seamless Integration and Draw A Frame Around Each Workspace Window.
    4. For Host Verification, accept the default settings, leaving the command line blank. Don't select the check box for not starting the Workspace if the verification fails. This setting enables a command to be run and verified on the host prior to starting the Workspace.

    The General tab is shown in Figure 16.9.

    Figure 16.9 General tab

  5. Configure the Virtual Machine settings. The Virtual Machine configuration settings include areas for defining Virtual Machine Settings, Lock Settings, and Image Update Settings.
    1. Click the Virtual Machine tab.
    2. For the Virtual Machine Settings, select the Windows XP image that we created in an earlier step as the Assigned Image. Select the Workspace Is Revertible radio button. A revertible VM is a MED-V Workspace image that returns to its original state after each session. Leave the Synchronize Workspace Time Zone With Host option at its default setting of being selected.

      A Workspace can also be configured to be persistent. A persistent VM is a MED-V Workspace image that saves its state after each session. Other options for a persistent Workspace include shutting down the VM when stopping the Workspace, logging into Windows, running in the VM, and using MED-V credentials to support Single Sign-on (SSO).

    3. Under Lock Settings, accept the defaults of not enabling the Workspace to be locked during host standby or hibernation and the related option to lock the Workspace after a specific amount of idle time.
    4. Accept the default Image Update Settings of not enabling the Keep Only (#) Old Image Versions and Suggest Update When A New Version Is Available. Also accept the default setting of enabling Clients Should Use Trim Transfer When Downloading Images For This Workspace. Trim Transfer is a MED-V technology that optimizes the process of deploying or updating a Workspace image to a client. Prior to MED-V deploying an image to a client, Trim Transfer indexes the client hard drive and compares this data to the Workspace image, looking for duplicated operating system and application data. Once this process is complete, Trim Transfer will transfer only image data from the Repository Server that doesn't already reside on the client hard disk, minimizing the amount of data transferred, optimizing network bandwidth, and reducing deployment and update time.

    The Virtual Machine tab is shown in Figure 16.10.

    Figure 16.10 Virtual Machine tab

  6. Configure the Deployment settings. The Deployment configuration settings include areas for defining which users and groups have access to the Workspace, Workspace expiration data, offline restriction, data transfer behavior, and device control.
    1. Click the Deployment tab.
    2. For the General settings, select Enable Workspace For 'Everyone.' You can add or remove users and groups by clicking the Add or Remove button under the Users / Groups pane on the left. Leave the check boxes for Workspace expiration and offline work restriction unchecked.
    3. For the Data Transfer settings, select the check boxes for Support Clipboard Between Host And Workspace and Support File Transfer Between The Host And Workspace. Note that we are enabling these settings for the purpose of evaluating these fea-tures in a MED-V test environment. If you are deploying MED-V in a production environment, configure these settings based on your organization's guidelines and policies.
    4. For the Device Control settings, select the check box for Enable Printing To Printers Connected To The Host and Enable Access To CD / DVD. We are enabling these set-tings for the purpose of evaluating these features in a MED-V test environment. If you are deploying MED-V in a production environment, configure these settings based on your organization's guidelines and policies.

    The Deployment tab is shown in Figure 16.11.

  7. Configure the Applications settings. The Applications configuration settings include areas for defining which applications and menus that exist on the image are published for this MED-V Workspace.
    1. Click the Applications tab.
    2. Add published applications. Click the Add button under the Published Applications area and type Notepad in the Description field and notepad.exe in the Command Line field. You can enter other applications in a similar manner.
    3. Figure 16.11 Deployment tab

    4. Enter the appropriate menus in the Published Menus section. Click the Add button under the Published Menus area and type Accessories for the Description and Folder In Workspace fields. Note that you can include all folders by entering a backslash (\) in the Folder In Workspace field. Leave the Start Menu Shortcuts Folder field with the default entry of MED-V Applications.

      Application shortcuts can also be created for MED-V Workspace published applications on the host desktop by using the following command: "drive letter:\program files\microsoft enterprise desktop virtualization\manager\kidarocommands.exe" /run "published application name" "MED-V Workspace name". You can find more information about the use of Kidaro commands by typing "drive letter:\program files\microsoft enterprise desktop virtualization\manager\kidarocommands.exe" /help.

    The Applications tab is shown in Figure 16.12.

  8. Configure the Web settings. The Web configuration settings include areas for defining web-browsing behavior for the Workspace and host.
    1. Click the Web tab.
    2. For the Web Browsing settings, select the check box Browse The List Of URLs Defined In The Following Table. In The Workspace will be selected by default. Click the Add button located in the lower-right side of the Web Browsing area. We will leave the Type field with the default setting of Domain. Note that this field can be set to Domain Suffix, IP Suffix, or All Local Addresses. Enter www.microsoft.com in the Value field.
    3. Select the check box Browse All Other URLs and the radio button In The Host.
    4. Leave the check box Always Browse ''Mailto'' Links blank.

    The Web tab is shown in Figure 16.13.

    Figure 16.12 Applications tab

    Figure 16.13 Web tab

  9. Configure the VM Setup settings. The VM Setup configuration settings include areas for defining Persistent VM Setup, Revertible VM Setup, VM Computer Name Pattern, and Script Actions. For this test environment, we will set up the MED-V Workspace image for a revertible setup. This setup process further configures the Workspace image and is run once on the initial deployment after the Sysprep mini-setup is completed.
    1. Click the VMSetup tab.
    2. Under Revertible VM Setup, select the check box Rename The VM Based On The Computer Name Pattern.
    3. For the VM Computer Name Pattern settings, click the Insert Variable list box and select Host Name. Other choices include User Name, Domain Name, Workspace Name, and Virtual Machine Name.

    Note that if our MED-V Workspace image was configured to be persistent, we would have the option to run a script as part of the MED-V VM setup process. To create a VM setup script, select Run VM Setup and click the Script Editor button. The script editor includes prebuilt scripts to restart Windows, join a domain, check network connectivity, run a command from a command line, rename a computer, and disable auto logon. To add and configure a prebuilt script action, click the Add button under the Script Actions Pane. Once the script is complete, click OK.

    The VM Setup tab is shown in Figure 16.14.

    Figure 16.14 VM Setup tab

  10. Configure the Network settings. The Network configuration settings include areas for defining TCP/IP Properties and DNS Options.
    1. Click the Network tab.
    2. Accept the default TCPIP Properties setting Use Host's IP Address (NAT). If the Workspace requires its own IP address, you can enable this by selecting Use Different IP Address Than Host (Bridge).
    3. Accept the default DNS Options settings to use the host's DNS address. Options are also available for changing the configured DNS setting in the image or using a specific DNS address. Also accept the default setting for Assign DNS Suffixes, which is Append Host Suffixes.
    About the authors
    Tim Cerling is a senior technology specialist at Microsoft with more than 10 years experience and a focus on Hyper-V.

    Jeff Buller is a virtualization specialist on Microsoft's virtualization solutions team.

    The Network tab is shown in Figure 16.15.

  11. Configure the Performance setting. This setting defines a specific amount of memory that will be available to the MED-V Workspace based on the host's memory configuration.
  12. Note that this is a valuable setting for legacy applications that require a specific amount of memory to run.

    1. Click the Performance tab.
    2. Enter the appropriate VM Memory Allocation settings. The Performance tab is shown in Figure 16.16.
  13. After the Workspace has been created and configured properly, in the top menu bar select Policy → Commit to save your changes.

Figure 16.15 Network tab

Figure 16.16 Performance tab


Deploying Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization
  MED-V deployment planning and requirements
  MED-V: Installing server and client components
  MED-V: Creating and deploying images, workspaces
  MED-V Workspace: Testing, deployment and management

Printed with permission from Wiley Publishing Inc. Copyright 2009. Mastering Microsoft Virtualization by Tim Cerling and Jeffrey Buller. For more information about this title and other similar books, please visit Wiley Publishing Inc.

This was last published in June 2010

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