MED-V Workspace: Testing, deployment and management

Take a look at this chapter excerpt and find out the steps to test, deploy and manage a Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization Workspace.

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Solutions provider takeaway: Solutions providers will find this chapter excerpt to be valuable, because it provides the necessary steps to test and deploy a Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) Workspace. You will also get information on MED-V management tools, including the MED-V Server Configuration Manager.

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.

Testing a Med-V Workspace

After you've created a Workspace in the MED-V Management console, you can test it on the local Management Console workstation prior to deploying it to users. The steps for this process follow:

  1. Launch the MED-V Client on the Management Console workstation.
  2. Enter the administrator username and password on the Start Workspace screen.
  3. On the Workspace selection screen, select the Workspace we just created. A Confirm Running Test dialog box will display, as shown in Figure 16.17. Click the Use Test Image button.
  4. Figure 16.17 Confirm Running Test dialog box

  5. The selected test image will start. You can now test the workspace on the workstation.
  6. If you need to make Workspace setting changes to the test Workspace, such as for behavior or memory, stop the Workspace and launch the MED-V Management Console to reconfigure the test Workspace, save your changes, and test again.

Deploying a MED-V Workspace

A Med-V Workspace can be deployed to a user's personal computer in one of three ways. These methods include using the MED-V infrastructure, Electronic Software Distribution (ESD), and removable media (DVD or USB). Let's review each type of deployment and its process.

MED-V Infrastructure Deployment

A MED-V Workspace can be deployed to user's personal computers using the MED-V Management Server, the Image Repository, and Client software. All of these MED-V infrastructure components must be installed and configured prior to the deployment of the Workspace, including the installation of the MED-V Client software and prerequisite software. The process for deploying a MED-V Workspace using MED-V Infrastructure is provided in the following steps.

  1. Create the MED-V Workspace and upload the packed image to the repository using the MED-V Management Console using the steps above.
  2. Launch the MED-V Client software on the personal computer targeted for the Workspace deployment.
  3. Provide the appropriate username and password on the Start Workspace screen.
  4. If the user has been assigned to more than one Workspace, select the desired Workspace from the list. The Workspace Download process screen will display and carry out the following steps:
    1. Index the local hard disk.
    2. Download the image.
  5. The Starting Workspace screen will display the progress, as shown in Figure 16.18, and will disappear once the Workstation has started properly. A Windows Notification icon will be displayed on the taskbar. The MED-V Workspace is now ready to use.

Figure 16.18 Starting Workspace screen

Electronic Software Distribution Deployment

An Electronic Software Distribution tool such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager can also be used to initially deploy a MED-V Workspace. This method may be appropriate if an organization already has an ESD infrastructure in place and uses it as their standard method for distributing software. An advantage of using ESD in a WAN environment is the initial MED-V Workspace image deployment and the ability to distribute the image once to a remote site and then transfer the image locally to prestaged directories on each client. A disadvantage of ESD is not being able to use MED-V's Trim Transfer technology. The process for deploying a MED-V Workspace using Electronic Software Distribution is provided in the following steps.

  1. Create the MED-V Workspace, and upload the packed image to the repository using the MED-V Management Console. You can skip this step if you have already created the MED-V Workspace and image.
  2. Download the image to the desired Management Console workstation using the MED-V Management Console. The image files will be downloaded to the C:\MED-V_Images\PackedImages\imagename directory on the local hard disk of the Management Console. You can skip this step if you have already downloaded the MED-V Workspace and image.
  3. Create an Electronic Software Distribution package that includes the two MED-V packed image files (Compressed Machine file and Index file) that were downloaded.
  4. Distribute the packed image files to the targeted user's personal computer's hard disk in the prestaged images directory located at C:\Med-V Images\PrestagedImages.
  5. Launch the MED-V Client software on the personal computer targeted for the Workspace deployment.
  6. Provide the appropriate username and password on the Start Workspace screen.
  7. If the user has more than one Workspace assigned, choose the desired Workspace.
  8. The Starting Workspace screen will display the progress and disappear once the Workstation has started properly. A Windows Notification icon will be displayed on the taskbar. The MED-V Workspace is now ready to use.

Removable Media Deployment

Removable media such as a DVD or USB storage device can also be used to initially deploy a MED-V Workspace. The process for deploying a MED-V Workspace using removable media is provided in the following steps:

  1. Create the MED-V Workspace, and upload the packed image to the repository using the MED-V Management Console. You can skip this step if you have already created the MED-V Workspace and image.
  2. Download the image to the desired Management Console workstation using the MED-V Management Console. The image files will be downloaded to C:\MED-V_Images\ PackedImages\imagename directory on the local hard disk of the Management Console. You can skip this step if you have already downloaded the MED-V Workspace and image.
  3. To prepare for the Packaging Wizard deployment package process, create a local or network directory with separate subdirectories for the MED-V client, Virtual PC, and .NET Framework installation files, and copy the associated setup files into these directories. The Packaging Wizard will ask for the location of these installation files during this process.
  4. On the MED-V Management Console top menu bar, select Tools → Packaging Wizard.
  5. On the Packaging Wizard Deployment Package screen, click Next.
  6. On the Workspace Image screen, mark the check box to include the image in the package. Select the image we just downloaded and click Next.
  7. On the MED-V Installation Settings screen, select the path where we located the MED-V installation files, enter the MED-V server address and port, select Install MED-V Using Default Installation Settings if appropriate, and click Next.
  8. On the Additional Installations screen, select the appropriate check boxes and installation path for Virtual PC 2007 SP1, Virtual PC QFE, and .NET Framework 2.0, and click Next.
  9. On the Finalize screen, enter the path for the package destination and package name, and click Finish.
  10. Copy the contents of the MED-V deployment package to the removable media (DVD or USB storage device).
    1. On the personal computer targeted for the Workspace deployment, insert the DVD or USB storage device that has the deployment package files that we previously copied.
    2. Open the removable media device, and launch the MedvAutorun.exe application. The MED-V screen will appear, asking if you would like to install the MED-V package now. The Installer screen will be also be displayed and will provide progress information for the installation of Virtual PC 2007 SP1, Virtual PC 2007 SP1 Update, MED-V Client, and the importing of the Workspace image. At the end of the process, the MED-V Installer window will display a message saying that MED-V was successfully installed.
    3. The MED-V Workspace is now ready to use.

Managing the MED-V Solution

The Microsoft MED-V solution can be managed using Microsoft management tools that are included in MED-V, Windows Server 2008, and System Center. The MED-V Management and Server Manager tools are discussed below, along with a mapping of the tools for each server and client in the solution.

The MED-V solution or instance can be managed by using Server Manager/IIS Manager, MED-V Server Configuration Manager, and MED-V Management Console.

Server Manager, IIS Manager

Server Manager is used to manage the Web Server (IIS) role that supports the MED-V Image Repository solution. The IIS Main Summary page offers a number of useful tools and information for managing your MED-V environment. The main page includes System Services, Best Practice Analyzer, Role Services, and Resources And Support. You can access this tool through Server Manager, by selecting the IIS role or by using IIS Manager.

MED-V Server Configuration Manager

The MED-V Server Configuration Manager runs on the MED-V Server and is used to initially configure the MED-V Server environment settings. These settings include client connections, location for storing images in the repository, management permissions, and database settings. If you need to change any of these configuration settings, you would use the MED-V Server Configuration Manager tool.

MED-V Management Console

The MED-V Management Console is the primary management tool for the MED-V and sup-ports the life cycle of the Workspace images. It provides management of MED-V Workspaces, images, and reports. The Management tool supports the creation and configuration of MED-V Workspaces, image creation, and deployment and generation of status, activity, and error reports.

MED-V Logs and Events

You can review MED-V logs and events using the MED-V Management Console reports to view the status, activity, and error log information. This information can be viewed within the Management Console or exported into Microsoft Excel. Figure 16.19 show the MED-V Diagnostic tool.

Figure 16.19 MED-V client activity report

In addition, the MED-V Client software includes MED-V Diagnostics, which can gather com-prehensive log information related to that MED-V client. You can access this tool through the Program menu under MED-V Management → Tools → MED-V Diagnostic Tool or by selecting the MED-V Notification icon under Help.

MED-V Client Tool

The MED-V Client tool is used to start MED-V, open Help, run Diagnostics, configure the MED-V client Start options and Server Connection properties, and start or stop a Workspace. You can access this tool by selecting the MED-V Notification icon.

MED-V Diagnostics

The MED-V Diagnostics tool is used to review system, policy, Workspace, and image store information on the MED-V client. In addition, you can use the tool to gather diagnostic logs, update a policy, enable diagnostic mode, and browse the local image store. A screen shot of the MED-V Diagnostics tool is provided in Figure 16.20.

ServerA: MED-V Image Repository Server

The MED-V Solution Management tools required to manage the MED-V Image Repository Server includes Server Manager\IIS Manager, MED-V Server Configuration Manager, and the MED-V Management Console.

Figure 16.20 MED-V Diagnostics tool

ServerB: MED-V Database Server

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 MED-V Solution Management tools required to manage the MED-V Database Server includes SQL Server Configuration Manager and Management Studio, MED-V Server Configuration Manager, and the MED-V Management Console.

ServerC: MED-V Management Server

The MED-V Solution Management tools required to manage the MED-V Management Server includes Server Manager, SQL Server Configuration Manager and Management Studio, MED-V Server Configuration Manager, and the MED-V Management Console.

PC1 — Windows Vista MED-V Client and Management Console

The MED-V Solution Management tools required to manage the Windows Vista personal com-puter include the MED-V Client tool and MED-V Diagnostics.

PC2 — Windows Vista SP1 MED-V Client

The MED-V Solution Management tools required to manage the Windows Vista personal computer include the MED-V Client tool and MED-V Diagnostics.

PC3 — Windows XP SP3 MED-V Client

The MED-V Solution Management tools required to manage the Windows XP SP3 personal computer include the MED-V Client tool and MED-V Diagnostics.

Summary

In this chapter we reviewed considerations for planning a MED-V deployment, provided guidance for conducting a POC, identified and defined required server and client solution components, and provided step-by-step instructions for installing, configuring, and deploying MED-V in a test environment.

The Bottom Line

Install and configure the MED-V Management Server. A MED-V solution consists of a Management Server, Repository Server, Management Console, and Client software.

Master It What Windows operating systems does MED-V support for the host and guests?

Create and prepare a MED-V test image. MED-V uses Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1 to create its VM images.

Master It How do you prepare a Virtual PC virtual machine for MED-V?

Create and configure a MED-V Workspace image. A MED-V Workspace can be assigned only one image, but an image can support more than one MED-V Workspace.

Master It Where do you configure the amount of memory that is available to a MED-V Workspace?

Deploy a MED-V Workspace image. Trim Transfer is a MED-V data transfer technology that minimizes the amount of data, bandwidth, and time it takes to deploy or update a MED-V image to a client.

Master It What are three methods to deploy a MED-V Workspace image to a client?

Generate MED-V reports. MED-V uses Microsoft SQL Server to store reporting data collected from MED-V clients.

Master It What tool is used to generate and view MED-V client reports? What types of reports are available?


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 first published in June 2010
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