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Xenconverter and Target Device software

Posted on 2012-04-03
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Last Modified: 2012-04-16
I am a little bit confused between the role of : XenConverter and Target Device software
Anyone to clear this up ?

Thanks
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Question by:jskfan
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 100 total points
ID: 37800394
XenConverter is P2V/V2V Converter software, similar to VMware vCenter Converter Standalone.

Target Device software is your master computer and operating system that you would like to deploy.

The Target Device can be captured by using the Provisioning Server Image Builder, or XenConvert to create a VHD.
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by:Ayman Bakr
ID: 37801467
When you need to create a VHD image for provisioning purposes to a XenApp or XenDesktop environment you will need two main things:

1. Target Device Software
2. XenConvert

So what is the difference and how does it work? Before creating an image (VHD) on the provisioning server you will have to have the VM with the OS installed (and all related patches, fixes etc...) first. The target device software, when installed, will kind of open a 'channel' to your provisioning server and will show as 'network disk' icon and as active on your system tray - thus marking the master target device from which the provisioning server will create the VHD image (ofcourse, the master target VM would have to be configured on the provisioning server for this channel to function properly). It is at this point when you will use the XenConvert which will copy the selected hard disk/s into a VHD in the provisioning server store.

As hancocka said the XenConvert also has other functionalities: P2V, V2V etc...
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by:jskfan
ID: 37804599
Thanks guys..
What I have noticed was when running the Target Device software wizard, there is nothing in the wizard that will prompt you to specify the PVS to which the Computer (that will have be the master image) should be connected to. In other words how do the future master image computer know which PVS to connect to.

The same for the Xenconverter that creates the image in the Vdisk of the PVS.
How does the Xenconverter know how to getto PVS ?

Thanks again.
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by:Ayman Bakr
ID: 37804725
I am quoting here what I said:
(ofcourse, the master target VM would have to be configured on the provisioning server for this channel to function properly)

This means before installing the target device software you will have to have the following in place:
1. Option 66 and 67 configured on the DHCP server with the provisioning as the TFTP server
2. On the provisioning server in the provisioning console, you need to add the VM - it should be related by specifying its MAC address.
3. Configure the added VM object on the provisioning console to boot from hard disk.

Then when you install the target device software and restart, the VM will boot as normal from its own hard disk with the installed OS. After booting the target device will open the channel by contacting the TFTP (configured on DHCP) and thus 'see' the provisioning. It will appear as 'Active' icon on the system tray.

When you run XenConvert, then you can choose 'convert to provisioning image'(I can't remember exactly the phrase).

As you can see, you will not specify the provisioning server in any of the above stages.
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by:Ayman Bakr
ID: 37804925
One more thing:

You need to create the image on the provisioning and give it a size. This will form the 'structure' where the master target device will be converted to a VHD and copied to it.
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Author Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 37815060
So after the Target software gets installed on the Master Image computer, we need to reboot the computer in PXE mode in order to get the channel to PVS created.

Regarding XConvert, the Master Image computer should also be restarted in PXE mode in order to create the image in the VDISK prestaged in the PVS.
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Ayman Bakr earned 400 total points
ID: 37815319
After installing the target software and XenConvert on the master image you will reboot the machine, but again from its own hard disk (at this stage, if you boot from PXE the machine will not start as there is no OS on the image in the provisioning server yet).

This time when it boots from its hard disk with the target software installed the machine will be able to have a connection channel with the provisioning server (you can see that as 'Active' icon on the system tray). At this point you will run XenConvert to copy an image from the machine's hard disk to the image on the provisioning.

When completed you will shut down the machine, modify the image on the Provisioning server console to standard mode (when you did xenconvert it should have been in private-mode) and then you're set. Whichever VM you assign this image to and configure the VM to boot from vDisk, that VM when started will boot from the streamed image provided by the provisioning server.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 37850669
Well Explained Mutawadi......<br />Thanks
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