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Allocate drive for Paging file when spec'ng Citrix PVS server?

Posted on 2014-01-28
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Last Modified: 2014-02-08
Hello there,

We are implementing Citrix PVS server to stream XenDeskop with Personal disk and Write cache drive.

My question since we will be using 2 x vDisk images for x 32 bit and x64 bit windows 7 OS, with approx 20 GB the size of vDisk each.

While spec'ng Provisioning server, do we need to allocate a separate drive for paging file?
PVS memory - 40 GB and Paging file drive = 1.5 x memory = 60 GB.

Is this a best practice?

Please advise.

Thanks and Regards
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Question by:goprasad
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7 Comments
 
LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:Vijaya Reddy Pinnapa Reddy
Vijaya Reddy Pinnapa Reddy earned 72 total points
ID: 39814907
Please check this article for Page file best practices.
http://blogs.citrix.com/2011/12/23/the-pagefile-done-right/
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LVL 36

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Carl Webster earned 214 total points
ID: 39814966
For PVS, if it has enough RAM, will not use the page file much if at all.  The vDisks that the PVS server streams will be cached in the PVS server's RAM.  The targets should be set to cache in device RAM or device hard drive.  That means there is no space taken up on the PVS server by the target's write cache.

If the write cache is set for target's hard disk then you will be using storage space for the target's write cache and again nothing goes to the PVS server.

You are over thinking this as page file stuff is old news and the old page file should be at least 1.5 times RAM is just bogus.

So no, your question is this is not best practice and I NEVER EVER worry about it in real life.
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LVL 6

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by:Brainstormer
Brainstormer earned 143 total points
ID: 39818737
I don't have a PVS server in front, so going off memory.

In PVS 6.x your choices are as follows:

Cache to RAM
Cache to Device HD <- This should be what you want, and the cache will be on the VM, not PVS servers
Cache to server (PVS)
....


In PVS 7.x your choices are as follows:

Cache to RAM
Cache to RAM with overflow to HD<- This should be what you want as 1st option.
Cache to Device HD <- This should be what you want as 2nd option, and the cache will be on the VM, not PVS servers
Cache to server (PVS)
....
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LVL 36

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by:Carl Webster
Carl Webster earned 214 total points
ID: 39818865
"Cache to RAM with overflow to HD<- This should be what you want as 1st option."

Unfortunately this option does not work.

http://virtexperience.com/2013/11/05/pvs-7-1-ram-cache-with-overflow-to-disk/

There is a hotfix available as listed in the comments to the article but I have not heard if it is fixed yet.
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LVL 6

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by:Brainstormer
Brainstormer earned 143 total points
ID: 39818924
Interesting, I am testing it at a customer now. The author of that article as a followup article here http://virtexperience.com/2013/11/11/how-i-increased-iops-200-times-with-xenserver-and-pvs/.

Regardless, we are debating something that if or when it works will be the standard setting on most deployments. Hence I list as #1 in PVS 7.x with Cache to HD as #2. The author wants to know about cache size on PVS server (Cache to Server) which is not recommended compared to the above choices.

In conclusion, my recommendation still stands.
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LVL 31

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by:Cláudio Rodrigues
Cláudio Rodrigues earned 71 total points
ID: 39820987
Now it works. It was not working exactly as planned performance wise. As others pointed out normally a small virtual disk attached to the endpoint VM is enough to hold the paging file (depending on the project and RAM for the VM I use anywhere between 5 and 12GB for the virtual disk) and set the paging file to a fixed size.

For the PVS server itself, the key thing is to have a LOT of RAM so as Carl pointed out the vDisks can be cached as much as possible in RAM. So the paging file really is probably barely used and a couple gigs one will do it.

If using a CIFS file server to store the PVS images make sure it also has lots of RAM (I normally have the same amount of RAM on the File servers as I do on the PVS servers). And try to stick to SMB 3.0.


Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - RDS
Citrix CTP
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LVL 36

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by:Carl Webster
Carl Webster earned 214 total points
ID: 39837323
Citrix updated their article with regards to intermediate buffering.

http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX126042
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