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Configuring 2 PVS servers on a single DHCP

Started by Brian Mooney , 13 January 2017 - 07:05 PM
7 replies to this topic

Brian Mooney Members

Brian Mooney
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Posted 13 January 2017 - 07:05 PM

I have a single PVS server (Server 2008 R2) running on a single Farm with the basic DHCP options set for TFTP. I need to set up a 2nd PVS server for HA. I have read multiple forums that mention that this is possible but the only consideration is the way the PVS VM's receive the load balancing from. Since our DHCP server has options 66 & 67 set, where 66 points to the single Provisioning Server. How do the PVS VM's boot off 1 or the other.


According to Carl Stalhood if we are doing HA this can be done using a NetScaler and VIP. But the NS is on 9.5 and documentation mentions minimum is 10.1. The problem is our NetScaler is not located in this DC but at another and hence would traverse LB across our WAN. Should we implement a free NS at this DC to make this work? All the Citrix PVS VM's and PVS server are on an isolated VLAN as well.


What are my options if I don't have a NS at all and I want to set this up at a single DC? How about Microsoft Load Balancing feature.


Thank you.







Carl Stalhood CTP Member

Carl Stalhood
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Posted 13 January 2017 - 07:23 PM

I've seen some do DNS Round Robin.


Another option is to boot from ISO (BDM) instead of PXE.

Alan Lantz Members

Alan Lantz
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Posted 13 January 2017 - 09:08 PM

If you have server 2012 available you can configure DHCP failover between two servers. Thats what I did. I'm running DHCP on the provisioning servers so they just point to themselves for option 66. With 2008 you will need to be a little more creative with something else handling availability. I think what I did when I had 2008 was a split scope and it was a pain.



Carl Stalhood CTP Member

Carl Stalhood
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Posted 13 January 2017 - 09:27 PM

HA for DHCP is one thing. HA for TFTP is another.

Alan Lantz Members

Alan Lantz
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Posted 13 January 2017 - 10:07 PM

Right you are, and I had to look at my configs to see exactly what I did. But yes, both PVS servers are running TFTP.



Kelan Rowe Citrix Employees

Kelan Rowe
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Posted 16 January 2017 - 09:13 AM

Round robin dns can provide a location of a PVS server which is not available, which some targets pxe clients may need manual intervention to recover from tftp location not being available. Round Robin dns may give more of a load balancing of tftp rather than HA.


If all the targets and PVS servers are in the same broadcast subnet, using PXE service on both PVS servers instead of Option 66 and 67 may be a better to implement HA.


  • PXE service will only respond if PVS server is powered on
  • It will be random which PVS servers PXE service answers the dhcp request first.


On PXE boot, both dhcp and all pxe services will respond to a pxe target dhcp request, dhcp will provide ip address information, and pxe service will provide pxe boot filename (appropriate filename is determined by PXE service - Bios vs UEFI) and location for boot file (TFTP service running on PXE server which answered first). Ensure bootstrap on each PVS server is configured with both PVS servers.


Bogdan Stanciu
  • 37 posts

Posted 16 January 2017 - 12:35 PM

You can use the 1 year Free licence VPX for LB. 
NetScaler VPX Express throughput is limited to 1 Mbps (Full Duplex)

Michael Pander Members

Michael Pander
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Posted 16 January 2017 - 12:56 PM

Use DHCP options 60 and 67:


Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: DHCP, Provisioning Server, PVSConfiguration, Netscaler